Lubricating your bike chain with the best cold weather lube as the winter approaches is imperative if you are looking forward to hitting the slippery roads covered with a nasty mix of mud, snow, and road salt.
After all, the friction that your bike experiences within its chain highly impacts the power you need to put in biking. You need the right kind of lubrication for bikes during this time to minimize the friction in both the chain and the remainder of the drive train.
Winter is a difficult time for bikes since the chill thrills haunt the smoothness of the ride, and the mud, sand and salt on the road reduces their efficiency. This calls for the right lube for your bike in winter.
- What Type Of Lube Do We Use In Winter?
- Best Bicycle Chain Lube For Winter Riding
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Type Of Lube Do We Use In Winter?
While your bike runs through grime, rain, mud, and corrosive road mixtures, you need proper maintenance of your bike. So, we can’t deny the importance of cleaning bicycle chains regularly. Still, we need to know what type of lubes we actually need for winter. Wet lubes are preferable for muddy and wet roads. They will hardly get rinsed off by splashing of water and rain.
Ceramic chain lubes have added Boron Nitrides and Fluoro Polymers. They will increase the efficiency and durability of your bike chain. The ceramic lube creates a laminar plate structure on the bike chain. I would recommend ceramic chain lube and wet lube for dry weather.
So, if you have a dry winter, you can try dry lubes. They create a wax base on the chain that prevents dirt from sticking. On the contrary, if your winter is muddy and rain and snow cover the roads, use the wet bike chain lube.
Best Bicycle Chain Lube For Winter Riding
I know it sounds a bit confusing. Let’s see and review my selection of the best bike lubricants for winter so that you can get a clear idea about different types of lubes for winter cycling.
Muc Off C3 Ceramic Wet Bike Chain Lube (Ceramic Wet Lube)
Muc Off C3 Ceramic Wet Bike Chain Lube is made with nano-ceramics, boron nitride, and fluoropolymers. These compounds prevent friction and repel water. Despite having a high nanoparticle concentration, this lube is thinner than expected. With the pipette-style neck, you can get your bike chain lubricant to every cranny and nook of your bike chain.
Using Muc Off C3 bike chain grease is pretty easy. First, you degrease the chain to remove any old lube. Then you shake the bottle and apply the lube everywhere you need to. It is a good idea to apply the chain grease 3-4 hours before the beginning of your ride. Make sure you do not apply lubricant on the brakes!
You will feel the difference in the first ride. The new smoothness of your ride will last more than 200 miles without re-lubrication. You will not see too much dirt on the chain and sprockets even after a long off-road trip.
The Muc Off lubricant is biodegradable, so you do not have to worry about affecting the environment. Additionally, the lube is easy to clean before reapplying. Overall, it is great wet ceramic lube for wet wintertime cycling.
- Creates a ceramic layer over the bike’s chain
- Specially designed for rainy and wet weather
- Comes in 50 ml and 120 ml bottles
- Fits all types of bikes
- It is cheap and efficient
- Pretty good essence
- Fits all types of bikes
- Smells nice
- Price can get quite high due to increased demand
White Lightning Wet Ride Extreme Conditions Wet Lube (Wet Lube)
You are going to ride beside rough snowy terrain. The roads will be muddy. There might even be water clogged in some of the places. You are totally going off-road. In such extreme conditions, you can fully rely on White Lightning Wet Ride Extreme Conditions Bike Lube.
It is thicker and heavier than another regular bike lubes. In fact, it only contains water-repelling polymers and premium synthetic oils. The outcome is a strong lube with high film strength. Anyhow, it is too thick for jockey wheels, pivot points, and control cables. We would suggest sticking to pedal, chain, carrier fixings, bottle mounts, etc.
Wet lubes are preferable for wet rides. So, they are quite popular among off-road cyclists. In dry conditions, wet lubes can also be used especially if you travel a very long distance. White Lightning Bike Lube aces those features. It eliminates the drivetrain noise from the chain and lets you enjoy quiet riding.
White Lightning also provides a clear and smooth shifting along with full water repellence. If you ask me, I would recommend it to any off-road biker. You won’t need re-lubricating until 300 miles after use.
