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WD40 and bikes

chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
edited May 2012 in Workshop
Hi

I have heard many people saying you should never use WD40 on a bike.

While i completely agree that as a lube for the chain it is next to useless, it does work pretty well as a cleaner/degreaser.

should I avoid using it altogether or am I ok to use it to clean a chain/cassette/sprockets etc, leave them to dry off and then re-lube afterwards? or is this a cycling faux-pas as well?

what is the major issue with WD40?
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Posts

  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,689
    You don't want to use it in proximity of bearings... that's all keep it off BB, headset and hubs and you'll be fine
    WD40 contains solvent and will remove the grease... you can use it on bearings if you then regrease them...
  • YossieYossie Posts: 2,600
    Don't use it on the chain and then try and put oil on top - it'll break down the oil and make sure that it flicks off the minute you start moving.

    Theres nothing wrong with it per se but its more of a water displacer (therefore the WD in the name) than a lube, although it does have some very minor unseizing/cleaning capability.

    Just degrease the chain and sprockets using a degreaser, hose down, dry off using the sun, towel or compressor, apply lube to the chain - simple as.

    It did do a great job of protecting all the nuts and bolts on my garden swinging chair over the winter though, so I can't knock it for that.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,207
    if you want to degrease - use degreaser

    if you want to lubricate - use the correct lubricant for the application, grease, oil, dry lube, silicone

    if you want to dry stuff - use a cloth (or sunshine, or oven)

    if you want to remove/prevent corrosion on bolt heads etc. - use acf50

    if you want to stop stuff seizing - use anti-seize

    if you forgot to use anti-seize - use plusgas

    that's covered all scenarios, no need for wd40 (nor for gt85)
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    it is a jack of many trades and does not do many that well.

    Did you know WD40 does make a degeaser as well as many other products under the WD40 lable.

    says alot about the original products actual worth.

    and as above.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,890
    sungod wrote:
    if you want to degrease - use degreaser

    if you want to lubricate - use the correct lubricant for the application, grease, oil, dry lube, silicone

    if you want to dry stuff - use a cloth (or sunshine, or oven)

    if you want to remove/prevent corrosion on bolt heads etc. - use acf50

    if you want to stop stuff seizing - use anti-seize

    if you forgot to use anti-seize - use plusgas

    that's covered all scenarios, no need for wd40 (nor for gt85)
    you forgot to add if you have a stiff hinge on your gate at the bottom of your garden, use WD40 to release it :wink: because it is techically a releasing agent, great for that!
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    giant man wrote:
    sungod wrote:
    if you forgot to use anti-seize - use plusgas
    you forgot to add if you have a stiff hinge on your gate at the bottom of your garden, use WD40 to release it :wink: because it is techically a releasing agent, great for that!

    Nope - he substituted it for a much better product with the Plusgas. :lol::wink:

    Sorrrrryyyyyyy :mrgreen::mrgreen:
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,207
    well, i was sticking to bikey applications, otherwise who knows where it could end up...

    if you want to create a mushroom cloud of flame - wd40 with a suitable containment and ignition system, oh, and be nowhere near it when it goes off, spices up large bonfires :)
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • trekvettrekvet Posts: 220
    On the other hand I use it as I set out of the door, with a squirt on the cleats (on the shoes) of my Speedplay pedals; works a treat for the whole ride - clip and stomp in one go. Gives no wet surface for dust to stick too, nor does it build up in the spring recess of the cleats.
    The Wife complained for months about the empty pot of bike oil on the hall stand; so I replaced it with a full one.
  • YossieYossie Posts: 2,600
    I use it clean my hair clippers with.

    Spray shed loads of it over your bike in the winter and it'll keep corrosion down - attarct the dirt, but as it sits on top of the WD its no bad thing. Don't try and be surgical - just attack the bike with it after taking off the wheels and covering the brake pads.

    And GT85 smells nice, so theres always a place for that in the Yossie workshop.

    Its also fine for covering stuff that you will be storing for a while, be it bikes in the rafters of a garage or, as I used to do, spray a whole big can over a newly cleaned motorbike and stick it under and good fitting cover before you head off for a few months - come back, degrease down and it'll be spotless underneath.
  • Father JackFather Jack Posts: 3,508
    I use GT85 for inner cables. It's not oil so you won't get gunged up inner/outer, and it makes the inner very slippy (less resistance)
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • protoproto Posts: 1,475
    Well, seems I'm on my own here, but I use it as a chain/cassette lubricant. Used liberally and often. I used to use '3in1' but it quickly gets very dirty and gritty, possibly doing more harm than good. So, now I use WD40, chain is quiet, runs smoothly and stays clean.

    BTW happened to be in the pit garage of a World Superbike race team , and saw them using it on their race bikes. Admittedly they change their chains every session, but then I'm not putting 200hp through mine.

    Finally, I asked a mate of mine, happens to be have Chemistry PhD from Cambridge, now a director of research for Castrol, and yes, he lubricates his bike chain/cassette with WD40 too.
  • TwostageTwostage Posts: 987
    I've used WD40 to clean chains, left it to dry and then used a specific lube and it seemed ok.
    I think WD40 leaves a thin layer of grease when it dries doesn't it ?
    I've switched to using dettox spray to clean my chains. I was surprised to see sand coming off with all the other gunk the first time I used it. Probably always happened but dettox being clear allowed me to see it. No wonder the chain sounds like its grinding sometimes.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,014
    nicklouse wrote:
    says alot about the original products actual worth.

    No - it just says something about marketing! :lol:
    Faster than a tent.......
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