Well Oiled — Bike Magazine Australia


For most riding conditions, use a bicycle-specific Teflon-based oil, such as Park Tool CL-1 or Finish Line DRY Teflon Lube, to lubricate pivot points — any part that moves — on brakes, derailleurs and chain links. Don’t forget springs and mechanisms.

Use a lightweight machine or chain oil between nipples and rim to make adjusting spokes and truing wheels easier; brake and derailleur cables to keep them moving smoothly; and brake and shift levers to ensure they function properly.

Choose a chain lubricant specific to the conditions you ride in. Typically, wet lubes, such as White Lightning Wet Ride, work year-round, but attract more dirt in dry conditions. Dry lubes, such as Tri-Flow Superior Dry Lubricant, don’t hold as much grit and grime, but won’t last long in wet conditions.



Use a general-purpose, medium-weight grease, such as Pedro’s Bio Grease, on bearing systems (hubs and headsets) and large-thread bolts (pedal spindles and crankarms) — basically, on parts that require assembly and disassembly. Another use: on exposed areas to stop or prevent corrosion.

Ceramic bearings, common on today’s high-end road bikes, produce less friction than steel ones, making them less likely to seize. For this reason, they require a lower-viscosity lubricant, such as Finish Line Ceramic Grease. 

Metal parts that fit together and rarely move, such as a seatpost, stem and frame, can cold-weld to each other, making disassembly nearly impossible. Coat these with an anti-seize compound (Park Tool makes one) before joining them. Of all metal combos, the worst offender is titanium on titanium, threaded or not.


1. Grease on carbon parts will cause them to slip. Instead use friction paste, which contains tiny bits of grit to help them stick. Syntace makes a good one.

2. WD-40 is a solvent (though they’ve also just launched a range of other  bike-specific products) and can actually strip your chain of lubricant. Use it to clean your chain before you lube it.

3. Use plenty of oil or grease, but wipe off the excess with a clean, dry rag to keep grit from gathering. If you lube a lot of parts at once, wipe them in the order you lubed them so the oil has the same amount of time to penetrate.

4. Don’t get creative: save motor oil and automotive grease for your ute, vegetable oil for your frying pan and multipurpose oil for squeaky door hinges.