TL;DR – In a hurry and just want to know what is the best mountain bike chain lube? I recommend the as your best option. The five top mountain bike chain lube products available are (in my opinion):
- Finish Line Dry Bicycle Chain Lube with Teflon - 4oz Squeeze Bottle
- Boeshield T-9 Bicycle Chain Waterproof Lubricant and Rust Protection, 4 oz Liquid, Original Version (122183)
- Rock N Roll 135816 Gold Chain Lubricant, 4-Ounce (2-Pack)
- Finish Line Ceramic WET Bicycle Chain Lube, 4-Ounce Drip Squeeze Bottle
- White Lightning Clean Ride The Original Self-Cleaning Wax Bicycle Chain Lubricant
Are you tired of dirt particles being stuck in your chain, or the chain has too much resistance when shifting gears? With the right lube that can become a worry of the past and you can focus on making the best of the outdoor grind.
Spending less time worrying about the chain also means more effort and time in your performance.
Mountain Bikes have become more expensive over time and having a good lube is important to keep the chain running effectively and smoothly. If the chain is lubricated, it will run with less resistance, making it easier to shift between gears.
The lube also keeps out many of these dirt particles, leaving the bike chain a little cleaner.
It is no secret that almost any biking brand has their own type of lube that they recommend and this can make the average consumer a little confused.
Fortunately, we have stepped up to the plate and put in a little extra time and legwork to find the best lube for mountain bikes.
The Best Chain Lube On The Market Today
Before diving into all the intricate features on how to select the lube and what makes a lube great, we have focused on discussing the top lube options currently on the market today. If you don’t have any real knowledge of selection, don’t worry.
Here is our selection for the 5 best lube options on the market today.
Finish Line DRY Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube
The lube is perfect for repelling moisture from the chain and this could help to protect the bike from things like rust. After testing it, we found that it should ideally last a rider up to 100-miles, but you do need to take into account the environment.
If the chain takes a beating from the elements like rain, it might require application more often.
It is worth mentioning that the lube is not only designed for your chain. The derailleurs and the shifters can quickly be coated as well and the lube has a proven reputation for penetrating the chain brushings. Since it dries out much faster into a wax-like substance, it does not really absorb or retain some of the dirt that wetter lubes do.
As we have mentioned, the lube might need to be reapplied more often if you do take on dirt roads and the elements pound your bike. This might cause grime and dirt to get stuck and the coating needs to be reapplied.
Fortunately, it is also really affordable and you can easily find it in bulk to have some as a backup for your bikes.
- Dry wax-like design
- Keeps out most dirt and grime particle
- Keeps the chain from potential rust
- Lasts up to 100-miles
- Might attract dirt particles in off-road conditions
Boeshield T-9 Bicycle Chain Lube
Additionally, the lube also protects the metals parts and the chains from potential rust.
The lube also worked well on one of our older and rusted bicycles. Since it is strong, it can help to fight the rust build up and this will loosen some of these parts to make them active once again.
It thins out into a wax-like substance that will penetrate all your moving parts and you don’t need to worry about applying too much of it.
Another benefit is that the lube does not only need to be used on your bicycles. It can be used on automotive parts as well. However, we do recommend talking to your car manufacturer before simply applying it.
According to the manufacturer, one application should ideally last a rider up to 300-miles in all conditions.
As for the price, it is a little expensive and since it only comes in the smaller 4-ounce bottle, you might need to dole out a couple of bucks to fully stock up on the supply. Nevertheless, it is still one of the top options that we recommend for users on bicycles and any other mechanical machinery you have that needs lubrication.
- Versatile for use on most mechanical parts
- Waterproof and rust protection
- Loosens rusty parts on older bikes
- Last up to 300-miles
- A little expensive
Rock N Roll 135816 Gold Chain Lubricant
The lube is also not designed for your chain only, and it can be used for shifters and derailleurs as well as many other mechanical moving parts on other machinery. It is worth noting that the lube also has a legendary reputation for keeping the chain smooth and quiet at all times. Additionally, it could clean the chain as well.
The price is a little expensive, but once again, you should have a look at the technology that has been incorporated. This lube should last you many miles and the bike will not need a frequent reapplication that could be costly. We do recommend this as one of the best options and it is also a favorite for many pro cyclists.
- All-purpose lubricant
- Cleans the bike as well
- Quiet results on the chain
- Long lasting reputation
- A little expensive
Finish Line Ceramic WET Bicycle Chain Lube
The nano-sized platelets of boron nitride are one of the best ingredients and this combines well with the macron particles and fluoropolymer to create a protective coating while penetrating deep into the moving parts.
The lube also does not contain any hazardous substances that could be harmful when ingested. Since it is biodegradable, it will last a little longer than most oil-based products as well.
