Monday, June 27, 2011

Beeswax as Bike Chain Lubricant?

After learning that wax is a common alternative to oil as a chain lubricant for bicycle chains, I was interested to find out if beeswax could do the trick. It appears that your average wax for bicycle chains contains 80% paraffin wax and 20% beeswax. The beeswax helps the paraffin to cling to the chain. It is a nice addition, but not always a part of the chain wax recipe.

The advantage to using wax on a chain is that it does not collect the dirt and debris that oil-based lubricants do. In order to wax your chain, you first detach the chain from the bicycle. You dip the chain in a pot of melted wax, let it dry, and put it back on your bike. A simple, yet definitely more labor-intensive process that squirting the oil directly on your bike. Depending on the source I read, I learned that this treatment can last from a mere 30 mile ride to 400-500 miles. The one pitfall to using wax is that it is not suited for rainy riding. Wax may not be the best chain lubricant, it seems, for us here in Vermont. Also, the majority of sources suggest that reapplication is required more frequently than with oil. The idea of a forever-clean chain is very enticing, and I might experiment with it anyway!

No comments:

Post a Comment