Squirt chain lube (wax)

Please be fair and thoughtful in your opinions. No rants please.
esuhl
Posts: 129
Joined: 22 Mar 2017, 3:20am

Squirt chain lube (wax)

Postby esuhl » 27 Mar 2017, 8:58pm

Does anyone else use wax on their chain instead of oil?

The idea is that you completely degrease your chain and apply the (liquid) wax. As it picks up grit, it sticks to the wax, and the wax/grit falls off the chain, so (in theory) you never need to clean the chain again. Wipe off excess grit, re-apply the wax and off you go.

I got a free sample a few years back, and I was really impressed. I switched immediately! In dry, dusty conditions, grit used to just stick to a lightly oiled chain. And regularly degreasing the chain was a real chore. The chain doesn't become "slow" and "gunked up" like it used to.

I wouldn't say that it quite lives up to the claim of "never needing to clean the chain again". You do get some build-up over time, so a thorough clean every 3 to 6 months is worthwhile. And if you ride in the rain, it's worth wiping the chain dry otherwise it's liable to rust.

Oh, and ideally, you need to apply the liquid wax and leave it to dry. So you can't just wax the chain and ride. Give it 5 or 10 minutes in warm-ish weather and it'll be fine. In the cold and damp winter, you really need to remember to re-wax the chain the night before.

Bit the soil round here is quite sandy, and I don't cycle in the rain if I can avoid it. And I keep my bike indoors, so the central heating (in winter) dries the wax quickly... so for me it works really well. It's much less hassle than oil and the chain runs more smoothly.

But I haven't heard of anyone else using chain wax. Is it just me?!

This is the brand I use if anyone's interested:
http://www.squirtlube.com/
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/squirt-chain-lube-120ml/

User avatar
julk
Posts: 738
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 8:17pm
Location: Dalkeith

Re: Squirt chain lube (wax)

Postby julk » 28 Mar 2017, 4:03pm

I use it on my Brompton which is mostly ridden in the dry on tarmac.
Works well for me and no oily chain to leave marks on me.

User avatar
NUKe
Posts: 3986
Joined: 23 Apr 2007, 11:07pm
Location: Suffolk

Re: Squirt chain lube (wax)

Postby NUKe » 28 Mar 2017, 4:36pm

I am curious what wax do you use?
I cycle in all weathers, I have several chains for each bike. these are cleaned and then given a bath in hot chainsaw oil and then hung to cool after wiping the excess off. I have a cheap deep fat fryer in the garage for this job. It works quite well even with recumbent chains
Last edited by NUKe on 28 Mar 2017, 5:50pm, edited 1 time in total.
NUKe
_____________________________________

PH
Posts: 9622
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Squirt chain lube (wax)

Postby PH » 28 Mar 2017, 4:52pm

Not tried that, but been tempted to make my own, candles, paraffin oil, xylene, about 50p a bottle!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D12BFIXZCes

esuhl
Posts: 129
Joined: 22 Mar 2017, 3:20am

Re: Squirt chain lube (wax)

Postby esuhl » 28 Mar 2017, 8:24pm

NUKe wrote:I am curious what wax do you use?


The brand I use is called "Squirt". Have a look at the links in my original post. :)

PH wrote:Not tried that, but been tempted to make my own, candles, paraffin oil, xylene, about 50p a bottle!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D12BFIXZCes


Wow! The drivetrains looked really clean after he'd ridden the bikes, and you could still see the wax on the chain. It does look pretty good stuff!

I'd be up for giving it a go, but an £8 bottle of wax lasts me about a year (2000 miles), so I'm okay with the cost.

