I am having problems with rusting of my bike chain.

After cleaning my chain, I use a Dry Lube PTFE spray.

I looked at rust proof chains, but they are very expensive.

Is there anything else I can do?

  • 1
    Use an oil-based lube. Jul 6, 2021 at 17:27
  • The problem with that is it attracts dust.
    – fixit7
    Jul 6, 2021 at 17:48
  • 2
    Rub it regularly with an oily rag, each other ride and after each ride in the rain.
    – Carel
    Jul 6, 2021 at 19:23
  • 1
    Can you improve the storage conditions for your bike? Stop leaving it outside, leave it somewhere drier ?
    – Criggie
    Jul 6, 2021 at 19:28
  • 2
    Try using a wax lubricant. Too much oil lubricant is worse than too litte but when using wax you can smother the sides in the wax and once it hardens up it will stay quite clean.
    – Noise
    Jul 6, 2021 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


I lived for a while in Lima, Peru, near the coast. The air is so humid that it causes fungus or rust in anything you leave unattended for a week or so. (Leather items in one week, plasticky fabrics in a month)

In my case, the chain on my bikes had the same issue, they quickly developed rust, and if oiled too heavily, they got covered un dust in two or three rides. I used to store my bikes n a storage room, in the basement/parking lot of an apartment building.

One of my bikes was a commuter I used to do parcel delivery, so I rode it five days a week up to 60 km a day. For this bike I preferred to use a thin oil similar to the one branded 3 in 1. Each week I would wash the chain, lube generously with that oil an then wipe it with a dry cloth, trying to leave a thin layer of oil in the outside of the chain. It always ended dusty after the five days, so the wash was unavoidable, but this thin oil did attract less dust and was way cheaper than any bike specific product I could reach locally.

The other bike was an MTB that saw very little use. Around Lima all trails are sandy, some of them humid in "winter" but not muddy. That chain didn't got too dirty after a single ride, but rather got rusty from sitting in a storage room, along with some other non aluminum parts. For this bike I ended up covering the chain in the same oil and leave it stored like that, and wipe it before the rides. Then, after the ride I would wash the chain and apply lubricant generously. Some times I could not wash it immediately so I covered it in lube and wash it a few days later, always storing it covered in oil. Some other parts of the bike would get a similar treatment.

Back in my home town, a tropical climate with not much humidity, nowhere near the sea, rust is not a problem unless I leave the bike exposed to rain, but most of the mountain rides leave the bike splashed with mud. Here when I wash the bike I apply as little lube as possible, (one drop per roller) and in the pivots of the derailleurs. If I cant wash it immediately, I just soak the chain with thin oil. That makes it easier for the grime to come off when I clean it later.

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