Everything You Need To Know About Lubing Your Bike Chain

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Em Gatland
Em Gatland

An often overlooked essential of mountain biking is chain lube. Riders either forget to lube entirely or apply too much. A lack of lubricant increases chain wear, that’s why it’s essential to lube your chain often. This is particularly so if you’re training for a race. Coming soon on the Old Mutual Wild Series calendar is the iMfolozi Challenge – and even though that’s only a 50km ride, your chain needs to be greased for success.

“On stage events like the joBerg2c, if you’ve taken a mechanics package, then the mechanics will have already lubricated your chain before the start of each day,” says Mohammed Haffejee of Bobby’s Cycles. “If you haven’t, then just apply some yourself.”

As a rule, so you don’t “over grease”, Haffejee says applying lube while doing one revolution of the chain is more than ample for a day’s riding.

On long training days, or during events, he also advises carrying a small bottle of lube. “One application is fine for shorter ride, but on long rides it’s helpful to reapply. If you go through a river or water crossing then I would reapply once the chain is dry, because the lube can come off in the water.”

Haffejee’s lube of choice is dry lube, which is wax based and doesn’t gather as much dirt as wet lube. “I would say 80 percent of riders are using dry lube. For me, it’s the way to go. It keeps the water out, where wet lube just attracts dust and makes the chain black and grimy.”

Two lekker lubes


One of the most popular in South Africa, Squirt is a wax based, long lasting dry lube that does not contain harmful solvents, is 100 percent biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Squirt was developed to lubricate over longer distances and keep the chain clean, for both mountain biking and road cycling.

Finish Line

Finish Line’s DRY Lube goes on wet and sets up with a dry ‘wax-like’ synthetic film that helps keep your chain clean by not absorbing excessive amounts grit, grime, or dust. Thanks to the added Teflon® fluoropolymer, Finish Line’s DRY Lube minimises pedalling friction, repels moisture, and withstands rides up to 160km.

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