My Two Favorite Bicycle Chain Lubricants

08 Apr
White Lightning Clean Ride Self-Cleaning Wax Lube

White Lightning Clean Ride

At this time of year many folks will be getting back on their bikes for the first time in months. First, welcome back—we’ve missed you out on the road all winter. Second, you probably need to lube your bike chain before you hit the road again. There are a lot of great chain lubricants on the market and today I’d like to tell you about the two I use.

Several years ago a local bike shop recommended White Lightning Clean Ride Self-Cleaning Bicycle Lubricant to me and this amazing product keeps my chains looking brand new even after 2,000 miles of use. White Lightning Clean Ride is a liquid wax that goes on wet and dries rather quickly. This lube is “self-cleaning” which means that once the chain dries the wax lube “sheds” off your chain as it gets dirty.

Before applying Clean Ride for the first time you need to start with a very clean chain since the wax will not mix well with the oil that might already be on your chain. I have found that White Lightning Clean Streak Degreaser works extremely well for this purpose. Once your chain is clean, just pour Clean Ride on the chain as you turn it, let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe off the excess. I use a small air compressor to blow the dirt off of my chain after every ride and I re-apply the Clean Ride about every 100 miles. If you don’t have an air compressor just use a small cotton cloth (an old T-shirt) to wipe off the dirt after each ride. You will find that dirt, sand and road grime does not stick to your chain once you start using Clean Ride. This means you are not going to have globs of oil flying off of your chain if you get caught out in the rain. Clean Ride retails for around $10.00 for a 4 ounce bottle. I think I have seen White Lightning Clean Ride at every bike shop I’ve ever been in, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it.

Boeshield T-9 Waterproof Lubricant

Boeshield T-9

While White Lightning Clean Ride is fantastic for most purposes, I prefer to use Boeshield T-9 on my winter bikes and the ones I use for riding in the rain. The first time I saw a can of Boeshield T-9 in a bike shop I was a bit surprised because I already had several cans of it in my garage but had never even thought of using it on my bikes. I live between Chicago and Milwaukee and all of my woodworking tools are stored in an unheated garage, so to keep them from rusting I spray them with Boeshield T-9. I also use it on my snow-blower. My favorite use for it had always been on my table saw—not only did it keep the table from rusting, but it provided an extremely slick surface for the wood to slide over.

Boeshield T-9 was developed by The Boeing Company (the folks who make those pretty planes). This product has a solvent and paraffin wax base and uses neither Silicone or Teflon. The solvent penetrates deep through other lubricants, but I would recommend you clean the surface first before you use Boeshield T-9 if for no other reason than it looks better that way. Boeshield T-9 dries quickly, but it is best to let it dry for a couple of hours before wiping off the excess. This will leave you with an incredible barrier against rain, mud, snow, ice, salt and road grime. The bike I reserve for riding in the rain is coated with this stuff! My winter bike is fed a steady diet of ice and road salt, but it still looks great because of the protection Boeshield T-9 provides. Boeshield T-9 is suitable for use on derailleurs, brake cables, pivot points and the chain.

Boeshield T-9 is available in different sizes, from one ounce bottles up to gallon containers, and in aerosol cans. Regardless of what form you buy it in, Boeshield T-9 has exactly the same formula. The 12-ounce aerosol can retails for $18.


Tags: , , , , , ,

18 responses to “My Two Favorite Bicycle Chain Lubricants

  1. RayDvD

    April 8, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    Thanks for the heads up, have ordered some of the White Lightning lub.

  2. saltyvelo

    April 8, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    $10 for 4 oz?! That’s highway robbery!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      April 8, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      I think the price is about average for quality chain lubricants — the cheaper stuff doesn’t work nearly as well and usually gums up the chain. A four-ounce bottle will last most cyclists a year or so.

  3. Jeff Katzer

    April 8, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    I have been using White Lightening lube for a long time. It is my 1st choice for a chain lube too.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      April 8, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      Glad to hear it! When I started cycling I experimented with several different brands (the cheap stuff) and once I tried White Lightning I decided to stop looking for anything else.

  4. motopsyco

    April 8, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    I’m going to have to try the Boeshield now.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      April 8, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      It works great a lot of metal products — please let me know what you think of it once you’ve used it for a while.

  5. bgddyjim

    April 8, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    I dig T-9. Excellent stuff.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      April 8, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      Is it the only chain lubricant you use now?

      • bgddyjim

        April 8, 2013 at 6:44 PM

        It is. Degrease and re-lube every 2-300 miles. Drivetrain is spotless. I don’t use the aerosol spray though, I use the liquid dropper. I will switch next fall to coat the chain – with the dropper, the recommendation is one drop on each roller so the bulk of the chain is unprotected and rusts in the detached garage. Lost a couple of chains on the mountain bikes over the winter. Oops. That said, my Ultegra drivetrain runs silently for about 200 miles – it starts to develop a barely perceptible ‘tick’ when it’s time to redress the chain – but that stays indoors year-round.

