How to Oil a Bike Chain

Bikes chain is one of the most crucial parts of a bike as, through chains, our paddling transfers the speed to gear, and we can ride the bike. But this part of the bike gets exposed to wear and tear the most. Mud, debris, dirt, etc. getting stacked on the chain is a regular scenario. As a result, after some time, chains become harsh, rusty, noisy, and wobbly, and the speed gets affected. When the chain isn’t in good shape, bike riding feels painful. That’s why cleaning and lubricating chains are essential. It helps your bike to get the maximum acceleration. But there are some rules to oil the bike also. But don’t worry, the process is very easy, and we’ve brought the ins and outs of oiling your bike’s chain so you can better understand it!

When and how often to oil the chains?

The simple answer to this question is “regularly.” But still, the answer may sound vague to some of you. Cleaning and lubricating chains mainly depend on the frequency of use and how long you’ve taken rides with your bike. For example, oiling the chains twice or thrice a month is okay for some people. On the other hand, if you’ve just arrived home from a 2-3 days long ride, you need to clean oil the chains the next day.

Actually, there’s no strict rules or boundary of how many times the chains require lubrication. Some even do that almost every day, depending on the needs. But the best time to oil the chains is when you feel like it’s been a long time that you didn’t do it, or dirt and muds are getting visible on the chain and require cleaning as early as possible. And remember one thing, after every cleaning, you must lubricate the chains, and before lubricating, you must clean the bike! You can find also cycle reviews here.

What type of lubricants can be used for bike chains?

There’re different kinds of lubricating oils for bikes. It depends on the nature and quality of the chains that which oil will be good for it.

Dry Lube

This type of lubricant is generally used when the chain gets dirty and creates dry, dusty conditions. In that case, it won’t be wise to use wet oils and made those dry clouds of dust to stick into the chains even more. Although there’s no need to use dry lubes regularly and after applying is lube, it’s ideal to leave the bike for a few hours. Finish Line, Muc Off, Rock N Roll are some excellent dry lubes for bike chains.

"Dry Lube" How to Oil a Bike Chain

Muc ​​​​Dry Lube

Wax

If you live in an extremely fry environment or ride to places like that, using wax lubricant is the best choice. It perfectly reaches to the deep area of the chain and keeps it safe from dry dust for a while as they don’t get stacked to wax easily. You can try Finish Line, White Lightning, Speed Master, Etc., for wax oiling.

"wax" How to Oil a Bike Chain

White Lightning wax

Wet Lube

Wet lubes protect your bikes during wet conditions such as rain or debris, just like the opposite of dry lubes. Although, never apply it on the dry season as dust will get stacked on the bike easily due to wet oil. Finish Line, WD-40, Muc Off, etc. are some popular brands for wet lubes.

"muc wet lub " How to Oil a Bike Chain

Muc Wet Lube

Spray Lubricants

Spray lubricants are the easiest choice because you can quickly oil your bike’s chain, unlike other lubes. Although it’s not an excellent choice to use regularly as it’s not as effective as other lubes. Finish Line, Progold Prolink, WD-40, etc. can be used as spray lubricants.

"progold prolink\"How to Oil a Bike Chain

Progold Prolink Spray Lubricants

Green Bicycle Oil

This lubricant is considered as the eco-friendly oil among all other lubes in the market. This lubricant is made of plant-based ingredients other than petrochemicals that are used in most of the lubes. Dumonde Tech, Finish Line, is famous for green lubes.

"Finish Green Bicycle Oil"How to Oil a Bike Chain

Finish Line ​​​​Green Bicycle Oil

Lubri Disc

Lubri Disc is the newest addition in the world of lubricants. With this one, you can reduce the waste and spreading of oils on the ground and bike’s frame while applying on the chains. You just have to roll this disc to the chains and can be used up to ten times! It can also be switched and recycled. As it’s a new product on the market, you can choose your lubri disc from Flectr.

"Lubri Disc"How to Oil a Bike Chain

Lubri Disc

Oiling the Chain

As you got the idea of how, when, how many times, and what lubricants to use on the bike’s chain, let’s move on to the oiling procedure. 

Tools you need

  • Sponge
  • Brush/toothbrush
  • Rags
  • Chain Lube
  • Degreaser (You can use, Finish Line, Park Tool, Molten Speed brands)
  • Screwdriver
"Rags" How to Oil a Bike Chain

Rags

"Finish Green Bicycle Oil"How to Oil a Bike Chain

Degreaser

Screwdriver

Screwdriver

Step-1: Clean the chain

You can separately clean the chain for oiling purposes or while cleaning the whole bike, clean the chain as well so that you can apply oil at the end. With a screwdriver, you can clean that had debris stacked on the chain’s small holes. After that, put some degreaser on a sponge and clean the chain.

Step-2: Let it dry

After cleaning the chain, rinse off the extra degreaser and swap a rag to soak the water. Then let the chain dry. It’ll take 30-40 minutes.

Step-3: Apply the oil

Now it’s time to apply lubricant. Apply whichever is suitable for your bike’s chain. Carefully put small drops of oil into each hole and part of the chain. But remember not to apply the oil on the top. The rule is to use on the sides of the chain.

Step-4: Remove the excess oil

There’s no need to put extra lubricant to the bike as it’ll not give you any additional benefit. Instead, excess oil can reach to other parts of the bike and attract more dirt there. That’s why after applying oil, wait for five minutes and wipe off excess oil with a dry rag. And check if other parts got oily or not, and if that happens, wipe out those parts as well.

Final Words

Try not to keep the chain without lubrication for a long time. Because it’s better to do maintenance before something gets damaged, the same goes for bike chains. The more you delay, the more it’ll get rusts and become more wobbling and may get spoiled completely, which will require a new replacement. Oiling and cleaning your bike regularly will ensure high performance and speed, and you won’t have to spend extra money on maintenance. That’s why make sure to clean and oil your bike’s chain routinely.

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