Chain lube: everyone has a favourite and everyone has a method on how to apply it. Keeping your chain lubed is one of the easiest things you can do at home to keep your bike running smoothly, but if you don't do it right it can end up doing more damage than it's worth; wearing parts out quicker than you would without lube. Today we'll tell you about the different types of lubes, how to apply them, and which are our favourites.
Dry Lube vs Wet Lube
Lube comes in two different varieties: dry and wet. Dry lube is typically a water-based wax lube that goes on as a liquid before drying into a waxy coating. Wet lube is oil-based, and stays wet when applied. It's best to have a bottle of each on hand, as different conditions require different lube.
For dry conditions, dry lube is preferable. Because it dries into a wax it doesn't absorb dust or debris, meaning your drivetrain runs smoother. The reason we only use dry lube in dry conditions is because it's water-based. In wet conditions, the wet weather and mud will wash the lube straight off your drivetrain.
Wet lube is at it's best in wet conditions. Being oil-based, it's resistant to water and mud, keeping your drivetrain lubed for longer when things get damp. We don't use it in dry conditions because it absorbs dust and debris, this increasing the rate at which your components wear.
How to Apply Chain Lube
Whether you use wet or dry lube, they're both applied the same. Start off by cleaning your drivetrain. We recommend Muc Off Chain Cleaner or Muc Off Drivetrain Degreaser. Spray some onto your drivetrain, and give everything a quick scrub with a brush before rinsing it with some water . Let it dry, and run your chain through a rag in your hand. Hold your bottle of chain lube just above the chain before rotating your pedals counter-clockwise to apply an even coating of lube to your chain. Once you've done a couple of rotations, put away the chain lube and run the chain through a rag again to clean off any excess lube.
If you're using wet lube, you're ready to ride now! If you're using dry lube, you're best off to let the chain sit for 10-15 minutes so the lube can dry. In wet conditions, we suggest fresh lube at the start of every ride, and with dry lube we suggest every 2-3 rides, or whenever you wash your bike - which ever comes first.
What we Suggest
Muc Off Dry Lube is our go-to. We ride it all through the summer and winter. We're lucky as our local trail centre stays pretty dry all year. When we do ride in the rain, or somewhere different that doesn't drain as well, we opt for Muc-Off Wet Lube.
We recommend having a wet and dry lube as above to keep everything running at its very best, but if you just want one lube, we suggest Rock n Roll Extreme. We find Muc Off's offerings to be more efficient and to run a little cleaner, but if you want something that's "set-and-forget", Rock n Roll is the lube for you.