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  1. #1
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    degreasing chain

    I want to give waxing a shot but I don't have access to an ultrasonic tank. So what do people recommend for an effective degreaser to completely get rid of all contaminants? Turpentine, kerosene, diesel, gasoline, mineral spirits etc??? And what needs to be done afterwards using one of these?

    My old routine uses either automotive degreaser or simple green scrubbed on with a brush & then rinsed. Although the chain looks clean & was fine for lubing afterwards, the chain would turn black right after lubing indicating that there were still contaminants on it. I want to get it CLEAN so that the wax will penetrate all links.

    I've never used any of the above listed options & would like to hear people's experiences & tips & if there are any other options I haven't listed.

  2. #2
    tlg
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    Waxing your chain is a waste of time.

    But if you choose to waste your time...
    https://moltenspeedwax.com/pages/clean-your-chain
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  3. #3
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Waxing your chain is a waste of time.

    But if you choose to waste your time...
    https://moltenspeedwax.com/pages/clean-your-chain
    I agree. It doesn't last long. However ... gasoline will do the job. I prefer the citrus based degreaser you can pick up for about $10 a gallon at the Home Depot.

  4. #4
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    yeah, just say 'no' to waxing...

    a PITA process that provides a seriously sub-standard result.

    when I was doing it, degreased with gasoline, then a hot soap/water rinse, and then baked chain in a 350F oven to dry it out.
    Ancient Astronaut theorists say, 'YES!'

  5. #5
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    Wax your legs, lube your chain.
    Too old to ride plastic

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan01 View Post
    ...My old routine uses either automotive degreaser or simple green scrubbed on with a brush & then rinsed. Although the chain looks clean & was fine for lubing afterwards, the chain would turn black right after lubing indicating that there were still contaminants on it... .
    To get a used chain really clean, you have to clean it several times, and you have to change the solvent bath after each cleaning. Repeat the process until the solvent bath doesn't get dirty anymore.

  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    You can add me to the crowd that says 'Waste of time for less than stellar results'.
    I work for some bike racers
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  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone. Yeah I know its a pita going into this & you don't get long mileage out of it but I just wanted to see for myself. I've got me some ptfe & molybdenum powder...time to cook me a turkey I guess.

  9. #9
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan01 View Post
    Thanks everyone. Yeah I know its a pita going into this & you don't get long mileage out of it but I just wanted to see for myself.
    Cuz you think you're gonna save some watts huh.
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  10. #10
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    Well I guess if you are bored and want to kill time, this is one way to do it. Otherwise, I agree with others here who say it's a waste of time. You can get your chain out-of-the box clean, but in a few 100 miles, it will be dirty again.

    Just wipe your chain with a WD-40 soaked rag and then give it a good dry wipe. Lube every 500 miles and ride the freaken bike. More time getting your chain squeaky clean is less time riding.

    I don't recommend using gasoline.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  11. #11
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    I like how pretty much everyone walked around the actual question just to share how much they don't think waxing is useful.
    I've found putting my chain in a mason jar of mineral spirits and giving it a few vigorous shakes was fine to clean my chain well. I just got a box of 12 jars and a gallon of mineral spirits. Then I can do it in stages if it's filthy, and decant into spare jars once the dirt settles.

  12. #12
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by evan326 View Post
    I like how pretty much everyone walked around the actual question just to share how much they don't think waxing is useful.
    I've found putting my chain in a mason jar of mineral spirits and giving it a few vigorous shakes was fine to clean my chain well. I just got a box of 12 jars and a gallon of mineral spirits. Then I can do it in stages if it's filthy, and decant into spare jars once the dirt settles.
    Post #2. Directions directly from manufacturers of Chain Wax.
    Nothing much more to discuss beyond that.

    Your directions don't meet the requirements from MSPEEDWAX. While it may clean your chain well, it doesn't prep it for wax.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by evan326 View Post
    I like how pretty much everyone
    I didn't say everyone, yours was one of the few helpful posts.
    The only thing they list I didn't was the alcohol bath, I've used MSW before.

