Each week during National Bike Month, we will offer tips for maintaining your bike.
Contrary to popular belief, you should never use WD-40 to lube your bike chain. Here’s why:
- WD-40 is actually mainly a solvent and water displacer, used to remove gunk and rust and get frozen parts moving again.
- It does have a light lubrication component, but it’s not sufficient for the heavy-duty needs of a bike chain.
- Applying WD-40 to your chain will actually remove any lube already there, leaving you with metal grinding on metal. You’ll be worse off than before.
- Once the WD-40 dries, it can actually cause more dirt and dust to stick to your chain.
Instead of WD-40, apply a bike-specific lubrication to your chain. These are formulated to handle the constant motion and dirt exposure that bike chains get, and are available at most bike shops.
Does WD-40 still have a place in your bike repair kit? Sure, when used in the situations it was designed for. And, as it turns out, the WD-40 company actually makes a specialized bicycle lubricant called WD-40® BIKE that can be used on your chain. Just don’t get it confused with the regular stuff.
by Corey McKrill