Hexagonal boron nitride, a.k.a. white graphite, is non-toxic, very very slippery, tends to stick to metal, tends to not have other substances stick to it, and seems to have worked very well in my first ride. Anyone have reasons why I should wash it off real quick? :-)

  • 5
    keep riding, keep track of chain wear, and report back :)
    – Paul H
    Oct 13, 2020 at 21:34
  • 3
    Is it expensive ? And how much dirt/grinding paste does it collect up over time? One of the advantages of Wax is that it doesn't collect dirt, and so doesn't go black over time.
    – Criggie
    Oct 13, 2020 at 21:38
  • 3
    Interesting - one site I looked up $US70/lb so not OTT expensive. According to Wikipedia has weak link to causing pneumoconiosis so should be handled with care (i.e. best not to snort the powder :) ) . Very interested in the answers...
    – mattnz
    Oct 13, 2020 at 23:26
  • 2
    I have no experience with white graphite, but I think you're OK. I feel like chain lube is something where there are a ton of opinions, and we all have the stuff we like. But the reality is that as long as you have something on there, you're fine. Just not grease, or anything that will aggressively attract dirt.
    – Ben Stokes
    Oct 22, 2020 at 0:24
  • 1
    I see no problems with it besides the toxicity. There are lubricants that have it and information about its lubricating properties. You have my permission. So let it be written, so let it be done.
    – Andrew
    Oct 23, 2020 at 2:39

1 Answer 1


Well, white graphite (or hexagonal boron nitride for all the big brainers) is fine to use as a lubricant, but like @mattnz said, don't snort it (mattnz is big brain). Regular graphite can be corrosive do certain metals with moisture, but as long as its white graphite, I don't see any issues that would pop up.

  • 2
    Questions: how does one effectively get white graphite in between the roller/bearing interface? Is there an effective carrier, does the carrier affect its properties? I assume if you can get white graphite into roller-bearing interface, rain or water could wash it out (i.e., not suitable for wet weather riding)?
    – Rider_X
    Oct 23, 2020 at 3:39
  • Thus far I just poured some into a paper towel and pulled the chain through. It has clearly stuck around dry for nine days now, has been working very well so far, adhering to the metal considerably more than I had expected. The chain is running very quietly indeed. I begin to wonder about things like bearings, and cables. When working with an entry lockset, I push the stuff into the keyhole and crevices and then chase it with WD-40; after a few days of exercising, the WD-40 is evaporated and the powder is deep. I may try that as Phase 1 the next time I do my chain. Oct 23, 2020 at 3:46
  • @Rider_X Applying it as a suspension in rubbing alcohol or a similar solvent could work.
    – MaplePanda
    Oct 23, 2020 at 5:25
  • 1
    @JEBofPonderworthy did you strip out all the lube prior to applying white graphite? Otherwise it would have mixed with the residual lube, thus acting as an additive. Personally, I think adding it as an additive to paraffin wax would make the most sense, as it is a carrier that remains in place once it hardens.
    – Rider_X
    Oct 23, 2020 at 5:37
  • The chain was freshly cleaned professionally and then waxed, so indeed, an additive. Oct 23, 2020 at 21:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.