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Is WD-40 really bad to apply on bikes? I was told so but still see people doing that.

Also I saw WD-40 launching their new products of bike lubricant and degreaser. Did anybody try those?

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There's nothing particularly wrong with it, but it's not generally a good lubricant. I use it sometimes to clean derailers, but it's a lousy chain lube. –  Daniel R Hicks Feb 7 '13 at 2:12
I can't upvote this enough times. –  Neil Fein Feb 7 '13 at 5:51
Not suitable for lubricating moving parts, but WD40 sprayed on a rag is good for cleaning grime off your frame. –  meagar Feb 7 '13 at 13:46
"water-displacing spray", so it is good as a rust inhibitor –  Carson Reinke Feb 12 '13 at 18:03

3 Answers 3

WD-40 is mostly a solvent with a very light lubricant mixed in. It's great for getting stuck parts moving again. When you spray it on, the solvent dislodges whatever gunk may be causing the part to stick and then evaporates, leaving a light lubricant behind. This will allow the previously stuck part to move again.

The reason it is generally not considered a good bicycle lubricant is because it is a light lubricant. It's just fine for household items like door hinges, which aren't exposed to weather and don't get moved a couple hundred times a minute. But the lubricant is not thick enough to adhere to rapidly moving bike parts for any length of time, especially when you add a little bit of road grit and/or rain.

Some people do use it for loosening up shifters in the winter time (they stick when it's cold) or cleaning chains and derailleurs. You will notice in the answers and comments on the aforelinked question, and this one, that whether or not this is good practice is highly debatable. Some people will use WD-40 as a cleaner and degreaser followed by a bicycle-specific lubricant, with or without a cleaning inbetween, depending on personal preferences.

I don't have any experience with their bicycle-specific products, but they're a solid company that's been in the business of cleaning and lubricating mechanical parts for a long time. They also make Lava soap and 3-in-1 Oil, a product that was originally designed as a bicycle lubricant (although they did acquire both of those from other companies). I actually didn't know until I read this question that they were making bicycle-specific lubricants now. Given their history and the number of patents that they have to draw ideas and develop from, I'm certainly willing to give them a shot. The worst case scenario is that I have to clean it off and go back to my previous products.

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A side note: Sheldon brown for some reason claims 3-in-1 will gum up (sheldonbrown.com/chains.html), but I believe this is false since it is a Naptha based oil, not vegetable oil. –  Batman May 6 at 21:57

WD-40 (original) can be used as a de-greaser on bike parts. It is a bit harsher than other bike specific de-greasers, or common house hold degreasers (like Simple Green) that are often used by bike mechanics but essentially does the same thing.

Keep it mind that it is NOT a lubricant, but a de-greaser. After using any de-greaser you want to wash the area with soap and water and then apply a lubricant.

I have used the WD-40 bike specific lubricants and don't have any complaints. The wet lube held up well in a few nasty cyclocross races, and the dry lube is what I've been using on my "indoor trainer" bike.

They have thrown a lot of money into the launch of these products over the last few months and I expect that with this type of support, their products will become a household name in the bike space in the coming years.

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The "W" in WD-40 stands for water and the "D" stands for displacement, and the 40 stands for the 40th. attempt at being successful with the product. WD-40 doesn't really lubricate much of anything. It's actually a de-greaser, so it will remove any lubricant from bicycle chains, cables and other pivot joints. If you're cleaning your chain for re-lubrication purposes with a product other than WD-40, then WD-40 will be fine to use. It's also said to "rust proof" items, but probably because of it's ability to displace water which commonly causes rust to form. I haven't tried any of the new products yet. They have a bike "degreaser", a bike "foaming wash" and two different chain lubricants, as well as a frame protectant. It will be interesting to see some reviews about these new products as far as pricing and how well they work.

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