I think I’ve used just about every product in the market to obtain the best bicycle chain lube. And as the price of my bikes went up the price of the products used to lube chains went up as well.
But cycling in the worst conditions imaginable for extended periods of time (snow, sleet and streets with road salt) felt these expensive chain lubes lacking.
As I went into restoring bikes I learned how to get the most out of bikes that we’re thought to be beyond repair. This experience not only taught me how to restore broken bike parts. It also taught me how to maintain a bike in both the cheapest and most durable way. And with it my search for the best bicycle chain lube finally ended.
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Here’s what’s wrong with most bicycle chain lubes
Big brand bicycle chain lubes are very expensive.
A typical KMC x8 bicycle chain I buy costs less than the products advertised to clean and lube it. Granted, you’ll get more than one lube out of a can of WD-40 all conditions lube.
Now you might argue that cost is relative to added value and I’d agree. But especially when you know there are options that’ll cost you next to nothing and perform way better, it becomes harder to convince you such a product is going to be worth your money.
There are of course cheap options in the single-digit range, but the products I’ve seen being promoted on the internet are just as expensive as a new chain.
I’ve started with classic Kroon Oil, because that’s what my dad used, but ended up WD-40 dry lube. And that was only after I used their bike cleaner spray and standard WD-40 as well. Those three products combined are over 20 euros just for cleaning your drivetrain.
Most bicycle chain lubes don’t last very long
Although I don’t like riding in the rain all that much, it definitely happens from time to time. And all those expensive sprays just don’t last a single ride when I do. And there’s very little use of a bicycle chain lube that will be washed away in the rain.
The industry has tried to come up with solutions like wet lube and other paraffin-like lubes that are supposed to harden on the chain and are less prone to be sprayed off. But they haven’t worked for me and I don’t consider them cheap either.
Forte Red Chain Grease: the best and most durable bicycle chain
There was a short period in my life where I commuted around 20 miles per day during the winter. If I didn’t clean my chain after every ride it would have corroded to the point where individual chain links would be fixed to one another. This was because of the salt lying on the roads to thaw the ice.
I got so fed up with this I finally headed to the local motorcycle store and asked the assistant if could offer any solution. This conversation ended up with me buying a jar of Forte Red Chain Grease.
So the stuff I use to lube my bicycle chain is a product meant for motorcycles. The general rule I ended up using was that if it’s good enough for a chain which can go 160Mph it’s good enough for me.
Some will say that grease attracts more dirt. But a dirty chain doesn’t necessarily means more wear to your drive train.
Advantages of Forte Red Chain Grease
Their are mayor advantages of using this type of grease versus a more ordinary bicycle chain lube.
- It’s extremely sticky and will stay on the chain, because it’s meant for motorcycles
- Because it’s so sticky it’s extremely water resistant and will not be sprayed of in rainy conditions. Just imagine the amount of rotational force a motorcycle wheel creates and the speed with which water hits the chain. I don’t think those guys fool around with wet lubes like we do.
- Less water means less corrosion
- Longer lasting means less wear on your entire drivetrain
- It’s way cheaper. I’ve read a post on a motorcycle forum stating you can do 30.000 to 60.000 kilometers on a single jar. A jar which will set you back €25 will cost you less than €1 per thousand kilometers at least in this example.
- Because of its form (grease) and longevity it’s far less wasteful than a spray can.
So if your looking for the best bicycle chain lube you know my pick. Less waste, less money, and does the job.
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