From the Mechanic’s Bench: Lubrication


During the winter months, our mechanics will be providing blog readers with maintenance and mechanics articles on different skills, knowledge, and tips for safe riding.

In this article, Jacob Schile reports on the importance of–and difference between–wet and dry lubricants.


It’s been a wet and wild winter! If you’re riding out in the snow, or getting your bike ready to ride in the spring showers there’s no doubt that you and your bike will get a little wet! Fortunately, there are wet lubricants available which will resist water and prevent salt from wearing out a chain. There are even rad rust-resistant chains to stand up against St. Paul’s salt spray! Woohoo!

Frequently Asked Chain Lubrication Questions:

When should I reapply chain lubricant?

A dry chain lube should be reapplied when exposed to water, or applied weekly if riding daily.

A wet chain lubricant should be degreased and reapplied every week to two weeks. If the chain is not thoroughly degreased before new chain lube is applied, the old lubricant will get thicker and attract more dirt and grime. A wet lubricant is much better for wet riding, but will require more attention in degreasing and reapplications.

Do I have to use a wet chain lube if I’m only riding in the rain occasionally?

No, but you will have to reapply chain lubricant after drying the chain, as the rain and puddles have washed away the lubricant.

Example of chain and gears well past needing cleaning:

Rust-Proof Chains!

Is that such a thing? Yes! Well, mostly! KMC introduced their newest EcoProteq chains in 2013. We at the shop have been using the chains for our winter commuters with excellent results! KMC EcoProteq chains are tested with 650 HOURS of salt spray! They are a little louder, but a wet chain lube helps quiet them down! Available for all drivetrain types! Single speed up to 12!