  6. MikeW

    April 8, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    White LIghtening…got it!

  7. Irish Katie

    April 9, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Oh….I just picked up some chain lube….I have to go out to my garage later to see what it is I bought. The person at the bike store said it actually does not clunk up either…I wonder if it is the T-9 thing? It looked red …. I need to chek again.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      April 12, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      Local bike shops are great at recommending products that are good for your area — a chain lube that works great in the dust of Arizona probably wouldn’t be too great for the snow in Wisconsin.

      • Irish Katie

        April 13, 2013 at 9:20 AM

        I just took a look at what it is I had picked up. It is a brand called A.T.B. … and comes from Mesa, Arizona, USA. It was $9.99 for the 4 oz bottle (so similar in price to the White Lightening one you mentioned above.)

        It says it has a wicking agent in it to get to the chain connectors…is light, but does not come off like spray on lubricants. It also helps to remove grime accumlation as your ride. And it also says it keeps your chain from getting all black and dirty.

        Is it true? TIme will tell I guess.

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          April 13, 2013 at 4:11 PM

          I don’t think I’ve seen that product before — but it sounds worth looking into!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


The Word in Pictures

G2G Fit

"Fitness that adapts stays with you."

Bird and Bicycle

I make. What do you do?

Islam Exposed Online

The Truth About Islam

Tour Divide - Tim & Dave

Helping Break The Cycle of Poverty on 2 Wheels

Mission for Fit

A newlywed fighting fat life forever.

It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

And a 10K and a 200 Mile Bike Ride and an Obstacle Race and Anything Else We Find!

Food for Thought

Student at the University of Tennessee, Nutrition Major, and aspiring Registered Dietitian


Eyes ten degrees above the horizon

The Running Thriver

If I can do it, so can you!


Cycling and Hiking the worlds most amazing places

tiare explores

grow where you are planted.

...Faster than Last

“Bones heal, pain is temporary, and chicks dig scars...”


2 gymphobes attempt to get fit. Lol.

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

An Amateur Outside

if my ancestors could chase antelope until they died of exhaustion, so can i

fatbeardedandtattooedcyclist's Blog

A great site

Memoirs of the Extraterrestrial Psycho-Cyclist Space Pussies

Official site of Alex Stamas & Tyler Noseworthy's cycling tour from Massachusetts to Key West to San Diego

Cycling My Way

Mike clark - Bristol South C.C

Jenna L. Sexton, PhD

Writer, researcher, perpetual student...

The Limber Lawyer

Because flexibility is power.

" The Obstacle Is The Path "

the drunken cyclist

I have three passions: wine, cycling, travel, family, and math.


Cycling and weightlifting, mostly

Motivation Not Deprivation

Motivation the "Forever" weight loss solution

Long Distance Cycling Cleveland

We host a series of long distance preparation rides each weekend from February - June in the Cleveland, Ohio area


copyright 2013 - no reuse without permission ( see for fiction and fantasy )

The Sweat Angel

Sweat. Smile. Repeat.

Real Food Rosie

Loving & Nourishing my Body with Real, Whole Foods

Emma's Diary

my fab little site!

Inspiring Stories of My Healthy Lifestyle Change

Promoting Change one step at a time.

Purely Nutritious

Let Food be Thy Medicine and Medicine be Thy Food

Kerrie Is Running

Started with the C25k and now we're here!

Naturally Fit...& Well

Strengthen body......mind......spirit


Taking Life Back to the Basics


All things about bicycles and bicycle commuting.

Unchained Iceland



Fitness. Food. Finance.

Ari rides her bike

Love at first pedal


healthy tasty food that I love to make and eat and share

Did cavewomen wear heels?

A city girl struggling to live as her ancestors did. Adopting the Paleo lifestyle. Join the laughter, love and tears. Weight Loss. Cooking disasters. Crimes against fashion. Delicious recipes. Sarcastic remarks. Shoes. TTC. First world problems. Shift work. What more could you want from a blog?

Molly's Journey to the West

A Filmmaker, Writer, and Outdoor Enthusiast Experiencing the World


A site about science, running and health.

Lauren Lost Weight

A new town, a new school, a new me.

The Game Plan

Playing to Lose (Weight)


Diabetes, Cancer Survivor, Cycling, Photographer, Exercise, College Parent, High School Parents, Teenage girls, Twins, Boy Scout Leader, Life


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,167 other followers

%d bloggers like this: