Some images about lubrication to which I am referring to here and image about parafin usage here.

Spray lubricant (like green bottle 450ml TF2) can be awkward to carry, not the case with black tiny bottle TF2 or more here. If I can understand right, they may have different usage because of different penetration (speculation). Then, there is also non-spray lubricant called hot wax ala paraffin, instructions. And certainly innovative people have invented even more merry products. Which products do I really need to to keep my chains in good condition? The cheaper, the better. The products are not genuine substitutes due to their size, forgive me, and if I have interpreted right, you may need to heat parafin or I am just misinterpreting the picture.

  1. When do you use spray lubricant and non-spray lubricants?
  2. Which lubrication is the cheapest? What about the best with infinite time?
  3. Is some of the lubricant bulk product so you could get it cheap perhaps parafin?

2 Answers 2


You want a lubricant that isnt sticky. If it is sticky, dust will collect on your chain and form the gunk you are used to. This means: no oil.

In my experience, spray lubricants can be more runny than bottled, because they can be formulated to evaporate the solvents more efficiently. It seems this is because the bottle seals arent that tight and the lubricant would dry out in the bottle. This leads to the chain feeling more dry when sprayed. I spray every few hundred miles.

Some spray lubricants are available in smaller, 150ml spray cans.

The 450ml spray bottles last for years. I ride a recumbent with a long chain, and after two years the 450ml bottle is still half full.

No experience with the paraffin thing. Unchaining a recumbent is no fun.

I used to use bottled teflon based lubes, but by now I am fixed on sprayed, because it isnt as sticky, and seems to last longer. Just cheap lubes may not pay, depending on the price of the chain etc.

  • What about if I diluded the bottled stuff, like [1], with water or ethanol? [1] global.ebay.com/…
    – user652
    Feb 7, 2011 at 19:20
  • What do you mean with "no oil"? Sythetic stuff? I'm asking everything in the shop with "chain lubricatition" on it seems oily or at least pretty sticky, even when synthetic. So what do you mean with "no oil" exactly? (I also have a recumbent and non-sticky would be great :-) Feb 8, 2011 at 8:46

I'm a big fan of Pro Gold. Year round, all weather. Road bike. Commuter bike. Mountain bike. I started using Pro Gold after Lennard Zinn's recommendation in his road bike maintenance book.

Apparently the Pro Gold company got their start making lubricants for mining equipment. So think of lubricating metal in very adverse conditions. Anyway, the downside to their bike chain lube is that it can be hard to locate locally. It's available online though.

Pro Gold has a spray as well, but I rarely use spray lubes so don't have experience with that one. Basically because it's less controllable. Also, haven't tried the paraffin method...mainly because it looks like too much work. Actually, turns out that I do have some spray Pro Gold. The only difference is that the spray has propellents. I don't use it on my bike though.

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