How to choose the right lubricant for your bike chain?

Kodiak ST mountain ebike

Do you really not care about the lifespan of your bicycle? Still racking your brains over how to maintain it?

A bicycle, worth several hundred or even thousands of dollars, is no small investment. Therefore, proper bike maintenance becomes crucial. One aspect that cannot be overlooked is the care of the bicycle chain. Among these, the most critical is lubricating the chain regularly, applying oil to reduce friction, prevent rust, minimize noise, enhance riding efficiency, and prolong the overall lifespan. This article will delve into the importance of bicycle chain lubrication, the types of lubricants available, and other key points for daily bike maintenance!


1. Introduction to Bicycle Chain Lubrication:

The chain is the most important accessory that allows your bike to rotate forward, and as the chain is constantly rubbing against the cogwheel, it is important to add the correct chain oil to increase the smoothness of its use.
The chain, flywheel and big disk are called the transmission system of a chain bike, the chain rotates the gear disk to drive the rear wheel to move forward, regular oiling can reduce the noise, reduce the friction brought about by the loss, and also reduce the possibility of chain breakage.


2. The significance of lubrication for chain:

The wear failure and glue failure of chain are related to lubrication. If you can get timely and correct lubrication, the chain drive can generally work well for a long time. Good lubrication can make the second stage of chain wear greatly prolonged, the third stage is greatly postponed, so as to prolong the service life of the chain and can obtain obvious economic benefits. Experience has shown that proper lubrication can significantly extend chain life up to 100 times. Even if the chain life is acceptable, lack of proper lubrication can cause other problems. If lubrication is inadequate, different nodes wear differently from one another, causing erratic chain action. Inadequate lubrication also increases friction and energy consumption and produces a harmful temperature rise.


3. Types of bicycle chain lubricants:

Bicycle chain basically will not use motorcycle oil, needle car oil, etc., mainly because of the limited lubrication effect of these oils on the chain, and viscous, it is easy to stick a lot of mud and sand, and even splash everywhere, it is not a good choice for bicycles. It is suggested that you can buy the special chain oil for bicycles, basically the dry and wet styles can meet the daily riding needs.


Dry Chain Oil

Dry chain oil can be used in dry environment, and because it is dry, it is not easy to stick mud and sand, and easy to clean; the disadvantage is that it is easy to evaporate, so it needs to be oiled more often.

Wet Chain Oil

Wet chain oil can be used in humid environment, suitable for routes with water and rain. Wet chain oil is more viscous and can be attached for a long time, suitable for long-distance traveling; the disadvantage is that the viscous property makes it easy to stick to mud and sand, which requires more careful maintenance.

full suspension fat tire mountain e-bike

4. How to lubricate the bicycle chain correctly:

Clean the chain

Using lubricant directly on a dirty chain will not only not provide lubrication, but will also attract more dust to the chain, which will lead to faster chain wear. It will also lead to more oil and dirt on the guide wheel. That's why it's important to clean your chain before putting on the lube. If your chain looks fairly clean, you should try to quickly wipe off any dirt and grime or excess fluid from the chain with a rag first.

Method of oiling

The general method of oil application is split into drop or spray, but the location of oiling is the same. Secure the bike with a side stand, display stand or against a wall. Turn the pedals backward to drive the chain and spray spray-type chain oil onto the chain at the same time; while the drip-type chain oil is dripped onto each eye of the chain, and the pedals can also be utilized to turn the pedals backward to evenly oil the chain. Utilize the transmission to change to each gear to lubricate each lug.
After oiling, you should wait about 10 minutes to allow the lubricant to get inside the chain better. Then wipe off the excess lubricant with a clean rag.


5. Conclusion:

To summarize, the chain is the part that provides the forward power of the bicycle, and at the same time, it is also the part that rubs most fiercely against the tooth disc and flywheel during the riding process. Regularly adding lubricant can reduce the resistance of friction and noise, and at the same time, it will protect the chain, the tooth disc and the flywheel, and prolong the service life. For the bike as a whole, the moving parts of the bike are not only the chain, but also the wrist set, center shaft and other parts that need to be lubricated, and more importantly, the grease needs to be replaced regularly, such as the hydraulic fork and hydraulic disc brake. Of course, it is also applicable to fat tire mountain e-bike.We'll delve further into this in a follow-up article!

step through e-bike chain


6. Other tips for bike maintenance:

Check the flywheel and large gear disk: if after renewing the chain, if the flywheel will have skipped teeth, then renew the flywheel, if the teeth of the large gear disk wear a lot and produce chain jamming, it should be replaced as well, check the fixing screws of the large gear disk, if they are loose, then they have to be re-locked.
Check the rim: check the air nozzle hole and steel wire hole near, whether there is a slight crack, if there is a crack, then replace the rim as soon as possible, lift the wheel, rotate the wheel, observe whether the rim will be rubbed to the brake skin, if it will be, then you must re-adjust the rim.
Check the steel wire: check whether the steel wire of the front and rear wheels are broken, if so, then replace them, replace the steel wire and then re-adjust the wheel rims, when adjusting the wheel rims, observe the direction of the wheel rims deflection, such as the right side of the wheel rims near the right side of the steel wire relaxation, the left side of the locking, to the left side of the wheel rims are the opposite of the left side of the wheel rims left and right deflection amplitude should be less than 2mm.