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    #16
    Everybody has their own pet chain process :-) . Myself I try not to over-obsess on it. Parts are cheap and so long as you do some basic maintenance you are good. 10% of the potential effort directed at an inexpensive chain gives 90% of the benefits of spending a lot of time on it (just made those numbers up).

    I wipe mine down with my favorite chain cleaner/lube combo - Rock and Roll Extreme Wet - whenever it starts making noise or I feel like it. Usually no more than a month and sometimes every couple of weeks. Depends on how much dust is out there - and where I am at its agricultural and very dusty. I pour over the links with a shop towel underneath and then use/ruin that towel to rub the lube/solvent off. Elapsed time 10 minutes or so.

    If for some reason the chain has to come off, I dip it in a gallon bucket of Kroil I have that I also use for freewheels and cassette clusters.

    I pay attention to the dérailleur pulleys and if they are getting crap caked on them I scrape them clean with a screwdriver tip.

    Thats it. Throw away the chain and rear cluster and replace after a year (or sooner if the chain gauge says the chain is wearing... we'll see if the fancy KMC mid drive chain I have on now is worth the money).

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      #17
      Chain maintenance reminds me of my moto days and some discussions that are not to be discussed at the bar because they were more toxic than religion or politics...

      Number 1: engine oil - dino vs. synthetic, change intervals, brand, market (you'd be surprised how many wet-clutch moto guys swore by diesel engine oil), filters, break-in, lab testing, additives, etc. Probably the most controversial discussion you can bring up around a group of hard core moto heads at beer-thirty.

      Chains and chain maintenance were right up there too. Tires, gear (jackets, helmets, etc.), lighting, wiring, etc. are all topics to approach with caution =]

      Comment


        #18
        How many of you guys use a fresh cassette for every new chain? I don't.

        Maybe I should? if it would be so much better, I'd save $ in the long run? I try to change for every other chain. I don't usually get any chain skipping with the second one, but did once. Unless that was a 3rd chain, possible I cheaper out once, can't recall.

        I'd know if I kept notes, but haven't.

        Same question for Chainring up front, too.
        Fabrication is fun! Build something today. Show someone. Let them help. Inspire and share. Spread the desire.

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        • AZguy
          AZguy commented
          Editing a comment
          I did last time when my chain broke after stretching a link. I had already replaced the top two gear cogs along the way - the top one twice because the chain had started skating on them and once that starts it accelerates *very* rapidly.

          As mentioned I'm going to keep a good eye on this chain (but seriously neglect maintenance) and once the stretching starts accelerating I'm just going to replace the chain and possibly the chain ring (they are stupid cheap since I use a 130bcd) but definitely not the cassette. I have two used cassettes and if I see issues with the existing cassette after the new chain I'll just swap parts from the old ones...

          At least that's the plan ;-}


          It'll be interesting to see how it goes!

        #19
        Originally posted by JPLabs View Post
        How many of you guys use a fresh cassette for every new chain? I don't.

        Maybe I should? if it would be so much better, I'd save $ in the long run? I try to change for every other chain. I don't usually get any chain skipping with the second one, but did once. Unless that was a 3rd chain, possible I cheaper out once, can't recall.

        I'd know if I kept notes, but haven't.

        Same question for Chainring up front, too.
        My first ebike was based on a used damaged Electra cruiser that was a rental unit. I fixed the damage and measured the chain. There was no stretch so I used it. I fussed with different freewheels and then in two months caved in and installed a S-A hybrid drive. 3spd X 8spd cassette. The cassette itself was used from a pedal bike. Not a lot of use.

        I am not religious about cleaning and lubing chains. 3 or 4 times in 2000 miles. So 2000 miles the chain is stretched but working fine even if there was a little rust on it. I installed a new KMX nickel plated chain and got the most horrendous noises out of the drive line. My type of flat land riding I would use the 15 tooth sprocket on the cassette and just shift the 3spd IGH. Once in a while I would go up or down a sprocket.

        Those three sprockets were junk so I shifted to the never used 11 tooth one and now I had noise coming from Luna's cheaper 42 tooth chain wheel. I picked up the old chain from the barn floor and put it back on. I ordered a new close ratio cassette and a Luna Eclipse to straighten the chain line. I didn't replace the chain until I had all three pieces on hand.

