What Can I Use to Lube My Bicycle Chain? (Answer here)

Do you want your chain to steer clear of rust and corrosion, which can damage the chain and cause it to break? Every bike rider knows how important it is to lube their bike chain. It keeps the chain clean and ensures that the bike runs smoothly and efficiently.

Here are some of the best lubes you can choose for your bicycle:

  • Chainsaw Oil
  • Silicone Spray
  • Clipper Oil
  • 3 in 1 Oil
  • Light Oils
  • Thick Greases
  • Wax Based Lubricants
  • Spray Lubricants
  • Engine Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Sewing Machine Oil

A properly lubricated chain will last longer and require less maintenance overall.

Read on as I tell you all about properly lubricating your bicycle chain with the right type of oil!

What Can I Use to Lube My Bicycle Chain?

As anyone who has ever tried to lube a bike chain knows, it can be a real pain. There are so many different types of lube out there, and it can be hard to know which one is right for your bike. 

You don’t want to use too much or too little, and you don’t want the lube to attract dirt and grime. Here are some of the best lubes you can use to lube your bicycle chain

#1 Chainsaw Oil

Chainsaw oil is a special type of oil that is designed to lubricate heavy-duty machines. However, it can also be used to lubricate bicycle chains. 

It is made from high-quality synthetic oils that resist breakdown in the presence of heat and stress. This makes it ideal for use in humid or wet conditions. 

Plus, chainsaw oil has a high-cleaning action that helps to remove dirt and grime from gears and chains. 

Thus, it can help to keep your bicycle chain clean and free of corrosion. If you live in an area with high rainfall, chainsaw oil can be an essential part of your bike maintenance routine.

» This could also be something for you: How to Put On a Chain For Mountain Bikes

#2 Silicone Spray

While there are many different lubricants on the market, silicon spray is a good option due to its low cost and easy application. 

However, silicon spray does have one major downside: it washes away easily in the rain.

If you live in an area with high rainfall, you may want to consider using a different type of lubricant or taking extra care to reapply the silicon spray after each ride. 

With a little bit of planning, you can keep your bike in good condition no matter what the weather throws your way.

#3 Clipper Oil

If you’ve ever had a haircut, chances are you’ve come into contact with clipper oil. This light machine oil is used to lubricate the blades in a pair of hair clippers, and it helps to keep the clippers running smoothly. 

Clipper oil is also a great option for bicycle chain lubrication. It can easily reach every area of the chain, providing full coverage and protection against rust and wear. 

Plus, it dries quickly and won’t attract any dirt, so your bike will stay clean. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cyclist, Clipper spray is a great choice for keeping your bike in tip-top shape.

#4 3-in-1 Oil

We all know that 3-in-1 oil goes a long way in keeping things clean, well-lubricated, and rust-free. It’s ideal for cleaning off grime, lubricating moving parts, penetrating rust, and protecting tools and equipment.

You can use 3-in-1 oil for oiling your bike chain as well. It’s a multi-purpose oil that can be used for many different things. This oil is also a great rust inhibitor. It will help to keep your bike chain from rusting.

You can buy it at any hardware store. Just apply a few drops to each link, then work the oil in with a rag. Wipe off any excess oil before you ride.

#5 Light Oils

Thick, heavy oils are great for lubricating moving parts, but they can quickly build up and attract dirt. On the other hand, light oils penetrate more easily and help to reduce the amount of wear that occurs between the links in a bike chain. 

Light oils are a better choice for keeping your bike chain clean and well-lubricated. In addition, light oils are also less likely to damage delicate components like bearings and seals.

For these reasons, it’s always best to choose a light oil when lubricating your bike chain.

#6 Thick Greases

For best results, it is important to select the right type of oil. Thick greases are a great option for this purpose, as they provide a thick barrier against the elements. 

They are also less likely to drip and make a mess, which is always a bonus. When applying thick grease to your bike’s chain, be sure to work it in well so that it reaches all the nooks and crannies. 

A little bit of grease now will save you a lot of time and money down the road.

» Read my blog post about: How to Tighten Your Bike Chain

#7 Wax-based Lubricants

Wax-based lubricants are an excellent choice for chains because they provide long-lasting protection against corrosion and wear. 

In addition, wax-based lubricants do not attract dust and dirt like other types of lubricants, so they help to keep chains clean.

When applied correctly, wax-based lubricants can provide cyclists with years of trouble-free riding. 

#8 Spray Lubricants

Of all the lubricants on the market, spray lubricants are often the best choice for penetrating deep into mechanisms and maintaining a smooth operation. 

That’s because spray lubricants have a low surface tension, which allows them to flow easily into small crevices and coat all surfaces evenly. 

In contrast, other lubricants can be thicker and more difficult to apply evenly, which can lead to reduced efficiency or even breakdowns. 

When applied properly, spray lubricants can help extend the life of your bicycle chain by preventing wear and tear, and they can also help improve efficiency by reducing friction. 

