10 Best Bike Chain Lube – Reviews & Buying Guide 2020
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Every car you hop on to needs lubrication to work. And when we say lubrication, we mean lube oil. The same happens with bikes. Even though they don’t have as many mechanic parts as an average car, they still need lubrication to work correctly, especially in the chain.
The best bicycle chain lube will not only maintain your bike working for long, but it will also improve performance and prevent any unwanted accident. But this won’t happen with all lubes. So it is crucial that you know exactly what to go for and whether it works for your bike or not.
Here we are going to explain all the options available as well as the importance of using the best bike chain lube on your bicycle. If this information may help you out in the future, then keep scrolling to make it useful!
What Oil to Use on A Bike Chain?
You can’t use just any product to lubricate your bike. Instead, you need something that indeed works without causing damage. That’s why it’s essential to know which type of oil is the best for your bike chain. Here we explain the four most useful types:
Yes, it also works for bike chain. It penetrates and spreads more easily across the chain and inside the bushings, making the drivetrain much smoother and easy to pedal with. This type works really well in dry areas primarily and works horrendous in humid places. It’s perfect for freestyling & tricks in city areas.
While grease is useful for bushings, it can be pretty thick and challenging for the bike to process. So if you are going to use grease, it’s recommended to use a little solvent with it to make it thin and easier to process by the bike.
Still, grease is terrific for all kinds of bikes in wet conditions. Mountain and BMX bikes tend to use this kind of lubricant as it lasts longer and doesn’t fall off. In dry areas, it may also work well as it doesn’t evaporate quickly, yet it will stick more dirt and debris which can cause damage to chain and bearings.
This is the most popular choice among bike users, making it perfect for dry conditions and holding well in humid places too. The considerable advantage of wax is that you won’t need to clean your chain before applying more, as it falls off by itself. It dries out in the chain quickly too, so it stands for long.
Another excellent benefit from wax is that dirt and debris don’t get stick too quickly to it. This makes it a little better than grease, especially in dry areas where wax can last several months. In moist places, it won’t stand as well, but it can still be the right choice as long as you don’t get wet every day.
Our Best Bike Chain Lube Picks
Choosing your chain lube is not an easy job with so many options in the market. You’ll have to be an expert to know precisely what to go for. So here we want to review ten of the best options available.
1. Finish Line DRY Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube
- Goes on wet and sets up with a dry 'wax-like' synthetic film that helps keep your chain clean by not absorbing excessive amounts grit, grime, or dust.
- Thanks to the added Teflon fluoropolymer, Finish Line's Dry Lube minimizes pedaling friction, repels moisture, and withstands rides up to 100 miles.
For those who are expecting the perfect performance and a long-lasting lubricant, then the Finish Line DRY with Teflon additive will make an excellent choice.
It dries up really quick with a wax-like effect on the chain that prevents dirt and debris from sticking. In the process, it reduces dust and grime, making it ideal for dry areas where you need a protective but resilient lube.
It works really well for the off-road cyclist as well as the biker in roads. The durability it offers is just outstanding, making it perfect for those who are traveling great lengths every day or on a single trip.
It’s also one of the most versatile out there, as it stands not only dry areas but also wet ones effortlessly. And let’s not overlook you can also use it on the shifters, cables, derailleurs, and even brake pivot points.
The Teflon additive adds a layer of durability that also prevents any kind of impurities from sticking. This will help to achieve fantastic performances without having to worry about the state of the chain. You’ll be able to ride non-stop for several hours without feeling the smallest inconvenience with the chain.
This lubricant penetrates so well that it also promotes a cleaner experience, taking care of bushings and gears so you won’t have to clean your drivetrain entirely before applying more. If you want something that stands most dry conditions, then Finish Line DRY Teflon lube will work wonders for you.
2. Tri-Flow Get You Movin’ Superior Lubricant
- Special additives displace moisture and prevent rust and corrosion
- Excellent for chains, pivot joints, and for loosening rusted and corroded nuts and bolts
When it comes to reliability and protection capacity, few lubricants are as effective as the Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant.
For the demanding user who wants to go biking in wet conditions, this one won’t be an option to dismiss. The triple action process cleans, protects and lubricates to provide an exceptional performance that goes further to make sure your chain works even in the most challenging situations.
All the ingredients and additives promote an experience free of rust and corrosion with a top-notch moisture reduction performance so you can bike freely in humid places. But it also helps to get rid of contaminants such as dirt, dust, and debris, by softening and then removing them more easily.
The oil is also outstandingly resilient, so it works under challenging conditions that could go below 0 up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit without issues. All this comes with a high-grade petroleum mix that lubricates without leaving resistance behind.
