When it comes to your hybrid bicycle, you want nothing but the best. That’s why it’s so important to choose the best lubricant for a hybrid bicycle chain if yours has started to squeak, rust, or make noise. In this guide, we’ll introduce the different types of lubricants and help you decide which lubricant for a hybrid bicycle chain is best for you.
- 1 What is Bike Chain Lubricant?
- 2 Types of Bike Chain Lubricant
- 3 How to Choose the Best Bike Chain Lubricant for A Hybrid Bike: 4 Top Considerations
- 4 How Bicycle Chain Lubricant Works
- 5 Choosing the Best Lubricant for a Hybrid Bicycle Chain – the Smart Way!
What is Bike Chain Lubricant?
The bike chain is a moving piece, and it is vulnerable to rust, sticking, and corrosion just like any other part of your hybrid bike. As such, it needs routine maintenance, and bike chain lubricant plays a significant role in this process.
A simple solution commonly made of a base of Teflon, bike chain lubricants come in a handy squirt bottle and are designed to be applied directly to your bike’s chain. When correctly used, they help your chain resist grit and grime, last longer, and spin more efficiently.
Types of Bike Chain Lubricant
Before you can start lubing and maintaining your bike chain, you’ll want to understand the different types of bike chain lubricant out there. Here are a few of the most popular kinds of bike chain oil:
- Grime-Deterrent Lubricants. Grime-deterrent lubricants use wax as a base. They apply to the chain wet, where they dry into a waxy film that prevents dirt from getting into the grooves of your chain.
- Eco-Friendly Lubricants. While Teflon-based lubes are some of the most popular, people have raised questions about how friendly they are (or aren’t) to the environment. As a result, another breed of lubricants sprung up: eco-friendly lubricants. These lubricants rely on biodegradable vegetable oil and are non-toxic and environmentally-friendly. A good choice for bikers who want to ensure their chain oil doesn’t harm the environment when it rinses off onto streets, plants, or fauna; eco-friendly lubricants are rising in popularity.
- Teflon-Based Lubricants. Teflon-based lubricants come in wet and dry varieties, and are designed to lower friction, make pedaling easier, and reduce wear and tear on your chain and other moving parts.
Aside from these primary types of lubricants, there are also dry lubes and wet lubes. While dry lubes don’t attract dust and grime, they wear off quickly and need to be re-applied frequently. Wet chain lube, on the other hand, can make the drivetrain of your bike look like a dust bunny, but will last for more than 1,000 miles through adverse conditions.
How to Choose the Best Bike Chain Lubricant for A Hybrid Bike: 4 Top Considerations
While lubricant is essential for the proper function of your hybrid bike’s chain, the type you choose is entirely up to you. Here are a few things to consider as you set out to find the right chain lubricant for you:
- Consider The Type of Riding You Do
- Think About the Weather
- Evaluate Your Need for Speed
- Think About Your Skill Level
The first consideration in choosing the right chain lubricant is how far, long, and intensely you ride your hybrid bike. For example, if you’re an in-town rider who uses your bike to commute through the rain, snow, and sun, a wet, Teflon-based chain lube is likely the smartest decision.
Not only will the “wet” composition last longer on your chain, but the Teflon in the formula will discourage friction and make getting around town easier. If you don’t like the idea of debris sticking to your lubricant, use a de-greaser between applications to prevent drivetrain gunk.
If you routinely ride in wet, damp, or humid areas, you’ll need a lubricant that lasts a long time. A wet lubricant is ideal for this. If you live in a sunny, dry area though, you can look into dry lubricants, which are shorter-wearing and perfect for dry street riding.
To protect the environment, look for eco-friendly versions of wet and dry lubricants.
If one of your top priorities is speed, you’ll want to consider a wax lubricant. Applied with a rag or cloth, wax lubes dry on the bike’s chain, decrease dust and dirt attraction, and flake dirty wax off during use. Their biggest draw, though, is that they offer the most speed of any lubricant type, and are highly efficient at reducing friction in the drivetrain.
Keep in mind that, should you choose one of these lubricants, you’ll need to apply it regularly, you’ll also need to degrease the chain to clean the lube off completely.
Some lubricants (dry lubricants, specifically) are easier to apply than wax-based lubricants. Consider your bike maintenance skill level and how comfortable you are using bike chain lubricant as you shop for a brand you like. While it’s easy to learn to apply lubricant, it’s also important to ensure you purchase something you’re comfortable using.
How Bicycle Chain Lubricant Works
Now that you know a bit about the various types of chain lube, it’s time to think about how it works.
While you apply chain lubricant to the outer portions of the chain, it works on the interior part of the chain. By lubricating rollers, chain pins, and the inner and outer chain plates, lubricant helps reduce friction, discourage rust and debris buildup, and allow your chain to spin faster.
While some people believe that automotive lubricants are a good stand-in for bicycle lubricants, it’s important to remember that they’re significantly heavier than other brands of oils, and are not the most suitable option for use in hybrid bicycles.
For bike lube to work best, it should be applied frequently, adequately, and amply enough to coat all surfaces.
Choosing the Best Lubricant for a Hybrid Bicycle Chain – the Smart Way!
While choosing the best lubricant for a hybrid bicycle chain can feel intimidating, it’s as simple as considering factors like how you ride the bike and what you want to use. When you take these factors into account, it’s easy to purchase a lubricant you’ll apply quickly and easily, and which will protect your hybrid bike chain from damage!