The Right Chain Lube For Your Bike
How to choose the right lube for every component.
- For most riding conditions, use a bicycle-specific Teflon-based oil, such as Park Tool CL-1 or Finish Line DRY Teflon Lube, to lubricate pivot points—any part that moves—on brakes, derailleurs, and chainlinks. Don’t forget springs and mechanisms.
- Use a lightweight machine or chain oil, such as those from Dumonde Tech or Pedro’s, between nipples and rim to make adjusting spokes and truing wheels easier; brake and derailleur cables to keep them moving smoothly; and brake and shift levers to ensure they function properly.
- Choose a chain lubricant specific to the conditions you ride in. Typically, wet lubes, such as White Lightning Wet Ride, work year-round, but attract more dirt in dry conditions. Dry lubes, such as Tri-Flow Superior Dry Lubricant, don’t hold as much grit and grime, but won’t last long in wet conditions.
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- Use a general-purpose, medium-weight grease on bearing systems (hubs and headsets) and large-thread bolts (pedal spindles and crankarms)—basically, on parts that require assembly and disassembly. Another use: on exposed areas to stop or prevent corrosion.
- Ceramic bearings, common on today’s high-end road bikes, produce less friction than steel ones, making them less likely to seize. For this reason, they require a lower-viscosity lubricant, such as Finish LineCeramic Grease.
- Metal parts that fit together and rarely move, such as a seatpost, stem, and frame, can cold-weld to each other, making disassembly nearly impossible. Coat these with anti-seize compound before joining them. Of all metal combos, the worst offender is titanium on titanium, threaded or not.
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