Best Bike Chain Lubes: Help Your Bike Run Smooth

You need the right lubricant to keep your bicycle chain moving smoothly

Best Overall

Finish Line 1-Step Bicycle Chain Cleaner u0026amp; Lubricant

Best Value

Tri-Flow TF21010 Superior Lubricant

Honorable Mention

WD-40 BIKE: All-Conditions Lube

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

If you ride your bicycle consistently, then you need to care for its chain. If you don’t, it can wear away faster and reduce the performance of your bicycle. You should find a bike chain lube that can protect against water and dirt. Here are some options to consider for your bike.

Benefits of Bike Chain Lubricants

  • Extend the chain life. The main problem of moving parts is friction. Friction can quickly wear down the bike chain if not attended to regularly. Regular maintenance using lubricants can extend the chain life by 2-4 times, which will save you money.
  • Stop the annoying noise. A dry chain is accompanied by a squeaky and jangling noise, which can be annoying. Applying a lubricant reduces the noise or stops it entirely, so you get a peaceful ride on your evening strolls around the neighborhood.
  • Protection from the environment. Silt, mud, and sand are powerful agents of friction and wear. Applying the right lubricant forms an anti-friction layer. This reduces the effects of wear and tear, which in turn increases the life of the chain. 
  • Energy conservation. Riding a bicycle bogged down with rust is like climbing a hill with a heavy load on your back. With a lubricated chain, your bike is as good as new. You can ride comfortably without exhausting yourself.
  • Better shifting. Shifting is a key factor for great performance in a bicycle. Your efficiency is affected if your shifting is bad. If you notice this, the bike is sending you a warning that you need to lubricate the chain.

Types of Bike Chain Lubes


If you love riding a lot and aren’t bothered by the wet weather outside, this might be your ideal lubricant. This type of lubricant is designed to withstand damp conditions like snow, rain, and slush. It’s applied as a liquid and does not change the state. It’s very thick to protect your bike from extreme conditions.


This type of lubricant works by preventing solid debris like dirt, soil, and debris from damaging the chain. It leaves behind a wax-like deposit on the chain. It’s in a liquid state during the application, but it evaporates after some time, leaving behind a lubricating element. The only drawback is that it easily washes away in wet conditions, so you have to reapply it occasionally.


This lubricant lies in between dry and wet lubricants. It offers a high performance by creating a low friction medium on the chain. The chemical formulas also ensure that it’s not affected by weather conditions like rain or snow. They are easy to maintain and offer good performance for the chain.

Top Brands


This is an American-based company with offices in Canada as well. The company is known for manufacturing lubricants, degreasers, and greasers that are preferred by bikers all over the world. The company prides itself on formulating performance chain lubes such as the Tri-Flow TF21010 Superior Lubricant and the Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant – 4oz Aerosol.

Finish Line

Driven by the desire to create advanced bicycle lubricants to enhance performance, Henry Hank Krause founded this company in 1988. Soon after launching its first product onto the market, the company began exploring the best-performing lubricants from different countries. They incorporated these ideas to come up with stellar lubricants that are built for performance. Some of these include the Finish Line E-Bike Chain Lube, 4 oz and the Finish Line 1-Step Bicycle Chain Cleaner & Lubricant.


Innovation is the weapon for the DuPont company to create bike chain lubes that focus on sustainability. The company dates back to 1950 when its founders researched friction-resistant lubricants for bike chains. The company is the manufacturer of the DuPont Teflon Chain-Saver Dry Self-Cleaning Lubricant and the DuPont 4oz Dry Self-Cleaning Lubricant

Bike Chain Lube Pricing

  • $8-$40:  Dry bike chain lubricants that lie in this category are some of the cheapest bike chain lubes. They register high performance and are not sticky, hence do not attract dirt. The pricier ones have unique features aimed at prolonging the life of your bicycle chain.
  • $8-$90: Wet bike chain lubricants add more efficiency by reducing wear and tear a great deal. That’s why they are the most expensive bike chain lubes. However, their pricing is different across a wide range of companies, as they use different chemical combinations.
  • $10-$75: Ceramic lubricants are also known as the next generation dry lube but a better one. These lubricants penetrate the chains very well to reduce chain noise and allow the bike to shift perfectly. They are not that common, though, since they require intricate chemical engineering. Plus, they are more expensive than other types of lube.