        I am going to keep a closer eye on the chain stretch and try replacing sooner but I will have a new cassette ready just in case. I hope I can get 2 or 3 chains worth out of the Eclipse.

        Comment


          #20
          I clean and lube my chains about every 500 miles, more often if riding off road in the mud. I start with a new chain and chainring, but usually use the original cassette or single gear in the cade of IGH's. I have had no problems with any of my builds with the single exception being a BBSHD modified with an Electric Race Technologies controller @ 45amps and 72v battery. The Luna Eclipse 42t and chain are fine but it absolutely eats cassettes, especially the high gears, even with a Gear Sensor. Even my first Cyclone build doesn't eat cassettes like the modified HD. Just did a second Cyclone and I'm keeping an eye on the drive train, but have not logged enough miles to know how it's doing. So far so good though. One thing I can say for sure, if you do not have a chain stretch gauge, get one. A stretched chain will eat the whole drive train!

          Comment


            #21
            Thank for all the feedback! Helping me to refine my philosophy on chain maintenance.
            Fabrication is fun! Build something today. Show someone. Let them help. Inspire and share. Spread the desire.

            Comment


              #22
              Hallelujah brothers. I'm a loyal disciple of the chain wax clan these days. I've seen the light. I was a disbeliever right up to my day of enlightenment. I thought oil based lubes were the way forward. Then I discovered the paraffin wax method and I'm converted. It works, the chain runs silent and clean, its cheap, and if you run two chains alternately, it's easier too. Using quick links I simply snap one chain off and clip the alternate chain on. Quick clean and easy. Every two weeks I'll fire up the Ultrasonic cleaner, wash both and then re immerse in a bath of molten paraffin wax in my rice cooker (with added PTFE and Molly powder) All this whilst I drink a couple of beers. I'm using my Giant Anthem virtually every day now and logging more Ks than my car so this little maintenance routine is no big deal. Having a silent chain set is also very nice and the gear changes even seem smother. It should pay dividends in the long term too.
              I'm due to do a clean and recoat next week so I'll snap some pics and make a new post.

              Comment


                #23
                I have just ordered two Sram PC850 chains for £5.99 each off amazon.
                And a Clarks anti-rust chain as a spare for £4.50.

                I do not have high hopes for the clarks but want to try using the wax treatment on all these chains.
                My lack of lubricant has really cost me the life of my chains over winter, sometimes the next day the chain is rusty and stiff and I have to free it off with wd40 before riding.
                This must hammer the chain, one mile like that probably causes 100 miles of wear.
                I hope it's not too late for my cassette.

                I am thinking of using barbecue lighter fluid which I picked up in the sales for 10p as the solvent to clean my chain in a £15 ultrasonic cleaner I have had sitting on the shelf for 3 years unused.

                For the wax I will probably buy a load of candles and will have to find something to mix into it.
                I was thinking of using manual gear oil although this stinks bad so might look to some of the suggestions in this thread.

                Comment


                • Hard Tail
                  Hard Tail commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I reckon your rusty chain delemmas will be a thing of the past. Re the paraffin wax, I'm told you can just use ordinary paraffin candles and mix some paraffin oil when molten. Alternatively I ordered a slab of pure paraffin wax from an atomic candle store. It's already quite greasy and only added about 20% Paraffin oil. Re the ultrasonic cleaner, be careful using lighter fluid. If it's a heater cleaner unit then even household detergents work fine in the ultrasonic unit set to around 60celcius.
                  I'm experimenting a bit here too, I'm going to try that green truck wash next time.

                #24
                Don't use wax, use paraffin. You do not need to add a thing, as paraffin has a natural lubricity. It's available in the canning supplies at the grocery store. I would also find a solvent that does not have as low a flash point as lighter fluid. Mineral spirits might be OK. Or diesel fuel. I'd still be cautious of the fire potential. The easy way is to use a wax/paraffin based motorcycle chain lube in a can.

                Comment


                • JPLabs
                  JPLabs commented
                  Editing a comment
                  When I tried pure canning paraffin, it flaked right off. Very hard, not sticky. Advice I read said to thin it so it can smear instead of flaking and cracking, when gouged with a fingernail. It stays on my chain, after doing that. Thinning to soften it seems like its better, to me, since it leaves the chain coated better. But I'm no tribology expert.

