I’m here to answer a question that’s been on the minds of many cyclists: Can you use motorcycle chain lube on your bike? Well, if you’re asking this question, then there’s a good chance that you’ve tried using something else—like WD-40—and found it lacking.
I can say definitively that no matter what kind of bike lube your shop uses or what brand of chain it is, I’ve never seen anyone benefit from using anything other than traditional bike chain lubricant on their drivetrain. If you want your bicycles or tricycle to run better than ever, read on!
Efficiency and drivetrain wear
Drivetrain efficiency is the percentage of power that is transferred from the pedals to the rear wheel. It’s important because it reduces the amount of energy wasted in your drivetrain, which saves you money and helps keep your bike running smoothly. Your drivetrain’s efficiency depends on several factors, including:
- The type of lubrication you use
- The weather conditions in which you ride
There are many different types of lube available on the market today, but when it comes to efficiency, there are two main categories: oil-based and water-based lubricants.
Oil-based lubricants tend to be more viscous than their watery counterparts and therefore reduce friction better than water. It does so by creating a layer of film between moving parts so they don’t rub against each other as much. However, they can cause rusting over time if not reapplied regularly (and some people find them messy).
Watery chain lubes stick less closely together compared with oiled ones; therefore they’re easier for dirt particles like sand or dust to enter into crevices where they would otherwise be sealed out by an oily substance like WD40 etc. Water-based lubricants can be the future thanks to their thermal conductivity and reduced friction.
Types of chain lube
There are two main types of chain lube: dry lube and wet lube. Dry lubes come in spray or brush-on varieties, while wet lubricants involve applying the liquid directly to the chain with a rag or sponge.
Dry lubes, or dry waxes as they are sometimes called, are a good choice for dry conditions. They are thin and tend to evaporate quickly when exposed to air. This makes them excellent at absorbing into the chain and leaving very little residue behind.
Dry lubricants also do not attract dirt like wet-style lubes do, so you don’t have to worry about contamination from your drivetrain or from outside sources like bugs and dust blowing in the wind. However, because they evaporate so readily—which can be a good thing—your chain will pick up more dirt than usual.
If you live in an area with low humidity levels where rain is rare (Arizona or Nevada), this isn’t that big of a deal since your chain won’t get dirty very often anyway.
Wet lube is a mixture of oil and wax. In wet conditions, it’s the best option because it repels water and allows your chain to move smoothly over the sprockets. However, this type of lube can attract dirt and dust as well so you’ll want to clean your bike often if you’re using it.
What can you use to lube bicycle chain?
You can use any of the following products to lube a bike chain:
Let’s start with what grease is and how it works. For the most part, greases are a water-inhibiting lubricant that’s meant to keep moving parts from rusting or seizing up. The main difference between a light oil and a heavy grease is the amount of solids in each: light oils have less and heavy greases have more.
The advantages of using grease on your bike include reducing friction, making movement easier and providing lubrication at low temperatures (even below freezing). The disadvantages are that they can attract dirt or dust particles if left on your ride too long.
Bike oil is a good lubricant for bikes. It’s designed to be particularly effective in wet conditions, which means that it will protect your chain from rust and corrosion better than most other options. Bike oil also provides excellent lubrication for the bike’s bearings and suspension system, which means that you’ll feel less resistance as you ride over bumps in the road.
Can I put WD-40 on my bike chain?
WD-40 is a solvent, and not a lubricant. Just like water will not help your engine run better or last longer, WD-40 will not help with chain wear, chain lubrication, chain rust prevention or chain cleaning. However, WD-40 does have some uses. You can use it to remove stubborn dirt from your chain, but it should never be used to replace regular chain lube.
Can I use gear oil as bicycle chain lube?
Yes, you may use gear oil as a chain lube. But there are a few things to watch out for. Gear oils are designed to lubricate moving parts in machinery and vehicles, which means they’re generally not meant to be used by humans. The oils contain heavy metals like zinc and cadmium that can cause damage to your bike’s drivetrain and even rust the metal parts of your bike if not properly cared for. Additionally, some gear oils will cause wear on the chain over time (which we don’t want), while other types of gear oil may stretch out your chain (also bad).
If you decide that you do want to try using gear oil as a lube for your bike, make sure it’s specifically made for bicycles or motorcycles—not machinery or vehicles—and follow these instructions carefully so that nothing goes wrong!
Can I ride my bike without chain lube?
You can ride without chain lube, but it will wear out faster. Chain lube is a lubricant that reduces friction between the chain and other parts of the bike. The main function of this type of product is to keep your bike running smoothly, as well as prevent rusting and corrosion while riding in wet or humid conditions.
When you ride with a dry chain, there is no lubricant between two metal surfaces that make contact with each other. This means that if one side (or both) are moving at high speeds then there will be more friction between those two surfaces than if they were coated with a layer of oil or grease.
Can I use silicone spray on my bicycle chain?
Although it’s true that silicone spray can be used as a lubricant, it isn’t the best choice for a bike chain. First of all, silicone sprays are designed to make things shiny and slippery—the opposite of what you want from your bicycle chain. The purpose of using silicone on a bicycle chain is to prevent rusting and keep it from corroding (which would make it wear faster), but this goal runs counter to the purpose of silicones in general, which is making things slick.
Can you use olive oil on a bicycle chain?
Yes, you can use olive oil on a bicycle chain. You can apply olive oil to the chain with a brush and then wipe it off with a rag. The olive oil will lubricate and clean your bicycle chain at the same time, though it might leave behind some sticky residue that’s hard to get off later.
A bicycle chain is a simple machine that relies on a lot of moving parts. That’s why it needs regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly. You don’t want your bike to be squeaking or grinding when you ride it! If you ride regularly, consider investing in some specialty products. These will help protect against dirt and debris getting inside your chain while also making sure that all those gears are well-greased so they don’t get stuck together during use.