Every mountain bike requires maintenance to different parts of the components from time to time, and the chain of the mountain bike is no exception. In fact, the chain is an essential part to maintain because it is part of the drive train that transfers energy from your legs to the wheels so you can get busy getting lost in the great outdoors. The most common way to maintain a mountain bike chain is through the regular use of bicycle lubricant specifically designed for the chain. But with the wide variety of bicycle lubricants you can purchase or browse through in today’s bicycle accessory and supply market, you may find yourself having a tough time choosing exactly which bike lube is best for your mountain bike chain. Some of the options you may have to choose between are whether to go with an aerosol lube or a drip lube. Alternatively, you might have to choose between a wax lube, a wet lube, or a dry lube. This article will discuss some considerations for you to keep in mind when next you find yourself in the market for the best bike lubricant for your mountain bike chain.
Perhaps the first decision you have to make is if you are interested in aerosol bike lube or drip bike lube. You will have to choose between the two as methods of applying lubrication to your mountain bike chain. The drip application is generally preferred by mountain bikers over the aerosol format because you will have an easier time directly applying to lube to the parts of the chain that need it. When you use the aerosol spray lube, it is liable to land on other parts of your bike which will make those parts more prone to collecting grime and dust while you ride up and down trails.
Once you have decided between bike lubes that are distributed in aerosol formats and lubes that are distributed in drip formats, your next decision will involve choosing between wet lubes, dry lubes, and wax chain lubricants. Your decision should be guided by the conditions in which you predominantly ride. Each of the three types of bike lubes will be discussed below so you can gain an idea of which will work best in particular riding conditions.
The first kind of lube to consider are wet lubes. Wet lubes are designed to go on your bike chain in wet condition and remain wet when they are applied. A wet mountain bike chain lube is the optimal kind of lube if you intend to ride in wintry, muddy, or wet riding conditions. Similarly, you will want to consider this kind of lube if you plan to cross lots of streams or ponds while riding. The advantages of wet lubes are that they will not wash off your bike when they become wet and you will typically not need to apply them quite as often as wax lubricants or dry lubricants if you plan to ride in wet conditions much of the time.
The second kind of lube to consider are dry lubes. Dry lubes are designed to go on your bike chain in wet conditions and then dry out after they are applied. Dry lubes work particularly well when you plan to do a lot of riding in conditions that are hot, dusty, and dry. The advantages of dry lubes are that they will keep dirt and grime from sticking to your mountain bike chain. Additionally, they will not get quite as messy as lubes that are designed to be wet. Remember to apply dry lubes several hours before you plan to hit the trails so they can dry and keep from collecting dirt while you ride up and down the paths.
The third kind of lube to consider are wax lubes. Wax lubes are designed to go on your bike chain and leave a waxy coating on the chain itself. Like dry lubes, they are also good choices for riding in dry or dusty weather and terrain conditions. The advantages of wax lubes is that they are good at forcing dirt off the chain through a wax coating on the chain, reducing the need for cleaning.