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Anyone still using paraffin on chains?(6 posts)

Anyone still using paraffin on chains?Dad Man Walking
Jan 29, 2003 8:41 PM
Back "in the day" I used really hot paraffin to lube my chains. I cooked up 3 or 4 at at a time, and slapped on a fresh one every 500 to 750 miles. Or less if they got wet, but that was not a big problem in California. My drivetrain was Campy SR, seven speed friction shifting. The chain was always clean (and the envy of my buddies), and when I changed a rear flat (very common in the mid-80's) my hands stayed clean.

I just upgraded my bike and drivetrain to Campy Record 9. At my LSB's advice I am using ProLink. It seems to me that it accumulates way more crud than paraffin, and while it looks clean after you have lubed it, it is a messy process and still gets everything (including your hands when you change a flat) dirty between applications.

Has anyone tried using old-school paraffin with modern equipment, and what were your results? I was going to give this a try, but wanted to see if anyone thinks this is a lousy idea.
re: Anyone still using paraffin on chains?Bananaman
Jan 30, 2003 6:13 AM
Theres a school of thought which considers washing chains in paraffin to be harmful. The paraffin removes all the lubricant aswell as crud and it is difficult to effectively relube the chain afterwards. It's considered better to wipe the chain clean with a cloth after each ride and relube.This way the crud doesnt build up and your chain is always well lubricated.
Try WhitelightningRaven1911
Jan 30, 2003 7:02 AM
I used whitelightning and it works great for keeping the drivetrain clean. You have to put on the lube every other ride, but it does stay clean. Give it a try, just the standard whitelightning. I have also tried the Raceday made by whitelightning, but have found it to clump up in the bottle no matter how much I shake it and don't like it as well.

re: Anyone still using paraffin on chains?netso
Jan 30, 2003 7:06 AM
I still use Paraffin. Everyone here tells me it is time consuming, and basically stupid. However, my chain stays ultra-clean and quiet. This takes me (cleaning too) all of 20 minutes once a month. Really time consuming. I have tried all the others, I think they are stupid!
I think it's the bestjohnnybegood
Jan 30, 2003 7:42 AM
I guess I am a fanatic. I began using paraffin in the 80's when I got tired of dirty, greasy chains. I tried Prolink last year. Better than the regular oil I had last used, but still a mess. I immediately went back to paraffin. Riding exclusively in San Diego county I rarely am exposed to rain, so this may have something to do with my success. I clean and re-wax after around 1000 miles of use. I rode DuraAce chains exclusively, but grew to resent the required special links. Last year I bought my first SRAM for my DuraAce equipped road bike. This year I bought my first Connex SS chain for my Ultegra "rain bike" to see which one I like the best. Both have quick links which facilitates my chain maintenance. The Connex appears to be quieter and smoother shifting, but I only have a couple of hundred miles on it. To clean I remove the chain, immerse it in mineral spirits, then place the container with spirits and chain on top of my wife's jewelery ultrasonic cleaner and vibrate it for about half an hour. I remove the chain, wipe it down and immerse it into a container of melted parafin in a double boiler configuration on the stove. Here's the important part. Let it soak in the parafin with the heat on simmer for about a half hour until the whole chain comes up to temperature. Since the mineral spirits have a lower boiling temperature, it will vaporize inside the links and the paraffin will displace it. Now you have a coating of parafin inside the link around the pin where all the wear which counts occurs. I remove the chain and hang it to cool. The chain will be stiff as a board. I exercise each link, and put it back on the bike. It will throw small bits of parafin for a few rides. BUT, absolutely NO DIRT OR GRIME, EVER! My chains, freewheel and chainrings are bright and shiney. I never get dirty hands or clothing fixing a flat, doing maintenance, or loading/unloading my bike in the van. I have ridden chains over 8K miles with no measurable chain stretch because no dirt or grime gets into the pins. I change my chains once every three years regardless of wear, so could probably get more use. Seems like a long time to spend on the chain. But while this is going on I am cleaning and adjusting the bike. The whole process takes a little more than one hour for one bike, a little less than two hours if I do both my bikes, once every 1000 miles (about 3 months).
Johnny, you convinced me to try it again!Dad Man Walking
Jan 30, 2003 10:57 AM
It was great to hear that there are at least a couple of clean-hands fanatics out there (netso and johnnybegood).

Here are my variations on johnny's technique:

i New chains and previously waxed chains go straight into the pot.
An old oily one would get wiped down with solvent first, then it too goes into the pot. I wasn't fussy with pre-cleaning them since the hot wax displaced all of the crud, and I would just scrape off the bottom layer of dirty wax after it had hardened. The chains always came out squeaky clean.

i I put the wax pot directly on the burner (vs. using a double boiler).
I wanted the wax hot, but I think more importantly I wanted the chain very hot too so that all of excess was ran off. You have to be
b extra
careful if you do this...use a camp stove or electric burner outdoors, keep the kids and pets away, and know that a small slip could cause a fire and very serious burns. Think "Safety First."

i Cook up several chains at once.
That way it is very easy to slap on a new one and you won't be tempted to ride around with a squeaky chain because you are too busy to clean it.