Top Lubes for Bike Chains – Guide & Comparison
Whether you’ve just bought a new bike or you’re trying to get your old one back in shape, looking for the best bike chain lube is a good first step. The drivetrain is perhaps the most important part of a bike, at least in terms of propulsion, and you need to make sure that it functions smoothly and that it’s protected. We’ve taken a look at some of the most popular options, and it seems that the Finish Line DRY Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube has all the qualities needed to keep your chain and other components in tip-top shape. It is easy to apply wet and it forms a wax-like film over the chain, it keeps dirt, grime, as well as water away, and it should be good for up to 100 miles. In case this product is out of stock right now, you might want to take a look at the WD-40 Bike Chain Wet Lube as it does a pretty good job as well.
This is a high-quality lube that comes with added Teflon fluoropolymer. This allows it to repel water and attract less dirt and grime, as well as ensure proper lubrication for the chain rollers and side plates. It should also last for up to 100 miles.
It is not the best for moist and muddy conditions, and it might attract more grime than some riders would want.
This Finish Line lube is a great product that’s bound to help you keep your chain and other components in shape. It’s easy to apply, forms a protective synthetic film over the chain, and should last for long rides.
This WD-40 product was made especially for extreme and muddy conditions. It is easy to apply and it will form a coating to protect the chain from grime and mud. It will repel water and won’t form wax-like deposits between the chain links, keeping everything clean.
The posting is for multiple types of products, not just lubes, so be careful that you add the right one to the cart.
This product is made by a company that needs no introduction, and it will protect your chain and gears from grime and water. It will also lube all the tiny parts to ensure that your bike rolls smoothly even in the muddiest conditions.
Also To Consider
This lube is made for dry conditions so you can count on it to protect your bike while you’re riding on downhill trails or other dusty paths. Its formula ensures that it forms a protective coating without deposits so it won’t attract dust and other debris.
Just like other WD-40 products, it’s mixed up in the same listing. Also, it’s not going to work properly in wet conditions.
If you’re looking for the perfect lube to protect the chain of your bike while riding in dry conditions, this is it. By minimizing friction, it significantly reduces the wear and tear on all the drivetrain components and prolongs their life.
10 Best Bike Chain Lubes (Updated Reviews) in 2020
Are you trying to find an affordable bike chain lube that’s also good, but can’t seem to decide due to the plethora of products available? Fear not, as we’ve scoured the market, looking for the perfect lubricants, and we’ve written bike chain lube reviews for all the products that seem to do a good job at keeping the drivetrain and other components functioning properly.
- 1. Finish Line DRY Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube
- 2. WD-40 Bike Chain Wet Lube
- 3. WD-40 Bike Chain Dry Lube
- 4. Finish Line Bicycle Chain Cleaner Kit with Lube and Degreaser
- 5. Finish Line 1-Step Bicycle Chain Cleaner & Lubricant
- 6. Park Tool CL-1 Synthetic Blend Bicycle Chain Lube
- 7. Rock N Roll Absolute Dry Lube
- 8. Rock’ N’ Roll Extreme Chain Lube
- 9. WD-40 BIKE Dry Lube One Color
- 10. Finish Line Ceramic Wet Lube 2oz
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Finish Line DRY Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube
Maintaining your bike and making sure that everything runs smoothly must start from somewhere, and why not from the most important part of it: the chain? It’s the drivetrain that propels the bike, and that’s why you need a high-performance lube such as this one to make sure you reduce friction and wear.
This lubricant contains Teflon fluoropolymer which minimizes friction and it also repels water. This product can be easily applied to the chain as a wet substance which will then dry and form a wax-like film. This lube easily penetrates chain bushings and it can also be used for derailleurs, shifters, and other components.
This doesn’t just reduce wear but also attracts less dirt and grime so that you can keep the chain clean for longer. This product is recommended for riding on off-road trails but in mostly dry or dusty conditions, as it is not ideal for muddy terrain.
Just one application of this lube and you’re good to go for roughly 100 miles, which means you don’t have to worry about your chain for a long time, whether you’re a commuter or a long-distance cyclist.
The Teflon fluoropolymer easily penetrates chain rollers and ensures that the chain and other components function smoothly while also reducing friction and overall wear.
It is very easy to apply when wet and after it dries, it forms a synthetic film that resembles wax, which will protect the chain, keep it running smoothly, and also prolong the life of the drivetrain.
While this product is pretty good for mostly dry conditions, it’s not the best choice for riding in thick mud. It can cope with moderately moist conditions, though.