The lube has been tested to be fully waterproof and can be used for almost any type of bike. Even the cyclocross riders could enjoy using it.
The price is reasonable when you take into account all the technology that has gone into this lube. However, it does get a little expensive when you start looking at the 32-ounce bottle.
According to Finish Line, the lube should also last most cyclists around 175-miles, with some reports even suggesting that it could last longer.
- Easy application process
- Lasts up to 175-miles
- Coats and protects the chain from water damages like rust
- Ideal for all types of cycling sports
- A little expensive for the 32-ounce bottle
White Lightning Clean Ride Original Self-Cleaning Wax
Since it also turns into a wax after a while, the lubricant does not really attract any real dirt particles and will keep moving parts going.
What I like about this wax is that you can never apply too much of it. If you do apply too much of it, the excess wax will flake off while you are riding. This should deter any problems that may arise from wax substances that stick around a chain. The wax also keeps the chain dry and will repel any potential rust that may build up.
Since the bottle is available in 8-ounces, it is a little more affordable than many people would think. The tech features are definitely good, but the substance might not be free of hazards and on the bottle, it does mention being highly flammable. However, we would still recommend it for the serious competitors among us.
- Dry formula
- Waterproof with rust protection
- Reasonably priced
- Excess wax will flake off
- The bottle makes application a little tricky
- Self-cleaning, wax-based lubricant for bicycle chains, derailleurs, and cables
- Sets up as dry wax finish, shedding dirt and grime while you ride and helping keep your bike running smoothly
- Small particles of outer wax structure flake off, taking dirt, grime or grit with it, which begins cycle of "self-cleaning"
- No oily film to attract abrasive contaminants, so chain and gears perform better and last up to three times longer
- U.S. patents 5,472,625; 5,670,463; 5,885,947; and 5898022
Which Lube Is Would I Choose? My Personal Recommendation
From all of these lubricants, it is actually hard to choose the one that definitively stands out as being the best choice for chain lube. Finish line has an excellent reputation and their lube is fair easy to use, yielding some top quality results. However, there is a reason that the Rock N Roll 135816 Gold Chain Lubricant is regarded as the gold standard and it certainly does do everything you expect with no real cons. I recommend it as my number one pick between the all the lube options.
Key Features To Consider When Choosing The Best Lubricant For Mountain Bikes
There are many more lubricants available, but these are what we have tested and see to be the very best on the market. However, you might not agree and if you want a different lube, you can use this buyer’s guide for your reference.
Here are the most important things and features you need to look for when selecting a lube:
Type of Lube
In general, there are three types of lubricants that you need to choose from and each of them comes with their own set of benefits. When looking for the right mountain bike lube for your needs, you will need to decide between one of these, here is a short breakdown of each lubricant type to help make your decision easier:
- Wet Lube: Wet lube is probably the most common and works well on older and rusted bike chains. It can penetrate the parts and eventually help to clear some of the rust. If you are riding in wet or winter conditions, it will also be best for repelling the moisture. Additionally, it does a better job at coating the parts to prevent any rust from appearing.
- Dry Lube: Dry lube is much better for warm and dry conditions and it dries out to leave a wax that only lubricates the chains. The lube also does not attract dry dirt particles as easily, meaning you won’t have any chain snags. However, you might need to apply the lube a little more often, with pros suggesting every 80 or so miles.
- Ceramic Lube: The Ceramic Lube is considered to be the best of both worlds and it does not attract as much dirt. However, it also repels moisture to ensure the chain is not rusted. However, these lubricants tend to be a little more expensive as well.
How Long It Will Last
Constantly spending money on your lube will eventually burn a hole in your pocket and you might need to look for something that does last a little longer. Fortunately, most brands do indicate the mileage on the bottle and this can be a good deciding factor. Any lube that will last you around a 100-miles or more should do.
The Bike Itself
Lastly, you will need to look at the bike itself. Since any instruction manual will tell you to only apply the lube on a clean chain, it is not always possible if the chain has already been standing.
A rusted chain might require a wet lube to help loosen the parts and make it possible for you to actually scrape off some of the rust.
Additionally, a brand new bike used in dry conditions will be fine with a dry lubricant. However, you should also read the instructions and it is best to apply the lube when the chain is clean.
A simple wash has never done bike harm before applying the waterproof solvent that will keep it in the best possible condition.
Chain lubricant is not something everyone keeps in mind and many people believe that it is only if you ride professionally. However, these lubricants are so affordable and they can even help your chain last longer.
If you plan to save a little money in the long run, these lubricants should all be part of your cycling equipment. Let us know which lubricants you have used or consider the best.
We would also like to encourage you to let us know if we might have missed any of your favorites. I hope that this has changed your perspective on not using lubricants for your bike chain.