  14. #14
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by evan326 View Post
    I didn't say everyone, yours was one of the few helpful posts.
    Because there's "nothing much more to discuss beyond that". That's how forums work. Question gets answered and the thread moves on to other points. Like the silliness of wax.
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  15. #15
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    Never use gasoline as a degreaser - it's highly flammable and very dangerous to use. Mineral spirits or faster drying naptha is a much better choice. I use old water bottles to put the solvent in and shake vigrously to clean. Use a second bottle with clean solvent for a second wash, before lubing. It can take quite awhile for the mineral spirits to evaporate, unless compressed air is used to remove most of it.

    I'd try a wax based lube rather that hot waxing, which seems like a lot of trouble. I'm trying a home-brew wax lube that's made from paraffin, dissolved in naptha, with 2-3% gear lube to enhance the lubrication. It leaves the chain very dry and does not attract dirt. It takes a lot of naptha to dissolve paraffin - at least 6 fluid ounces to 1 ounce by weight of paraffin.

    Most dry lubes are applied generously every hundred miles or so.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Cuz you think you're gonna save some watts huh.
    Funny but with winter here I don't even bother with a computer. I was out 2 weeks ago & I went out early as rain was predicted in the afternoon. When I went out it was in the low 40's but before I could get to my turn around point it started to hail & pour with the temperature dropping.

    Took me an hour to get back home & the temperature was now in the 30's. I'm completely soaked through, freezing wet & miserable. The first thing I did when I got home was to soak my kit first or it would have been ruined. I then jumped into the tub for a long soak & then ate afterwards. By the time I got to clean the bike, my Dura Ace chain had rust on it.

    I use Finish Line Ceramic wet lube but after an hour of heavy downpour & all the crap on the road it is what it is. I'm not looking for watts but just wanted to dry something different & see for myself if it will perform better in bad conditions. Thanks for the link & for all responses.

  17. #17
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    Disposal of petroleum based degreasers is a problem. That's why they shouldn't be used.

  18. #18
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan01 View Post
    The first thing I did when I got home was to soak my kit first or it would have been ruined.
    Why would your kit have been ruined?

    I use Finish Line Ceramic wet lube but after an hour of heavy downpour & all the crap on the road it is what it is. I'm not looking for watts but just wanted to dry something different & see for myself if it will perform better in bad conditions. Thanks for the link & for all responses.
    If your concern is rust, wax surely isn't going to help you out. Most likely make it worse. Get yourself a better lube.

    I use Chain-L. Apply lube every 800mi or so. After a ride in the rain, I shake my bike and put it away. If it's cold and damp, I'll stick it in front of a fan. That's it. No rust.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Why would your kit have been ruined?

    If your concern is rust, wax surely isn't going to help you out. Most likely make it worse. Get yourself a better lube.
    ^This.^

    If you ride in rain and wet conditions, dry and wax lubes are useless. Use a wet lube. I now use a home brew made with half synthetic oil and half mineral spirits. To keep it from getting too dirty, wipe well after lubing and then wipe again after the first ride.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-40 View Post
    Never use gasoline as a degreaser - it's highly flammable and very dangerous to use.
    I had to Google this. Guys... he's right. Gasoline is in fact flammable - and HIGHLY flammable at that. Whew. I had just set up a big bowl of gas by the drapes, laid out some paper towels, stoked the fire in the fireplace, lit a cigarette and was just about to clean my chain. Thanks for the heads-up.

    Gas does work very well. It evaporates very quickly too. But yeah... don't set your house or self ablaze.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Why would your kit have been ruined?

    If your concern is rust, wax surely isn't going to help you out. Most likely make it worse. Get yourself a better lube.
    When I got home my white jacket was black/brown absolutely filthy. Fortunately I was able to get it decently clean. I wasn't planning on getting caught in the rain, otherwise I would have worn my waterproof Flandrian jacket instead which is black.

    Finish Line Ceramic Wet is one of the wettest lubes I've ever used but in that downpour it washed everything off & my bike was squeaking back home. Everyone has a favorite lube & bias against others. I understand that & that's why I wanted to try waxing because the Friction Facts testing claimed that waxing was the most durable in bad conditions & will keep performing despite the conditions.

