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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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3  
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

4 Answers 4

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
    
@Batman: I have used 3-in-1 for a time and I can assure that at least over a period of a year it won't gum up (so I don't believe it either), however there are knock-offs and look-alikes that do. The downside of 3-in-1 is that I have to re-apply after each ride, where other lubricants (bike chain specific) last 3 or 5 rides. –  Jahaziel Oct 8 at 20:30
    
@jimirings: I agree that they have a solid name and a strong trademark, "WD-40" and the good-for-bikes debate has already done a lot of marketing and advertising for them, so I think it is a logical move to jump into bike specific products. I also think they are pretty new to the market, I jus saw them forst time less than a month ago... –  Jahaziel Oct 8 at 20:34

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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I like wd40. I usually use this protocol when using it for both degreasing and lubrication. This only works if wd 40 is being used for both degreasing and lubrication, and there cannot be substitution.

1) Spray chain and cassette and let sit 15-20 minutes

2) Wash chain and cassette in soapy water.

3) Dry completely

4) Lightly spray wd 40 on the chain and cassette.

5) Lightly grip chain with rag and run through about 3-4 times.

Everyone says Wd 40 is a lousy lubricant. But, when it comes to lubricant less is always more, and wd40 seems to lubricate the right ammount.

Using wd40 leaves my drive chain feeling quick and light.

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It is a lousy lubricant for this purpose since it doesn't really hold up - you're going to have to apply it very often to get adequate lubrication if possible. Also, this seems more annoying than using an on bike chain cleaner and more expensive than buying some chain lube in the long run (or at least 3-in-1). –  Batman Oct 5 at 19:46
    
Yes. While I feel there are uses for WD-40 on a bike (good for cleaning gunked derailers, eg), it's a lousy chain lube. And a decent chain washer is a far better way to clean the chain. –  Daniel R Hicks Oct 6 at 1:04
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It is important to distinguish WD-40 from WD-40 Bike, which is a line of products specifically formulated for bikes (and has chain lubes in the line which are OK). –  Batman Oct 6 at 4:14
    
200 plus miles, and I still haven't lubed it. Please tell me this lubricant is lousy again –  MadmanLee Oct 6 at 16:17
    
It greatly depends on bike usage. On clean roads a light lubricant is good. On dusty/muddy conditions they all struggle, but on intermediate situations is where you can see the difference in quality. –  Jahaziel Oct 8 at 20:38

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