Any seasoned cyclist knows the importance of lubricating their bicycles regularly and the difference a high-quality lubricant does for your bike chain. For that reason, this post will explore and answer an intriguing question that many cyclists ask- is WD-40 good for bike chains?
WD-40 is good for bike chains because it’s an excellent cleaner, anti-rust, degreaser, and light lubricant. It will clean your bike chain better than cleaning oils and provide light lubrication that’s best suited for dry conditions but not the best for wet areas as it won’t stay on for long.
You may have heard that WD-40 only works to remove water, make things super clean, and prevent rust, but it also gives the much-needed lubrication.
Without much fuss, let’s take a closer look at WD-40 in relation to your bike chain.
A Brief History Of WD-40
Before examining what WD-40 does for your bike chain, it’s only fair that you know a few things about WD-40. Rocket Chemical Company created WD-40 in 1953 and availed to masses in 1958.
WD-40 is a result of the company’s attempt to develop degreasers and solvents that would curb rust, taking them 40 tries to work out the formula. WD stands for Water Displacement, and its original formula is still a secret.
WD-40 is a blend of different hydrocarbons. This oil is a household name as it’s used by many for various purposes, including lubrication, cleaning, rust prevention, degreasing, and gun oil.
The manufacturer claims that you can use WD-40 for bike maintenance.
Is WD 40 Good For Cleaning Bike Chains?
WD-40 is excellent at getting rid of dirt, grime, and gunk from your bicycle chain. To make your dirty bike chain sparkling clean, spray WD-40 on it to degrease it, then use water and soap to wash it and apply lube afterward.
WD-40 offers a foaming wash and heavy-duty degreaser to cut grime, mud, and dirt. A regular bicycle chain oil doesn’t perform as well as WD-40 when it comes to cleaning bike chains, as it leaves the chains functioning and running much smoother and lightly lubricated.
WD-40 may seem undesirable for degreasing since more fluid, and lighter degreasers are preferred because they are quicker at penetrating and coating bike chains, derailleurs, and cogs.
However, the WD-40 Specialist bike degreaser clings to the gears, cogs, and chains to deeply penetrate and eliminate stubborn grime and grease from the movable surfaces.
It’s great for wheels, chains, pedals, plastic, aluminum, rubber, carbon fiber, and chrome. It’s safe for bicycle components and finishes when applied as directed by the manufacturer.
Is WD-40 Bike Chain Lube Good?
WD-40 offers WD-40 Specialist bike Chain lube in all conditions, dry, and wet forms, which are purposely made to provide long-lasting protection and lubrication to your bike chain. It offers impeccable lubrication properties, superior penetration, and anti-wear, and it’s ideal for off-road and street cycling.
The formula safeguards your bike chain from the effects of friction and helps prolong its lifespan. In addition, the no-wax formula won’t build up in the bike’s drivetrain and chain links.
Choosing the suitable lubricant for your riding conditions is vital because a single bike chain lube doesn’t work for all riding environments unless it’s an all-conditions bike lube.
Wet Bike Lube
Wet lube is excellent for wet conditions because, unlike dry bike lubricants, it won’t wash off when it comes in contact with water. Although it will slightly wash down, it will still lubricate and lower drivetrain noise.
Wet lube remains wet, so keep a rag with you to wipe off the excess lube. However, it tends to collect dust, debris, and dirt on the bike chain.
Dry Bike Lube
Riding in loose and dry conditions kicks up dirt, dust, and debris, which gets collected on the bike chain. Using wet lube in such conditions will only make the situation dire, so go for dry bike lube instead because it does not allow dirt to stick.
Once you apply dry lube on your bike chain, you don’t need to wait to dry up since the solvent will dry up and evaporate.
Avoid dry lube when riding in wet areas because it comes off quickly and washes away when you cycle in puddles or rain. The chain will not be well lubricated if the dry lubricant is washed away, leading to performance problems.
Is WD-40 Good For Rusty Bike Chains?
WD-40 is good for rusty bicycle chains because it has a unique formula that breaks down the bond between rust and chrome or metal for effective and easy removal. This is important because riding a bicycle with a rusty chain is challenging, requires more effort, and can damage the drivetrain.
