First Impressions: WD-40 Bike Products (Part-II)

In Part-I, we reviewed WD-40 Bike’s Foaming Wash, Heavy-Duty Degreaser, and Frame Protectant. Part-II features the company’s Dry and Wet Chain Lubricants, and Multi-Purpose Product.

GRAVELBIKE.com WD-40 bike clean protect lube

Dry Chain Lubricant ($9, 4 oz)
In the past, I haven’t had the best luck with dry chain lubes. They fulfilled their promises of clean drivetrains, but most left the chain squeaking after only a few rides (and sometimes sooner). Because my “road” rides eventually turn into dirt or gravel rides, I was hopeful when I read the Dry Chain Lube label’s tagline, “Ride smooth when the dust flies.”

One of the first things you notice when applying this lube is the pleasant scent (sort of like Irish Spring soap). WD-40 Bike Dry Chain Lube has a viscosity similar to other dry/clean lubes, but was less prone to migration (aka, “flinging”) during application. The Dry Chain Lube is extremely slippery to the touch, but at the same time, it doesn’t leave the chain feeling greasy (the label makes a point of stating that the lube does not contain wax). A slight, oily-looking sheen could be seen on the chain 12-14 hours after the initial application (and wipe-down).

In use, chains treated with WD-40 Bike Dry Chain Lube were quiet, and shifted smoothly. The chain did pick up a light coating of dirt/dust on the first ride (35 miles, mix of pavement and dirt/gravel), but I didn’t notice any further accumulation. Compared to the other dry-style lubes that I’ve used, WD-40 Bike’s Dry Chain Lube lasted anywhere from 50% to 100% longer.

Wet Chain Lubricant ($9, 4 oz)
Like the company’s Dry Chain Lube, WD-40 Bike’s Wet Chain Lube has a similar fresh scent (albeit less intense). As you might expect, the wet version is thicker than the company’s Dry Chain Lube, but it’s not as viscous as Chain-L or Phil Wood’s Tenacious Oil. The wet formula also shares the dry version’s slippery feel.

In the stand, chains lubed with the Wet Chain Lube had more of a “new chain” feel, despite the fact they had seen more use than those lubed with the Dry Chain Lube. Not surprisingly, the Wet Lube required slightly more wiping down than the Dry version. Visually, however, there was little difference between chains treated with the two formulas once the lube had fully penetrated the links (and the carrier had evaporated).

Chains lubed with the wet formula picked up only slightly more dirt than those treated with WD-40 Bike Dry Chain Lube (with accumulation ceasing after a couple of rides). Afternoon thunderstorms along Colorado’s Front Range produced ideal conditions for testing the Wet Chain Lube’s ability to repel moisture and grit. While I (thankfully) never rode home in a downpour, my commuter’s chain remained smooth and quiet during a week of weather roulette.

Multi-Purpose Product ($9, 4 oz)
This may not be a purpose-specific product, but it has saved my bacon many a time. Need to remove road tar–or worse, chewing gum-from your frame? Check. Have a gummed-up shifter that needs to be flushed out? Check. Got stuck in the rain and want to purge the water (and crud) out of your derailleurs? Check. Leftover adhesive from old stickers? Check. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. Even if you already have half-a-dozen (or more) dedicated lubes and cleaners, keep a bottle of WD-40′s Multi-Purpose Product on hand for those unexpected emergencies and quick fixes.

Disclosure: WD-40 Bike provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.

What's on your mind?