When it is time for winter riding, people need to winterize their bikes as much as possible. That means changing everything from tires to the chain lube to get the best performance overall.
What is the best chain lube for winter cycling out there today? Finish Line Wet Bicycle Chain Lube is available in many different sizes, it is one of the strongest and longest-lasting lubricants out there. It is created with synthetic oils that help to repel water and keep chains looking as good as new.
As long as a person does not overthink it too much, they should find something that works for them. These are the best options for rides in the winter, and what will provide the best performance and value overall.
Best Wet Winter Chain Lube Options
People looking for wet winter chain lube will love any of the options below. It is the preferred option for many, and a lot of top companies have spent time perfecting the performance overall.
1. Finish Line Wet Bicycle Chain Lube
A force in the industry, this maximum performance option from Finish Line is tough to beat. This Finish Line Wet Bicycle Chain Lube (Amazon) is available in many different sizes, it is one of the strongest and longest-lasting lubricants out there.
It is created with synthetic oils that help to repel water and keep chains looking as good as new.
Riders can count on this lubricant in just about any weather conditions, but a lot of people will gravitate towards this option in the winter specifically.
It is built for extreme conditions, keeping the bike protected as much as possible while smoothing out the drivetrain overall.
Riders will notice that they have very quiet rides, and their chain will stay looking as good as new the entire time.
This option has become a pretty popular choice in pro shops around the world. Finish Line has a variety of products that help keep a bike working as it should, and it is worth exploring if this option feels like the right choice.
There is really not much to say negatively about the lube, as it does everything that one can ask for.
- Very long-lasting.
- Built for all types of extreme weather conditions.
- Good consistency.
- Needs to be reapplied a little more than the average wet lube.
- Gets a little messy.
2. White Lightning Wet Ride Extreme Conditions Heavy Bicycle Chain Lube
Another great option for wet winter conditions is White Lightning Wet Ride (Amazon). This creates a wet film using synthetic oil technology. It lasts very long, and provides some very quiet shifting overall. It is also one of the best when fighting any rust that could start to show.
When first applying White Lightning to a chain, it feels like a pretty heavy-bodied lubricant. It still needs a good amount to cover the chain fully, and riders will start to notice a difference as time goes on that a re-application might be necessary.
It seems to be one of the less messy options for riders, which is always a plus when looking at wet lubes. That is a common complaint for a lot of riders, as they do not want to get their clothes or their skin dirty.
It could probably do a little bit better of a job staying on the chain and not being replenished as much, but other than that, it works as it should.
It is not just built for the winter, so people can use this all 12 months out of the year if they do not want to switch things up.
- Excellent at fighting off the rust.
- 100% waterproof.
- Works well 12 months out of the year.
- Falls off the chain a little easier.
- Takes a decent amount to get proper coverage.
3. Fenwick Wet Weather Chain Lube
Fenwick’s Wet Weather Chain Lube (Amazon) is a very affordable option for people who want a chain lube that just works. It is very effective with winter protection for any drivetrain out there, and there is less need to put more and more on as time goes on.
Fenwick spent a lot of time making sure that their formula is environmentally friendly, which is something that is important to some riders out there as well.
It is not quite as readily available as some of the best options out there, but it is extremely popular in the United Kingdom.
Considering how harsh the winters can be there most of the time, many trust riders over there to give some solid recommendations.
- Environmentally friendly.
- Easy to apply.
- Not always easy to find or buy.
- Limited sizes.
4. WD-40 Specialist Bike Wet Chain Lube
Most people have heard about WD-40 and use it for something around the home in their life. They make numerous products out there, and their wet chain lube (Amazon) has turned into a bestseller. People like that it is very affordable comes from a trusted name, and does exactly as it should.
Built for some of the moar extreme conditions that riders may find, this wet chain lube works the best in tough conditions. In the winter, there are a lot of days that are wet and muddy. This lube is going to be a durable coat that will fight off water and mud as much as possible.
The chain will stay protected, and it will last a longer time overall. It also just happens to be one of the quietest lubes out there, which is perfect for people who do not want to deal with too much squeaking around.
Best Dry Chain Lube For Winter
Some people think that using dry chain lube in the winter is a bad idea. However, in the right conditions, it is going home just fine.
In fact, those who are worried about being as fast as possible and still perform at a high level when the weather drops are very gravitated towards dry lubes in general.
1. Muc Off Dry Lube
Many believe that this is the best overall dry lube on the market today. Muc Off Dry Lube (Amazon) does a great job of keeping the drivetrain as efficient as possible, and it reduces a ton of friction very well.