    Big claims but it was backed up with scientific testing & that is why I wanted to try it out. To see if its worth the hassle or not.
    https://www.scribd.com/document/2620...ficiency-Tests
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails degreasing chain-phplf9ljfam.jpg  

  22. #22
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan01 View Post
    When I got home my white jacket was black/brown absolutely filthy.
    Ahhhh gotcha.



    Big claims but it was backed up with scientific testing & that is why I wanted to try it out. To see if its worth the hassle or not.
    https://www.scribd.com/document/2620...ficiency-Tests
    Ahhhh the 'ole friction facts. Yea... read it closely. It's anything but scientific. That test is pure crap. Their testing methods are flawed. Their conclusions are flawed. I wouldn't trust a single thing they say.

    EFFICIENCY TEST
    Each lube was tested on three top-of-the-line chains, one each from Campagnolo, SRAM, and Shimano, and the final results are an aver-age of all three. The chains were cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner in odorless mineral spirits prior to testing, and then all three chains were immersed in a 100˚F bath of each respective lube and run in the ultrasonic machine for five minutes. The greases were worked in manually
    The chains were then hung to dry for thirty minutes, wiped clean, then mounted on the test equipment


    ...each chain was run for five minutes, with data captured at the end of each five-minute run

    That right there invalidates all their results. They submerged every chain in an oil bath! An oil bath? Seriously? That's not per manufacturers instructions. Who in their right mind would submerge a chain in oil. Then "hang it to dry" for just 30minutes. That chain is going to have so much residual oil on it, of course it's going to have more resistance.

    Then merely running the test for 5min? Sure that's designed to benefit the waxed chain. The oil bathed chain is still going to be over saturated in oil.
    This was clearly done on purpose. Had they lubed the chains per manufacturers instructions and run the test for a few hours, the results would be drastically different.

    LONGEVITY RESULTS
    We tested eight of the lubes for longevity, simulating a single dirty, wet ride and testing efficiency before and after. Each of the eight was chosen as a representative of a certain lube type. For the most part, four of the eight, representing greases, waxbased drip lubes, regular oils, and biodegradeable oils, were all very similar, losing about 2 watts over the hour-long test

    Then they only tested eight of the lubes for longevity. Choosing from each type as a "representative"? We didn't learn that in science class.


    Their data is cherry picked so bad. It looks good if you're riding your bike for 5min. Beyond that, who knows. But I'd bet good money that after a few hours the wax data wouldn't look so good.


    And of course, trusting everything they say, you're probably looking at realistically 2watts. A savings of ~4sec over 20 miles. Or 0.2sec per mile.

    You said you use Finish Line Ceramic Wet. That's ~1watt according to their results. So if you trust their results, you'll save a whopping 1.8sec over 20 miles. That is NOT worth the hassle.
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  23. #23
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan01 View Post
    Friction Facts testing claimed that waxing was the most durable in bad conditions & will keep performing despite the conditions.
    That right there is pretty funny.

    There are plenty of 'wet' condition lubes that work well straight out of the bottle. If you absolutely have to do a long ride in wet conditions the best thing I've ever found in my experience is this: Lube the chain w/ your favorite wet condition lube. Grab your handy tube of Shimano Dura Ace grease and put a thinish layer over the chain lube. I just apply it to the side of the chain that touches the cog/chainring teeth. It works great. Definitely more to clean after the ride but it will last and last.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    That right there is pretty funny.

    There are plenty of 'wet' condition lubes that work well straight out of the bottle.
    Yeah but you need someone to keep re-applying it when it gets washed out like it did that day. If only I had a support car following me, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now. Oh CX where were you when I needed you the most???

    Frankly I didn't even read the FF report or looked at the stats. The only thing that caught my eye was the claim that during riding for hours in heavy snow conditions, the waxed chain remained squeak free & looked just as clean after the ride as before. That's the only reason I wanted to give it a try.

    But if you really wanted to blame anyone....blame the meteorologist. What does predicting meteor showers have anything to do with the weather??? And how does a weatherman/person get to be wrong 60% of the time & still have a job???

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan01 View Post
    And how does a weatherman/person get to be wrong 60% of the time & still have a job???
    That's the only one of two careers where you can be wrong most of the time and still keep your job. The other one is stock analyst/economic forecaster.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



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