The formula also penetrates and spreads more easily. So you get a product that works in chains, bolts, nuts, pivot joints, and other parts to both lubricate and loosen up when needed. Whatever moving part you want to either lube or remove, this oil will be a perfect choice.
Overall, this lubricant is the ideal option for those who go through the most challenging trails in the mountains or who go biking in really wet or dry places.
3. White Lightning Clean Ride
- Clean Ride is a wax-style lubricant that is cycling's only Self-Cleaning Lubricant
- Clean Ride's self-cleaning action is activated by any dirt, grit or grime that finds it's way onto your chain or parts
As its name says, this lubricant has the whole purpose of making your bike rides cleaner and smoother than with any other product out there. And that’s precisely what White Lightning achieves.
Yes, this wax-like lubricant will make your bike’s drivetrain and chain cleaner and superbly smoother, which adds to an excellent performance. It prevents the creation of unwanted buildup and dirt, grit, grime, and dust from sticking.
The effect it leaves on metal is waxy and dry, with no oily surface for any type of impurity to stick. So you get a superbly clean performance that will keep your bike cleaner and improve overall capacity, especially in dry areas.
It also spreads effectively, penetrating through your gears and drivetrain to promote a very resistant capacity that doesn’t let debris to stockpile. The product is so effective that it actually sheds with movement all the grit and grime that sticks.
The best of all is that you can reapply this lubricant as many times as possible. It dries up really fast so you won’t have to worry about over lubricating, and it will instead prevent buildup even more and let your gears work more smoothly with time.
And if all this wasn’t enough, you won’t have to clean your chain and drivetrain as consistently, as the oil does it all. If you are someone who goes on filthy & moist places commonly, this lubricant will come like a gem.
4. Pro Gold Products ProGold ProLink
- Sheds dirt, mud and abrasives
- Repels moisture and reduces oxidation/corrosion
You don’t need a specialized product for your bike when you’re just using it for commuting and simple biking around town. That’s what the ProLink from Pro Gold offers, a simple yet highly effective lubricant.
This lube is a very reliable option for those who want something long-lasting and still capable of improving gear performance. You can use it for practically anything, but when it comes to bike chains, it performs like no other.
The great advantage of getting this lube is that you’ll get protection against corrosion and rust that are pretty common in wet conditions. Yet it still manages to reduce overall buildup and grime, making it work smoothly & lightly on your chain, which is incredible in dry places.
Its formula also promotes a cleaner experience, so you don’t get product waste of any kind while reducing dirt and grit from sticking. It is not a self-cleaning lubricant like many others, but it still helps to restore parts that were filled with buildup.
It works like light oil which means you get a highly penetrating and easy-to-use product that spreads quickly. You won’t get the most amazing result in humid areas, but it still does its work without leaving anything to be desired.
The best of all is that it dries fast. You won’t have to be continually cleaning or getting rid of grime with time. Instead, you can just reapply and reapply without drawbacks. This makes it practical for smooth performance and maintaining your gears always lubed.
5. Rock N Roll 135816 Gold Chain Lubricant
When we talk about mountain and road bikes, there’s no better option than the Rock N Roll Gold Chain Lubricant. This amazing lube will go the extra mile to provide a fantastic performance entirely.
Probably the best MTB chain lube out there, it cleans, protects, and lubricates at the same time. You won’t have to add more constantly, and it will maintain the chain and gears clean to prevent any buildup or corrosion issue.
As an ideal lube for mountain use, you get a product that’s smooth and easy to use. It spreads and penetrates quickly and leaves a protecting layer that prevents dirt and moisture from damaging lubricated parts.
What it stands out for is the ability to provide superb smoothness so you can have a quiet experience with your mountain bike. It eliminates metal on metal contact and improves how different parts move, increasing the performance of your bike either in downhill or uphill tracks.
Let’s not forget it cleans your chains thoroughly. Yes, it will make all lubricated parts look like new, getting rid of buildup, grime, and grit while leaving a protecting layer that prevents any additional impurities from sticking to it.
It will just improve overall performance, making pedaling easier and promoting a smoother shifting experience. Whether you want something that helps to achieve more speed, prevents your parts from getting damaged, or just promote a cleaner experience – then Gold Chain from Rock N Roll is the lube to go for.
6. Park Tool CL-1 Synthetic Blend Chain Lube
You won’t get any lubricant as versatile as the Park Tool CL-1. Boasting a synthetic blend, it works wonders in both wet and dry conditions, so you can bring it anywhere and enjoy superb results.
It is the best oil for bike chain for both dry & wet conditions thanks to its PTFE additives and proprietary blend so you can get the most out of it no matter the situation. This lubricant promotes a long-lasting performance that penetrates deeply in your drivetrain, getting rid of moisture but also reducing rust & corrosion.