This lube tends to attract a lot more grime than advertised. It’s a good idea to clean the chain and lube it again as often as you can, in order to prolong the life of the entire drivetrain.Buy from Amazon.com for ($8.99)
2. WD-40 Bike Chain Wet Lube
There are few people in the world who haven’t heard of WD-40 yet. This company has been manufacturing lubes, degreasers, and all sorts of other maintenance products for decades. This lube is the perfect thing you need to keep your bike running smoothly. Its special formula makes it perfectly suited for wet conditions, although you might have already guessed this from its name.
Thanks to the Wet Formula, this lube is easy to apply, and it was designed for muddy and extreme conditions. Contrary to other similar products on the market, it does not create wax-like deposits on the chain, which could otherwise build up inside the chain links. It does not gather dust and grime, which means your chain and entire drivetrain will remain clean for longer.
This product will minimize friction and wear on the cassette, chainrings, and chain, and ensure smoother performance while keeping these clean.
Just as the saying goes, “a clean bike is a fast bike”, this product is meant to keep your chain and gears clean by preventing dust and grime from building up.
The special formula makes it excellent for wet conditions and it will stick to the chain even in muddy or cold conditions so it’s perfect for cross-country or any type of riding that has you pedaling in swampy or wet terrain.
You get 4 fluid ounces of lube which should last for quite a long time while also prolonging the life of your chain and other drivetrain components.
It is easy to apply and it forms a protective coating that will make sure mud and water don’t stick to the chain.
There’s a posting for multiple WD-40 products, among them a degreaser, dry and wet lubes, and bike wash and some users have gotten the wrong one. Be careful to select the right product when adding it to the shopping cart.
The applicator design could have been better as sometimes, it might decide not to work properly.Buy from Amazon.com for ($8.19)
3. WD-40 Bike Chain Dry Lube
If you’re looking for a reliable dry lube for your beloved bike, then you’ve just found it. It’s made by the world-renowned WD-40 and it will keep your drivetrain in top shape. This is a lubricant that has a formula designed to reduce friction and wear on the chain and work wonders, especially in dry conditions.
It is great for riders who love dusty trails as it prevents dust and other particles that you’ll most likely unsettle with your screeching wheels from sticking to the chain, thanks to the use of special polymers.
As soon as you apply this on the chain, these polymers form a dry film that will protect the rollers as well as the links from wear and tear. What’s even better, it will not build up on the chain like wax does so it won’t be a magnet for all the stuff that shouldn’t stick there like dust and grime.
It has undergone lots of testing at the hands of both internal and 3rd party scientists so you know you’re getting a reliable product with predictable properties.
This lube is specially formulated for dusty and dry conditions, so you could say that it’s perfectly suited for applying it on the chain before you head out to downhill trails or backcountry dirt roads.
It’s quite cheap, considering that it’s easy to apply and that it will prolong the life of your chain, cassette, and chainrings.
It will not form wax deposits on the chain so there’s no risk that it will attract dust and grime, which could otherwise lead to premature wear.
Just like other similar products, this one from WD-40 is advertised along with other types of lubes and cleaners/degreasers so if you’re not careful, you could order the wrong product.
It’s made for dry conditions, so if you end up in a swamp or rain catches you during your ride, it won’t do its job properly.Buy from Amazon.com for ($9)
4. Finish Line Bicycle Chain Cleaner Kit with Lube and Degreaser
This is a complete kit that will help you take care of your chain and ensure that the bike runs smoothly every time. The kit contains a cleaner tool, degreaser, and lube, so you have everything you need to keep your chain in top shape. The cleaner tool is easy to use and the best part is that you won’t have to remove the chain to use it.
You can simply mount it on the chain to do the job. You first need to fill the reservoir with the degreaser from the kit, lock the clamp, hold the ergonomic handle tightly, and backpedal with your other hand. The three brush rollers will easily clean even inside the rollers and get all the grime off the chain. The interior rubber pads clean the side plates so everything is spotless.
There’s also a magnet at the bottom to collect metal particles. After you’ve cleaned the chain, remove the clamp, wipe the chain with a cloth, apply the lube, and you’re done.
This kit contains everything you need to keep the chain in perfect condition: a cleaner tool, degreaser, and lube.
The rubber pads and rotating brush rollers are perfectly positioned to reach inside the chain rollers and on the side plates and give them a thorough cleaning.
Thanks to the 30-degree exit angle, you won’t have to deal with any mess and splashes.
You can easily clean the chain and the best part is that you don’t have to remove it from the bike to do so.
You can use this kit every 100 miles or so to ensure that your chain runs smoothly. Doing so will also prolong the life of the drivetrain.
The handle isn’t really that useful as you probably need to find a position to hold it tight, maybe against the derailleur or another component.
