We oil the chain on a bicycle to keep it quiet, protect it from rust, and to lubricate it for friction-free operation. But which oil is best for your bike and riding style? And how often to reapply? This information should help.
Lasts 5-10 rides, use it if you want less time oiling your chain, great for a Mountain Bike or Hybrid
This is oil we put on most of the tune-ups that come into the shop. It’s a little thicker than a dry oil, so it stays on longer, meaning you don’t have to reapply as often. This oil generally takes a mild degreaser to remove, but its worth it for the protection it provides. Also, consider using this oil if you want your bike to be super quiet. Because wet oil is thicker than a dry oil, it damps the sound of the drivetrain.
Lasts 1-2 rides, use it if you want a super clean drivetrain, great for a Road Bike or Person who likes to keep things clean.
This is a super thin oil, that leaves a layer of Teflon on the chain. It’s thin, light and fast but needs to be applied more often than wet oil. This oil works best when it becomes part of your pre-ride routine: put on your shoes, pump your tires and then quickly wipe off the old oil and reapply a fresh coat. when you follow this routine, your bike will stay cleaner and you will always have a smooth quiet chain.
Lasts 1-2 rides, use it if you want a super clean and efficient drivetrain, great for a Road Rider or Mountain Bike looking for peak performance
The whole point of a wax lube, it to build up a protective layer of wax with ceramic particles on the chain. So with each wipe down and application, a fresh layer of super fine and super smooth ceramic wax particles are attaching themselves to the chain. This will help reduce friction while keeping the chain clean. We also like using wax lube on cables, as it does not build up dirt like a traditional oil.
WD 40 – goes on thin and helps free up stuck parts like shifters and door hinges, but evaporates very quickly so it’s not a great oil for your chain.
White Lithium – thick, goopy, sticky, and will be very hard to clean off. Please don’t use it anywhere on your bike.
3in1 – also a little too thick and goopy for a bike. We want the oil to be easily cleaned off when it gets dirty.
Motorcycle chain oil – same as 3in1 and white lithium, too thick. Remember a motorcycle chain spins way faster than your legs can move, so we don’t need the oil to cling to our bike chains quite as tight.
Cleaners and Degreasers
A full bike friendly all purpose cleaner, spray on and then hose off
We don’t have a hose at the shop, but if we did, we would use Bike Wash. It’s a full bike cleaner that can work great after a long muddy ride, unload the bikes spray down with this magic spray and then fire up the BBQ. Once you finished your burgers hose off the bikes, apply some fresh chain lube and you are good to go.
A great multi-purpose degreaser safe for the whole bike
This is the degreaser we use in the Clean and Lube service, we use it at full strength in our Chain Machine and then mixed 50/50 with water in a squirt bottle for the whole bike. Combined with a fresh rag and some elbow grease your bike will be looking great.
A powerful degreaser that can cut through the toughest grime
This is the more powerful of the two options we use in the shop. We use the citrus degreaser when we do a Big Clean and remove the drivetrain to scrub in the sink. The citrus degreaser is best to use on bare metal because it can pull the oils out of rubber seals and dry out o-rings.
For the best, finish all your cleaning with a frame polish. Depending on the frame colour and finish pick either SC1, Showroom Polish or Matte Finish. And let your bike shine. A cleaner bike will make you ride faster guaranteed!
Pro Shop Tip
For both degreasers it to let them sit on the chain for a while, this allows the chemicals to do the work and break down the oils making your job easier.