Mountain biking is an invigorating form of exercise that can get your heart pumping and it is also simply enjoyable to be out in nature. But it can’t always be fun and to have the best time on the trail, you need to also focus on maintaining your mountain bike. One essential part of your bike is the chain, which powers you forward and keeps your wheels spinning. Yet a gear and its cogs can’t do their job if they aren’t maintained with the best mtb chain lube.
You should always keep your bike chain well lubricated because it can protect the metal from damage. A top rated mountain bike chain lube will make also make it easier to pedal because there is less resistance when everything runs smoothly. It also means that your chain will last longer and need to be replaced less frequently.
But if you are unfamiliar with bike chain lubricant, it may be difficult to determine what you need. Our article gives you everything you need to know to keep your chain in its best working order and provides you with ten quality products to choose from to keep you and your bike happy.
How To Choose A MTB Chain Lube – Buying Guide
Wet vs. Dry Lube
The best mtb chain lubes are not the same and there are actually two different formulas to suit different types of riding conditions. The two most common choices are wet or dry chain lube for mtb riders.
A wet lubricant can be used for all types of riding conditions but is essential for anyone who will be riding through wet weather or during the wintertime. A wet formula will be water resistant, which means that it can’t be rubbed off by rain, mud, water, or snow. It also means that the lubricant will remain wet on the chain, which makes it easier for particles to stick to the metal.
Wet lubricants, while the most versatile do require more maintenance. Even the best mountain bike chain lube with a wet formula won’t stay clean forever and this means that you’ll have to get rid of any built-up dirt or grime on your chain. Most wet lubes will last for about 100 miles of riding distance from one application.
An mtb chain lube for dry conditions is really only suited for use on dry trails. This means that you aren’t going to be crossing any rivers or going through muds and puddles. A dry chain lube for mtb bikes will apply wet, but dry on the chain. This means that dirt can’t stick to the lubricant and you won’t have to clean your chain as much. Most dry lubricants will last for 80 miles of riding distance from one application.
While each type of lube is suited for certain riding conditions, mtb chain lube reviews can help you find the best mountain bike chain lube for your needs. This gives you the chance to learn about real life applications of the products and how it performs for different riders.
Wet vs. Ceramic vs. Oil
Another difference between lubricants is whether it is a wax, ceramic, or oil-based formula. Wax lubricants will dry onto the chain so that they can better resist the build-up of dirt. But the downside is that they need to be reapplied more frequently.
Ceramic lubricants last longer and can be used in wet or dry conditions. This makes them more versatile, but the downside is that they can be expensive. For versatile riders, ceramic is the best option if you are switching between a large variety of riding terrain.
Finally, mountain bike chain oil-based lubricants are wet formulas. This means that a synthetic oil is the majority of the substance of the lubricant and it is easily applied for wet riding conditions. Oils may also be made non-toxic in small quantities for your safety.
Q: How Often Should I Lube My MTB Chain?
Even the best mtb chain lube will need to be reapplied and the general rule is to clean your chain and reapply a lubricant every 100-200 miles. Wet lubricants last for longer with most being suited for up use to 100 miles. But you can find some formulas that last for up to 200 miles, though ceramic is the most popular long-lasting type of chain lube. Dry lubricant formulas need to be reapplied more often and will generally last for 100 miles or slightly less.
Q: How Do I Lubricate My Mountain Bike Chain?
Before you can apply a lubricant, you need to thoroughly clean the chain and then apply the lubricant following the product instructions. A chain should always be cleaned to rid it of any grime, before you add lubricant. This stops unnecessary damage or friction from debris or dirt. But once the chain is cleaned, you can begin to apply the lubricant. The lubricant should come with application instructions, but in general, you simply need to turn your bike over so that it can pedal, and you can apply the lubricant to the chain while cranking the pedals. This makes it easy to lubricate the entire chain evenly.
Q: How Do I Know If My Bike Chain Needs Lube?
A bike chain needs to be lubricated whenever you feel that it begins to lag, makes noise, or is generally not running smoothly. Any times that your mountain bike tires seem like they’re harder to turn, your chain may need a touchup. But if you are ever riding through wet conditions, you should always re-apply the lubricant before your next ride. This is because the lube formulas can easily be worn off while you ride in the rain.
Q: How Long Does A MTB Chain Last?
Whether you’re got a men’s or women’s mountain bike, an MTB chain can last anywhere from 500 to 5,000 miles. The large range is based on the level and aggressiveness of your riding and the maintenance you perform between rides or during the off-season. A top rated mountain bike chain lube will help maintain your bike chain so that it lasts for longer.
However, the more frequently you ride will also affect how long your chain lasts. Riders who are heading out every day or multiple times a week will find that their chain does not last as long and will need to be replaced more frequently, even with using the best mountain bike chain lube for maintenance.
Casual or occasional riders won’t need to replace their chain as often and with proper maintenance using wet or dry chain lube for mtb bikes, you could use a chain for a couple years before it needs to be replaced.
While mountain bike lube helps protect your chain, it should always be replaced if there are any signs of excessive wear or damage to its links. This will ensure that you stay safe while riding and that your gears keep turning.
Globo Surf Overview
With the best mtb chain lube, a little will go a long way. And that’s not only with the amount of lubricant you need, but the life of your chain too. All mountain bikes, whether they’re beginner mountain bikes or used by pros need a good lubricant. By properly applying and maintaining lube, you won’t only ensure that you have a great ride, you’ll also protect your bike from harsh trail elements. With stronger protection, your chain will keep doing the hard work for you and powering you to new places.
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Do you use one of the mountain bike chain oils that made it onto our list? Let us know which bike chain lubricant your favorite is in the comments section below.