Table of Contents
- What is The Best Lubricant?
- Can You Use Lubricant Alternatives for Your Bike Chain?
- Can You Use Chainsaw Oil As A Lube Alternative?
- How Good Is A Chainsaw Oil As A Bicycle Chain Lube?
- Drawbacks of Using Chainsaw Oil As Bike Chain Lube
- How to Use Chainsaw Oil as Bike Chain Lube?
- FAQ Section
- Bottom Line
Bike chain lube doesn’t seem like a charming aspect of biking, but you need it to keep your bike working smoothly. Without proper lubrication, your bike chain will get damaged easily and break eventually. There is a huge variety of quality bike lubricants available in the market. But, in case of unavailability, people wonder whether they can use lube alternatives.
What is The Best Lubricant?
A bicycle lube creates a lubricant covering that isolates interaction between the bike metals, like the chain and frame. The ideal technique for decreasing friction is forming a coat of lubricant molecules to prevent direct contact with surfaces.
A premium purpose-made bike lube must be thick in consistency to deter any connection between metals but also thin to penetrate the chain interior. If the chain lube has a high viscosity, the bike functionality will decline because of increasing drag force. It will make the bike slower and increase the risks of chain stretching.
Bicycle chain lube is unique as it is created to fulfill the particular requirements of a bike chain. A bike chain lube deters dirt and filth from the road or path. Moreover, it’s thin enough to run through the pins and rollers of a bike chain to keep it performing smoothly.
Can You Use Lubricant Alternatives for Your Bike Chain?
People tend to look for inexpensive options (usually quite ineffective too). You can certainly use an alternative in these situations, but an average bike chain needs a dedicated lube, as it is specifically designed for the cause.
You can surely use other lubricants in a pinch. Almost any type of grease will be better than none, especially if you are on the road and your bike chain is screeching. Riding a chain in need of lubrication can damage your bike. Plus, it will also strain your energy as a well-oiled chain is more efficient and easy to operate.
However, you should prefer proper bike chain lube for bike maintenance because other alternatives are not formulated for bike lubrication. An actual bike chain lubricant is particularly formulated for bike chains, so it works. The most significant advantage of using a bike chain lubricant alternative is its accessibility. You should look for an exclusively designed bike chain lube alternative.
Can You Use Chainsaw Oil As A Lube Alternative?
Chainsaw oil can work as a bike chain oil substitute. However, chainsaw oil, known as bar oil, functions somewhat differently compared to bike lube. It might be denser and stickier than a typical bike chain lube because it is intended for a much faster-moving chain. Chainsaw oil works perfectly when riding in a wet and soggy environment because the water won’t remove this thick lubricant.
However, due to high viscosity chainsaw oil won’t penetrate the little crannies of a bike chain as fast as original bike lube. Plus, it will attract more dirt and filth than bike lube. The chainsaw oil oxidizes quicker than a regular bike chain lube. It isn’t a concern for a chainsaw because the lube usually removes fast due to the faster action of a chainsaw compared to a bike chain. The chainsaw chains are constantly re-oiled by their motor, while a bike chain must be oiled by the rider.
The consistency of chainsaw oil may also make it tough to clean and remove from the bike chain. The chainsaw oil picks up extra dirt from the road making it difficult to wipe. Moreover, you can make an excellent lube by mixing straight chainsaw oil with mineral spirits.
In short, you could use the chainsaw oil if you have no designated bike chain lube. But, ensure cleaning the chain thoroughly by using a chain degreaser and applying fresh lubricant.
How Good Is A Chainsaw Oil As A Bicycle Chain Lube?
When it comes to lubricating your bike chain, you have many different options. You can use chainsaw oil, which is a sticky oil that does not wash off in wet conditions. It must be thick enough to avoid metal interaction but thin enough to reach deep into the inner parts of the chain.
However, using chainsaw oil as a lubricant comes with some drawbacks. Due to its viscosity, the drag force will increase which will eventually slow down your bike. Moreover, this type of wet bike chain lube is not best for other parts of the bicycle, like bearings and pivot points.
Drawbacks of Using Chainsaw Oil As Bike Chain Lube
There are some drawbacks to using non-commercial chain lubricants, like chainsaw oil. Since they are planned for other purposes, it’s expected that they aren’t a perfect fit for your bike chain. They aren’t ideal for all situations. Some of them are created to work in soggy weather, while the others will be best for dry conditions. It’s significant to understand which one fits your requirement, so it doesn’t wash off.
Alternatives have to be used more frequently than an actual bike chain lube. Therefore, they are not cost-effective.
How to Use Chainsaw Oil as Bike Chain Lube?
Bicycle chains must be lubricated every few days, based on the dirt build-up and how dirty it is. A lot of professionals recommend using s wet lube about once a week. It is crucial to wash and lubricate a bike chain if the tire is to be inflated.
It is crucial to understand the proper amount of chainsaw oil you need for your bicycle chain. You should use chainsaw oil in areas where it doesn’t get stuck, like cables and derailleurs. Chainsaw oil is considered a relatively good alternative to bike chain lubricant – it’s odorless and anti-rust and can quickly dry.
What is The Best Bike Chain Lubricant?
An ideal chain lubricant smooths the interaction between the bike body. the cassette and chainrings. It also helps deter corrosion, sustains proper shifting performance, and decreases friction and drivetrain damage.
A chain with enough lubrication can increase friction by facilitating metal-on-metal contact. While, an over-lubricated chain will attract dirt and grime, which also increases drivetrain friction and cause damage to the bike chain.
Can Veggie Oils Be Used as Bike chain Lubricants?
It is not recommended to use vegetable oil on your bike chain except for emergencies. It disintegrates quicker compared to standard bike lube because it does not contain any additives present in bike lubricants making them less efficient. Irrespective of the fact that cooking oil has practically the same viscosity as bike chain lubricants, it does not offer similar performance.
Can Motor Oil Be Used as Bike chain Lubricant?
Motor oils can be used to lube your bike chains, but they can damage your bike’s components because of their acidity. The motor oils or machine oils are more viscous, it is tough to cover your bike parts using them. Its application is time-consuming, and products, like spirits, may be required to make them thinner.
Can 3-IN-ONE Oils Be Used as Bike chain Lubricants?
A 3-in-1 oil is a multi-purpose oil that can be used for numerous purposes, like lubricating bike chains. This oil has outperformed many lubricants in tests including power loss and speed.
Moreover, it doesn’t attract dirt and protects bike chains against damage. The vegetable oil doesn’t degrade fast with the temperature changes, making it one of the best alternatives available.
Ideally, you should always have a purpose-made bike chain lube at hand. But, sometimes you are forced to use an alternative. Many alternative lubricants, like chainsaw oil, can only be used temporarily, but not regularly.
If you are using a bike chain lube alternative, don’t concern too much. If you clean the bike chain and apply any regular automotive grease as soon as possible, you can protect your bike from potential damage.