a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 28, 2001
Strengths: Incredibly cheap. One can (from $5 to $10) is good for over 11,000 Km all weather riding (I ride to work unless it snows). Very dry, chain remains clean. 400 Km between lubes on dry road. 50 - 100 Km between lubes in the rain.
Weaknesses: Must remove chain and heat to apply, not so good for touring. Doesn't hold up so well under heavy rain but I haven't tried the latest mixture.
If you like to remove your chain for cleaning this is a hell of a cheap lube in dry weather. If you own a recumbent it's a must.
Similar Products Used: Tried 'em all and then some!
Bike Setup: AMP full suspension
Date Reviewed: October 23, 1999
Strengths: Effective, waterproof, rejects dirt, non-sticky,long lasting, quick to apply, sets up very quickly.
Weaknesses: It does require removing your chain, a master link and separate cleaning, but these are also it's strengths. Not having to use a crank-through box cleaner means you don't get degreaser all over your bike, deraileur, floor, hands, etc., and you also get it totally clean. Chain Wax is also only about$6 a can. It goes a long way.
Two issues: how does it rate?...is it worth it? I thought a test was in order, to find out. 1992, two similar Stumpjumpers, with identical Sachs chains, one with Finnish Line, the other waxed. What was to be a 5.5 mile off-road cruise around the municipal park turned into a muddy deluge. The sun came out so we did another lap, getting, yet, another deluge. We got rather grungy so I thought it was a good time to do a first test, rather than wait for more miles. Using Missing Link brand master links, for easy removal, I soaked each chain in individual solvent baths, then a final wash in lacquer thinner and compared what came off of and out of the chains. The the chain with Finnish Line left a noticable deposit of black grunge as well as serious grit. The chain done with wax left virtually nothing in the bottom of the pan. True, this was only a single grungy ride of about 11 miles, so I continued the experiment.This was repeated comparing the wax to several other lubes, using longer and longer periods with the results always the same. The first incarnation of R.J.Hock's Chain Wax was the original formula which I only used once or twice, at most. After a few rides and then one particularly long one that turned nasty with another foul deluge (it rains in Virginia...a lot!), I forgot to take the bikes off the car and dry them off with the air gun in my studio. The next day the waxed chain did have a few minor orange stains from a some beginings of surface rust on the rollers. The chain done with a competior lube was now covered in rust and quite nasty. Cleaning them got the same results, as usual, and as I had just received a can of the new formula in the mail, I stopped the experiments and switched all four of our bikes over to Missing Link master links and R.J.Hock's new formula wax, which is now fortified with PTFE, a cousin of Gore-Tex and Teflon. I assumed it was for lubrication purposes, but I was told, upon inquiry, that it also enhanced water proofing. The very next ride was a race at Gloucester, VA, that had to be the worst single abuse of my bike,I have ever subjected it to, especially the chain. It started out sunny and dry and then the heavens opened up. I was caked in mud, the bike was caked in mud, I crashed in mud and did a lot of hard hammering climbs, the chain covered in mud. If there was any lube on the outside, it was long gone, the innards of the chain had to be toast, right? Again, I left the bikes on the car, overnight, and the next morning the chain, washed off by more rain, on the way home, was surprisingly clean and absolutely free of rust. I had to know, so I popped it off, ran it through the solvent bowl and was amazed at the near absence of grunge remaining. I got tired, early on, of degreaseer in my deraileur, on my floor and skin. I bought a second chain for each bike, a few extra Missing Link master links and, now, keep one fesh waxed chain on hand for each. If I'm overdue for a cleaning and somone shows up suddenly for a ride...a few minutes and I'm ready. How long is a waxing good for? Who knows? I ride a lot, do an occasional race and switch chains/re-wax never more than once every month or two, If I ride in grunge, mud or rain, then the intervals between are a lot shorter.I wash my chains off in degreaser, then rinse that off with either lacquer thinner, or hose it down with Berkebile(leaves not oily deposits) spray carb cleaner and blow it dry with air. While I'm cleaning, the wax can goes in a pot with a couple of inches of heating water, melting it. Drop in the cleaned chain. After a minute or two to get soaked I pull it out with tongs (it's hot) and lay it down in an aluminum Chinese take out container, to cool. When cool, I put it back on with a cleaned master link and if the wax is still on the stove I dip the chain ends/master link into it. It's cool and ridable by the time the rear wheel's on. If I don't have the wax hot, as in using a pre-waxed chain, a shot of Schwinn aerosol chain wax is just as good on the master link.I still have the same two chains, sprockets and rings on my Schwinn Paramount hard tail that I put on it in 1993, after races, road use, and 6 years of trails. My AMP/B-4 is sporting the chains and rings from my earlier B-3, with over two years of use. I put a new cassette on, recently, to get a little lower gearing and have had no incompatibility problem with the chains. My Stumpjumper, from 1992, from the original experiment, was stripped to build a GT, which is still running the same two chains, rings and cassette, albeit having a lot less use than the other two, now. To be really sure I was not seeing things, I tested the length of the 3 year old AMP chains against two new ones I bought when I traded up for a different road bike. There was no measurable wear/lengthening. I don't think there's any doubt that cleaning a chain thoroughly, rather than only partially, contributes a lot to longevity. Using crank-through box cleaners does remove some grunge, but I have removed box cleaned chains and re-cleaned them. There is still grunge in them, and don't forget degreaser when you then apply drip/spray on lube. Is it worth it? It has been to me. I'm never delayed at the parking lot with drip lube. I haven't had to replace a chain, sprocket or rings in several years. You can buy direct from R.J Hock, though I discovered my first can (of only two used for 4 bikes over 7 years)in the Nashbar calalog. Ride On!
[URL="http://www.mtbr.com/cat/accessories/lube/rjhock/chain-wax/PRD_352351_131crx.aspx"]R.J.Hock Chain Wax[/URL]
Any ideas where I could get a can of Chain Wax?Read More »
I use Pedros syn lube on all my bikes in summer and keep my GF hifi on syn lube through the winter too. I have a second bike, that I use when I don't do single track because of weather, trail conditions or time constraints. The second bike is used on cinder trails and around the neighborhood in all ... Read More »
I went to the moto store with my buddy and checked out some there chain lubes--I found this stuff called Maxima Chain wax. I know that most high performance moto chains are sealed with o-rings etc. but this stuff says it's good for non and o-ring equiped chains. It also boasted to be excellent in ... Read More »