Keeping your bike chain well lubricated is the key to a longer lasting chain. Regular lubrication will help to prevent rust, and dryness which can cause friction between the moving parts of your bike. As with most thing prevent is better than the cure, and when the cure can run you up hundreds of dollars in new bike parts dropping a bit of lube on your chain is well worth the time and effort.
There are many different types of lube for your bike however the best bike chain lube can be categorized into three main types; dry lube, wet lube, and multipurpose lube. When it comes to your mountain bike chain or any bike chain for that matter wet lube and dry lube tend to be the best choices depending on the biking conditions.
For example, as a rule wet lube is used in wetter conditions due to it being a more “heavy” gloopy lube that helps to keep water from getting into the chain which can then lead to rust. Dry lube is not as heavy or thick as wet lube and it is perfect for dryer conditions because it doesn’t pick up as much dust. The only downside of dry bike chain lube is that is tends to wash off if you use it in wet conditions, so guessing if it’s going to rain or not is always pre-ride fun with me!
Best Bike Chain Lube Some of my Favorites
Below I have picked out some of the best bike chain lubes for wet and dry conditions, I have used all of these at some point.
Best Wet Lube
The best bike chain lube for wet, icy or snowy weather conditions.
✓ Muc-Off Wet Lube
The Muc-off bike lubes are great for keeping your bike chain well oiled. Their wet lube offering is suitable for mountain biking and road riding and is perfect for riding along wet and muddy trails helping to keep you shifting smoothly in the wet.
This bike lube is biodegradable so it is echo-friendly and will break down over time. The pipette application system makes it easy not to overspread when you are lubing up
✓ Finish line Wet Lube
Finish line is my favorite brand of bike chain lube and I have been using it on and off for over 4 years. Finish Line is also an industry favorite and you will often see it on display at your local bike shop. Finish Line’s Wet lube is super durable and when the rain pours you can feel safe in the knowledge that it will do its job at lubricating and protecting your bike chain and other moving parts.
Finish line’s wet lube uses 100% synthetic oils combined with anti-wear additives to create a resilient mixture for your bike chain.
Best Dry Lube
The best bike chain lube for dry dusty weather conditions.
✓ Muc-Off Bio Dry Lube
Muc-Off’s dry bike chain lube is their offering for dry dusty riding conditions. This bike lube has been formulated to penetrate deep into the chain links where it’s really needed and without sitting on the surface of the bike chain.
Just like their wet bike lube the same pipette delivery system and biodegradable ingredients apply.
✓ Finish Line Dry Teflon Lube
This dry lube is the best bike lubricant for dry weather conditions and it doesn’t attract grime like the wet lube. It works its way easily into the chain links thanks to its drip pouring system and offers superior protection where it is needed.
Just like Finish Line wet lube their dry offering uses synthetics oils are used and this lube resists water and stops rust in its tracks. The added Teflon is also an added benefit in this lubricant.
Side Note: I am sure there are many other bike chain lube brands out there but these are the ones I have used primarily with great results, they simply work.
Best Bicycle Chain Lube Brands?
Brands such as Finish line, Muc-Off, and even WD-40 are some of the more popular bike chain lube choices. There are many lubricants for your bike chain in the marketplace and to be honest most of them do a great job at keeping your bike chain oiled and running smoothly. Any of my above best bike chain lube recommendations will be perfect for your needs.
Best Bike Lube Considerations
Before you apply any bike lube to your best mountain bike make sure your chain is clean and ideally degreased applying them to a dirty chain effectively creates an exfoliator for your drivetrain which is not good.
1. Consider the Weather
If you tend to ride on muddy trails or mostly in wet conditions, you should opt for a wet chain lube which has a thicker consistency. If you live in a hot climate or it’s that time of year when the sun is shining opt for a dry bike chain lube which is thinner and suited to more arid conditions. The best option is the buy one of each lube so you have the perfect option for any riding condition.
2. Apply It Right
Many of the best bike chain lube brands sell their lubes in a squirt bottle which allows you to easily and evenly apply the oil to each of the bike chain links. Less common are the aerosol-based bike chain lubes as these tend to disperse the lube everywhere and in most case places that lube is not required such as rotors and rims.
3. Keep It Clean
Your drive chain needs to be cleaned regularly and especially if you are switching from a dry lube to a wet lube. Degreasing your bike chain if often the best approach but this can be time consuming and hard to do due to the fact that you have to remove the bike chain to do a proper job.
The simplest way to clean your drive chain is to use hot soapy water and give it a good scrub, dry the chain with a clean rag and then liberally use rubbing hand alcohol on a rag to remove the old lube residue.
Best Bike Chain Lube Key Features
Not all lubes for your bike are equal, however when looking for the best bike chain lube keep an eye out for some of the below key features.
✓ Teflon Boost
Many of the best bike chain lube will include the chemical PTFE (better known as Teflon) in their ingredients. The Teflon in the lube will help to lower friction which in-turn can help you to turn those cranks.
✓ Grime Deterrent
There is some wax-based best bike chain lube in the marketplace that dry into a dirt-repelling film. This stuff is not recommended by me. Why? Because the wax itself can build up on your chain wax bike lube doesn’t reduce friction as much as others.
Most bike lubes are derived from petroleum however best bike chain lube is made from a biodegradable vegetable oil instead. This “eco-friendly” bike lube is less slippery but they are nontoxic and better for the environment.