WD-40 For Your Bike? Yes, We Approve

Somewhere between the ages of eight and about thirteen, you probably sprayed something on your bike with WD-40. It may even have been your chain. At that age, you may not have realized how inappropriate WD-40 was on your bicycle for anything other than rust protection during winter storage. Contrary to popular belief (it was and still is a common misconception), WD-40 does contain lubricating oil, but not the kind you need for your bicycle chain, and certainly not for your bearings, which require grease. It’s possible that you ruined some bearings or wore out your chain prematurely, and a lesson was learned – there are specific products for specific applications when it comes to your bicycle. Fast forward to Interbike 2012, and WD-40 showed off a range of products designed just for bikes, with a catchy name that leaves no room for misunderstanding. Yes, it’s WD-40 Bike, and they’ve broken the line down into three categories, which are Clean, Lube, and Protect.

First up is the Clean, which consists of a heavy duty degreaser and foaming wash. Both are biodegradable, which means they aren’t loaded with a bunch of harsh chemicals that will land you on the wrong side of the EPA when it comes time to clean your ride. They’re also made with the kind of magic that eats grease and grime, but can be used with the popular bike metals – steel, titanium, and aluminum, plus chrome plating, as well as your rubber tires, plastic bits, and that fancy plastic, carbon fiber. The degreaser is obviously intended for grease buildup, while the foaming wash should be a hit with mountain bikers that play in the dirt, cyclo-cross racers that thrive in mud, and obsessive-compulsive roadies that clean their bikes even when they are not dirty. (It’s ok, really)

Find it on Amazon!

Should anyone ever tire of the Shimano vs Campagnolo or Shimano vs SRAM argument, and deflect the discussion to chain lube instead, WD-40 now offers two options to muddy that debate even further. Choose from a dry lube that’s been “tested by scientists and pro mechanics alike”, or a wet lube that’s been “professionally tested”. The truth is that for every expert, there are dozens of dissenting opinions. So you’ll have to try them both and see. Dry lube is great if you live in the high desert, or only ride on the road. Wet lubes are preferred for humid climates, rainy commutes, and playing in the mud. In Utah, that’s dry for the summer, and wet for the five or so months of snowy weather. Whichever you use, proper lubrication can result in longer chain life, better shifting, and a quieter drivetrain. Who doesn’t want that?

Finally, there is a frame protectant. This is the product that wives will be buying for their husbands, no question about it. Not because they care about clean and pretty bikes, but because it will allow them to reclaim their cooking spray or  furniture polish that made their way into the “bike cleaning supplies”. Yes, some cyclists still coat the underside of their down tube with cooking spray before a dirty ride, just like others still polish their bikes with furniture polish. Not that there is anything wrong with either, but why not use one product designed for both applications, from a name that we’ve been trusting for over fifty years?

No, we haven’t gotten our hands on any samples yet. But if/when we do, expect some non-scientific testing, and a full report. In the meantime, you can check out wd40bike.com for more info. And if you happen to have tried any of these products, feel free to let us know how they fared.

– Brian




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