You’re in the garage, getting ready to head out for your bike ride, when you realize you forgot your bike chain lube. Not wanting to miss your chance to get some exercise, you quickly grab a can of silicone lube and head out. But is it safe to use silicone lube on a bike chain?
Yes, it is safe, but it’s not ideal in all environments. If you bike in places that are dry then silicone lubes are great. If you go through water often, bike in the rain, or live in a super humid place, a dry silicone lube usually isn’t the best.
Silicone lube is made from a lightweight chemical compound and is often used as a lubricant for high-temperature applications. It’s technically waterproof, which seemingly makes it ideal for use in wet or humid conditions, but this doesn’t work so well in practice because silicone lube is so light and such a thin mixture. However, because it’s not as viscous as other types of lubricants, it can attract more dirt and grit, which can shorten the lifespan of your bike chain.
Silicone lube isn’t as sticky as a typical chain lube, so it has a higher chance of shedding from the chain, and being less effective as you pile on the miles. It’s also more likely the come off if the chain was to get wet, such as if you go through a puddle or ford a creek.
So, while you can technically use silicone lube on a bike chain in a pinch, it’s not the ideal solution for all riders. For best results, stick with dedicated bike chain lubricants that are made for your specific conditions — road, dirt, mud, wet, etc. — that are specifically designed for the task at hand. Your chain will thank you for it!
The next time you’re looking for a bike chain lubricant, remember that silicone lube should only be used in a pinch. For the best results, stick with dedicated bike chain lubricants, like Finish Line, that are specifically designed for the task at hand. Your bike will thank you for it!