Lube It Up

Bikes only run smoothly because of grease, oil and lube on any moving surfaces.

Types of lubrication fluid:

Grease

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:

 

        White Lightning Crystal                    ProGold EPX Grease                   Finish Line Ceramic Grease           Shimano Workshop 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        Park Tool ASC1 Anti-seize Compound

Liquid lubes

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 lubes.
  • 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                    Muc-Off 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 lubes

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 rust.

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 corroded parts).

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:

          

Motorex Joker 440 Aerosol             White Lightning Epic Ride Aerosol            Motorex Silicone Spray

All purpose spray lube Synthetic lube which provides High quality silicone based spray

durability without grime build up for a range of materials

Technique

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!

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