Cycling in Sydney Australia
After being a little nonplussed by traditional oil chain lubes out there, and being intrigued by stories of paraffin wax based lubes, I bought a bottle of Smoove Chain Lube and last night did the conversion - I cleaned and degreased by drivetrain, cleaned and degreased a brand new chain and Smooved them!
Smoove is South African and the favourite of SA Enduro MTBers who swear by it. Road bike applications should be way easier than MTB, hence my interest .... Smoove seems to be the winner in wax lube tests, claimed to last up to 900km between applications and possibly doubling chain life.
I soaked my new KMC chain in brake cleaner and shook it around for quite a time to get all the oil out of it, then scrubbed it down in truck cleaner and warm water to get the last traces of oil and grease out of it. Then in the warm oven to fully dry out.
Cassette and chain rings and jockey wheels all copped similar treatment to remove all traces of old style lube and dirt.
It is quite watery and squirts on easily - into the middle of the chain while back pedalling. After a few moments it crept right through the chain and was visible between the side plates and leaking out around the pins. Then run up and down all the gears to spread it around, and big ring, little ring.
I had a look this morning and it's all dried out, clear and a little sticky.
First ride tomorrow!
I will keep you up to date with developments :-)
I bought a bottle of smoov when this thread started. Works pretty well and does not make the chain dirty to the touch which on a commuter is one thing that is important to me. The only down side is the the side plates of my chain are a bit rusty, stripping all the factory lube off has left them exposed and the smoov does not make its way onto the side plates (this is not a big issue). I can't speak on longevity on the chain, have not done enough k's yet
What kind of chain do you use?
I buy the pretty shiny ones - they don't go bad from lack of oil.
On my cargo bike it is just a cheap KMC 8 speed one without any fancy platings. On my commuter , i've got HG-73 (9sp) these get a bit rusty too (but i am not complaining i got a box of 20 of them for free about 10 years ago). In both cases it is superficial rust so no biggie.
They would be fairly thick side plates too - I'm sure they will handle a little rust ;-)
I received WEND wax kit with a bicycle bought on line has anyone tried this product? You apply the cleaner until chain is clean and then apply wax with applicator like extra large lipstick to top and bottom of chain.
No, I haven't used it, but review from Bicycling Australia.
The manufacturer claim the wax-based mix (that includes Teflon & zinc) keeps the chain cleaner, offers superior friction reduction properties over other chain lubes, and makes for a quieter and more efficient drive-train.
More in YouTube if you input "Wend chain wax".
Ok. I've just gone to the next level. DIY wax brew.
Cooked up the brew today since it's been raining and all. I had to do something........
Melted wax , paraffin oil and Xylene.
I cleaned the chain and all the other bits and soaked the clean chain in the wax / paraffin oil mix, let it drop off, wipe off and reinstall.
The brew is to top up the wax by dripping onto the chain.
I'll fill an old oil squirt bottle and dribble it on when things get a bit creaky. The xylene is to keep it liquid until its on the chain.
Wish me luck!
Intrigued to hear how you get on with this, John.
Isn't the next step to have three chains that you rotate through to maximise cassette life and reduce the frequency of chain cleaning? ;^)
I got a good run from the Smoove, but it is still a bit sticky and still attracts road grime and oil/ grease.
I hope this way I can get a well lubricated, smooth shifting chain which is dryer and so attracts less blackness - which actually is the stuff that gets inside the pins and kills the chain.
Next will be sprinkles of teflon and molybdenum disulphide added to the wax.
Then finding as source of microcrystalline wax (apparently better ....).
Then, ultimately, the spare chains ;-)
I did the 3 chain trick for a few years. After a while I found it to be a PIA and stopped doing it. I can't quantify what difference it made, but I just found it easier to buy the bits when needed rather than stuff about changing chains. Besides that, it's an excuse to get some more new stuff!
In the case of waxed chains, rotating a bunch of chains means only needing to fire up the BBQ once every 1,000kms - 1,500kms or so - rewax two or three chains at once and keep the extras ready for use in ziploc bags.
Back in the motorcycle days, used to use Duckhams, which was a bake on the stove concoction....and used to stink the house out! It probably would last forever on a bicycle, seems this might be the modern equivalent -