As is the case with everything used on a daily basis, bicycle chains also need to be maintained. In order to prevent rust, wear and tear, as well as mechanical resistance, effective and regular lubrication is required.
However, if the lubricants are not used correctly, they could possibly do more harm than good to your bike. So it pays to do your research and know your stuff when maintaining your bike.
Whole bike washes or chemicals, including Muc-Off pink stuff, may have some gentle degreasing capabilities but are not meant to remove oils and grease like a proper degreaser. If you’re going to have problems degreasing your two-wheeler, select the right product.
A decent bike degreaser is the hidden ingredient of a clean bike. It is, after all, the safest material to extract grease and oils which are otherwise resistant.
Bike degreasers are therefore essential to the effective operation of your bicycle.
In the following article, we’ll take a look at some of the best and most effective bike chain degreasers on the market and why you should be including them in your bike chain maintenance list.
Best Overall: Finish Line Citrus Degreaser Bicycle Degreaser
Cycle degreasers are some of the best tools that assist with the bike repair process, making it easy to remove all dirt and clutter. The Finish Line Citrus degreaser is our team’s quickest-running and most powerful bike degreaser on the market. It is one of the best degreasers in the world and is recommended because of its accessibility.
This product contains a safe and durable biodegradable formula produced by a leading manufacturing brand for safe use on the plastic and rubber parts of your bicycle. It is a non-toxic material made from soya oils and orange peels, with an intensity that makes it easier to dissolve it for less complicated activities.
If you are looking for a degreaser with comprehensive coverage, this commodity from Finish Line is the right option for you. It provides low surface tension that allows it to reach all areas without any problems.
The application of such a degreaser does not involve the use of any simple equipment and brushes. If sprayed, there is no trace and no odor, and the liquid will dry immediately. Say goodbye to all the dirt and grime as you cross the finish line with this piece.
- Fantastic product to use on cycles
- Makes your bike a candy-like fragrance
- Affordable to purchase
- Weak spray nozzle/trigger
- A little pricey for some low-income shoppers
- The product is ineffective
- Materials: Orange peel and soy-based extracts
- Size: 20 Ounces
- Type: Liquid
- Toxic: No
Runner Up: Muc Off Bio Drivetrain Bicycle Chain Cleaner and Degreaser
The Muc-Off Bio Drivetrain Cleaner is a spray that cleans your whole drivetrain. You can do the same with a chain cleaner like the X1, and you can also spray it directly onto your chain, chainrings, and disk.
You’re going to clean it in a few seconds. It is also fully biodegradable and safe for steel, plastics, rubber, and seals.
- This drivetrain cleaner will get your entire drivetrain shiny and clean!
- This agent is biodegradable.
- Your bike parts will not be harmed by the detergent.
- Do not aim/use this agent at parts that need to remain greased, such as bearings.
- Materials: Fully biodegradable, alkaline-based formula
- Size: 16 Ounces
- Type: Spray
- Toxic: No
Alternative: Muc-Off MOX-904 Nano Tech Bike Cleaner
Any consumer of the MUC off MOX-904 nano tech bike cleaner can testify that this is a good degreaser in every aspect. With its solution from a biodegradable source, this is a cycle cleaner created by experienced scientists who recognize the need for aluminum, rubber, plastic, and wall coverings.
It helps to convert your bike from a squeaking cycle in a matter of seconds. The bike chain degreaser can be in any section of your bike without any issues. This bike chain degreaser contains a control spray that gives you accuracy during use.
- Biodegradable cleaning formula
- Suitable for most bike maintenance cleaning
- Cuts into grease and grime to remove even the most resistant toxins of the drivetrain.
- Great for loosening and lubricating old gear shifters and cables
- Packaging can be improved
- A little pricey for some low-income shoppers
- The product is wasteful
- Materials: Not specified
- Size: 33.8 Ounces
- Type: Spray
- Toxic: No
Alternative: Finish Line 1-Step Bicycle Chain Cleaner & Lubricant
Finish Line 1-Step is designed for bike riders who want a simple, one-step, clean, and lube system. It flushes out toxins and old lubricant, leaving only a smooth, fresh coat of soft rubber lubricant. Finish line 1-Step is the best way to keep your bike on the road.
High reliability in all weather conditions and its good composition of cleaning and lubrication ingredients, makes Finish Line 1-Step the preferred alternative for many bike riders. It is the perfect choice for beginner bike riders in the motorcycle maintenance category and for those who sacrifice time to work on ideal chain washing and lubrication issues.
