Can I use Wd40 on My Mountain Bike Chain?

Recently I received a query from one of my regular reader that “Can I use WD40 on bike chain?” So, I well researched on different forums and social media cycling groups. Along with that, my years of experience as bike mechanic will help me to give you the best advice about usage of wd40 on bike chain.

If you are not running a belt drive, the chain of your mountain bike can be the toughest working aspect. Even during pedaling at a usual tempo, a large quantity of metal is uninterruptedly constructed by the exchange in between the chain of your mountain bike and the remaining of drivetrain elements.

Today I will tell you if you can use WD40 on your mountain bike chain, keeping in mind that an excellent chain lube can level and smooth your chains interaction with the chain rings and cassette sprocket, and manage suitable shifting operation.

Additionally, it also assist the chain in preventing corrosion and lessens drivetrain wear and friction.

Can I use WD40 to lube my bike chain?

Wd40 Good For Bike Chain

The answer is, No. You cant use WD40 as chain lubricant because WD-40 is not exactly a pure lubricant seeing that it is mainly used as a rust dissolver or a solvent. This means that it can solvate contaminates so parts of metal get clean.

But if you use WD40 on your mountain bike, it will clean out any lubricant that was already on the chain, resulting your chain, and drivetrain even withered than before. This proves that utilizing WD-40 as a chain lubricant is rotten than using no lube.

Before going for a ride, always make sure to tight a bike chain. For a detailed guide, read Bike Chain Tightening 

What is WD-40?

Water Displacement-40th attempt most commonly known as WD40 is a thin petroleum based liquid. The 40 in the name is the 40th formula tried on. WD40 is definitely not a lubricant but is in fact used as a grease remover or rust dissolver.

Now knowing that it is not at all a lubricant, it will not work well on gears or drivetrain on any kind in fact it will dry it out even more. WD40 is especially not good to be used on mountain bikes or road bikes, where the chain rotates continuously.

What is the history of WD40?

In about 1953, the Rocket Chemical Company constructed a series of solvents for prevention from rust and degreasers to utilize in the aerospace industries. WD-40 when made was mainly used as a preventative from rust solvent and de-greaser to shield missiles from corrosion and rust.

The very first company to utilize WD-40 multi-tasked product commercially was Convair which is an aerospace contractor that works to protect the topmost skin of the Atlas Missile in case of corrosion and rust.

This company was renamed to the WD-40 Company, for the only product they made. They have a statement on their website as:

Always use a cleaner and lubricant designed for bike drivetrains. REI does not recommend using WD-40 on your bike chain because it is a cleaner not a lubricant.

Wd-40 & Bike Chain Degreasing

Can I use WD-40 as a degreaser on bike chain?

Many bicycle mechanics do not prefer to use WD-40 as a degreaser, other dish soaps or Simple Green is mostly used since they are lesser rough.

In any case, you could make it act like de-greaser and solvent to clean your drivetrain but make sure you put on a fresh layer of bicycle lube after you are done.


As we all know that WD-40 is a solvent and degreaser, applying it will leave your chain clean and withered. This is totally normal only if your purpose was to de-grease your mountain bike chain.

But, if you put on WD-40, this can have a solution that is not permanent, and frequent use of it on your mountain bike chain will result in your chain picking up a lot of dirt.

This will eventually lessen the cycle of your chain, as well it will result in less power and strength because of an increase in the friction.

Can I use WD40’s 3-IN-ONE oil to lubricate my bike chain?

You can easily use WD40s 3-IN-ONE oil as a chain lubricant since it will give your bicycle chain with suitable friction operation and protection against wearing.

Best Lubricants for Bike Chain

Coming to the question: If we can’t use WD40 as a bike chain lubricant then what are the other lubes we can use to lubricate bike chain? Down below I have listed all of the best lubes you can use to lubricate bike chain

Best Overall
Squirt Long Lasting Dry Lube
Squirt Long Lasting Dry Lube
  • Best For: Every type of bike
  • Lube Type: Dry
  • Feature: Extends Drive Chain Life
Check on Amazon
BIKE MEDICINE Purple Synthetic Chain Lubricant BIKE MEDICINE Purple Synthetic Chain Lubricant
  • Best For: Mountain Bikes
  • Suitable For: Wet and Muddy
  • Additional: Worked well for 400+ KM Ride Life
Check on Amazon
Best for Wet Weather
	Fenwick's Chain Lubricant
Fenwick’s Chain Lubricant
  • Best For: Wet Weather
  • Size: 100 ml
  • Features: Makes Chain Smooth Running
Check on Amazon
Editors Choice
Muc Off Hydrodynamic Chain Lube
Muc Off Hydrodynamic Chain Lube
  • Best For: All weather conditions
  • Lube Type: Hydrodynamic
  • Suitable For: All Bikes
Check on Amazon
Highly Recommended
Giro Synthe Road Cycling Helmet
Giro Synthe Road Cycling Helmet
  • Best For: Mountain and Road Bikes
  • Lube Type: Wet
  • Suitable For: All weather conditions
  • Additional: Self Tested on MTB & Road Bike
Check on Amazon

Watch GCN Guide About How To Get A Perfectly Clean Chain


While a less lubricated chain advances friction by engaging more than required metal on metal contact, a more lubricated chain will obviously have more dirt attracted, which will advance friction and drivetrain wear too. The trick has to be to get it right.

However, you can have difficulty making a choice when it comes to chain lubes. Having numerous brands providing a variety of distinct lubes and formulas and that is the reason finding the best chain oil is not at all easy.

And that is why it is equally important to know what not to use on your mountain bike chain in order to protect it. I guided you and made it easy for you to decide the best bike chain lube and not be framed.

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