The oils in this mix also minimize friction between metal parts, so you get a smoother performance form your bike as soon as you apply this lube. This also makes pedaling easier and reduces noise from the drivetrain, so you can enjoy a quiet riding experience.
You can use this lube almost anywhere, including cables, spoke nipples, brake pivots, and derailleurs so you can get the best out of it at all times. It helps to reduce dirt as well and prevents moisture from damaging your parts, offering a protective advantage you don’t get with other options.
The best of all is that the synthetic blend is made to last a long time. This means you won’t have to be continually reapplying for it to work. You just need to be sure that it penetrates in the right places and then you just enjoy what it has to offer.
7. Squirt Long Lasting Dry Lube
Coming with a wax formula, you can expect this lubricant to offer a fantastic result that lasts several days and miles without issues. The Squirt Long-Lasting Dry Lube is an option you don’t want to overlook.
One of the most interesting parts of this lube is the biodegradable mix, so you get a product that lubricates your bike chain without producing any damaging effect on the environment. It doesn’t have damaging chemicals either, so it protects your chain while improving overall smoothness.
It works wonders when you apply it in a clean chain as it reduces friction exponentially and gets rid of chain-suck completely. All of this thanks to the waxy formula that also improves durability, so you get a lubricant that lasts long making it ideal for dry areas.
Despite coming with a wax-like mix, you can expect the lube not to get dirty too easily. It manages to offer an outstanding experience with MTB and dirt-road biking as well so you can enjoy using for extreme performances without any side effect. And it provides all of this without having to reapply often.
As long as you apply it on your chain the right way and let it sit for a few minutes, this waxy lube will improve your overall biking experience exponentially. You won’t believe how good it is, especially in road rides where it’s common to get dirty, this formula will actually prevent grit & buildup like no other.
8. Dumonde Tech Lite Bicycle Chain Lubrication
Dumonde Tech is a brand that never disappoints, and this Lite BCL oil won’t either. It outlasts other options, cleans more effectively, and makes your drivetrain quieter and smoother – so it’s a lube that won’t let you down.
You get light oil that penetrates and spreads easily all across the drivetrain from the chain. It is thin enough to work effectively to quiet down and smooth the bike. What’s better is that it doesn’t let any dirt or dust stick to the lubed parts, so you get a thin enough product to work cleaner than others.
It leaves a thin film behind that promotes a low-friction experience, ideal so you can prevent your drivetrain from wearing out sooner. This will also make it a perfect choice for mountain bikes, so you can shift gears and pedal fast without having to worry about your drivetrain.
Also, this oil is entirely safe to the environment, as it dries out fast on your chain and doesn’t emit any harmful chemicals or gases. What’s more, you just need to put a few drops for it to work effectively, as it is so light that it spreads amazingly well all around, so you don’t have to waste any.
Despite its lightness, this is an amazingly durable option for road bikes. You get something that lasts several rides easily and still manages to offer decent wet performance. And thanks to its ease of operation, you won’t have to use more in each application which makes each bottle last even longer.
9. Boeshield T-9 Waterproof Lubricant
When it comes to reliability and exceptional results, not many lubricants are as effective as the T-9 from Boeshield. You could actually say it is the best road bike chain lube, and soon you’ll know why.
This waterproof lubricant is not only ideal for wet places but also for dry ones. It will get rid of all contaminants in the chain and drivetrain while also preventing rust, corrosion and other moisture-related effects from happening.
What stands out is the fantastic all-in-one formula that not only cleans but also shields your bike parts, so they get much smoother and quieter with time. This formula also helps to displace moisture and penetrate deeply in the parts, so you enjoy a hugely protective product entirely.
When you use it on roads or dry places, it will perform like no other. The shield or protective film that it leaves on parts will make sure that no grime, buildup or grit starts to grow. This way you won’t have to be continually cleaning and reapplying, even if you use it in the dirtiest roads.
The best of all is that you don’t have to apply much for it to work. With just a few drops it will do its job, drying out fast and leaving a waxy film that lasts several months easily. This adds to how durable and reliable it is, even after several rides.
10. Muc Off C3 Dry Ceramic Chain Lube
For those looking for a biodegradable formula that lubricates like no other, then you have the C3 Ceramic lube from Muc Off.
This is a lubricant that comes with no petroleum-based additive or ingredients, making it entirely safe to use wherever you go. Still, it manages to lube your chain like no other, working amazingly well in almost all conditions including dusty, dirty, dry and wet without problems.
The nano-ceramic particles of the formula improve how well it works and prevent friction on your chain. It also comes with synthetic polymers that prevent corrosion and wear, increasing how much your drivetrain lasts.
You’ll find this lubricant ideal for mountain biking and road riding, especially for the ability to work in dirt places without drawbacks. It won’t let any dirt or dust to stick to the chain, which reduces the amount of grit and buildup that creates. This also ends up increasing the durability of the product exponentially.