Finish Line makes most of the best bike chain lubricant varieties out there, and it’s no secret that the 1-Step Bike Chain Cleaner and the Lubricant were at the top of our scale.
Providing excellent protection against corrosion and making bike repair easier, Finish Line has created a wonderfully reliable bike chain lubricant for casual users and bikes that has been in store for a long time.
It’s fast and easy to apply, making it a perfect option for road stops and traffic stops. Although this can be very chaotic and may not be suitable for riders who want to be out again for long periods, we believe that the usefulness and good value for money of such an item is our total count position.
- Quick and easy to use- ideal for quick pit stops
- Works by cleaning the chain before lubricating, in only one step
- Helps to repel rust
- Not designed for very soiled chains
- Can be very messy to use as the spray comes out very quickly
- Materials: Orange peel and soy-based extracts
- Size: 4 Ounces
- Type: Squeeze bottler
- Toxic: No
Alternative: WD-40 Specialist Bike Degreaser
WD-40 Bike products are manufactured to provide essential bike maintenance. It is designed to make bikes low-maintenance for cyclists of all levels. This also enhances the quality and security of the bike while meeting the high expectations of pro-level cyclists.
The WD-40 Bike Cleaner & Degreaser is a product that gives consumers ten ounces of cleanliness. The purpose of this formula is to remove any troublesome grime and grease from your motorbike or standard road bike, which is achieved by WD-40’s quick-acting foam formula.
When this product is applied, it clings to the bike surface and continues operations, leaving no residue behind until it has been completed. It’s an easy-to-use device that makes use of a direct spray system that pushes the formula through your chain link.
The WD-40 bike degreaser involves no acids or citric solvents and has been rated as a very healthy chemical for bike parts and finishes. The best way to guarantee that your bike receives the best servicing is to get your hands on this great degreaser.
- Suitable for use on upholstery
- Non-harmful and non-toxic
- Non-flammable, and biodegradable
- Bad odor reported
- Risk of freezing in cold weather
- Contents are at risk of spillage due to the shape of the bottle
- Materials: Wood
- Size: 10 fluid ounces
- Type: Can liquid foam
- Toxic: Yes
Bike Degreaser FAQ
Why is grease bad for your bike?
Over-lubrication can result in poor performance and damage to components (excess lubricant will attract dirt and other abrasive particles). As a common concept, excess lube can always be properly cleaned out when riding a bicycle.
Take note of the sequence in which you add the lubricants while lubricating a variety of pieces at once. Wiping the remaining lubricant over in the same order will give the lubricants time to sink in.
What can I use as a bike degreaser?
The chain of your bicycle is the part of your cycle that helps you move your pedals. A poorly managed chain will reduce the effectiveness of this transfer of energy, making your trip less optimal and more stressful!
To make sure you have a simple, enjoyable trip, ensure your chain is in good shape. With the correct products, your bike chain will be clean in nearly an hour or less, and you can use the items you have around the home.
These basic things cover much of the washing and lubrication duties:
Items for washing and lubrication activities
- Clean rags: Keep a lot of them on hand for grease, oil, and wax-related activities and for general washing and drying.
- Brushes: Have a few styles and forms to get into difficult areas to remove the dust and dirt that can’t be rinsed on its own. Old toothbrushes tend to work well for this task.
- Water: Water can be a helpful weapon when used correctly, so be careful here. Water, particularly when it comes from a high-pressure hose, can cause exposure to harmful bearing systems on your bike.
- Soap/General Cleaner: Use diluted dishwashing soap or pre-formulated bike wash cleaner to disinfect the frame.
- Degreaser: A bike-specific degreaser (avoid gasoline or acetone) is used to disinfect gummy pieces like your bike chain. Choose a solvent that is easy to use and safe for the atmosphere. Dispose of all solvents correctly.
- Chain lubricant: Correctly lubricating the chain helps to maintain the life of your drivetrain. Add bike-specific lubricant oil regularly to a clean chain. There are two forms of lubricant, wet and dry. Wet lubricant is better used for riding in wet weather. It adheres tightly to the drivetrain and is less likely to wash off in the storm. Soil and grit will still stick to it, so ensure that you clean off the excess lube. Dry lubricant excels in a dry climate. Dirt and grit adhere less to dry lubricant, but dry lubricant is quickly rinsed when riding in the mud.
- Bike stand: This will help you place your bike at a convenient height when you’re operating on it. It will also encourage you to switch the pedals or remove the wheels so that you can clean all the running and hard-to-reach bits.