As long as the person puts it on correctly, they will get a very durable and protective layer that will hold up in different types of conditions.
Shifting is very easy and smooth with less dry and lube on. Even though more applications are needed compared to a wet lube option, it is a good trade-off for many riders.
That is because the chainstays very clean with every ride, which is ultimately what a lot of riders are looking for.
This type of lube works great for cyclists, but it can work for other bikes as well. Throwing it on when the weather is a little bit better than normal is certainly beneficial.
If a person is stuck in adverse weather, it will still do a good enough job that it will not be too much of an issue. All in all, some have switched to this lube all months of the year and never looked back. In the winter, riding for time is pretty easy with this dry lube.
- Very durable for a dry lube.
- Works good enough when the weather is wet.
- Operates well with all bikes.
- Needs applied often.
- Applying the right amount of lube takes a little bit of time and patience.
2. WD-40 Specialist Bike Dry Chain Lube
WD-40 delivers a great wet lube option, and they have something special for those who prefer a dry chain lube as well. As long as the conditions are fairly dry in the winter, it is hard to find a more dependable option than the WD-40 Dry.
It keeps the bike very clean, and it cuts down on friction better than the competition. The life of the bike chain is going to last quite a while, and the no-wax formula is something that many riders prefer.
The trade-off is that it does not do that well if the temperature and weather go bad, but those in dry weather conditions will not care too much.
Apply fairly often to keep the bike chain running as it should. It will not be the most versatile option as far as all conditions are concerned, but it is still something that a lot of people keep in their arsenal.
There is always an opportunity to switch to a wet lube if needed, and having both options available all the time is an ideal set up for a lot of riders.
- Trusted name.
- High performance.
- Struggles with too much poor weather.
- Needs re-lubed often.
3. Finish Line Dry Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube
This Finish Line Dry Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube (Amazon) will create a wax-like film on top of the chain and is one of the best dry options for all types of riding conditions.
There are a lot of people who are hesitant to use a dry lube if they are going to be battling some wet conditions, but this one holds up well.
It really comes down to the synthetic oil to make up for lubricant, as it is one of the toughest options out there. It repels water and dirt well, and those looking for maximum performance will be very happy.
Finish Line has a few choices out there available for riders, but they seem to really be focused on making their dry lubricant better.
It comes in a very convenient bottle to put on at any time, and the Teflon aspect of the lube is very solid.
- Worked in all weather conditions.
- Teflon technology works well.
- Film looks nice.
- A little expensive.
- Needs reapplied often.
4. Squirt Long Lasting Dry Lube
This option from Squirt (Amazon) is built for all types of weather conditions, so those riding in the winter do not have any reason to be hesitant.
It is a waxed base emulsion lubricant, and it works exactly as one might expect. It takes a little bit of time to get the application process down, but once a person does do that, it will last a long time.
Once on, the chain looks pretty much as good as new. It is going to last a very long time, and riders will feel like they do not have to baby their bike at all.
While some dry lube struggles with wet weather, this one still does a very solid job. It is ideally for drier conditions, but a lot of people will use it as a lubricant for daily commutes.
Squirt is one of those no-nonsense companies that focus on consistent options that riders can count on every single time. It is a biodegradable, solvent-free solution that will keep riders happy all the time.
- Very long lasting.
- Works in all types of conditions.
- Biodegradable and solvent-free.
- A little expensive.
- Challenging to get the application process down just right.
Best Ceramic Chain Lube for Winter Riding
The ceramic option is a little unconventional for a lot of people, but it is becoming a viable third option for some. In fact, it has gained popularity over the years, and as chain lube technology improves, it might even become a bigger player.
For now, it is still not incredibly popular, and most people will opt for traditional wet or dry versions. However, since ceramic chain lube does come in wet or dry options, it could be a pretty easy transition.
1. Finish Line Ceramic Wax Bicycle Chain Lube
Finish Line (Amazon) had a product that made the list for both wet and dry lube, so it should come as no surprise that they are also a leader in ceramic wax chain lube.
It is a very popular option that is made of top-level ingredients, and it helps make a very smooth ride for all types of riders.
What people will notice right away is that it is a very smooth option to keep the bike looking very clean. It is designed more for drier conditions, but it will be good enough to withstand a few rainy or snowy days as well.
The ceramic coating does a good job protecting surfaces, and a lot of riders will find it to be one of the best options out there overall.