You need to take it slowly as if you start backpedaling too fast, you risk splashing degreaser and making a mess.Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.95)
5. Finish Line 1-Step Bicycle Chain Cleaner & Lubricant
Are you looking for an easy-to-apply lube that can get the job done really fast? Then you can stop looking, as this is probably just what you need. This is a 1-step product that acts as a cleaner and lube at the same time, so you get to save time and keep your chain looking good and rolling smoothly.
This product has been engineered for cyclists who hate spending copious amounts of time cleaning and scrubbing their chains. It’s supposed to lift and flush all the dirt and grime that might have accumulated on the side plates and on the rollers. After cleaning, it leaves behind just a thin wet film that will lubricate the links and rollers.
This will prolong the life of the drivetrain and ensure it runs at peak performance. You can also use this stuff to loosen but also lubricate gear shifters and cables.
This is an awesome solution for people who hate spending too much time on cleaning and maintaining their chain.
You just need to apply it on the chain and it will flush the old lube as well as contaminants and will leave behind a thin film of lubricant.
Applying it will minimize friction and wear but also protect the drivetrain from rust and other corrosive factors.
This is a 1-step product that’s perfect for cyclists on the go. It is also good for all weather conditions, whether we’re talking about dusty paths or salty beaches.
This lube works great on road bikes, especially since they’re not too exposed to dust and grime. However, if you’re riding a mountain bike through muddy and dusty trails, chances are that it won’t last too long.
Be sure to wipe off the excess as otherwise, it could act as a magnet for dust.Buy from Amazon.com for ($8.99)
6. Park Tool CL-1 Synthetic Blend Bicycle Chain Lube
This is an all-around lube that will work just as well in dry conditions as it does in wet ones. Made by the reputable Park Tool company, this stuff doesn’t cost too much, and it comes in a 4-fluid-ounce bottle, which means it offers great value, especially since you can use it year-round.
This lube is formulated with PTFE as well as a proprietary blend of different oils which the company won’t share but it’s enough to say that they do an amazing job at keeping bike chains lubed. Not only bike chains can benefit from it, but other components such as spoke nipples, derailleur and brake pivots, as well as gummy cables.
The drip applicator is easy to use and it easily penetrates the chain parts, displacing moisture and gunk and protecting them from rust and other corrosive factors. This all-purpose lubricant will help you maintain your bike in great shape and extend the life of your drivetrain.
This is a generalist product that will work great in both dry and wet conditions so you can apply it on the chain and get ready to ride no matter the season or the particular type of terrain.
The applicator bottle is very easy to use and the drip system will enable you to put lube on the bike really fast.
It is formulated with PTFE as well as a blend of oils which will penetrate the chain parts, displace water and grime, and leave behind a protective film that will keep away rust and dirt.
You can also use this stuff on spoke nipples, derailleur pivots, old cables, and other parts and ensure that they’re working smoothly.
This stuff is great for lubing the chain but it seems to attract a bit more dirt than full-synthetic lubes for some reason.
The company changed the applicator cap and there’s a chance that it might spill if you’re not careful.Buy from Amazon.com for ($9.88)
7. Rock N Roll Absolute Dry Lube
If you’re in need of a specialized lube for your beloved road bike, you can’t go wrong with this one. It not only cleans the chain but also lubricates it so you get everything done in one single step and get to save a lot of time. This has been dubbed “The King of Lubes” and for good reason. It’s highly effective but also very easy to use.
This is ideal for hard-core road cyclists as it sticks to the chain and offers the proper lubrication while ensuring top performance. What’s more, you won’t have to deal with annoying chain noise and neither will you see any wax build-up which could attract a lot of dust and grime and lead to a real mess.
You get 4 fluid ounces in an applicator bottle that will make it really easy to apply it on the chain. It easily penetrates the chain rollers and picks up dirt.
This product comes in a 4oz bottle that will make it a piece of cake to apply it on your chain.
It is thin and will penetrate all the parts of the chain easily so that even the tiniest particles of dust will be dislodged. Behind, a thin film will protect your chain from wear.
It is pretty good at keeping your chain clean but lubed, even though you’ll probably need to re-apply it more often.
Some say you can get 125 miles on a single application and 8,000 miles on a single chain by using this lube.
This stuff will keep your bike’s chain really clean, and perhaps a bit too clean as the noise will probably be a bit louder than what you’d get with other lubes. You’ll also need to apply it frequently for the best results.