- Comes in 120 ml and 240 ml size bottles
- Designed for extreme wet weather
- Thicker and heavier lube
- Waterproof characteristics
- Great for extreme weather
- Highly water repellent
- Great for smooth cycling
- Easily accumulates grit and grime
- Thicker and heavier than regular lubes
Finish Line Wet Bicycle Chain Lube (Wet Lube)
Finish Line Wet Bicycle Chain Lube has been made with high viscosity, durable synthetic oils, water repellent polymers, anti-wear additives, and friction modifiers. Many pro teams use this lube in their rides.
After unboxing, you shake the bottle and drizzle on your bike. The squeeze bottle helps you to control pouring. There is little chance of extra pouring or cleaning a bike after applying. This is quite an essential feature during winter. No one loves to clean bikes after lubing them in such chilling weather. Unlike White Lightning, you can apply this Finish Line lube to every corner of your bike and enjoy smooth rides. It can withstand waterlogged or muddy terrains.
On the contrary, the Finish Line seems to attract dirt more than usual. You will need to re-lubricate your bike regularly. It has a stinky odor. As it remains wet, bike grease transfers to clothes and hands when you carry your bike or repair it. In this case, you may want to check out our tips about removing bike grease from your clothing.
Overall, this in my opinion is the best bike chain lube choice for extreme muddy roads only if you can beat the smell. If you are using it in dry weather, take precautions about wiping excess dirt and grime from your bike.
- Comes in multiple sizes, from a 60 ml squeeze bottle to 3.78 liter jug
- Created with anti-wear agents and friction modifiers
- 100% Synthetic material
- Non-toxic and environment-friendly
- Water repellent
- Can stand against heavier foggy and wet conditions
- Highly efficient for properly pouring in bike chains, corners, and other parts
- This bike grease has a bad smell
- It is not super-efficient against dry weather
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use dry lube in winter?
Yes, you can use dry lube in winter. Anyhow, if you go offroad or have extreme weather, wet lube is a better option. Dry bicycle lube is preferable if you want to keep your bicycle look clean and lubricated. Anyhow, you’ll need to reapply. For riders who stick to the road and do not come across mud, they can use dry lubes in winter. But, if you are an off-road biker or ride in extreme weather, it is better to use wet lubes.
Is it okay to use the regular WD40 on the bike chain in winter?
No, it is not okay to use regular WD40 on the bike chain in winter. You can use it in emergencies, but using it regularly won’t be a smart option. WD stands for Water Displacement. It is a degreaser. So, it helps to remove lubricants and clean the dirt off your bike. In case you are re-applying lubes on your bike, you can use WD40. It will prevent your chain from rusting.
Anyhow, I won’t suggest you rely on WD40 without any lubes, as I have explained in my blog post Can You Use WD40 On A Bike Chain. It won’t add any strong layer of coating. If you don’t have any lubes near your hand, you can try WD40. It would give you temporary protection. But, I won’t recommend using WD40 on a bike chain alone in the winter season, especially when considering the dust, dirt, and muds in the road.
What can I use instead of chain lubes in winter?
Many household greases can be used instead of chain lubes in winter. In fact, you can use regular oils found in your home. Bike chains require degreasing and lubricating regularly. There are ubiquitous homely materials that you can use when you do not have dedicated chain grease near you.
You can use castor oil, olive oil, household greases, and even cooking oil. They will serve your purpose temporarily. Anyhow, castor oil, cooking oil, and olive oil will degrade with time. So, it is better if you can stick with regular designated bike grease. To be honest, cooking oil will cost you more than regular bicycle lube.
How often should I grease my bicycle chain in winter?
You should lube your bike once or twice a week in winter. Winter roads are covered with mud, dirt, and salted sludge. Your bike chain needs regular lubrication and cleaning for better performance. It is best if you can lube regularly after rides. For many, it would be a hard task. So, I would recommend doing it at least once or twice a week. We have covered the greasing frequency topic in detail in our article How Often Should I Lube My Bike Chain.
There are different bicycle lube types available in the market. While we have reviewed three of the best lubes from the market, there are more options to use for riding in cold weather.
I will recommend buying based on your needs. By the term ‘need,’ I mean purpose, the condition of roads, your driving regularity, and your comfort. Let us know in the comment sections which bike chain lubricant you felt most preferable for winter.