RELATED: Bike Repair Stands To Use At Home
How do I get grease off my bike?
Many dirty cycle parts can be washed by gently cleaning them with a damp or dry cloth. Other bike parts require daily cleaning, rinsing, and relubrication.
Washing your bike with a high-pressure hose will cause damage to delicate bearing structures in your bicycle. So, if you wash it with water, do so with caution.
The cleaning of your bike consists of four main steps:
- Wash the frame of your bike
- Clean and lubricate the chain
- Lubricate the brake and derailleur levers
- Lubricate the brake/derailleur cables and the brake/derailleur assemblies.
Your drive train (front chainrings, rear cassette, rear derailleur, and chain) needs the most regular consideration, with little helpful guidance.
Use a bucket of soap and warm water and a brush to lightly scrub off grime and dirt. Work from top to bottom, clean the pedals, the headset, the top tube, the seat stays, the seats, the front fork, and the brake pads.
If you have disk brakes, try keeping detergent away from the rotor blades and disc brakes. You can use a particular rotor cleaner or rub liquor to clean the blades. Finish by gripping chains, chainrings, cranks, and pedals.
Now use a container of clean water and scrub to rinse all the components in the same order that you scrubbed them. Follow that by drying the bike extensively with a few clean, dry towels.
The chain is the most “at-risk” lubricated part of your bike. Clean and lubricate it regularly to slow down the rate of chain wear.
Only use a rag and soap liquid to clean chains that don’t have too much built-up grime. You would want to use a chain-cleaning kit for very filthy links, which is more detailed and a lot less messy.
After the soap liquid has dried, slowly add the lubricant drops to the chain, having some on each connection. Let the lubricant dry, then scrub off any remaining lubricant so that it does not absorb more mud.
Generally, lubricate your chain if it squeaks or seems “dry.” Lubricating after damp drives can help prevent your chain from rusting.
Brake and derailleur levers: After cleaning the bike, apply a drop or two of the lubricant to the lever pivots and barrel adjusters regularly to keep them working properly.
Brake and derailleur cables: Inspect them regularly (especially under wet conditions) and relubricate them periodically, so they can run effectively.
Brake and derailleur assemblies: They consist of a variety of small moving pieces. Keep an eye on their arms, wheels, and pulleys, so they don’t knot up or get stiff. Apply the lubricant to the pivot stage. Be alert to keep the lubricant out of the brake pads.
Can you use WD 40 instead of bike grease?
The first thing you have to do, in order to disinfect your bike chain, is to de-grease it so that it is free of gunk and grease. There are a variety of approaches that you can use for this purpose.
To clear all the gunk from the bike chain, use a brush and a gallon of soapy water. Although you can’t hurt your bike by attempting to wipe off the grease and the gravel, this approach still has its drawbacks.
This is where the WD-40 bike chain cleaner comes in. When you consider the fact that the WD-40 Bike Degreaser has it all, it really is a worthwhile investment. You know that this chain cleaner not only makes washing the bike chain much easier but also faster and quicker.
What you need to do is clean the bike chain to clear any mud and gravel. Spray the WD-40 Bike Degreaser onto the layer of your bike chain and allow it enough time to work. On the edge of that, the WD-40 Bike Degreaser could also be used for washing and degreasing other mechanical components.
WD-40 doesn’t lubricate much. It’s basically a degreaser, meaning it eliminates all lubricants from bicycle links, cables, and other hinge joints.
If you clean your chain for re-lubrication purposes with a substance other than WD-40, then you should definitely consider WD-40 as a viable option. It’s even believed to make parts “rustproof”, by possibly deterring the displacement of water, which also allows rust to form.
Conclusion: what is the best bike chain degreaser?
Your bicycle’s chain is like a mechanical journal of your cycling adventures. The asphalt gravel of the last wet journey, the red mud of exploration in the desert, and the pollen clumps of spring blossoms.
But if your chain is kept dusty, the grit will make an impressively efficient grinding powder, causing costly wear, poor shifting, hard pedaling, and wasted power.
If you’re trying to get more efficiency out of your bicycle, but don’t want to waste tons of cash, keeping your drivetrain clean is something you need to work towards.
Steve Beck is a passionate cyclist and experienced writer covering the cycling industry for over a decade. He has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in all bike-related things, from the latest products and technologies to the best routes and trails. His articles are well-researched, informative, and engaging, and he has a talent for explaining complex cycling concepts in a way that is easy to understand. Steve can be found on the road when he’s not writing about bikes, putting his knowledge and skills to the test.