What can I Use to lubricate my Bike Chain?

To keep the components of the bike running, it’s necessary to overcome the mechanical resistance. The work of the lubricant is to provide that! Not only that, it prevents rust and wear of your bike chain keeping the drivetrain in perfect condition!

Without the lubricant, your bike chain will be rusty and your pace on the road will be slow! For keeping the moving parts running smoothly, lubricating is a must! But what can I use to lubricate my bike chain without the store-bought lubricants? We have the list!

What can I Use to lubricate my Bike Chain?

Properties of Bicycle Lubricants

Lubricant includes two different materials. They are

  • Base Oil: This oil can be mineral or synthetic. At times, it can be biological too.
  • Additives

Now, you must know how a lubricant should be. The work of lube for a bicycle is to keep the metal separate. Keeping the cogs and chain running without damaging each other is what the lubricants do. All it does is reduce friction by the layer of lubrication.

If we talk about an ideal lubricant, it comes to be thick so that it can reduce metal-to-metal contact. However, it will also be thin enough so that it can penetrate the internal components of the bike chain. If it’s too thick, the drag force will increase, and eventually, the performance will be reduced.

In that case, you will be slow on the road and the chain will wear slowly. If you check how to inflate tubeless bike tires to learn the inflation method and keep them inflated forever, it isn’t going to work if the chain lubed working properly!

Alternatives for Bike Chain Lubricants

Here are some alternative lubricants for your bike chain. Check them out and use them if you do not have store-bought bike chain lubricants handy in your garage.

1. Grease

Go for household grease if you want to replace brakes. In the case of gearing cables too, a small dose of household grease can work amazingly. But some of the bike owners love to use grease for lubricating the bike chain.

Well, it performs well. But when it comes to the fundamental qualities of bike lubes, grease may fall behind. Also, never try to use automotive grease on bike chains. It will gunk up the components of your bike. And eventually, it will cause more friction than before!

2. Bike Oil

Another bicycle-chain lubricate alternative is bike oil. Most people will tell you that this isn’t for chain lube. Yes, we agree with them. But if you compare bike oil with grease, bike oil will come up with better results than grease when it comes to lubing the bike chain.

It will lessen the amount of friction of your bike while riding. Also, it works for the prevention of damage. But if you want long-term protection with the lube, bike oil isn’t the one. Go for a small amount when you add bike oil for lubing the chain.

3. Chainsaw Oil

As this one is designed for metal, it can work better than grease on your bike chain. This can stick to the blade and lessen the operating temperature. Also, this helps safeguard the metal from rust.

And this is why you are free to use chainsaw oil on your bike chain. If you are riding the bike in inclement weather and you need sticky oil, this one can do an amazing job!

Can I use WD40 on bike chain?

WD-40 was designed by the military back in ’50. This was developed as a preventive solvent against ruse. On the other hand, it was also used for de-greasing the missile parts to keep them running perfectly. Does WD-40 damage bike chain as this is a degreaser? You will have to know a little more to learn that!

Nowadays, it has been a household item for almost all of us. Yes, we agree that it works as a light lubricant on small items like locks, toys, hinges, and so on. But can I use WD40 on bike chain?

When it comes to the bike chain, it’s important to understand that bike chains are on the heavier side. This is a fast-moving object. As a result, WD40 is not capable of having much effect on this fast-moving heavy bike chain. If you are using this one on the chain of your bike, it will eventually strip away the lubricant that already exists.

And then, your drivetrain will be left dry and metal-to-metal friction will occur. If you ask us to choose between picking up WD40 or not using any lubricant, we would gladly recommend you to go for a ride without the lubricant! 

Instead of trying these, we always suggest you check out the list of the best mountain bike chain lube and get the right deal for you. There will be alternatives but it’s always best to settle for the correct product!

Things to Avoid for Lubing Bike Chain

Learn about the best bike air compressors and keep the tire properly inflated. But that isn’t everything! If the chain is not properly lubricated, you are going to fail the ride! Not all greasy products are designed for bike chains, that’s the first thing you have to put inside your brain.

Motor Oil

The worst thing you can use for lubing the bike chain is motor oil. This product is acidic. As a result, it will wear out all the components of your bike.

Vegetable or Cooking Oil

Who told you to use cooking oil for lubricating the bike chain? This is a household product and isn’t designed for any mechanical parts! Also, cooking oil is acidic. It won’t last for a long period. On the other hand, lubricants for bike chains should include graphite which cooking oil lacks. It will only attract dirt and dust on the road making your chain look ugly!

Petroleum Jelly

Another worst product for lubing the bike chain is petroleum jelly. Some people will tell you that it works well but we can assure you that they have never used it in real. It looks like it works amazing on the bike chain but isn’t perfect if you are concerned about the protection.

Also, it isn’t durable at all! For motions, it doesn’t provide safety. If you plan on using this in wet weather or condition, you will be highly disappointed!

How To Lubricate Your Bicycle Chain

Wrap Up

We have discussed what you can use for lubricating the bike chain properly. The alternatives for bike chain lubes are suggested here. You can try them too. But according to us, the best thing you can do is get a dedicated bike chain lubricant from the shop; it is better to be safe than to be sorry, right?

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