How well does WD-40 work as a bike chain lube? The answer to this question is complicated and depends on the type of bike you have, how often you ride, and what kind of weather conditions you usually ride in. That being said, many people successfully use it for this purpose.
This article explains everything that is known about WD-40 as a bike chain lubricant. We’ll cover the benefits and drawbacks of using it, which types of bikes can benefit from its use, and the steps involved in applying it to your bicycle’s chain.
Can You Use wd40 on Bike Chain?
Yes, you can use WD-40 on a bike chain as it provides excellent protection against rust, corrosion of metal surfaces by displacing moisture that would otherwise cause them to corrode from exposure.
However, using it as a bike chain lubricant is another story altogether since lubricating isn’t the main purpose of WD-40. As such, it does not work well as some other bike lubricant. To give you a clearer picture, you first have to understand what it is and why it was created.
What is WD-40?
WD-40 (Water Displacement formula experiment # 40) is a silicon lubricant created by the Rocket Chemical Company in 1953. This product’s primary purpose was to protect metal parts from corrosion caused when they come into contact with water, such as rain or sea spray, and remain wet for an extended period without being properly dried off and then lubricated.
When is it best to use WD-40 on a bike chain?
With the definition of WD-40 in mind, you can see that lubricating a bike chain isn’t the priority. If you do end up using it as a lubricant, you’ll quickly realize that it only lasts 8-12 hours. So for prolonged usage, WD-40 isn’t the best solution to use for lubricating.
If you factor in the costs, an 18 ounce WD-40 costs you close to 10 bucks, and you’ll need to keep reapplying it far more often. In contrast, a proper bike chain lube will cost you around the same amount of money and last much longer. And they won’t require as frequent lubrication as you would need for the WD40.
As such, we recommend that you use WD-40 mostly when you need to clean your bike chain before lubricating it. WD-40 can also be used as a degreaser and will remove any dirt, grime, or grease that’s on the surface of your chain and derailleurs. You can also use WD-40 during the rainy or winter seasons as it provides great rust protection.
Why shouldn’t you use WD-40 to lubricate your bike chain?
1. WD-40 is a water-displacing solution, not a chain lubricant.
2. WD-40 can’t penetrate the metal surfaces of your bike’s chain and gears to provide long-lasting protection.
3. The oil in WD-40 will attract dirt and dust particles which will clog up the inside of your drivetrain.
4. You’ll need to reapply it more often than you would if you used a good chain lube designed for bikes.
How to use WD-40 on a Bike Chain?
1. Apply WD-40 to the bike chain.
2. Wipe off excess with a rag or paper towel.
3. Let it sit for 10 minutes before wiping it off again.
4. Lubricate the chain with bike chain lube.