Apart from all that, it comes with a unique pipette system that makes it outstandingly easier to apply than all other options on the list. You won’t ever over-drip or waste the product this way, making it much more effective & long-lasting throughout every use.
And surely, it still manages to penetrate and spread all across the drivetrain so you can get a product that protects and maintains your bike working correctly. You just need to apply enough and let it dry, and it will do its work for long and without setbacks.
What to Check Before Buying?
It is not easy to pick the best bike lube when you don’t have an idea about what to go for. To fix that, here we bring an array of factors about bike lubricants you should know about before making your final choice:
Type of Lubricant
You’ll find waxy lubricants, synthetic oils, and blends, and greasy lubes, all of them offer different advantages and drawbacks.
For example, waxy lubricants are pretty useful in wet areas, as they tend to last long without getting any effect from moisture and increasing overall protection to the parts. However, they work horrendously in dry areas or anywhere with lots of dust and dirt, as they tend to create buildup more easily.
With synthetic oils and blends, you have the opposite result. Instead of working well in wet areas, they work better in dry ones. These oils tend to penetrate more quickly and don’t create much of a problem with dirt, dust or grime. Yet, they dry out faster and wash out easily in wet conditions.
Lastly, greasy lubes can be pretty useful for wet conditions too, but also for dirty ones. It tends to smooth drivetrains better than wax and also penetrate more deeply, and it still works well in dry areas. The only problem with grease lube is that it takes a lot of time to dry out on your chain, so you’ll need to apply with time.
Overall it all comes down to picking between wet, dry, or wet/dry lubes depending on your needs. For wet areas, we recommend wax lubricants. If you are going on dry and dusty places, go for a light or synthetic oil lube. And for wet areas with tons of dirt, greasy options work really well.
As you may know already, some lubricants not only offer the chance to lubricate your drivetrain and chain, they may also work to clean and protect them. So it is essential to know which ones will offer this type of effect so you can get the most out of your lube.
Some will clean your chain while lubricating at the same time. These options will work wonders in places where there’s a lot of dirt and dust to get rid of. They also prevent the creation of buildup and grime which can be damaging to your drivetrain and chain.
Others will only lubricate and leave a protective film that prevents any kind of impurities from sticking. This way you get both the capacity to improve overall lubrication without having to worry about the state of your chain.
Ingredients or Additives
There’s a type of additive that leaves a protective film that prevents any kind of dirt, grit or debris from sticking to the chain. You’ll mostly find this as Teflon additive, making it a little more expensive too.
This ingredient also helps to improve overall friction in the drivetrain, producing a smoother and quieter performance. It also protects from corrosion and rust and reduces overall wear with time.
Some options even come with “green” formulas, so they help to lubricate while offering the chance to be environmentally effective. They tend to be really mild, and don’t leave a protective film behind.
Instead of having a petroleum-based formula, green lubricants use natural oils from plants and vegetables. So you can expect them to lubricate well enough but don’t offer much protection or cleaning capacity.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may think you know all the necessary factors to pick the best bike chain lubricant, but there are still several questions you do not have an answer for. Here are a few of them:
Q: Is it safe or beneficial to use WD40 on bike chain?
A: It isn’t either safe or beneficial to use WD40 on a bike chain. This type of lubricant is too thin to have any effect, and instead of lubricating it will just degrease the chain and wear it out faster with time.
Q: Is grease useful for bike chains?
A: Yes, you can use grease for your bike chain, but you’ll have to clean it consistently and prevent the creation of buildup and grit. This way you keep your chain lubricated without producing any damage.
Q: Should I apply lube daily?
A: Not necessarily, unless you ride several hundred miles a day with your bike. It also depends on the condition; wet places tend to remove more lubricant than dry areas so you may want to reapply more often.
Q: What happens if I don’t use any oil on my bike?
A: Your chain and drivetrain will wear out faster and get dirty more quickly. This means you’ll face imminent gear damage that could leave your bike unusable and irreparable.
Q: Will a lubricant make my bike ride faster?
A: Not directly, but it can help to smooth out your drivetrain, gear, and chain which eventually may help to pedal more easily and improve speed.
Bike chain lubricants are difficult to pick, there’s no doubt about that. But with our review and buying guide it shouldn’t be much of a hassle – just pick the one with the most effective formula, and that’s it.
For us, the best bike chain lube is the one that fits best with your needs. If you are a mountain biker who loves to get dirty, then a dirt or MTB oil will be your ideal choice. But if you live in a wet place, then something waxy for wet areas would be the best option.
It all comes down to what you’re looking for that fit your normal bike usage. If the lubricant fits all that, then you should go for it among all other options.