It’s dark. It is greasy. If you’re not careful, that chain will also give your fingers quite the pinch. Although it doesn’t happen often, there are times when a bike chain can pop off of the bicycle gear cassette. There will also be times when your chain gets a bit sticky and needs a little lubricant to work properly. This is when having the best bike chain lube on hand will be to your advantage.
With just a few drops of the best bike chain lube for your equipment, you’ll be able to crank along smoothly without issue. Since there are different types of lube available, we’ve put together this chart of top-rated products so you can either quickly grab what you need or compare lubrication options to find the best one.
|Gorilla Bike Lube Ultra Premium Chain Lube||4.9||$$$|
|Finish Line Dry Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube||4.4||$$|
|Eco Sheep Oil Based Biodegradable Bike Chain Lube||4.4||$$|
|Tri-Flow Superior Lubrican Drip Bottle||4.8||$$|
|Rock N Roll Gold Chain Lubricant||4.7||$$|
|Boeshield T-9 Waterproof Lubrication||4.7||$$|
|White Lightning Epic Ride All Conditions Light Lube||4.3||$$|
|Finish Line Ceramic Wet Bicycle Chain Lube||4.4||$$|
|WD-40 Bike Dry Lube||4.4||$$$|
|Terra-Ride R2 Advanced Racing Wet Lubricant||4.4||$$|
What Are the Key Features in the Best Bike Chain Lube?
If you’re looking for a lubrication option that will help you get the very best out of your bicycle on a consistent basis, then there are three key features to look for in each product. The best bike chain lube reviews can help you determine if these features are available in your preferred lubrication product.
- Teflon Boosts. Most bike chain lubes, include wet and dry options, will include a Teflon boost within the lubrication ingredients. You might see it listed as PTFE. Including Teflon in the lube reduces the amount of friction you experience while cycling, which will help you conserve energy within every pedal stroke.
- Grime Deterrents. This is particularly useful when shopping for a wet bike chain lube. Wet lubes tend to go on wet because they can handle difficult weather conditions. Then, once dry, the lubrication turns into a debris repellent. It also creates a waxy substance sometimes that can build-up on your chain. Look for a grime deterrent that has a zero build-up profile to achieve the best results.
- Environmentally Friendly. The bottom line with bike chain lubes is this: most are petroleum-based products. The best bike chain lubes today may be made with biodegradable oils, such as a vegetable oil, instead of petroleum. This makes the lubrication less slippery in most instances, so you’ll need to apply more of it, but you’ll also be putting the environment at less of an overall risk.
You’ll find that most bike chain lubes come in 4 ounce bottles. This is an easy configuration that allows you to take your lube with you when you’re out on the road or trail. We recommend having at least one 4-ounce bottle or tube available for your riding needs and then keeping a larger bottle at home for your primary maintenance needs.
How to Find the Best Bike Lube for Me
Bike lube is more than just putting some oil on the chain and calling it good. You could potentially damage your bicycle with the wrong lube. That’s why you must consider the cleanliness of your chain, the weather conditions during your ride, and how the lubricant will be applied to make sure you’re purchasing the best bike lube option for your equipment.
Here are the factors that you’ll want to pay particular attention to while shopping for the right lube.
- What is the condition of the trail? When you primarily ride on muddy trails or wet paved streets or paths, then your best bike lube is going to be a wet chain lube. This lubrication option comes at a thicker viscosity, allowing you to maintain the integrity of the lube in the wetter conditions.
- How much debris pollution do you encounter? If you primarily ride on dry nature trails, then a dry chain lube is a better option for you. This type of viscosity attracts a lower level of dirt and debris to the chain, which means you won’t have to clean your equipment as often. Dry street riding would also qualify for a dry chain lube.
- In what way is the chain lube applied? When shopping for the best bike chain lube, you’ll find that most of the products come in a squirt bottle. This allows you to precisely apply the lubricant to where you need to have it. Some lubes come in aerosol can. The aerosol version is really easy to apply, but it also makes it easier to put lube in places where you don’t want it, like on your rims.
Even the best bike chain lube needs to be reapplied with frequency so your cycling experience can always be at its best. In perfect conditions, you may need to reapply lubrication to your chain after 100 miles of riding. In wet or debris-filled conditions, you may need to apply lube after you’ve finished riding for the day – even if you only went a few miles.
A Word of Caution About Using the Best Bike Lubes
Most bicycle chains come pre-lubricated from the factory. You do not remove the grease from the chains today like you did in the past. If there is excess grease, of course you should wipe it off, but you do not need to clean the chain any more.
Only use a lubricant intended for bike chains on your bicycle. There are no shortcuts. Never try to use motor oil, poly grease, or WD-40 on your chain. This will strip it of its grease and eventually damage your bicycle components.
Most bike chain lubes today are priced for around $10. You’ll find at this pricing level, it is possible to purchase wet or dry lube options, usually at the 4-ounce bottle size. Some lubrication options at the 4-ounce level may be priced as high as $25.
Purchasing larger bottles or quantities of lube will increase your price, but it may lower your overall per-ounce pricing. If you purchase bike lube in bulk quantities, you may be able to lower costs to about $1 per ounce.
Here’s Our Reviews:
Although it may over use the words like “ultra” or “premium” in its marketing, there is no denying the effectiveness of the chain lube. It’s fully biodegradable, is non-flammable, and that makes it non-hazardous. We even discovered that when you apply it to chains that have petroleum build-up on them from other lubricants, this stuff begins to eliminate it so that you’re left with a fully functional chain. Available in 2-ounce and 4-ounce sizes.
It’s not shoes, but it is a very effective dry chain lube for your bicycle. Like any good dry lubricant, it will apply wet and then dry with a waxy film that will help to keep the chain clean. The grease and grime of the trail or road doesn’t stick well to this film, so you’re not stuck with black marks on your legs. It’s versatile, uses Teflon within its ingredients, and offers a long-lasting performance that you can rely upon. Grab a bottle today and we think you’ll be pleased as to what this chain lube can do.
This probably isn’t a brand of lube you’d recognize immediately, but you won’t know how you lived without it once you try it. Made from non-toxic sheep oil, it’s a completely renewable and biodegradable lubricant that outperforms almost all other lubricants in this category. It’s perfect for mountain biking in particular, making your shifting smooth. We also love the brush application, so the squirting and mess that other lubricants provide completely goes away. It’s also wax-free, so acts more like a wet lubricant in its application.
We’re going to call this bike chain lube more of a cleaning agent than a lubrication option. It certainly has high-grade petroleum oils to give you a solid experience, along with Teflon additives for added longevity, but it’s greatest strength is its ability to clean away tough grime and debris. If you’ve found that your bike is under-performing because there is a heavy build-up on your chain or cassette, then use this stuff and in a couple of applications, it will just wipe away. Get the 6-ounce drip bottle for best results.
This is one of the best all-purpose chain lubes in terms of value that we’ve found so far. It lubricates, it cleans, and it offers a smoothness to your ride that some lubes just can’t provide – even though they might be 3 times the price of this one. Although we don’t necessarily agree with the claim that using this product will make your drivetrain look like it just “came out of the box,” it does a pretty good job of removing built-up grime. At this price, it’s worth giving it a try and we found that it performed well under many different riding conditions.
The best bike chain lube will make sure that your cycling experience is consistently positive. Find the wet or dry lube that works best for you and you’ll be able to take your riding to the next level.