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Anyone using or have tried a 'dry' or wax chain lube?

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  • AZguy
    replied
    Long article on bicycle chains, lubes, etc. https://cyclingtips.com/2019/12/the-...ciency-tested/

    I mostly point to this when people think wider (7, 8, 9sp) chains are stronger or more durable than higher speed (11 or 12 primarily)... but it's on topic here and has lots of info


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  • Retrorockit
    replied
    There is a thing called a Hebie Chainglider which is a DIY chain case for single speed and IGH bikes. Then you could run the wet lubes and keep the dirt off also. Chain cases are pretty common on European commuter bikes.
    https://www.hebie.de/en/protection/c...ainglider/350/

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  • Retrorockit
    replied
    I found this article comparing various chain lubricant types, and wax is well regarded, both hot and drip methods are covered.
    https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/buy...s/chain-lubes/
    Unfortunately new chains come with oil in them. To get the full benefits of wax lube it should be removed.
    Last edited by Retrorockit; 02-04-2021, 06:55 AM.

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  • AZguy
    replied
    How much does this magic stuff cost? Hopefully not more than the chain LOL...

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  • Retrorockit
    commented on 's reply
    I think the ZDDP was needed for the sliding contact under high pressure that mechanical lifters provide. I think it went away due to contaminating catalytic converters. It may have stayed around a bit longer in diesel truck oils. But most engines I've seen lately( retired so not that many) have gone to roller type cam followers.

  • 73Eldo
    replied
    The squirt wax feels different than the factory lube but it does make me wonder if there is some wax like component in the factory lube.

    Do we know what the magic ingredient is in e bike lube? It always seems to cost more? Is it any different or do they just figure we had the money for an E bike so we can afford a little more for a different sticker?

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  • Dshue
    replied
    The sticky feel you describe sounds exactly like how a new KMC chain comes. And the mountain bike community argues quite a bit over that. You have the strip that crap off immediately crowd and the use it as is and apply lube as normal crowd. Both sides are adamant in their stance on the subject.
    I tend to be in the camp of leave the factory lube in place and lube the chain in my usual manner. It's tacky but not really fly strip sticky.
    It's damn near impossible to get the thicker lubes to go into the tiny clearances in a chain but it's easy to wash it all out.
    I've never been one to worry about the messiness of my chain lube. As a kid riding BMX my pants all had chain stains. As a mountain biker I always had the big chainring to keep the chain off my leg. On my e bike I have the bafang chain guard in place to save my pants. And I don't commute on the bike, but even if I did I work construction and grease stains wouldn't really detract from the appearance of my work pants.
    I have been known to use thick motor oil additives like those offered by STP and Lucas to lube chains, thin them with a low flash solvent and you have instant "wet" lube. But before the e bike, my go to was always 3 in one oil and my 20 year old Specialized had the same chain, chainrings, and cassette for thousands of miles.
    I am trying out some Finishline "dry" lube that's supposed to be for e bikes(with no clear description for why) ...But it was cheaper than other varieties and Ican be a cheapskate at times. It has moly, goes on wet, and drys in a few hours. I am going with a dry lube because I want as little chance for oil to reach my disk brake as possible. We'll see how the new KMC X8 chain does with it. But it does leave the dreaded black stain, though it seems to wipe off my hands easy enough. Almost like a dry moly lube.


    One thing I have wondered is why no e bike lubes have ZDDP in them? It's an amazing high pressure lubricant. Basically a liquid zinc that leaves a coating that lasts for quite a while. It is what kept flat tappet lifters from failing in automotive engines. It took years for tappet failures to start after EPA rules caused most oil manufacturers to stop using it.
    Maybe I'll try some on a chain.
    Last edited by Dshue; 02-03-2021, 10:58 PM.

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  • Glem
    replied
    I don't have enough kms on it yet to know honestly. But cleaner forsure

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  • Retrorockit
    replied
    I've reached about the same conclusion AZ has, but for urban riding the chain is mission critical, so mine costs a lot more than $30. If I can find a Wippermann 8SE for under $50 I grab it.
    My chain line isn't perfect and I don't have a Wide/Narrow ring so when my chain gets dry it starts to jump around even with a chain guide. I had to use power steering fluid from a convenience store to get home once. What a mess that was to clean up!

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  • 73Eldo
    commented on 's reply
    That is the key feature I was looking for. Save some watts? Add some life? Great if it does and if it doesn't thats fine too as long as its within reason. If I had to replace the chain twice as often with it maybe then I would not bother but if its similar I'm all for less mess which so far looks to be true. I'm not riding as much in the snow and ice so hard to tell for sure but the rides I do do have to be harder on the chain than summer rides even if they are longer.

  • Glem
    replied
    I got some of that squirt wax line, seems good so far much nicer to handle the chain than with typical chain lube.

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  • 73Eldo
    replied
    If you can avoid getting wet not doing anything seems possible. Not a lot of extra lube to attract dirt that way so I could see a pretty long life. Back in my early days I don't remember messing with the chain much at all especially on my road bike. Right now I have to keep up on em because any time I go out there is either going to be salt dust or wet salt and with nothing on the chain it will be too stiff to move within days.

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  • AZguy
    replied
    Personally, I think people waaaaaay overthink and overkill maintenance on chains that cost less than $30 - there, I said it... that's my religion!

    I just pulled my chain and measured stretch last weekend... it was about 1.5mm so I'm going to change it within a couple of hundred miles or so... it has about 3000 very hard miles in very dusty conditions with more than a little exposure to water and mud

    Every 100+mi or so I'll wipe it off and lube it and have used different products, I'm not very fussy as long as it's not messy , easy and quick to apply - sometimes even just motor oil or transmission fluid if that's the only thing laying around... cleaning has never been done with the chain removed, no fancy baths or ultrasonics, just a wipe down while on the bike before I lube... easy peasy... point being is I just do it reasonably often...

    Fer pete's sake, they're cheap!!! Even if you don't maintain them as often as is optimal just replace them before they stretch much... or don't but be prepared to replace the cassette and ring which often enough are also cheap... Even on a chain I *never* maintained I got over 1000mi...

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  • Retrorockit
    commented on 's reply
    I did the ultrasonic bath thing, and threw the casette in there too. But that stopped when I found out the BBSHD could spread the Connex links.I suppose i could carry a spare Connex. But handling a dirty chain at night by the side of the road doesn't appeal to me very much.

  • K442
    replied
    Originally posted by AZguy View Post
    Back in moto racing days the only topic more like religion or politics than motor oil was chain maintenance...
    Amen! Nothing has changed!

    I've tried a couple different things. Store bought wax lube seemed OK, but was fairly expensive. Melted down a couple of candles, added some mineral oil, moly disulfide, and a bit of methanol. Way cheaper and seemed to work just as well, or actually a bit better as it did not seem to get as stiff in the cold. Seem to have better luck with oil based lubes in the rain/mud, but they do suck up dry dirt. For cleaning, nothing seems to beat a good run in the ultrasonic bath...just seems like the dirt 'explodes' out of ever small crevice.

    But overall, keeping some type of lube on the chain and cleaning it periodically is 98% of the game and you can spend as much money as a new chain or more chasing that last few percent.

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