Bike Chain Lube Guide
Summary / Key features
- If you own a bike you need chain lube – chainsets wear out far quicker without it
- Chain lube lubricates the chain (and some of the chainset) helping it to run smoother for longer
- ‘Light’ bike lube is more multi-purpose, and is also suitable for lubing cables and other moving parts
- Bike grease is heavier duty and only suitable for bike assembly
Bike chain lube is suitable for?
- All bikes
- The chainset on a bike is a mechanical object and mechanical objects wear. Chain lube is your best defence against this and careful application will help keep your bike components running longer and better.
- Bike lube is necessary for every bicycle, from the Tour de France to your local trail. There are different types of bike lube depending on how, where and in what weather you ride.
- Although all bike lube has the same object, the massive difference in various riding conditions means that it’s important to pick the best bike lube for the job.
- Before any bike lube is applied to a chain it’s important that the chain is clean. Applying lube to a dirty chain is counterproductive.
- ‘Self cleaning lube’ does exactly that. They usually have to be applied more often, but obviously save the hassle of cleaning your chain..
Jamie at Tredz: “Don’t reach for the WD40! Our mechanics are always having to explain to customers why their well-lubed chainsets have gone rusty…“
Choosing the best chain lubrication
The sort of weather, terrain and kind of riding you’re doing will determine the sort of bike lubrication you should buy.
- Wet weather/long distance riding. Wet weather lube is usually of thicker consistency which means it’ll last longer and not need to be applied as frequently. It’s not so good for sandy/gritty conditions, as the thicker consistency also means that the lube will pick crud up more easily.
- Dirty conditions. Wax or ‘dry’ lube is increasingly popular for very dirty conditions. These hi-tech lubes shed themselves as they pick up dirt and are promoted as self cleaning but need to be applied more frequently than other types.
- Standard conditions. ‘All condition’ lube is fairly thin and fluid. It makes for a quicker running lubrication, that doesn’t attract as much dirt as the heavier lube, nor need to be applied as often as the dry lube.