What is the Best Bike Chain Lube You Can Buy?

Just like every vehicle you have ever owned, a bike is also one that requires its fair share of maintenance. In fact, you’d be surprised at how long you can prolong the lifespan of your bike components (and of the bike itself), if you clean and lubricate them regularly. So today, we are going to tackle the subject of best bike chain lubricants. But before we dive into the products themselves, we’re going to go over some of the basic info that every bike owner should know about this particular category of products.

Top 6 Best Bike Chain Lube Comparisons

Brand

Details

Our Rating

Finish Line DRY Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube

Finish Line DRY Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube 

  • Dimensions: 2 x 1 x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Bottle quantity: 4 oz.
  • Type of lubricant: dry
Finish Line Ceramic WAX Bicycle Chain Lube

Finish Line Ceramic WAX Bicycle Chain Lube

  • Dimensions: 2.5 x 1.2 x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Bottle quantity: 4 oz.
  • Type of lubricant: ceramic
RocRide New ECO-X All Purpose Bio-Based Chain Lube with PTFE. Environment Friendly Wet Lube. Cleans and Protects. 4oz Bottle

RocRide New ECO-X Bio-Based Chain Lube 

  • Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.5 x 6.2 inches
  • Weight: 3.2 ounces 
  • Bottle quantity: 4 oz.
  • Type of lubricant: wet
Bike Medicine Purple Extreme Performance Synthetic Chain Lubricant, High Mileage Bicycle Lube

Bike Medicine Purple Extreme Performance Synthetic Chain Lubricant 

  • Dimensions: 3 x 1 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Bottle quantity: 4 oz.
  • Type of lubricant: wet
Wend Bike Chain Wax Kit

Wend Bike Chain Wax Kit 

  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.3 x 3.4 inches
  • Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Bottle quantity: 2.5 oz. chain wax + 4 oz. chain cleaner
  • Type of lubricant: wax

A Thing or Two about Lubricants

lubricant with chain


In the end, there is one reason and one reason alone why chain lube should always find its way into your home: because an efficient drivetrain is a performant one. Whenever you apply lubricant to your bike chain, you are ensuring that the entire pedaling mechanism is healthy and will function at its best. Most people will tell you that lubricants are either wet or dry. However, there is also a third category that we’ll speak of in the following paragraphs.

Dry Lube

The reason why dry lube is called dry lube is because of the active substance found inside it. Dry lube has more of a wax-like texture and, even if it’s wet when you apply it, it dries out to leave the lubricating elements covering the chain. Since it is a lighter lubricant, it does a fairly good job at keeping dirt away from your chain and it’s mostly recommended for fair riding conditions. However, it is less durable, which means that a new coat of lubricant will be required soon enough. Another disadvantage of this type of lube is that it easily gets washed away in the middle of the rain.

Dry Bicycle Lubricant

Wet Lube

Wet Lubricant Spray

Wet lubricant is similar to dry lube in a sense that it is also liquid when you apply it. However, it never dries off, but remains liquid. If you use wet lube and neglect cleaning your drivetrain ever so often, you will see thick black gunk that has accumulated due to wet lube. Contrary to dry lube, the wet kind is better for several weather conditions throughout the entire year. It is rain resistant and also provides proper protection for your chain against rust and salt corrosion that’s characteristic to riding in the winter. However, when you use wet lubricant on a regular basis, your chain tends to get stickier and that attracts grime. Over time, this will turn into lapping paste that, in turn, damages your drivetrain. Conclusively, using wet lubricant will require regular degreasing.

Ceramic Lube

Somewhere in between wet and dry lube sits a third option. When you apply it, it’s liquid, but when it dries out, it turns into a tacky substance. It is the most expensive type of lube, but also the one with the best properties. The chemical formulas inside ceramic lubes will make sure they aren’t washed away, but they also provide low friction lubrication. It doesn’t require frequent applications and improves the overall performance of your bike.

Ceramic Lube Apply

While each type of lubricant is suitable for different situations, most people prefer to have both dry and wet lube at home and alternate them according to the current weather. Dry lube is the ideal choice for sunny and dry days, while wet lube is better for people who cycle all year round and like to poke around their bike often.

Lubricating the Chain


It is no secret that the best bike chain lube is the factory-applied one. Whatever product you purchase, don’t expect it to have the same lubricating performance. So, the more you try to prolong the lifespan of the original factory lube, the better. However, riding your bike in wet weather conditions or noticing that the chain is starting to squeak are both signs that it’s time to add your own lubricant into the equation.