As is the case with any ceramic wax chain lube, the price does jump up a bit. People are paying for quality with an option like this.
There are some other ceramic wax chain options that are starting to make a name for themselves as well, but this is still the leader.
- High-quality ingredients.
- Very smooth and quiet during riding.
- Extremely clean.
- Can’t hold up in wet conditions too much.
Why is lube needed for a bike chain?
A lubricated chain is going to run much more efficiently overall. Studies have shown that it may not make as much of a difference as some might originally think, but there will be some friction that will create drag.
Losing just a little bit of efficiency can make a difference for riders, and that is why a lube makes sense.
Not only is it a performance thing, but it will help keep the chain looking fresh and operating as it should. For example, a chain without a good amount of lube on it is going to get rusty faster, and it might start to squeak as well.
Even if a chain is still performing decently well, there is nothing worse than dealing with a lot of squeak with the chain every time a person pedals.
Difference Between Dry Lube For a Bike, And Wet Lube?
With dry and wet lube suggestions above, people might not necessarily know what direction to go in when making the ultimate purchase. The best way to make a sound decision is to think about how the lube acts once it is out of the bottle.
Dry lube is going to come out of the bottle wet as normal, and it is usually a fast flowing type of liquid. The reason why it is called dry lube is that when it does dry, it leaves a little bit of film on a chain that almost looks like wax. That wax serves a purpose, and it is pretty distinctive when on the chain.
With wet lube, it is going to stay wet once applied. It develops this type of thick consistency, and it sticks to the chain very well. Many will think of this as the more traditional option for lube, as people have been using this on their bikes for quite some time.
Wet or Dry Chain Lube is Best for Riding in the Winter?
Ask professionals about which option they choose in the winter, and there will be mixed answers. That is because it mostly comes down to the riding conditions during the winter, not so much the temperature.
Dry lube is going to do a better job of not attracting dirt, so during dry conditions, it might be the best way to go.
The most frustrating thing about dry lube is that it does need to be applied more frequently than a wet lube, where it can be frustrating for people who have a hard time remembering all the time.
Dry lube is also the best option for people who want to keep things looking as clean as possible. The drivetrain will look very nice when dry lube is applied regularly, so keep that in mind if overall appearance is a major thing. Not only will it look good, but getting rid of grit and dirt will keep the entire bike looking great.
Wet lube is more for those tougher conditions that people make come across on a consistent basis. For example, if the winter season for riders is usually pretty gross with the weather, it might be worth it to stick with a wet lube option. Not only does it do a better job riding in rain or snow, but it is a durable solution as well.
The reason why so many people have tried to find an alternative to a wet lube in recent years comes down to how messy it can be.
The chain can feel very heavy and gloopy when there is a good amount of wet lube lathered on. If I can get pretty dirty with so much lube on the chain as well. It is easy to get skin or clothes dirty if it rubs up against the chain.
Anyone who does not like to do much maintenance at all will love having wet lube, because there is not a lot of effort needed to keep things looking great.
It is very easy to get out there and ride without worrying about anything else that might be holding a person back.
Who Should use a Dry Bicycle Chain Lube?
People who are worried about overall performance in the winter should consider dry lube. The lack of a mess on the chain will keep things looking great, and it will be a pretty good performer overall.
If the weather is relatively good in the winter, it makes it that much better have an option.
Who Should Use a Wet Bicycle Chain Lube?
Regular commuters who just want to get from point A to point B should stick with a wet lube in the winter. Chances are, there will be a few days when weather is less than ideal.
Instead of having to worry about constant applications, just use a wet lube every once in a while.
Thoughts on Ceramic Bicyle Chain Lube
Traditional wet and dry options have long been the standard, but ceramic lube is a great solution as well. For people who are not afraid to spend a little bit more money, there are wet and dry versions of ceramic lube that work well.
They do a great job of offering a strong protective barrier, and it reduces friction and increases pedaling efficiency like other lubricants as well.
A lot of users believe that they get a little more longevity out of ceramic lube, which is always a nice thing to have. That means less time applying, and fewer purchases down the road.
It offsets to cost a little bit, but until the prices come down considerably, it is going to be the main reason why some people remain hesitant about going in this direction.
Final Thoughts on Chain Lube Options
Chain lube is affordable enough that most people will try a few out before they figure out which one works for them best.
All the options above are great for all types of bikes, and it should last a good amount of time. In the long run, people spend a little bit more for dry lube, but it all comes down to what a person ultimately likes.