                  Thoughts about why pure hard wax is OK, if so?

                • Rix Ryds
                  Rix Ryds commented
                  Editing a comment
                  No experience using either wax or paraffin. I use a 'dry' lubricant I get at Walmart in the bike dept. it is based on wax/paraffin and works well. It's also reasonably priced at about $5 a can. I clean my chain with WD40, Dry it thoroughly, and apply the lube. No chain stretch in 1000's of miles so far. I do this about 4 times a year.

                • JPLabs
                  JPLabs commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Rix,

                  OK. Your comment 'you don't need to add a thing' meant, to me, you don't even need to thin it, just use straight paraffin wax. That's why I asked.

                  Now, I think that's not what you were meant to say. If correct, all is clear again.

                  I still think we need to add something to hard wax, to soften it, if it's too flaky to stay on the chain.

                #25
                Click image for larger version

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ID:	58663 This is like an oil thread but I can't resist. I use this on motorcycle chains. They have repackaged it with different label than my 6 year old can ( still works fine). My can says motorcycle chain lube but they took that off because they want you to use it for many more things. It dries to a wax like film, and will not attract dust. I am going to try home brew thinned paraffin (you tube) just for fun, but I should just use this. I really like the idea of running two chains.

                Last edited by sieg25; 02-23-2018, 11:11 AM.

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                  #26
                  Someone suggested this stuff.



                  I could not find the post but I did save the link. http://www.runawaybike.com/products/hot-tub

                  Has anyone tried it?

                  Comment


                  • calfee20
                    calfee20 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    You know I wonder about the moly powder. It was a huge fad in the accuracy reloading game a few years ago. It has a lot of pros but one con is the moly has an affinity for water. To apply the moly you would tumble the bullets with moly and ball bearings about the size of BB's. If you didn't have stainless BB's they would quickly rust up on you and the micro pits would transfer to the bullets.

                    It would be something to keep an eye on anyway.

                  • Hard Tail
                    Hard Tail commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hi Calfee. Thanks for the heads up. I was talking to an old educated mate of mine (who knows stuff) and he suggested the molly and PTFE additive before I actually read about it in Friction Facts website. I was a little surprised about how little molly they actually added to the wax though in their secret formula.That might explain why. We're talking 5grams or less than 1% of volume. I'd imagine that the PTFE and molly go to work after the parraffin has worked itself out of the rollers. Hopefully that same wax coating will prevent moisture wicking or accumulation. My first hurdle though is getting the PTFE powder through customs. I'm a little concerned about how the authorities will interpret a bag of white powder arriving from a Chinese chemical company. What can possibly go wrong.

                  • calfee20
                    calfee20 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That web site is worth a link. https://www.friction-facts.com/

                  #27
                  It took over a month but my ebay chain lube chemicals finally arrived from China. I can't believe a packet of white powder with no documentation simply arrived in the post, but there you are. I mixed up the concoction recommended by the Friction Facts website comprising of 1pound parifin wax, 5grams of pure PTFE and 1gram of molybdenum sulfide. Mixed it all up in my $15 rice cooker, cleaned my two chains and dropped them both in the brew.
                  Interesting observation, the cooled wax blend is white , but once heated up in the molten state, it's black from the very small percentage of molybdenum.
                  I've now done about 200klm commuting on my first chain. No issues so far. I plan to swap the chain over in a fortnight and then re treat them both each month. Now that I've mixed up my lube bath this is a relatively quick and easy process. I enjoy having a silent drive chain with easy gear shifts and the parafin wax certainly delivers this. Whether this will also deliver longevity and reliability is yet to be seen but I'm optimistic. I've also ordered a chain wear gauge so I might be able to add a semblance of scientific data to the discussion sometime next year.

                  Comment


                    #28
                    Funny pics. That's got to be pretty sketchy looking, to an outsider, LOL. Sure, your working on your bicycle, uh huh. Nothing odd here, move along.
                    Fabrication is fun! Build something today. Show someone. Let them help. Inspire and share. Spread the desire.

                    Comment


                    • AZguy
                      AZguy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Haha - reminds me of when my house got raided by narcotic task force - some idiot saw my beer brewing equipment and called them and it turns out they are even stupider than he...
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