Replacing a rusted bike chain may be your first thought but check if you can restore it first.
How To Remove Rust
You will need a clean cloth, wire brush, and WD-40 multi-use product then do the following:
- Spray WD-40 Multi-Use SMART STRAW SPRAYS 2 WAYS directly into the rusted bike chain. This product removes grime, gum, grease, super glue, gunk, sticker residue, tar, and sap, among other sticky stuff.
- Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
- Scrub rust using a wire brush.
- Remove the residue with a clean rag.
- Repeat the steps until you remove all the rust.
Once your bike chain is rust-free, lubricate it using WD-40 Specialist Bike Chain Lube to protect against wear, rust, corrosion, and water ingression.
How Do You Use WD-40 On A Bike Chain?
Follow the steps below to maintain your bike chain with WD-40.
1. Degrease The Bike Chain
You need to take out grease, gunk, and dirt from the bicycle chain. You could do so using elbow grease, water, and brush to scrub off the gunk, but scrubbing your chain can damage it.
WD-40 bike degreaser offers a simpler, quicker, and easier way to get rid of thick dirt and mud. Spray the degreaser and leave it for a while to be effective.
2. Scrub The Bike Chain
Once the degreaser has sat long enough, scrub the grime, dirt, and grease. Besides making it easy to remove gunk from your bicycle chain, the WD-40 degreaser protects it from getting damaged when scrubbing it.
3. Wash The Chain
After scrubbing your bike chain clean, wash it with clean water, a sponge, and soap. This will remove any remaining grease or dirt you may not have removed when scrubbing.
In addition, washing the bike chain removes the degreaser before applying the lubricant. Wash your bicycle chain and leave it in the sun to dry to make sure it is in top condition for lubrication.
4. Lubricate The Bike Chain
Your bike chain is clean and ready for lubrication. Depending on the riding conditions, you can use WD-40 dry lube, WD-40 dry lube, WD-40 all conditions lube.
While WD-40 is an excellent product, the market offers other high-quality bike chain lubes. For instance, Finish Line 1-Step Cleaner & Lubricant flushes out contaminants and old lube, lubricates your bike chains, and offers optimum protection against rust.
1. Is WD 40 Good For Road Bike Chains?
WD 40 is good for keeping your road bike chains clean, degreased, and protected from rust. It also offers light lubrication that will keep your bike chain working properly, and lasting longer in dry conditions.
2. Should You Use WD-40 On A Bike Chain?
Use WD-40 on your bike chain if you want to achieve the level of cleanliness you won’t get from a regular bicycle chain oil. It is also great at preventing rust, and it also lubricates your bike chain.
3. Is WD-40 Dry Lube Good For Bike Chains?
WD-40 dry lube is good for bicycle chains because it offers the lubrication your bike chain needs to function under dry conditions. It creates a dry film to safeguard the bike chain, repel dirt in dusty or arid conditions, prevent the damages of friction, and prolong the chain life.
4. Can I Use WD-40 On Bike Chain To Remove Rust?
You can use WD-40 to remove rust because it efficiently penetrates the porous rust layer breaking the metal surface and rust bond.
It won’t take too long to restore your bike chain, a job that will involve spraying WD-40 on your chain, letting it sit for 10 minutes, then scrape the rust with a brush until everything comes off, and finally lubricate the chain.
5. Does WD-40 Damage Bike Chain?
WD-40 doesn’t damage bike chains, so you can use it to clean, lubricate, or remove rust on your bicycle chain. It is better suited for dry conditions since it washes off easily when it comes in contact with water.
6. Can I Use Regular WD-40 On My Bike Chain?
You can use a regular WD-40 to clean, degrease, remove rust, and provide light lubrication to your bike chain. However, if you need lasting lubrication, go for WD-40 Specialist bike lube that comes in dry, all conditions, and wet forms.
In Conclusion, Is WD-40 Good For Bike Chain?
WD-40 is primarily a cleaner and does an excellent job of ensuring your bike chain is sparkling clean. However, it gives 8 to 12 hours of lubrication when used in dry conditions.
Hopefully, this post has given you vital information to help you maintain your bicycle using WD-40. Remember to keep WD-40 away from your bike’s rotor bearings, rim, caliper, hub, or brakes.