Why WD-40 is Bad for Your Bike Chain
Using WD-40 as a chain lube can actually damage your chain.
- 00:12 - The product actually began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and de-greaser to protect missile parts.
Near the end of last week’s tutorial, I mentioned that WD-40 should never be used as a chain lubricant. Quite a few people wanted to know what I meant by that. Here’s an explanation.
WD-40 was developed by the military in the 50s as a rust preventative solvent and de-greaser to protect missile parts. It quickly became a household item when people discovered it had thousands of other uses as a cleaner, rust-prevention agent, squeak-stopper and more. It also works wonders as a light lubricant on small items like hinges, locks, and toys.
Bicycle chains, on the other hand, are far too heavy and fast-moving for the lubricating power of WD-40 to have any effect at all. As a matter of fact, WD-40 will actually strip away any existing lubricant and leave your drivetrain dry – metal on metal. Basically, spraying this stuff on your chain is worse than using no lubricant at all!
Obviously, I strongly recommend using chain oil purchased from your local bike shop. Just go down there and ask them for regular waterproof chain oil. It shouldn’t be any more than 10 or 12 bucks, and it’s the best thing you can buy for your bike. My personal favorite is Cross Country, but if you want the Caviar, you can get quality oils from companies like Phil Wood. We’ll talk more about lubricants later…
- Jim Langley: Cleaning Your Drivetrain
- Sheldon Brown: Chain Maintenance
- Bicycle Torque Specifications
- Finish Line Wet Chain Lube (Cross Country)
- Phil Wood Tenacious Oil
- Boeshield T-9 Wax Lubricant
- Park Tool WTK-2 Essential Tool Kit
- Park Tool SK-3 Starter Mechanic Tool Kit
- Park Tool PK-3 Professional Tool Kit
Discuss this topic in the Lubrication Forums
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There is a product used in major tool rooms I have been in as an engineer for 34 years. It is called Kroil. I think you would have to get it off the web though, but believe me it is the BEST I have seen..... Penetrating-Lubricating Oils Loosens Frozen Metal Parts! ... Nothing Works Like Kroil Kroil - An industry proven penetrating oil that has no equal. Used by 480 of the Fortune 500 companies! ...Read more
Has anyone had any luck with homemade chain oil? im looking for some recipes, a lot include motor oil and mineral spirits any good?...Read more
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My bike is fitted with Shimano BRIM 70 roller brakes. After about 2 1/2 years the rear brake has started to squeal. So I left the bike into a LBS for maintenance. I then proceeded to do some research on the brake and discovered that you should use a special shimano grease for these brakes. I contacted LBS and they said they had already used high temperature copper grease which would be just as go...Read more
Hello Alex, I was just cleaning my bearing balls and I realized that I don't have waterproof grease in handy, so can I use Vaseline (pure petroleum jelly) instead for now until I get a waterproof grease? Thank you, Ghaleb...Read more
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Hello, I'm wanting to switch to a different grease in my grease gun. So I assume I'll need to clean the gun. How would I go about doing this? I'm switching from Finish Line mulit-purpose teflon grease to Rock n' Roll Red Devil to re-grease my DMR V8 pedals. The only thing I have as a degreaser is WD40, if I was to say, blast it with WD40 then thoroughly rinse it with hot water, would that be ok...Read more
Hi guys, Does anyone know of any place in the UK that sells Super Lube Multi-Purpose Grease as shown in Alex's How to Choose the Right Lubricants video? Or any place in the US that will ship it to the UK (relatively cheaply!) I particularly want the tub rather than the tube. Or if not, are there any greases available in the UK that are just as good as this or similar? Cheers kindly...Read more
Hi all! I just bought a cute little buttercup yellow Schwinn Breeze today. I put new tires on it and need to do some cleaning of the chain and gear hub and other bits. But the gears are pretty sticky and I'm not sure what's best to use... also noticed that there is a little capped hole in the hub and I'm wondering if I need to put something in there??? Thanks, BG...Read more