Since it’s an ORM-D item, the company is unable to ship it via airplane so some locations might be off-limits.Buy from Amazon.com for ($7.5)
8. Rock’ N’ Roll Extreme Chain Lube
This is yet another product from the reputable “King of Lube”. It says right there in the name that it’s made for ‘extreme’ conditions, so you’d bet your bike that it should perform just as well as it is advertised. It is made for mountain bikes only so if you’re riding a road bike, you’d best go over to the Dry lube from the same company.
This is great for all sorts of applications which means it will work just fine in muddy conditions, dry conditions, and anything in between. Thanks to the PTFE solids contained, it will form a protective film over the chain which won’t attract dust and gunk that could create a mess and ruin performance.
You get 4oz of this magic liquid which means your chain is going to get the protection it deserves for a long time to come. Thanks to the applicator and super-smooth texture, applying this lube is really easy.
This is a lube and cleaner all in one, so if you’re the lazy type of cyclist, you need not worry as this thing is really easy to use.
If you want to get your chain cleaned and running smoothly, you just need to apply this lube as often as needed and you’re good to go.
It will protect your bike from moisture and corrosive substances, in no small part thanks to the PTFE component contained.
You get 4 fluid ounces of this liquid and the drip bottle is easy to use to get your chain well oiled up.
This substance is quite thin and requires frequent application. This means it’s a bit expensive and you might also need to apply it during longer rides.
Due to its ORM-D status, this item can’t be shipped via air so if you live in Hawaii or another remote state, you’ll have a hard time getting it.Buy from Amazon.com for ($7.99)
9. WD-40 BIKE Dry Lube One Color
This is a dry lube that’s perfect for the warmer seasons, so if you’re riding a road bike or you’re taking your mountain bike on mostly dry trails, this product is ideal. It contains special polymers which will form a dry film around the chain and protect it from dirt and moisture.
It comes in a 4oz bottle so you get enough for quite a long time. Thanks to the special formula, this lube will minimize friction and wear and tear so that your chain but also cogs and chainrings will last more and perform better in the meantime.
Although this is a dry lube, it does not form wax-like deposits on the chain links and other components so it won’t attract dust and grime. The drip bottle makes it extremely easy to apply. It displaces moisture and dirt and keeps your chain clean and lubricated, just as it should be.
This lube is made by the legendary WD-40 so that is a mark of quality in itself, especially since so many cyclists are turning to this brand for help.
The lube is specially formulated to ensure the proper protection for road bikes and not only, keeping the chain working smoothly in dry conditions.
The bottle is easy to use as you just need to drip some of this stuff on the chain and you’re done.
It prevents friction and premature damage to the chain and it will extend the life of your drivetrain, which will actually save you money in the long term.
While this is a dry lube, it never seems to dry completely and might be a bit more sticky, gathering more dirt than it should in the process. Frequent cleaning is needed in this case.
It’s not great for wet and muddy trails, so make sure you only use it for dry conditions, just as the name says.Buy from Amazon.com for ($10.75)
10. Finish Line Ceramic Wet Lube 2oz
Go over the finish line first with this special lube. It is made with ceramic particles that will stick to the chain and form a protective film that will ensure long-lasting performance and extend the service life of your chain, cogs, and chainrings.
This lubricant will easily penetrate all the parts of your chain and make sure that the links, rollers, and bushings are properly lubricated but also cleaned. The applicator bottle makes things easy so you don’t have to spend a lot of time in order to lube the chain. This is especially true since the bottle is quite small so easy to handle.
By using this frequently, you will be able to ensure that the chain and other drivetrain parts run smoothly but will also prolong their life, which is always a good thing. This formula was created with durability in mind so you won’t have to stop mid-ride to re-lube the chain, which could prove a nuisance.
The best part about using this lube is that you won’t get those “chain tattoos” that you usually get from using wet lube, and you also won’t create a mess wherever you’re storing the bike.
This is the perfect lube to use for your bike when you’re cycling in the warmer seasons, as it will probably work much better in dry conditions rather than wet ones.
The drip bottle makes for easy application so there’s no complicated process involved in lubing the chain.
You can use this as often as you deem fit to make sure you reduce wear and tear and have the chain running properly for a longer time.
It comes in a 2oz bottle, which is half of what most other lube manufacturers offer, and that for the same price.
This product might leave some oily residue which could attract more dust than it should. Still, it probably is a much better option than a typical wet lube, at least for riding in dry conditions.Buy from Amazon.com for ($7.92)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
You know what they say: “a clean bike is a fast bike”. This is one good reason why you should get a bike chain lube to make sure that your chain is not only clean but also properly lubricated. This won’t just result in better performance, but also prolong the life of your entire drivetrain, and you’ll be a happier rider for it.
After having read every bike chain lube review from above, it’s time to get down and dirty and learn some basics about bike chain lubes.
