Bikes only run smoothly because of grease, oil and lube on any moving
Types of lubrication fluid:
Grease is only used in sealed bearings because it’s very sticky! If
exposed to dust and mud, grease would quickly become a destructive grinding-paste
infused with dirt.
Four of the best:
Line Ceramic Grease
Anti-Seize Assembly Grease
Can be used on bare metal parts, which are not designed to move. Especially good
for components subject to high pressure and moist conditions such as seat posts,
pedals and bottom bracket threads.
Two of the best:
Finish Line Assembly Grease Anti-Seize with Brush
Tool ASC1 Anti-seize Compound
Oil is found on any non-sealed parts of the bike that move over each other. The
best example of it is the chain but also brake levers and quick-release levers.
Light lube (often labelled as chain lube) is less attractive to dust and mud but
still reasonably resistant to compression. This makes it perfect for exposed metal
on metal parts such as the chain.
- Wax – Wax lube is designed to be the best of both
worlds, with the water resistance of wet lube and the dust resistance of dry
lube. In reality, this lube can only be applied to a meticulously clean and
degreased chain. Also, wax is a less effective lubricant than oil based
- Dry Lube – Very thin for use in dry weather. Not as
water resistant, but less attractive to dust.
- Ceramic – A hi-tech dry to moist conditions chain
lube. Will not adhere properly in very wet/muddy conditions.
- Wet Lube – Thick chain lube, very resistant to water
and mud. Due to it’s thickness it is sticky and attracts dust, so is not
recommended for dry conditions.
Three of the best:
Weldtite TF2 Extreme Synthetic Oil
Dry PTFE Chain Lube
Finish Line Ceramic Wet Lube
Low-friction dry lube which Non-sticky, 100% synthetic High-tech chain lube,
cleans and lubes!
Great value wet condition lube does not attract dust
Spray lubricant is great at providing a protective layer against water and dirt.
They are often used on cables and parts of the bike which are vulnerable to
Good quality spray lubes contain Teflon or similar molecules. These bind to the
surface, creating a protective and water-repellent layer. These protective
qualities are NOT present in WD-40! (WD-40 is penetrative oil, which frees up
NOTE: Make sure you don’t get lube on your brakes. Spray lube is
especially easy to misdirect onto discs or rims, so take care!
Three of the best:
White Lightning Epic Ride Aerosol
All purpose spray lube Synthetic lube which provides High quality silicone based
durability without grime build up for a range of materials
If you’re taking apart any sealed bearings, you’ll want some high
quality grease to fill them with. Sealed bearings are found in wheel hubs,
headsets, bottom brackets and pedals.
The part of the bike that needs most regular application of lubricant is the
chain. The appropriate grade of chain lube should be used. At the same time, the
(unsealed) pivots on the front and rear mechs can be lubricated. Moving parts
without bearings, such as brake lever and shifter pivots can also be lubricated
with a thin layer of chain lube which should be wiped off afterwards.
Cables can be lubricated with a light layer of chain lube. Grease should not be
used as it will attract dirt to the inner cable which will be pulled into the black
outer sheath, impairing shifting performance.
Other: Clipless Pedals can benefit from a periodic application of heavy grease
on the springs and also around the cleats - but don’t get it on the carpet if
you’re walking around in your shoes!