Bike Chain Lube: A Comprehensive Guide



Looking at Which Type of Bike Lube is Best for Your Bike

The bicycle industry is inundated with new maintenance products and it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to find a simple remedy for a simple problem.

Cleaners, compounds, chain lubes and many many more help to extend the longevity of your bike’s working life, and more specifically in this article we will be taking a closer at look at the various types of bike lube out there, and what makes it so important to the proper functioning of your bike.


Wet vs Dry Lube

It’s a general rule of thumb that when riding in dry conditions, you use dry chain lube, and in wet riding conditions, you opt for wet chain lube.  As discussed in our ‘how to clean your bike’ article, it is essential to first properly clean the drivetrain with a sponge or cloth soaked in warm water before applying any lube or protective coatings.

For mountain bikers, other off-road cyclists and commuters, dry lubricant is a perfect choice. Riding in dusty, gritty conditions is what it is made to handle and it can deal with moderately wet conditions as well. The vast majority of cyclists would almost certainly benefit from utilising dry bike chain lube as their go-to.




Dry bike chain lube can also be used for maintenance beyond the chain. It can also be used on shifters, derailleurs and brake pivot points.


Conversely, wet lube, as already stated, is angled towards dealing with heavy moisture and wet conditions. Although it lasts significantly longer than dry lube, if you were to use it in dryer, off-road conditions it would attract unwanted dirt and grit at a much faster rate and at a much larger volume, meaning the drivetrain will likely stop functioning soon after.

Wet riding conditions will often wash off dry lube, so wet lube is more appropriate as it can withstand damper rides, thus lubricating properly and reducing noise and friction from the drivetrain.




It is interesting to note that nearly all professional road cyclists opt for wet lube, because properly wiping down and cleaning your bike after every ride should stop the unwanted grit and grim from building up.


How Long Does Bike Lubricant Last?

Re-applying lubricant, whether it be dry or wet, is great way to extend your drivetrain’s life expectancy. After wiping down the old coating and cleaning your bike post-ride, it is typically best to re-apply straight after so it is has time to settle and dry, ready to go for your next ride. As a side note, when applying the lube it is common to apply it on the bottom run of the chain, as opposed to the upper area near the cassette.


Dry chain lube typically has a lifespan of up to 100 miles, whereas wet chain lube can last well over 100 miles –  Finish Line’s Ceramic Wet Chain Lube can reportedly last even longer with a limit of 175 miles.







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