Lubricating the Bicycle Chain

A new bike chain can be expensive so be sure to take care of the one you get. All you really need when you want to lubricate a chain is the actual lubricant and a rag. Of course, there are several cleaning products sold by manufacturers, but you don’t really need them to clean the chain, they just make the process a bit easier. We’d like to give you a step-by-step process on how to apply the lubricant, but since every type has different requirements, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of explanation. For example, some lubricants will require that you leave them to dry and then wipe off the excess, but others recommend that you don’t do that. Some lubricants require a very thorough cleaning of the bike’s chain and all the other drivetrain components before applying a new coat, but others don’t. Of course, if there is an excessive amount of dirt covering your chain, cleaning is kind of mandatory if you want to the new lube coating to be efficient and actually stick to the chain.

Before we dive into the actual products that are best suited for a bike chain lubrication, there is one important thing left to mention: don’t improvise when it comes to lubricants. Don’t assume that whatever oil-based product you have at home is suitable for lubricating the bike chain. Let’s take organic oils, for instance. They don’t have the necessary ingredients to stick to your chain long enough. Same thing goes for motor oils.

Top 6 Best Bike Chain Lube Reviews

Finish Line DRY Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube

  • Dimensions: 2 x 1 x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Bottle quantity: 4 oz. 
  • Type of lubricant: dry
Finish Line DRY Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube

The Finish Line dry chain lube is available in all shapes and sizes, just in case you have more than one bike that needs lubricating (or you just find yourself fiddling with your bike very often). In this particular review, we’re going to talk about the 4 oz. squeeze bottle, but you can also order a pack of 3 at a much better price, or you can opt for the 8 oz. aerosol or squeeze bottle, the 2 oz. versions or maybe the 32 oz. or 1 gallon jugs, if you really need a lot of chain lube at once.

As we’ve mentioned in the beginning of this article, dry lubricant is wet when applied, but it dries out to create a wax-like protective film and the Finish Line product is no exception. When the lube goes dry, the protective film makes sure that your chain doesn’t attract excessive amounts of dirt. It also promises to repel moisture, although it won’t do much good against larger quantities of water (that come in contact with the chain when you’re pedaling in the rain or often ride across large water puddles). The manufacturer promises a smooth 100 miles ride before a new application is required.

Since dry lube performs well in dry conditions, it’s suitable for riders who often find themselves on dirty, yet dry off road paths, but it’s also great for commuters or people that enjoy riding their bikes on sunny days. Since Finish Line has added Teflon fluoropolymer into their product, it should go a good job in helping reduce pedaling friction. As advertised, the product also does a good job in reaching difficult parts, such as brake and shifter pivots and chain bushings.

Pros

  • Repels dust and dirt.
  • Lowers friction.
  • Doesn’t attract abrasive contaminant.
  • Protects against moisture.

Cons

  • Squirting mechanism on bottles is often defective.

Finish Line Ceramic WAX Bicycle Chain Lube

  • Dimensions: 2.5 x 1.2 x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 3.2 ounces 
  • Bottle quantity: 4 oz.
  • Type of lubricant: ceramic
Finish Line Ceramic WAX Bicycle Chain Lube

Available in bottles of 2, 4 and 32 oz., Finish Line also provides a ceramic lube for those who want to get the best of both worlds.  As we’ve already established, ceramic lube gathers the features of both dry and wet lube so that you can enjoy a clean and completely performant drivetrain. Whenever you apply ceramic lube to your chain, the coating is enhanced to the point when it’s more protective compared to other types of lubricants.

Once it dries out, it won’t be sticky or wet, so that your chain doesn’t attract dirt, dust, grit or grime. This ensures a longer bike functionality and smoother pedaling. Due to the white ceramic particles that come in contact with the chain, a darkish film will start forming on top of the was coating. This phenomenon will disappear in time and rest assured that it won’t affect the overall performance of your bike. The liquid temperature will affect its density. When it’s cold, the liquid becomes very thick, but at room temperature, the liquid inside the bottle becomes water-like thin and you need to be careful of it dripping on the floor as you apply it to the bike’s chain. You could end up wasting a lot of it.

You should be able to ride your bike for about 120 miles before a new coat is required. Make sure that you don’t wipe off the excess lubricant after applying it to your chain.

Pros

  • Lasts longer compared to other types of lubricants.
  • Reduces drivetrain friction.
  • Creates a ceramic coating that protects the surface.

Cons

  • At low temperatures, the wax hardens and can clog up the nozzle.

RocRide New ECO-X Bio-Based Chain Lube

  • Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.5 x 6.2 inches
  • Weight: 3.2 ounces 
  • Bottle quantity: 4 oz.
  • Type of lubricant: wet
RocRide New ECO-X All Purpose Bio-Based Chain Lube with PTFE. Environment Friendly Wet Lube. Cleans and Protects. 4oz Bottle

RocRide’s product is a wet lubricant which is available in 4 oz. bottles that are sold at affordable prices per unit the more of them you buy. You can purchase a single bottle, or opt for one of the other 3 packages, including 2, 3 or 20 bottles of the product. If you ride a bike part because it’s an eco-friendly mean of transportation, then you’ll probably want to buy this eco-friendly lube as well. Made from biodegradable and renewable resources, the lube promises to keep your entire drivetrain functioning at optimal levels, while supporting you support the environment.

