Which Bicycle Lubricant is Best For Your Mountain Bike Chain?


With all the bicycle lubricants on the market today, are you having trouble deciding which type to use on your mountain bike chain? Should you buy a drip or aerosol? Should you use a wet, dry, or wax lube? The following are some suggestions for choosing the right type of bike lube for your bicycle chain.

Drip vs. Aerosol Bike Lube

Bicycle lubricants come in either a drip or aerosol application. I recommend the drip application because it is easier to get the lube directly on the necessary parts of the bicycle chain. The spray lube gets on other parts of the bicycle, which just collects more dust and grime while riding.

Types of Bike Lube

There are several different types of bike lubes on the market. It is important to choose the right kind of bicycle lubricant to match the conditions you ride in. The following gives you an idea of which types of bike lubes are best for certain riding conditions:

Wet lubes: This type of lube goes on wet and stays wet. This lube is great for riding in wet, muddy, or winter riding conditions or if you will be doing many stream crossings.

  • Advantages: This type of bicycle lubricant does not wash off when it gets wet and you do usually not have to apply it as often as the dry or wax lubricants if you ride in wet conditions.
  • Disadvantages:Wet lubes can be messy if you ride in certain types of conditions. For example, you will get an oily black residue on your mountain bike chain if you ride in dry dusty conditions. It is also more difficult to clean the chain than is the case with other lubes.

Dry lubes: This bicycle lubricant goes on wet and then dries. Dry lubes are great for riding in dry dusty conditions.

  • Advantages: Dry lubricants prevent dirt from sticking to the chain and do not get as messy as wet lubes. The key to using a dry bicycle lubricant is to put it on several hours before you ride so it dries and does not collect dirt when riding.
  • Disadvantages: Dry bike lubes Wash off and have to be reapplied if you are doing lots of stream crossings or riding in wetter conditions.

Wax lubes: Leaves a wax coating on the bicycle chain. Another option for dry conditions

  • Advantages: A wax coating causes the dirt to flake off the chain so it does not have to be cleaned as frequently. This is a good alternative if you are meticulous about keeping your chain clean and if your chain does not get wet often.
  • Disadvantages: Wax lube has to be applied more frequently than oil lubes and does not work well in wet or muddy conditions. There is some controversy as to whether wax lubes are as good for your bicycle chain as oil lubes because the wax is not believed to get in between the necessary moving parts as well as oil lubes.

Important Tips:

There are many different brands of bicycle lubricants on the market. Some riders like to use their own concoctions or products on the market that are not specifically made for bicycle chains. If you decide to do this, do some research to make sure they will not damage your chain. WB40, for example, is not a good lubricant for your bike chain.

It is important that you have a clean mountain bike chain before you apply bicycle lube to it. If it is dirty, the lube will work the dirt into the moving parts of the chain, which accelerates chain wear.

For information on how to clean your bicycle chain and other parts of your mountain bike, including the drive train please visit http://www.mountain-bike-buzz.com/bike-cleaning.html 

Mary Blomquist is a mountain biking enthusiast who lives in Colorado and is the founder of http://www.mountain-bike-buzz.com/, a site that is full of information and tips for mountain bikers.

Article Source: Which Bicycle Lubricant is Best For Your Mountain Bike Chain?