Oh -- I just had a look at the price of xylene on Amazon. Small quantities are about the same cost as the branded wax, so I wouldn't save any money. It'd be a lot cheaper to make larger amounts... but... what am I gonna do with several litres of chain wax?! :lol: Maybe I should set up in business! Now there's a thought...

jb144
Posts: 1
Joined: 2 Jun 2017, 8:19am

Re: Squirt chain lube (wax)

Postby jb144 » 2 Jun 2017, 8:45am

I realise some of these posts are quite old and the people questioning may have moved on. However this is my experience on waxing.
I heated the chain in motor oil to clean it thoroughly even though it looked clean to start with. I did this twice. I then rendered beef fat from the local butcher to get 400gms of fat (tallow) Mixed in 2 ordinary candles and mixed. The chain was then "cooked" in the mixture for approx. 10 minutes. Hang it up to dry before reapplying to the cycle. A very superior long lasting lube! But the process was very messy and I had to wait for the Mrs to go out before activation! Man or mouse? Neither, just for a peaceful life! :D

esuhl
Posts: 129
Joined: 22 Mar 2017, 3:20am

Re: Squirt chain lube (wax)

Postby esuhl » 7 Jun 2017, 2:35am

jb144 wrote:I realise some of these posts are quite old and the people questioning may have moved on. However this is my experience on waxing.
I heated the chain in motor oil to clean it thoroughly even though it looked clean to start with. I did this twice. I then rendered beef fat from the local butcher to get 400gms of fat (tallow) Mixed in 2 ordinary candles and mixed. The chain was then "cooked" in the mixture for approx. 10 minutes. Hang it up to dry before reapplying to the cycle. A very superior long lasting lube! But the process was very messy and I had to wait for the Mrs to go out before activation! Man or mouse? Neither, just for a peaceful life! :D


Beef fat?! Candles?! In the words of McEnroe, "You cannot be serious, man?!". :shock:

BTW, I just made the biggest mistake ever with this wax lube. I cleaned the drivetrain, applied it, then thought... "You know what, I think I'll give my bike a quick rinse down.". I forgot about the liquid wax on the chain, rinsed down the bike, and noticed that the liquid wax had mixed with the water to form a thick gloopy emulsion. I tried riding with it, but it was a nightmare... so I had to totally degrease the chain again. Sigh.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16375
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Squirt chain lube (wax)

Postby mjr » 7 Jun 2017, 12:44pm

I used Finish Line wax for a bottle. It was a faff and didn't work very well, needing frequent reapplication as it fell off very easily and not providing a noticeably longer chain life than oils. Much more solvent than wax in the bottle (I'm sure I read posts on this forum about other wax lubes being similar), has to be kept warm, need to thoroughly degrease the chain beforehand, more difficult to relube on multi-day tours and so on.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Lodge
Posts: 97
Joined: 28 Feb 2016, 8:59pm
Location: Staffordshire Moorlands

Re: Squirt chain lube (wax)

Postby Lodge » 21 Jun 2017, 7:36pm

I use my own wax lubrication process. I made up a mix of candle wax and a motorcycle gearbox oil which contains a PTFE additive. The proportion is such that it is solid but can be spread easily between thumb and fingers. To apply I just heat the chain with a hot air gun and touch a block of the wax-oil mix to the chain and it melts into the links. Then wipe of the excess. The whole process takes about 10 min to wipe first, heat and wax, wipe again. Repeat every 500 km.

To date this has enabled two cheap chains to last 5000 km each before going beyond 0.075 mm wear. My latest chain is a KMC X1 (I run a Rohloff) which has done 11000 km and it still within specification. I ride in all weathers, summer and winter, with much of my commute being on a gritty canal towpath.

And by-the-way, a good mudflap and wide mudguards really helps to keep muck off the chain.

User avatar
julk
Posts: 738
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 8:17pm
Location: Dalkeith

Re: Squirt chain lube (wax)

Postby julk » 22 Jun 2017, 11:40am

Lodge,
slightly off topic, but a chainglider works well for me with a Rohloff and can make your chain last even longer.

Mike_Ayling
Posts: 258
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 3:02am
Location: Melbourne Australia

Re: Squirt chain lube (wax)

Postby Mike_Ayling » 25 Sep 2017, 3:15am

I use Squirt on the timing chain of our Thorn tandem but for the drive chain I leave the factory coating on which usually lasts the life of the chain.
Same for my Rohloff equipped Thorn Mercury.

Mike