How do you like it? Wet or Dry?

Over the years I’ve tried all sorts of chain lubes on both my commuter and mountain bikes. But more recently I’ve used what ever was closest to me. From my experience when talking to others about lube, it’s much like religion or politics, people will have their own opinions on what’s right and wrong.

So I leave you the question; “Which type of lube (wet or dry) do you use and why?”


  1. Keith
  2. mihai

    I have always used lemon cleaning solution and whatever oil i had lying around… tried dry, wet etc… eventually switched my commuter to a carbon belt and was done with it…. never looked back

  3. Ghost Rider

    I used to believe the hype White Lightning spewed…that stuff is junk. Dirt doesn’t “flake off”…the wax simply makes a difficult-to-remove paste that eats chains.

    For me, nothing beats homebrew: a 3-1 ratio of mineral spirits and synthetic motor oil. Drip it on, let it soak in for a couple minutes and wipe off the excess. Booya — pristine chain!

  4. Mike Jenkins

    This is a great question. Whenever I meet new (to me) cyclists, I know this will be a great conversation starter because everyone has an opinion and no one has any evidence. The conversations can go on until everyone’s jaw is sore.

    I use a mixture of kerosene, ATF, canning and bees’ wax heated with a little raw linseed oil, with a touch of Japan dryer thrown in after the wax dissolves and the mixture cools.

  5. BluesCat

    Good ol’ Tri-Flow in the 2oz bottles. It’s what my favorite bike shop uses and it’s cheap. A couple of times, over the years, I’ve grabbed a bottle and tossed on the counter with the rest of my purchases and the tech has simply tossed it into the bag without ringing it up.


    +1 on the Tri-Flow. It also smells delicious.

  7. bigbenaugust

    Wet cross country lube, as pictured. Or Tri-Flow if I don’t have anything else handy.

    White Lightning did not do it for me in a commuting environment. My MTB buddy swore by it, and I tried it. And I had to keep re-trying it every day– even every ride– until I gave up and degreased and reapplied cross country.

  8. Itsmemattk

    Here in Michigan, I use triflow until snow season, then apply triflow for cleaning and wet after to keep snow and salt off my chain. Seems to work pretty good to commuting/delivery. Need pretty regular reapplication but I don’t mind, helps keep me in the habit of looking at the rest of the drivetrain for wear and preventative maintenance issues.

  9. Elizabeth

    I’ve used an environmentally friendly lube lately – SpinPower Natural or Superior Chain Lube. Only just recently started experimenting with a ceramic lube.

  10. chuck

    Pedroe’s Syn Lube. The best lube i’ve found for Chicago’s winters.

  11. KimLaroux

    I use the Wet cross county, the same as in the picture. Why? Because this is what the bike shop recommended me for use in snowy winters. I still haven’t used the whole bottle, so I haven’t tried anything else. It’s surprising how long such small bottles last. I’m actually surprised anyone uses so much that they can “try” different ones and find a favorite. Seems like this would take over a decade.

  12. Tom

    With an IGH, chainguard that covers most of the chain, and a long front mudflap, my chain doesn’t need to be cleaned and lubed more than once in two months. I use Pedro’s low-viscosity lube (very wet?).

  13. Graham

    I’m ashamed to say this, but I have no idea what kind of lube I’m using on my bikes. One day I noticed what my mechanic was using and purchased a big bottle of it. I figured that this way I wouldn’t have to worry about mixing and matching.

  14. Mir.I.Am

    Like Graham, never debated much, but I’ve always used Pedro’s Chainj Chain lube, since it seemed to be what was in stock at the LBS and eco-friendly… Wet works for me! I’m such a green marketing sucker:

    “Pedro’s made the environmentally-friendly Chainj Chain Lubricant for those looking for a sustainable lube option for mixed and wet conditions. The Chainj Chain Lube goes on easy and won’t leave a mess Mother Nature can’t take care of.”

  15. John

    road bike: finish line dry
    mtb : finish line dry
    commuter: finish line wet
    if I know it’s going to rain/muddy: finish line wet

  16. John

    or phil’s tenacious 😮 really sparingly, but that it last the longest in inclement weather 😮

  17. Tracy Wilkins

    I use the Finish Line Wet on my commuter. It effectively handles all the wet and gunk I encounter with ease. It won’t wash off and remains mostly effective even after it gets nice and dirty.

    Until now, I’ve used White Lightning Clean Lube on my road bike and the tandem, but lately I’ve been kind of disappointed in how often I need to wipe down the chain and reapply it. As soon as I use up the last bit in the bottle, I’ll clean the chains and start using Finish Line Teflon on those bikes to see how it compares.

  18. Doug

    I’ve tried nearly every solution mentioned with mixed results. Nearly all of them crap out, especially after a day of riding in the rain.

    However, I decided to mail away for a can of Aero-Kroil. It comes in a few formulations, but the aerosol has worked well. Like any aerosol, I apply it to the links, and then wipe the surface reasonably dry. So far, it has only needed monthly applications.

    How can I tell it’s working? The chain is almost completely silent – almost like a belt drive. It has the same effect on several bikes, and it stays that way even after a wet ride (no more squeaking chain the next day). Shifting is smooth, the chain is silent, and I’m a happy guy. I don’t know if it’s a better lubricant than the others, but I think the most important job is to effect the inner plates and links, and that’s what the Aero-Kroil seems to be doing.

  19. listenermark

    Rock n Roll Gold. I like the way it smells.

  20. bigbenaugust


    Well, you end up with an extra bottle here and there. 🙂
    The white lightning I tried is still collecting dust and has been since ’07. The Tri-Flow gets used pretty often around the house. I used it to lube my hair clippers a few months ago, for instance. A light lube like that has a lot of household uses.

  21. Raiyn

    Boeshield T9. Rust preventer and lube. Developed by Boeing way back when for their aircraft. Best stuff I’ve ever used bar none.

  22. Ordinary Bob

    Simple Green to clean, and I use wet on my touring bike (derailleur) and dry on my commuter (internal hub). Although I may try my used synthetic motor oil after reading the comments above.

  23. RL Policar (Post author)

    What ever you guys do, don’t use vegetable oil. I had a friend who did this and that stuff got so gummy that it took forever to clean it off his drive train.

  24. BluesCat

    RL – Vegetable oil? LOL! Riding home in the summer, in 110°F+ weather, if I used vegetable oil my bike would probably start smelling like a fast food joint!

  25. Mendo

    Wet lube in the rainy season and dry lube during the dry season. I just cleaned my drivetrain and applied teflon lube for the summer and my chain is blissfully silent. Happiness is a clean chain!

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