Since it’s treated with a bunch of antioxidants, the product is meant to prevent corrosion and premature wear of your drivetrain components. Since this is a wet lube, it’s suitable for all-year-around use and covers several weather and temperature conditions. In conclusion, it can be used both for city and off-road rides, as it can effectively repel dirt and water at the same time.

Remember that before each application, you should shake the bottle in order to make sure solid lubricants won’t settle. You will also have to clean the chain, by simply wiping it with a dry rag in order to make sure there are no particles stuck to any of the drive train’s components. When you squeeze the product’s bottle to lubricate the chain, make sure that you avoid over-spraying. After the application, leave the bike to dry for a few minutes and then wipe off the excess lubricant by using a clean cloth.

Pros

  • Eco-friendly product.
  • Treated with antioxidants to prevent corrosion and wear.
  • Has a cheaper price per product when ordering bulk.
  • Performs in almost every weather condition and season.

Cons

  • Will require drivetrain component cleaning before each application.

Bike Medicine Purple Extreme Performance Synthetic Chain Lubricant

  • Dimensions: 3 x 1 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Bottle quantity: 4 oz.
  • Type of lubricant: wet
Bike Medicine Purple Extreme Performance Synthetic Chain Lubricant, High Mileage Bicycle Lube

We have to admit, Bike Medicine stands behind its Purple lube with the promise of it creating one of the strongest and most protective bike chain films you’ve ever seen. It promises more than 400 miles of smooth riding before a new application is required and while were skeptical about this promise, customers seem to stand by it, mentioning that (at least in this aspect) it performs just like advertised. However, this 400 miles promise is only valid when you’re riding in dry conditions.

The Purple Extreme lube was originally created for drive chain protection in mining conditions, which means that it should meets some high industry standards. As promised, it creates a very strong and protective film that’s able to keep two metal surfaces separated. In fact, Bike Medicine talks about laboratory tests performed under extreme pressure that proved that this is, indeed, a product that’s able to create a film or the utmost strength.

Pros

  • Performs well in several weather conditions.
  • Creates a strong protective film that expands the lifespan of your bike’s drivetrain components.
  • Ensures smooth and noise-free riding.

Cons

  • The 400 miles pedaling time before a new application works only under dry riding conditions.

Wend Bike Chain Wax Kit

  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.3 x 3.4 inches
  • Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Bottle quantity: 2.5 oz. chain wax + 4 oz. chain cleaner
  • Type of lubricant: wax
Wend Bike Chain Wax Kit

We thought it would be a nice idea to throw into this round up a complete bike chain cleaning and lubricating kit, just to give you and idea what one of these packages contain and how they can help you keep your chain up and functional. This wax-based chain lubricant is applied by rubbing it on the surface of the chain, promising to keep your drivetrain in healthy and working condition, while making sure that the chain won’t make any annoying noises as you’re riding.

Containing a paraffin-based formula, it should be able to reduce friction and performs just as well as lubricants that include Teflon and zinc into their formulas. In the kit, you will receive a cleaning formula, as well as the actual lubricant. The cleaner is able to find its way thought whatever covers the chain (whether it’s dirt, formerly-used wax or lubricant) and leave it nice and shiny.

One of the many advantages of using a wax-based product is that you won’t have the lube dripping all over the place as you try to apply in to your bike chain. Just make sure that you always clean your chain before each application (Wend has included a clean and branded rag for this purpose). Also, when you’re applying the product, make sure you don’t press the chain powerfully on the wax so that the latter starts falling off. Also make sure that you don’t over-apply it, because a thin coat is all your really need.

Pros

  • Ensures a silent and functional drivetrain.
  • Doesn’t drip like other types of lubricants.
  • Product last a very long time if you apply just the needed amount each time.
  • The package also contains a chain cleaner and a branded Wend rag.

Cons

  • Excessive application can cause chunks of wax to flake away.

The Bottom Line

The best bike chain lube can only be chosen based on how you like to ride. If your adventures often take you on dry roads, then a dry lube is your best choice. They prevent dust from contaminating the chain and making its way towards all of your drive train’s components. Wet lubes are more suitable for those who like to ride their bikes all the time, no matter the weather. They are, however, most suitable for damp conditions and, since they don’t dry out completely, they are more likely to attract dust.

Ceramic lubes are a combination of the other two types, and they often contain wax. While it’s wet when you apply it, it dries out to leave a special protective coating.

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