The bicycle has been a staple in transportation for centuries. And, while the evolution of the bike did not happen overnight, it did occur gradually and steadily. Consequently, new inventions and improvements were made to the bicycle over time, making it safer and easier to ride. As such, nowadays, you can find all types of bikes on the market: mountain bikes, road bikes, BMX bikes: you just name it! However, one product will probably be found on your new or old bike that isn’t talked about often, and that is bicycle lubricant.
So, this article points out how essential the lubricant can be to your biking experience by highlighting different oils, including how they work and why they’re needed.
About Bicycle Lubricants & Their Significance
Bicycle lubricant is a free-flowing liquid that maintains and improves the function of systems on your bicycle. Meanwhile, it’s so important to keep your bike running smoothly and efficiently at all times. It also makes it easy to adjust steering, brakes, and shifting mechanisms. Bike grease will also help protect the parts of your bike that aren’t covered by oil, like the frame, chain, and bottom bracket (the part that pedals connect to). Besides, the best bicycle grease does two things: it repels water and dirt and helps prevent rust.
Bicycle lubricant acts as a barrier between the moving parts of your bicycle and other foreign objects. And, not only will it keep the parts of your bike running smoother, but it will also help prevent any unwanted squeaking or grinding noises. So, without oil, your bike would be exposed to dirt, which may cause corrosion.
Types of Lubricants
Lubricating the chain, sprockets, derailleurs, and pivot points will reduce drag and increase efficiency. And here are some types of bike lubricants:
- Oil is usually the best choice in cold climates where water would freeze to the chain in humid conditions.
- Teflon is usually the best choice in hot, humid climates where water evaporates off of the chain. It has a slightly waxy feeling on the chain and works well with all weather conditions.
- Bike shops typically sell proprietary lubes that they mix in-house. These are generally good quality oils with the proper viscosity for your climate, but they are often petroleum-based or not environmentally friendly or biodegradable.
- Another point to keep in mind when seeking lubricants is something called “flashpoint”. A flashpoint rating of 120 degrees F or higher is generally considered superior for performance and safety reasons. Oils with flashpoints below 100 degrees F will be more likely to ignite when exposed to heat, such as a fire on your bike or if you touch them with a hot soldering iron.
The truth is that you don’t need bicycle lubrication at all times. You only need it when you’re working on your bicycle or riding it. But thankfully, there are all types of modern bicycle oil available today!
So, if you’ve been reading this article, the chances are that you understand the importance of lubricant. That said, here’s why we need oil: bicycle chains wear out over time and require occasional replacement. Chains also wear out from dirt or corrosion built up in the chain’s rollers and pins. So, suppose your chain makes a “clicking” sound when you ride, and to prevent that, one needs lubricant. And above all, lubrication helps your bicycle to work for a more significant period smoothly.