So if you’re looking for a lubricant that can penetrate deep into your bicycle chain and keep it running smoothly, a spray lubricant is a perfect option.

» Maybe this also could be of interest to you: How-To: Put a Bicycle Chain Back On

#9 Engine Oil

Chains require a constant supply of lubrication to function properly and prevent wear. However, conventional oils can struggle to maintain their viscosity in extreme temperatures, leading to premature wear. 

This is where engine oils can be an ideal choice for bicycle chains. Engine oils have a high viscosity index, which means they are able to maintain their viscosity over a wide range of temperatures. 

This makes them perfect for use in both hot and cold conditions, ensuring that the bicycle chain remains lubricated throughout. 

Engine oils contain additives that help to protect against wear, making them an ideal choice for extending the life of your bicycle’s chain.

#10 Olive Oil

While there are many products available to lubricate your bike chain, you may not realize that you can also use olive oil. 

Olive oil is a natural lubricant that helps to protect against rust and corrosion, and it’s also very affordable.

To lubricate your bike chain with olive oil, simply apply a small amount to a clean cloth and wipe the chain down. 

You’ll need to reapply the olive oil every few rides, but doing so will help to keep your bike in good condition for many years to come.

#11 Sewing Machine Oil

Sewing machine oil is a type of lubricating oil that is designed for use in sewing machines. It is typically clear or pale yellow in color and has a light viscosity, which means that it is best for reducing friction. 

This makes it an ideal choice for use in bike chains. In addition, sewing machine oil is also relatively inexpensive, making it a good option for those on a budget. 

While there are other oils that can be used in bike chains, sewing machine oil is one of the most popular choices due to its combination of low cost and high performance.

Lubes That You Should Avoid Applying to Bicycle Chains

Now that you know what you should use, it’s only fair to discuss options that you should steer clear of. Here are the four most common items misused to lubricate bike chains:

#1 Motor Oils

While motor oil may seem like a good option for lubricating a bike chain, it is actually not recommended. Motor oil is designed for use in engines, where it is subject to high temperatures and heavy loads. 

However, on a bike chain, motor oil can actually attract more dirt and grime, leading to a build-up that can damage the chain. In addition, motor oil can also seep into the bearings of the chain, causing premature wear. 

For these reasons, it is best to stick with specialized bicycle chain lube, which is designed to keep your chain clean and running smoothly.

#2 Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly is definitely not the best choice for this purpose. Petroleum jelly can build up on the chain and attract dirt particles, which can eventually lead to the chain seizing up. 

Petroleum jelly is not very effective in cold weather, and it can actually cause the chain to become brittle and break.

For these reasons, it is best to avoid using petroleum jelly as a lubricant for bike chains. 

There are many other products on the market that are specifically designed for this purpose and will do a better job of keeping your chain running smoothly.

#3 Cooking Oil

When it comes to bike maintenance, there are a few baseline rules that every cyclist should follow. One of the most important is to avoid using cooking oil on your chain. 

Cooking oil degrades quickly, leaving your chain vulnerable to rust and corrosion. Not only does this shorten the lifespan of your chain, but it can also lead to other problems. 

In addition, cooking oil is much more likely to attract dirt, which can further impede your bike’s performance.

#4 WD-40

While WD40 is often used as a lubricant for bicycle chains, it is actually primarily a solvent. This means that it dissolves rust, which can be helpful if your chain is starting to show signs of corrosion. 

However, WD40 is not an effective lubricant because it quickly evaporates, leaving your chain unprotected. For these reasons, it is best to avoid using WD40 as a lubricant for your bicycle chain.

» Read my blog post: Chain vs Belt Drive Bicycles

Which Oil Is the Best For Bicycle Chain Lubrication?

The best oil for lubricating your bicycle chain depends on what your needs are. But as a general rule of thumb, the higher the viscosity of the oil, the better it will perform. If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, it’s always best to go with a lubricant that has high viscosity.

This means that it will be thick and sticky, which helps it to stay in place on your chain even when the weather is at its worst.

In addition, high-viscosity lubricants are less likely to attract dirt, which can quickly build up on your chain and cause it to wear out prematurely. 

Can I Use Vaseline to Lube My Bike Chain?

Vaseline is actually a poor choice for use on bicycle chains due to its thick consistency. It can actually attract dirt and grime, leading to a build-up of gunk on the chain. 

This can ultimately damage the chain and cause premature wear. In addition, vaseline is not very effective at reducing friction, which can also lead to damage.

There are a wide variety of lubricants available on the market, each designed for a specific purpose. However, some people believe that vaseline can be used as an all-purpose lubricant for bicycle chains. 

Unfortunately, this is not the case. 


A clean, well-lubricated bicycle chain is essential for keeping your bike running smoothly. The next time you lubricate your bike chain, I recommend using a product specifically designed for this purpose. Not only will this keep your bike running smoothly, but it will also help to prolong the life of your chain and gears.

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

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