Simple Question: May I use WD40 to lubricate my single-speed chain? Does it not have any negative effects in terms of the chain performance and biking in general?

  • WD-40 is not a terrible substance to use for, eg, cleaning derailers, and it may be used to lube non-rotating parts (eg, a seat clamp), but should not be used for lubing rotating parts. Use an appropriate (wet or dry) chain oil on the chain. May 13, 2014 at 12:11

2 Answers 2


In my opinion, the best chain lubes are:

  • Teflon-based lube for dry conditions
  • Silicon-based lube for wet-muddy conditions

AFAIK WD40 would clean, but won't lubricate. And generally isn't really meant for bikes. Also one should be very careful with WD40 around wheel rims and breaks for obvious reasons.

As to the lubrication I've been told in a shop to use a lubricant after every ride (I live in Ireland, YMMV). Wipe the dirt, drop a drop of the lubricant on every link, wipe it again.

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  • Thanks! Just the assurance I need. I have been tempted to use WD40 on my chain. At least now I would stay off it.
    – Spo
    May 13, 2014 at 8:59
  • Just remember to wipe off lubricant off the surface of the chain so that it doesn't collect more dirt.
    – maksimov
    May 13, 2014 at 9:03
  • 1
    Light oils displace heavy oils. WD40 is light enough that it would eventually evapourate, leaving your chain clean but dry.
    – Emyr
    May 13, 2014 at 9:49
  • 1
    "be very careful with WD40 around wheel rims and breaks for obvious reasons". I keep an old cardboard amazon-ish box to use as a backdrop between the chain and the wheel. My chain lube is in an aerosol can though.
    – BPugh
    May 13, 2014 at 12:49
  • 1
    Lubricate after every ride? That's completely overkill for almost every rider.
    – Batman
    May 14, 2014 at 14:11

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