Difference between wet and dry lube?

by bikeboy76   May 19, 2013  

This sounds like a dumb question of course, but is lube not lube? Yesterday I acquired a half bottle of Finish Line DRY teflon bike lube. It was lying there like a shiny penny in the gutter at the traffic lights near Sainsburys in Fallowfield. I lent down and snaffled it up knowing exactly what it was, thinking the person who lost it would not know where it was and it was only worth a couple of quid, so it came home to live with me instead of lying in the gutter.

Now here is the question. I always bought the 'Wet' lube as I though it was for wet conditions. Though I like to ride my bike in the country at the weekend in the dry, I still have to commute into the city to work and it is eventually wet some morning or other.
However the 'Dry' lube says it is for all weather conditions, so what is the difference and when should I use it?

5 user comments

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Wondered where that had got to...

Use it for sure, but it's thinner so will wash out quicker.

Noli porcum linguere

captain_slog's picture

posted by captain_slog [307 posts]
19th May 2013 - 20:46


Wet lube for winter. It goes thick and gunky, but will give your bike some protection from the salt.
Dry lube for summer. Washes off quicker, but stays thin.

posted by j1mmy76 [66 posts]
19th May 2013 - 20:59


I've used both.

The wet lube holds onto your chain etc better, but it also attracts road dirt and eventually turns into grinding paste.

The dry lube is much thinner, and so washes off a bit quicker. On the other hand it doesn't create gunk which will wreck your drivetrain.

On balance I prefer the dry, but you do have to remember to put it back on after you've been out in really wet weather or you end up with a dry chain.

posted by pirnie [216 posts]
19th May 2013 - 21:09


Sweet, I just thought any lube would turn into black gunk after a few miles. Clean chains are for pros, I don't have time to be scrubbing my chain twice a week.

However, I have a new Dura-ace chain in the post on the way to me after a thread about chain stretching a few weeks ago [http://road.cc/content/forum/79848-when-do-you-change-your-chain] so I will try the new lube on that and hope it keeps clean and slick for the summer.

I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1747 posts]
20th May 2013 - 0:12


You shouldn't need to lube a new chain, it's lubed in the factory (with decent sticky stuff that stays in the rollers), just need to wipe down the outer plates on the links to stop it attracting dirt. Only once it starts creaking or you've degreased the chain to clean it do you need to lube it after (although technically you're not supposed to degrease them but I think most of us do for convenience sake...)

posted by fuzzywuzzy [68 posts]
20th May 2013 - 11:49