Types of lubes
When searching for the best lube for bike chain, you’ve got two main types: wet and dry. This is not only a description of how the lube will look like once it’s on the chain (and in some cases, it isn’t) but also of the actual conditions it is meant to be used in.
A wet lube has more oil compounds which will stick to the chain, displace moisture, and protect it from corrosive agents. A wet variant is the best mountain bike chain lube, and especially for riders who often find themselves in muddy and wet conditions.
A dry lube is still kind of wet when you apply it, as it contains wax or other similar components as well as the solvent. As soon as the solvent dries, the chain is left with a dry film that won’t attract as much dirt and grime as wet lube. The problem is that it will easily get washed off by rain, so it’s not suitable for use in wet conditions or colder seasons.
Still, it’s probably the best chain lube for road bike as it keeps the chain clean and since the bike isn’t normally exposed to too much dirt and dust, and riding usually takes place in good weather, it’s not a problem.
There are also ceramic lubes which can be dry or wet, and these usually rely on ceramic particles that are in a solvent suspension. Some would say that ceramics are abrasives and have no place in chain lubes, but who really knows?
Some lubes come with PTFE (you may know it as Teflon) particles in solvent suspensions. These stick to the chain after the solvent evaporates and protect the chain.
The advantage of wet lubes, especially the ones based on oils, is that they offer the best lubrication and performance. They work well in mud and rain, but the problem is that they attract lots of dust and grime and, after a while, a lot of gunk forms which may lead to the so-called “chain tattoos”.
Application and mileage
Applying either wet or dry lube is usually a simple affair. Most products come with drip bottles that allow you to easily lube the chain. In some cases, you might need to wipe off the excess to ensure that it doesn’t build up and become a magnet for dirt and grime.
You might also find spray bottles that are easier to use. Still, lubing a bike chain isn’t rocket science. What’s important is that you use the right type of lube for the weather conditions you ride in and that you keep the chain clean.
As far as mileage goes, it depends on the lube, how much you ride, and in what conditions. Many manufacturers advertise 100 miles with one application, but in reality, mileage might be lower than that. While the best road bike chain lube might last for that much or even more in good weather conditions, a dirt bike chain lube will probably last for just one ride in thick mud.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Which is better: wet lube or dry lube for my bike chain?
If you’re having trouble determining which type of lube you need for your bike, then you should know that the answer depends on the conditions you’ll be riding in. It’s true that there are road bike-specific lubes and you can also find many mountain bike chain lube products out there but the difference between wet and dry lubes actually refers to the conditions.
So a wet lube is one that’s usually heavy on oil compounds and it’s supposed to be used for riding in wet terrain such as muddy trails, marshes, or during the rainy season. That is why, in many cases, the best chain lube for mountain bike is a wet one.
Since people usually ride road bikes when the weather is good, dry lubes are used more. These are cleaner and don’t tend to gather as much dust or gunk. The problem is that they’re easily washed by rain. So regardless if you have a road or mountain bike, use the lube that’s fit for the conditions you’re most likely to ride in.
Q: How to apply lube on my bike chain?
If you’re wondering how to lube a bike chain, then you should know that the entire affair is much simpler than you would have imagined. First of all, you need to make sure that the chain is clean. That’s because you don’t want to put a new lube on top of an old lube that’s already filled with deposits and gunk.
It’s true that some products are advertised to clean and lube at the same time, but it’s just good general practice to clean your chain at least once a week. After you’ve cleaned the chain with a degreaser or special solvent, let it dry, making sure there’s no moisture left, and apply the lube.
The process is the same regardless if you’re using the best dirt bike chain lube or one for road bikes. Either drip or spray the lube on the chain and wipe off any excess. Let it penetrate and/or dry up and you’re good to go.
Q: How often do I need to lube my bike chain?
When it comes to how often to lube bike chain, it depends on how frequently and how much you ride. Some manufacturers boast 100 miles with one application, but this depends on the type of lube, the conditions you’re riding in, how clean the chain is, and so on.
If you’re just piling up wet lube over old lube, you’ll think that you don’t have to do this for a while since you’re seeing a lot of oil on the chain, but that is actually a combination of oil, dirt, small metal particles from the drivetrain, and other nasty stuff. That thick paste is a true chain killer, so it’s better to clean the chain often and lube it more frequently.
Even a cheap bike chain lube should last for at least several dozen miles unless you’re riding on really muddy/dusty trails or it rains heavily and it washes off the lube. You’ll most likely need to re-apply dry lube more frequently than the wet one, but examining the chain will actually give you a better indicator as to whether you need to lube and/or clean or not.