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The effects of WD-40 on your Bike Chain

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What Really Happens When You Use WD-40 on Your Bicycle Chains Tyler Smith is the author of Biking.
Getting ready to clean off your bike means lubricating the chain so it’s ready to go for the next ride. A can of WD-40 is all you can find while trying to figure out what to put on your bike chain. If you’re anything like me, you had a few questions…
The chain on my bicycle may I lubricate it with WD-40? WD-40 will not harm your bike chain if applied correctly. It functions mainly as a cleaning, but it may also act as a mild lubricant when used properly. Using it while cycling in the rain is a bad idea since it washes off fast.

What is WD-40
The Rocket Chemical Comapny, the firm that developed WD-40, was founded in 1953. Solvents and degreasers with anti-rust properties were being developed at the time. WD-40’s original recipe was tinkered with 40 times until they finally got it right the first time. The 40 in the name refers to the number of tries it took to achieve the “water displacement” effect.
You may have heard that the only use for WD-40 is to keep items free of corrosion and water. Other riders have said, and I believe them, that WD-40 isn’t a lubricant. This can’t possibly be the case. WD-40 is a “special blend of lubricants,” according to the company’s website.

The Right Time to Use WD-40 on Your Bike Chain
WD-40 is a cleaning and lubricant in one. It’s okay to use WD-40 on your bicycle chain and bike, despite claims to the contrary from respected organizations and bike mechanics. If you’re riding in a slick environment, you’ll have to deal with WD-40 coming off fast since it’s such a SLIGHT lubrication.
Simply said, WD-40 will not damage your bike’s chain. It’s an excellent lubricant and cleaner for your bike chain, too. Many bikers swear on WD-40 and report no problems. Because it is less greasy, it may keep your chain cleaner longer in dry circumstances than conventional bike lubricants.

When it comes to cleaning your bike’s chain and derailleur, nothing beats WD-40. When you spray it on your chain, it acts as a degreaser and helps remove dirt from the chain. Once the chain has been degreased, wash it with soap and water to make sure it is spotless. You’ll need to lubricate the chain once it’s been degreased, washed with soap and water, and dried.

In dry circumstances, you may ride for 8 to 12 hours with only this oil as your chain lubricant.
WD-40: The Subject of Much Debate
If you talk to a few people, you’ll get a variety of perspectives, but in the end, it comes down to experience. The Global Cycling Network channel demonstrates how to rapidly clean a bike in the video below. To learn more about the lubricant they utilize, read on. WD-40!

Cleaning and lubricating using WD-40! What an original idea!
The biker in the video claims to have been cycling for the last five years while using WD-40! To the doubters: maybe you should give it a go before you dismiss it!

Note: WD-40 will also remove any additional lubricants from your chain if you have any. When changing the lubricant on your chain, be sure to remove all of the WD-40 product from the chain first.

You may try WD-40 on your bike if you have a can of it on hand in your garage. If you don’t already have a can, you can get WD-40 on Amazon for a reasonable price.
You’re still not persuaded? It’s possible to use another kind of lubricant
If you’re not sold on using WD-40 on your bike chain, there are a number of alternative options. No two people’s tastes are the same, but I’ve had success using Finish Line Dry Bike Lube (available on Amazon) throughout the years. When I initially bought it, I did so since it was the only model available at the bike store where I was working. As long as it’s on the chain, things keep going along smoothly and remain clean.

Associated Issues
How well does WD-40 work on bike chains that have developed a layer of corrosion? This is a settled issue. When it comes to cleaning rust from your bike chain, WD-40 works wonders.
Spray it on the rusted parts of the chain and let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes for it to do its job. The rusty chain sections may be scraped off using a wire brush. You should be able to completely remove all of the rust from your chain using WD-40 and a wool brush.

Can I use WD-40 on my disc brakes if they are coated with WD-40? WD-40, which is a lubricant, should not be used on your disc brakes for safety reasons. There are many reports of individuals who sprayed WD-40 on their disc brakes by mistake (it happens!) and then had problems with their brakes. The best thing to do if you’re in this position is buy brake cleaner to remove the WD-40.

If you haven’t already, this article should have helped you understand how to properly care for your bicycle. Maybe you’ve even come around to WD-40. Regardless, I hope you’re able to thoroughly clean your bike chain and then go for a ride as a result of this article. Have a great time putting the pedal to the metal!

Author avatar - Bradley Knight
Written By Bradley Knight
As a native New Yorker, Bradley is no stranger to the fixed gear scene. He’s been riding fixed for over ten years. When he’s not on the bike, you can find him practicing his many hobbies including playing guitar, video production, and photography.

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