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The 8 Best Bike Chain Lubes to Spin Smoothly

Unless your bicycle features a belt-drive, the chain is the most hardworking part of the bike. It’s exposed to different environments, which reduces its efficiency and performance over time. You’ll need to find the best chain lube to keep it running at its optimal performance.

Typical pedaling with your bike shoes involves metal-on-metal contact between the chain and the drivetrain parts. This process requires less friction between the contact points for a smooth and noise-free ride. A good chain lube can smooth the chain’s engagement with other parts, reducing friction and wear while preventing corrosion. These are the best bike chain lubes you should consider buying.

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Best Popular: Finish Line DRY Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube

Keep your bike chain clean with this Finish Line DRY Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube. Available in 4-ounce bottles to a gallon jug, this dry bike lubricant prevents dust, grime, and grit from accumulating on your chain. It has added Teflon fluoropolymer to repel moisture and minimize friction. A single application can last up to 100 miles to keep you riding for longer. Finish Line’s Dry Lube can also be used to lubricate cables, shifters, brake pivot points, and derailleurs.

Best All-Conditions Lube: ProGoldProlink Chain Lube

Ensure your bike has a quiet drivetrain and smooth shifting with the ProGoldProlink Chain Lube. This lubricant uses the Metal Friction Reducer technology, which treats the metal surfaces for enhanced friction reduction. It doesn’t become tacky and won’t build up in your bike parts, and it also repels moisture to prevent corrosion. This ProGold lube is also ideal for derailleurs and cables.

Best Long-Lasting: Dumonde Tech Lite Bicycle Chain Lube

Get the quiet performance you desire for your bike with this Dumonde Tech Lite Bicycle Chain Lube. This chain lube is a liquid plastic that bonds to the chain for enhanced durability and efficient performance. Its light concentration makes application quite easier, and it penetrates high-friction zones for a long-lasting impact. Dumonde Tech Lite chain lubricant is ideal for off-road bike use, and it’s safe for pivot points, seals, and cables, too.

Best Wet: WD-40 Specialist Bike Wet Chain Lube – Amazon

If you need a wet chain lube, then the WD-40 Specialist Bike Wet Chain Lube makes a remarkable choice. The lube works by forming a durable coating that repels mud and water to protect your chain’s structural integrity. This no-wax formula will not accumulate in the drivetrain and chain links, to keep you riding in wet conditions with confidence. It also prevents friction to enhance the life of your chain.

Best Kit: White Lighting Easy Chain Luber Bicycle Chain Lubricant

Keep your bicycle well-oiled with this White Lightning  Easy Chain Luber Bicycle Chain Lubricant. The lube comes with lube to provide a fast and effortless way of lubricating your chain without missed links, messes, or stains. This White Lighting lubricant is ideal for variable conditions, and it uses semi-dry film silicone technology, which ensures a solid bond with the surface to prevent water or dust penetration.

Best Dry: Muc Off Dry Lube

The Muc Off Dry Lube makes a great option for riders looking for dry chain lube. This ultra-durable lubricant penetrates deep into the chain for long-lasting lubrication, while reducing friction to ensure seamless gear shifts. Muc Off Dry Lube uses a wax-based formula to repel contaminants in dusty and dry riding conditions. Even more interesting, this lube is fully biodegradable to offer an environmentally friendly option. The lube is ideal for all bike chains.

Best Cheap: White Lightning Epic Ride Bicycle Chain Lubricant

Enjoy smooth rides every day with this White Lightning Epic Ride Bicycle Chain Lubricant. This semi-dry formula is a cost-effective option for booking your bike’s performance. A single application can provide protection and efficiency up to 50 to 100 miles without significant grime build-up. The lubricant is ideal for both moist and dry conditions, and it’s also safe for brake levers, gears, chains, derailleurs, pedals, and cables. You can also use it to rejuvenate wipers and suspension seals.

Best PTFE Lube: Park Tool CL-1 Synthetic Blend Bicycle Chain Lube

Formulated using polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the Park Tool CL-1 Synthetic Blend Bicycle Chain Lube works great in both wet and dry conditions. It fixes chain noises and squeaks, extending the life of your drivetrain parts and chain. This chain lube repels moisture to prevent your chain from rusting. It’s also a general-purpose light lubricant, meaning you can apply it to your brake pivots, spoke nipples, cables, and derailleur.

How to Shop for Bike Lubricants

The best lubricant for bike chains is one that has no excessive grime build-up, prevents rust, and provides long-lasting lubrication. It should also ensure smooth pedaling, extended chain life, noise-free riding, and quicker shifting.

Be sure to take the time to compare different options depending on your riding conditions. Read the manufacturer’s labels or the descriptions to understand the details of a particular product.

Can you use any lube on the bike chain?

You can’t just use any lube on your bike chain — your garage or toolbox should have both dry and wet bike chain lubes. Alternatively, you can buy the all-conditions lube, which is suitable for both conditions. Some people tend to use grease on their chains, and this is not recommended as it picks up too much dirt and makes a mess.

You should use a dry, wax-based lube during dry, summer, and spring conditions. They attract less dirt during such conditions, making it easy to ride on gravel or off-road conditions. Wet lubes are ideal for most weather conditions. In fact, you can use them almost throughout the year. They’re more effective during wet seasons as they are water-resistant.

How often should I lube my bike chain?

The frequency for lubricating your bike depends on your riding environment, bicycle use, and the type of lube you’re using. For example, some wet lubes offer up to 100 miles of riding before lubricating the chain again. For most people, it’s ideal to lubricate your bike once every month for optimal performance and protection.

Editors' Recommendations

Jefferson Betaizar
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Please reach out to The Manual editorial staff with any questions or comments about Jaron’s work.
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