The Best Mountain Bike Chain Lubes – Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: April 28, 2022)

Image of man lubricating an MTB chain

 

How smooth is the action of your bike’s chain? Is it stiff and slow or does it move easily? If you haven’t lubricated your bike’s chain properly, you are in for a lot of frustration – the chain won’t move as well as it is such and might seize up or snap. A regular application of lubricant will prolong the life of your chain.

Knowing how important lube is for your bike, we decided to do a roundup of the top three chain lubes to help you keep your bike in tip top shape.
Why WD-40 BIKE Dry Chain Lubricant Is Not on This List

This option has a fair price point, and it worked okay, but we felt that it needed to be reapplied too often.

Our  Top Three Picks

Finish Line DRY Teflon Mountain Bike Chain Lube

Finish Line Dry Bicycle Chain Lube with Teflon - 4oz Squeeze Bottle
1,955 Reviews
Finish Line Dry Bicycle Chain Lube with Teflon - 4oz Squeeze Bottle
  • 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 minimizes pedaling friction, repels moisture, and withstands rides up to 100 miles.
  • Dry Lube is especially recommended for riding on or off-road in dry, dirty, dusty environments, yet it holds up well in moderately wet conditions.
  • An extremely versatile lubricant and a perfect choice for many road and off-road cyclist. Dry Lube can also be used on derailleurs, shifters, cables, and brake pivot points.
  • Reduces wear on sliding and rolling surfaces, and easily penetrates chain bushings, quickly coats derailleur, brake and shifter pivots.

This option by Finish Line is a dry lube and ideal for very dusty conditions, think MTB trails in Texas, Florida and California.

Features
• Unique formulation
• Has Teflon fluoropolymer
• Versatile applications

Users commented on how well this product works and how it really does seem to help keep dirt and dust at bay.
You do have to be a little more careful when dispensing this product as it does tend to come out a little faster than the thicker lubes. Once you get the hang of it, though, dispensing becomes a lot easier.

Pros
• Works really well
• Has a dry finish
• A good price point

Cons
• The nozzle does take some getting used to, so you might apply too much at first

White Lightning Clean Ride – Chain Lube

White Lightning Clean Ride - Chain Lube - Squeeze Bottle
352 Reviews
White Lightning Clean Ride - Chain Lube - Squeeze Bottle
  • One 4-ounce drip and squeeze bottle of White Lightning Clean Ride original self-cleaning wax bicycle chain lubricant
  • Self-cleaning action is activated by any dirt, grit or grime that finds it's way onto your chain or parts
  • Sets up as a dry wax film so there is no oily film to attract dirt and abrasive contaminants
  • Easy application with a dry squeeze bottle
  • Sheds dirt and grime while you ride, keeping your bike running smoothly

This product has a unique value proposition – when dry it leaves a wax film in place. If dirt gets into the chain, the wax is activated and starts to drop off.

Features
• Self-cleaning formulation
• Dries quickly to a waxy finish
• Good price point

Some of those using this product said that application was a lot more precise than with an aerosol can. They loved this because it meant less waste and fuss. Something to think about, though, is that you might need to apply more often than a normal lube because of the formulation. However, in this case, it is worth a little bit of extra effort because your chain is kept a lot cleaner and lasts longer as a result.

Pros
• Good price point
• Better protection from dust and dirt
• Keeps the chain moving well and deadens the noise
• Comes in a drip bottle

Cons
• The dirtier your bike gets, the more often you need to reapply it.

Tri-Flow TF0021060 Superior Lubricant

Tri-Flow TF0021060 Superior Lubricant Drip Bottle- 6 oz
513 Reviews
Tri-Flow TF0021060 Superior Lubricant Drip Bottle- 6 oz
  • Special additives displace moisture and prevent rust and corrosion
  • Excellent for chains, pivot joints, and for loosening rusted and corroded nuts and bolts
  • High-grade petroleum oils provide optimum lubrication under extreme temperatures and humidity

This is one hard-working product. It helps to keep the chain clean and lubricated at the same time.

Features
• Has solvents in it to help clean the chain
• Lighter for better penetration
• Can resist high temperatures
• Comes in a drip bottle

Users commented on how easy it was to apply and that there were many other potential applications as well, like to oil a sewing machine or lock.
This can be messy to use, and it will drip on the floor when applied. You can overcome this easily enough by putting some newspaper down when applying and wiping of the excess when done.

Pros
• It penetrates into even the hardest to reach places
• It offers good friction protection, even at high temperatures
• The drip bottle applicator is better than an aerosol with less waste
• It helps to clean the chain

Cons
• Will drip through to the floor when applied.
• You need to wipe away the excess before you go for a ride

My top picks all perform admirably and are guaranteed to keep your wheels turning for longer.