Key Features


How you apply the lubricant to the chain determines how long it will take and how easy the process will be. Lubricants don’t have a universal method of application. Some use a pad or brush that you must buy separately for application. Others come in spray bottles, while others come in drip bottles. Before you make a purchase, choose the applicator that you think will work best for you.

Reapplication Time

How long do you think you should wait before reapplication? Some riders do it every two weeks, while others will take six months. Some lubricants are good enough to serve your bike chain for many months. However, in some cases, it depends on how you use your bicycle. If you bike in harsh conditions often, you will need to reapply lube more often.  

Other Considerations

  • Dirty Conditions. Bikers who ride in dirty conditions will need to apply lube more frequently to maintain the efficiency of their bicycles. A dirty environment allows the chain to attract dirt, which destroys the chain faster. The lubricants you choose should be self-cleaning to prevent the accumulation of dirt.
  • Eco-Friendly. Most lubricants use petroleum, which you may not like if you’re into environmental conservation. There are many options you can choose that use biodegradable vegetable oil but are not super-slippery.
  • Long Distance. When going on a long-distance ride, you tend to meet a lot of elements like soil that may get attached to the chains. Wet lubricant does magic here. Although it may attract more dirt in the process, a degreaser will do the trick of cleaning it.

Best Bike Chain Lube Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall

Finish Line 1-Step Bicycle Chain Cleaner u0026amp; Lubricant

Best Value

Tri-Flow TF21010 Superior Lubricant

u003cstrongu003eHonorable Mentionu003c/strongu003e

u003cstrongu003eWD-40 BIKE: All-Conditions Lubeu003c/strongu003e

Honorable Mention

White Lightning Epic Ride All Conditions Light Bicycle Lube

Honorable Mention

DuPont Teflon Chain-Saver Dry Self-Cleaning Lubricant

Honorable Mention

Rock N Roll Extreme Lube

Honorable Mention

Bike Medicine Purple Extreme Performance Synthetic Chain Lubricant

Honorable Mention

Boeshield T-9 Aerosol Can

Honorable Mention

Dumonde Tech Pro-X Regular Bicycle Chain Lubricant

Honorable Mention

Lilly Lube Premium Chain Lube


  • Think about the environment that you plan to ride in. You need to choose between “wet” and “dry” lubricants. Dry lubricants have a thinner consistency to make them perform better in dry climates. Wet lubricants are thicker to protect against the increased moisture. A third option is to buy an all-purpose lubricant that will give you protection in both types of climates. 
  • Lubricants come in both a spray and solid form. The spray versions are easier to work with, as you point and spray to apply them. The solid form will have a harder time getting into the hard-to-reach places. 
  • You will see some products called lubricant and others called wax. While the formulations are different, they both protect your chain. The one you choose is purely based on your preferences. One isn’t inherently better than the other.


Q: Why do I need to lubricate my chain? 

A: Your bicycle chain is made up of several metal pieces linked together. The lubricant helps the links move against each other without creating friction or wear. Without the lubricant, you’ll notice that the links in your chain start to wear down and rust. 

Q: How do I lubricate my chain?

A:  To care for your chain, brush the links with a firm brush to remove the loose dirt. Apply the lubricant along the entire length of the chain. Allow it to soak into the links. Then use a cloth to wipe off any excess lubricant. Leaving too much lubricant on the links can cause more dirt buildup. 

Q: How do I know I need to lubricate my chain?

A: You should inspect your chain on a regular basis. Look at each link in the chain for dirt buildup, rust, or tight links. Another sign to look for is squeaking coming from your chain while riding the bike. If any of these conditions happen, then it’s time to care for your bike chain. 

Final Thoughts

The Finish Line Dry Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube is one of the best chain lubricants for preventing buildup and dirt from gathering on the chain. 

For a more budget-friendly option, the White Lightning Epic Ride is an excellent option.


Andra DelMonico has dedicated her writing career to sharing her passion for cars and motorcycles. She has 15 years of experience owning, riding, and working on both sportbikes and cruisers, at one point rebuilding her Kawasaki ZX14. She also has a fully modified Toyota XRunner. As a young girl, she would routinely attend classic and high-end car shows with her father, who she credits with instilling her passion for automobiles. As a writer, Andra has utilized her knowledge and passion to write compelling and detailed content for a wide variety of automotive and motorcycle industry clients.