Author Topic: Parrafin heads only  (Read 168 times)

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Offline misterflask

Parrafin heads only
« on: April 23, 2014, 03:43:49 pm »
No lube wars please.

I'm on a parrafin lubrication kick on all my bike's chains but haven't tried it touring yet.  Has anyone used parrafin on tour and what scheme did you use for re-application?  My two ideas are to carry a pan of parrafin to heat on the stove, or to use the stove to heat the chain in place and melt wax onto it.  FYI, my current formula is about a tablespoon of graphite in a bar of canning wax. 

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Parrafin heads only
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 04:44:38 pm »
I'm no weight weenie, but carrying a pound of wax to do what a 4 oz. bottle can do seems -- well, dedicated might be a polite way to put it.  Depends where you'll be touring, too.  You'll have to re-lube the chain at least once a week plus every time it rains.  Are you riding in the desert, or are you that dedicated?

FWIW, I ran my bikes on paraffin for a summer.  They lasted about the same total distance as others have with various other lubes.  Neat is nice, until the third thunderstorm in a week.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Parrafin heads only
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 05:14:41 pm »
I stopped using parafin years ago, but remember it working pretty well.  Still, it seems like way too much effort for on tour. too much crap to carry, and just generally not worth it.

Offline DaveB

Re: Parrafin heads only
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 06:32:43 pm »
Been there, done that, gave it up years ago.   Benefits are extreme cleanliness and decent lubricating properties when fresh.  Negatives are very poor durability, dreadful water resistance and a difficult and potentially dangerous application technique.  It's trouble enough to do at home, I can't imagine trying to do it on a tour.

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: Parrafin heads only
« Reply #4 on: Today at 04:58:26 am »
I used parafin mixed with graphite for a season. It worked well, but I gave up for reasons others have stated. In addition, I applied it by melting the parafin  / graphite on the chain in a foil pan. This required removing the chain at each lube. I did this with a removeable link. After a while, the link got loose. I lost two links on the road. Totally not worth it, IMO.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Parrafin heads only
« Reply #5 on: Today at 07:59:38 am »
I use paraffin riding locally and touring; have done so for decades. Weight of my can of paraffin is 10 oz; could reduce amount of paraffin. Application touring lasts me about 500 miles. This means for a 1000  mile tour I wax once on tour. I do not add anything to the wax. None of the previous respondents mentioned the prime advantage of wax; it came in first in what Berto called the most definitive test for chain lubricants for least drivetrain wear.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Parrafin heads only
« Reply #6 on: Today at 08:49:39 am »
I use paraffin riding locally and touring; have done so for decades. Weight of my can of paraffin is 10 oz; could reduce amount of paraffin. Application touring lasts me about 500 miles. This means for a 1000  mile tour I wax once on tour.
So what, 8 times on a the Trans America?  I'd say no thanks to that.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Parrafin heads only
« Reply #7 on: Today at 12:11:05 pm »
I use paraffin riding locally and touring; have done so for decades. Weight of my can of paraffin is 10 oz; could reduce amount of paraffin. Application touring lasts me about 500 miles. This means for a 1000  mile tour I wax once on tour.
So what, 8 times on a the Trans America?  I'd say no thanks to that.

Don't forget "and another time every time it rains."  Chacun a son gout.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Parrafin heads only
« Reply #8 on: Today at 12:46:05 pm »
I use paraffin riding locally and touring; have done so for decades. Weight of my can of paraffin is 10 oz; could reduce amount of paraffin. Application touring lasts me about 500 miles. This means for a 1000  mile tour I wax once on tour.

Don't forget "and another time every time it rains."  Chacun a son gout.

No, no, no, no! About every 500 miles, including rain days. As far as all the trouble to wax every 500 miles, it's less trouble for me to wax than to clean and oil type lubricate chain, and, as explained, I enjoy extra long life from my drivetrain components. The topic originator asked that there be no lube wars. Keep that in mind when you think you have a clever comeback.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Parrafin heads only
« Reply #9 on: Today at 01:59:00 pm »
As far as all the trouble to wax every 500 miles, it's less trouble for me to wax than to clean and oil type lubricate chain, and, as explained, I enjoy extra long life from my drivetrain components.

Having used both methods over the years...  I have to say that I find it hard to believe that it isn't a lot more trouble than what I do or that chains last longer than mine do.  I believe in avoiding any cleaning beyond a quick application of lube and wipe down.  I believe that cleaning more aggressively than that actually shortens the life of the chain.  So the cleaning part is pretty close to zero effort.

As far as chain life...  I have been getting 10,000 miles on a chain before it measures 12-1/16" for 12 links.  I don't think I ever did that well when I used paraffin.

The topic originator asked that there be no lube wars. Keep that in mind when you think you have a clever comeback.

For one thing no one has suggested a particular lube other than paraffin.  Also threads always drift so even if someone was promoting a particular lube other than paraffin, I wouldn't fault them since we aren't obligated to honor that request. 
« Last Edit: Today at 02:00:56 pm by staehpj1 »

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Parrafin heads only
« Reply #10 on: Today at 06:37:04 pm »
I use paraffin riding locally and touring; have done so for decades. Weight of my can of paraffin is 10 oz; could reduce amount of paraffin. Application touring lasts me about 500 miles. This means for a 1000  mile tour I wax once on tour.

Don't forget "and another time every time it rains."  Chacun a son gout.

No, no, no, no! About every 500 miles, including rain days. As far as all the trouble to wax every 500 miles, it's less trouble for me to wax than to clean and oil type lubricate chain, and, as explained, I enjoy extra long life from my drivetrain components. The topic originator asked that there be no lube wars. Keep that in mind when you think you have a clever comeback.

Thanks for the compliment, I didn't mean it to be a clever comeback.  During the year that I used paraffin, every time i rode home through a thunderstorm, I had to relube; the chain squeaked like nobody's business the next day if I didn't.  That was for a half hour commute, so I'd expect a couple hours to all day in the rain would do a super job of cleaning the wax out of the chain.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Parrafin heads only
« Reply #11 on: Today at 08:12:02 pm »
I do not wish to start the lube war. Parrafin has been researched into the dirt for decades and most that information, real data, not anecdotal stuff, is on the interwebs. The anaecdotes include stories from fire fighters describing the scourge of parrafin heads. They'd melt their waxes over an open flame in the garage or shed, not realizing parrafin is a petroleum product and flammable, slosh the pan around and burn the place to the ground. Apprently happened quite often.

I'm not starting the lube wars by saying I do not use a lube. I run a dry chain on my recumbent. I'm almost five thousand miles into the new links and the old chain had more than 12,000 miles, if I recall correctly, without looking up my maintenance notes. "Dry" means spotlessly clean, no dirt, no rust. I rode in the rain today so I shall clean it off in the morning before hitting the commute.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent