Degreasers are essential for keeping your bike running in good order. If you want to prolong the use of your components and get the best gear changes and the most efficient ride possible, you need a good cleaning, degreasing, and lubing protocol.
There are plenty of different degreasers and lubes you can use, depending on the level of dirt you need to shift, and depending on your kind of riding. So, here are a few of the best bike chain degreasers, and a couple of lubes as well, to help you find the perfect product for your needs…
- Top 10 Best Bike Chain Degreasers In 2020 Reviews
- 1 Finish Line Speed Bicycle Chain Degreaser
- 2 Park Tool Cb-4 Bio Chainbrite Bicycle Chain & Component Cleaning Fluid
- 3 Wd-40 Bike
- 4 Finish Line 1-Step Bicycle Chain Cleaner & Lubricant
- 5 Molten Speed Wax, 1lb Bag
- 6 Pedro’s Pig Juice Chain Cleaner
- 7 Simple Green Bike Cleaner/Degreaser – 24 Oz. Trigger Bottle
- 8 Muc Off 664us Pink Nano Tech Motorcycle Cleaner, 35.2 Fluid Ounces
- 9 Finish Line Citrus Degreaser Bicycle Degreaser 20oz Pour Can
- 10 White Lightning Clean Streak – Bicycle Degreaser – Aerosol
- Best Bike Chain Degreaser Buyer’s Guide
- So, What Are The Best Bike Chain Degreasers?
Top 10 Best Bike Chain Degreasers In 2020 Reviews
1 Finish Line Speed Bicycle Chain Degreaser
Finish Line is a giant in the cycling world. It has a long history in manufacturing cleaning and lubrication products specifically for the needs of cyclists. They make a wide range of special lubricants and degreasers, all manufactured with an environmentally sound ethos.
Finish Line Speed Bicycle Chain Degreaser provides a fast and easy way to clean your chain and gears. This is because, in most situations, no special tools or brushes are needed to clean your drivetrain.
Special turbo sprayer…
You simply spray on the degreaser, and you’re done. The reason is that firstly, the special turbo sprayer provides enough force to physically blast and remove most surface dirt. Then, the specially formulated solvents quickly break down to disperse the grease, grime, and other contaminants.
If you’ve come off a particularly wet and dirty ride, we’d still recommend that you hose your bike down first before using Finish Line Speed Bicycle Chain Degreaser. In the wet, and for a lot of gravel and mountain bike riders, this is almost certainly going to be a must.
Great for an eco-warrior…
Sticking to their green roots, this is a non-toxic degreaser that’s formulated using orange peel and soy-based extracts. That’s good news for the planet, and it’s also extremely good news for your paint job, plus for any rubber or plastic on your bike. Not only will all your non-metal parts be degreased, but it will also do nothing to degrade or destroy your bike’s finish.
We particularly like this product because it quickly evaporates after use. This means that your components are left dry and are immediately ready for re-lubing. This is also a great product to use on your disc rotors and rims to eliminate that annoying brake squealing.
The only criticism is that there is no attachable long nozzle or straw to help you more accurately aim the spray in the more difficult to reach areas.
- No tools required.
- Will not harm the finish on your bike.
- It leaves a dry surface.
- Does not require rinsing.
- Difficult to spray in awkward to reach places.
2 Park Tool Cb-4 Bio Chainbrite Bicycle Chain & Component Cleaning Fluid
Park Tools are the go-to choice of professionals for all related bike tools and maintenance equipment. Most of their products have a premium price tag to go with their premium design and quality.
Park Tool CB-4 Bio Chainbrite cleaning fluid is no exception to this and is priced at the higher end of the range for cleaning and degreasing fluid. It’s pretty good, though! It can be used as a general degreaser by simply painting it on your components with a brush. Alternatively, it can be used as a chain cleaner in conjunction with Park’s own CM-5.3 Cyclone Chain Scrubber.
If you don’t want to use Park’s own proprietary chain scrubber, a quick search of the internet will reveal plenty of much cheaper and equally effective alternatives.
Whatever chain scrubber you decide to use, just a few words of warning, be careful where and how you use it. Despite your best efforts, these devices tend to leak out gunge soaked degreaser, both on to the floor, and onto your bike.
It won’t be a problem for your bike, as CB-4 Bio Chainbrite is biodegradable and won’t harm your bike’s paint or plastics. However, if you frequently clean your chain this way, over a concrete or stone surface, it can discolor it.
In the nude!
Any path that becomes discolored can easily be cleaned with a high-pressure hose. Unfortunately, your clothes won’t be so lucky. Any grime hitting your clothes if going to be a nightmare to clean. We, therefore, recommend cleaning your bike in the nude. Or in some old clothes if you prefer!
All in all, this is a strong and effective cleaner.
- It’s biodegradable.
- Can be used with a chain scrubber or as a general degreaser.
- A powerful degreaser.
- Can be messy to use.
3 Wd-40 Bike
Let’s clear up a few possible misconceptions before we look at this all condition lube from WD-40. The standard WD-40 you’ll find in every dad’s garage is not a lubricant and should not be used as one. It a degreaser and should be used accordingly. Unfortunately, cyclists do still use WD-40 in the mistaken belief it will lubricate their chain.
Trust us. It won’t!
WD-40 will clean all the grime and muck off your chain and will, as a consequence, make it run smoother and give the illusion of it being properly lubricated. But the fact is that this benefit is short-lived. If you use WD-40 on your chain, without proper lubrication afterward, you’re going to chew through your components fast.
So, you people in cycle land, after all that, what we’re looking at here today is a lubricant from WD-40 and not their standard degreaser. We are looking at Bike All Conditions Lubricant to be precise. This lubricant is part of the WD-40 bike range and was introduced specifically to cater to the cleaning and lubrication needs of bikes.
Come rain, come shine…
WD-40 Bike All Conditions Lubricant is for use in all weathers, wet or dry. Perfect for use in mixed conditions, this lube will lubricate your chain and keep away any annoying drivetrain noises and squeaks. What’s more, it has anti-rust and corrosive properties, so it will help to prevent wear and tear to your components and drivetrain.
Remember that this is not a degreaser and that you must thoroughly clean and degrease your drivetrain first, before applying Bike All Conditions Lubricant, to get the maximum benefits. If you want to stay within the WD-40 family, you could always give their own bike degreaser a try.
- Anti-corrosive properties.
- Can be used in wet or dry conditions.
- It’s inexpensive.
- The straw applicator aids precise application.
- There are no degreasing properties in this product.
- It will not give the same level of performance as a weather-specific lube.
4 Finish Line 1-Step Bicycle Chain Cleaner & Lubricant
The Finish Line 1-Step Bicycle Chain Cleaner & Lubricant does exactly what it says on the bottle or can. It can be applied directly to a dirty chain, and it will dissolve any dirt and grease whilst leaving a lubricating coat on the surface of your chain.
It’s a great time-saving idea and, in certain circumstances, will work well. However, there are some limitations to the all-in-one cleaner and lubricant that needs to be looked at.
Better for wetter climates…
Firstly, once the product has been applied, it leaves a thick, sticky coat on the chain. This is great for repelling water, but it does tend to attract dirt and grime quickly. In wet conditions it’s fine. In dry conditions, you’re newly degreased, and lubed chain will quickly need to be re-cleaned and re-lubed.
Essentially, since The Finish Line 1-Step Bicycle Chain Cleaner & Lubricant has a wet lube component to it, if you’re riding either dry or mixed conditions, it’s going to be more trouble than it’s worth. You’ll end up spending more time on your chain maintenance than your riding!
Another limitation to this product is that with heavily caked on or dried on dirt, it simply won’t cut through to thoroughly clean your chain and cassette.
This isn’t a bad product and will provide a reasonable level of degreasing and lubrication. That’s providing that you’re riding in the dry and that your drivetrain isn’t heavily covered in dirt and grime. It will also do the job and give you this protection quickly.
However, the fact is that it will never be able to give you the same level of cleaning, lubrication, and performance, as two separate products will provide.
- Quick and easy to use.
- Anti-corrosive properties.
- Not suitable in all conditions.
- Can be messy to apply.
5 Molten Speed Wax, 1lb Bag
This stuff is built for speed…
Waxing is the most efficient chain lubricant. Most of the professionals now use waxed chains of some sort. At the very highest level, the pros are provided with pre-waxed chains that keep them going for a mere 200 km before going in the bin. This is all great, but for us mortals, there is a more labor-intensive, though equally efficient alternative, and that’s Molten Speed Wax.
The fact is that this wax has been shown to be the most efficient commercially available chain lube. This is not some kind of PR spin from the company. This has been independently and thoroughly tested, by respected authorities, against an extensive range of alternatives.
Superb drivetrain efficiency…
Once applied, Molten Speed Wax dries, and not only gives you superb drivetrain efficiency but also gives you excellent protection against any wear to your components. It’s suitable for use in both wet and dry conditions.
This is excellent, so surely we should all go and buy some immediately?
Err… just wait a second and read this first…
Because you might feel like an extra from Breaking Bad before you’re finished with this lot.
To apply Molten Speed Wax to your chain, you need to take the chain off your bike. Then you need to thoroughly clean and degrease it. Next, you melt the Molten Speed Wax in an electric slow cooker or pan and immediately immerse your chain in the slow cooker or pan for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, take out the chain and hang it up to dry, then wipe off any excess wax residue with a clean cloth, and finally, put the newly cleaned and waxed chain back on to our bike.
Oh good, you’re still here, now for some nerdy stuff…
It’s been calculated that waxing your chain will save you between 2-5 watts over most other forms of lubricated chains. This equates to approximately 15 seconds over a 40km ride. Interestingly this kind of optimized wax chain was used by Bradley Wiggins in his June the 7th 2015 One Hour Record attempt. Which he duly succeeded in breaking with a total distance of 54.267kms being covered in the one hour.
The fact is that Molten Speed Wax is only going to be for the more serious cyclists or possibly for single guys living at home with their mums. We can’t deny that you’ll get optimal time savings using Molten Speed Wax. However, we also can’t deny that you’ll never get back the amount of time it will take you to lube the chain in the first place.
- The most efficient chain lube on the market.
- Can be used in wet and dry conditions.
- Will significantly decrease the drivetrain wear.
- Comes in a resealable bag.
- It takes a long time to apply.
- You’ll need to borrow your mum’s pans.
6 Pedro’s Pig Juice Chain Cleaner
Pedro’s Pig Juice Chain Cleaner is an interesting name choice for a product that has nothing to do with pigs and is also a 100% plant-based product. We’re actually quite surprised that this is a US-based and US-made product. The name made us think it originated from somewhere in South America or China, but not so.
We can confidently tell you that Pedros, who make Pig Juice Cleaner, has proudly been helping us to keep our drivetrains clean and not killing pigs since 1989.
Quick as a flash…
Pedro’s Pig Juice can either be applied to your drivetrain with a brush, or you can use it in a chain scrubber. Whichever way you choose to use it, the pre-activated formula will work quickly to cut through the dirt and grime.
If you have a really dirty drivetrain, we’d first recommend using a high-pressure hose to initially wash away any easily removable muck. If your drivetrain is not too dirty, you’ll probably be OK with just brushing on a coating of Pig Juice Cleaner without having to use a chain scrubber.
The good news is that however you choose to clean your chain, Pedro Pig juice Cleaner is 100% biodegradable, it’s got zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and it’s solvent-free. This means wherever you choose to use and dispose of the excess liquid; you’re not going to harm the environment.
This cleaner drys in seconds, so you should be good to re-lube your chain almost immediately after use. Just remember if you use a chain scrubber that it can be a bit of a messy process.
- 100% plant-based product.
- It’s got no VOCs.
- Efficient pre-activated formulation.
- Drys quickly.
- It can be messy when used with a chain scrubber.
- It’s expensive.
7 Simple Green Bike Cleaner/Degreaser – 24 Oz. Trigger Bottle
This is easy to use and an effective degreaser from our friends at Simple Green.
There are quite a few things we really like about this product…
We really like the foaming formula. When you spray it on to your gears and chain, it forms a foam coating over your components. This helps it to better cling to any vertical surfaces on the bike. The foaming formula also prevents you from unnecessarily over applying the degreaser, which is good for your pocket and the environment.
We also like the nozzle spray. It helps to more accurately target the area of the components you want to clean. This is also helpful in cutting down on any waste. Another advantage of the nozzle spray and foam formula is that it’s a lot less messy to apply than a lot of the other best bike chain degreasers we are reviewing.
And we particularly like that…
The product itself is a strong and effective degreaser that works quickly to cut through any build-ups of oil, dirt, and grime. The good news is that it’s also non-toxic, biodegradable, and very importantly, safe to use on all your bike parts, plastics, and painted surface. It’s cool to use on carbon fiber too.
We think there’s plenty of positives to recommend this product, and not least, because it’s inexpensive too.
- Foam formula sticks well to vertical surfaces.
- Easy to target hard to reach areas.
- There’s little mess.
- Drys quickly.
- Will not remove dried-in dirt.
8 Muc Off 664us Pink Nano Tech Motorcycle Cleaner, 35.2 Fluid Ounces
Muc Off is one of the biggest names for degreasing, cleaning and lubricating products in the world of both motorcycles and bicycles. The Muc Off 664US Pink Nano Tech Motorcycle Cleaner we’re reviewing here is marketed for motorcycles. However, it’s perfectly safe to use on your bicycle, and you can be assured it won’t damage any of the paint or plastics.
One difference to most of the other best bike chain degreasers we’ve reviewed is that this is a spray-on and then wash off product. Once you’ve sprayed on the degreaser, you’ll need to leave it to soak for a couple of minutes before rinsing.
Takes a while…
A couple of minor disadvantages to this product is that you’re going to have access to preferably running water or a hose-pipe. The other disadvantage is that once the drivetrain has been degreased, you’ll have to wait until it’s thoroughly dry before re-lubing.
If you have an air hose, you can significantly cut down on the drying time.
However, on the plus side…
Things we like about this product are that it’s easy to apply, it’s biodegradable, and it does an excellent job of cleaning up your drivetrain or, in fact, any part of your bike that covered in grime.
We also like the fact that this is a much cheaper degreaser than Muc Off degreasers that are specifically made for bicycles. As far as we can see, there’s no difference in their efficacy, and they’re both safe to use anywhere on the bike.
- Easy to apply.
- Great value.
- It doesn’t damage paintwork or plastics.
- It needs to be rinsed off after application.
9 Finish Line Citrus Degreaser Bicycle Degreaser 20oz Pour Can
You need to pay very close attention to this product to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting. From the outside, it looks every inch like a spray can. But it isn’t. It’s a pour can. We’ve never heard of this before. Basically, it’s a can that looks like a spray can, but you pour out the solution in the same way you would do from a bottle.
We’re not sure why they have chosen to package it like this. It can’t be because the solution is harmful to a plastic bottle since the Citrus Degreaser is in no way harmful to the rubber, plastics, or paintwork of your bike. We can, therefore, only conclude it’s purely a marketing decision. If that’s the case, we think it’s a bad one.
A sizeable number are likely to buy this thinking they’ve bought a spray can, despite the label stating it’s a pour can. It too confusing and we don’t like it. Fortunately, once you get past the pour can nonsense there’s some really good stuff on the inside. And that’s what should really count. Right?
What you do find inside the pour can is a strong and effective but gentle degreaser that’s made from orange peel and soy-based extract. It a Vegan delight that’s not only going to clean your bike but is going to make it smell like a bowl of fruit into the bargain.
Another advantage of Finish Line Citrus Degreaser is that for less dirty and grimy cleaning jobs, it can be diluted. That’s got to be a great way to save some extra cash. And that’s always a good thing.
However you choose to use it, the degreaser penetrates easily into your drivetrain and does not cause any damage to any of the plastic or rubber parts on your bike. It also dries quickly and is biodegradable.
- Can be diluted.
- Good penetration into the drivetrain.
- Does not damage the rubber or plastics.
- No spray nozzle.
- The pour can is confusing.
10 White Lightning Clean Streak – Bicycle Degreaser – Aerosol
There no about it, the name is excellent, and the product is pretty good too. White Lightning Clean Streak claims to be the most effective bike degreaser. It’s a bold claim. We can’t say for sure if it’s true, that’s very much open for debate, but we can tell you that it’s strong, works on the most stubborn of grease, and will do a great job on all your bike components.
The White lightening name kind of suggests it’s going to be super fast to use, and whilst it’s quick, we think Finish Line Speed Bicycle Chain Degreaser was quicker, because of its turbo spray.
A more affordable option…
However, the physical cleaning abilities the turbo spray offers does make it more expensive to use, because of the volume of product which has to be used. So, whilst White Lightning may not be the quickest kid on the block, it still does a solid job and saves a bit of extra cash into the bargain.
It features a wide straw shaped applicator to help you easily get into all those difficult places. What’s more, once you’re done, it dries quickly, so you can almost immediately start to lube your bike.
Not as green as the rest of the range…
The Clean Streak has no biodegradable credentials. Some of the products in the White Lightening range do, and some of them don’t. So, if you are looking for a green product, you need to check out some of the other degreasers and cleaners in their range, or you need to look elsewhere.
- Easy to use in hard to reach places.
- Dries quickly.
- No rinsing required.
- It’s not biodegradable.
Best Bike Chain Degreaser Buyer’s Guide
Cleaning Your Bike
Degreasing your drivetrain is only part of the bike cleaning process. If you ride in the wet, once you’ve finished your ride, you’re going to need to give your bike a proper washdown, before degreasing and lubing your drivetrain. Common sense is your friend here. If your bike is caked in mud, then break out the hose, brushes and soapy water.
We’re not going to go into how to clean your bike, take a look at any of a hundred online videos if you need any pointers, we just want to emphasize the limitations of what a degreaser can do.
If your bike is caked in dried-on dirt or you’ve just come from riding in a mud fest, no amount of degreaser is going to clean up your gears and chain. Your bike will need washing. However, if you’ve been riding in dry weather, you’ll probably get away with only using a degreaser before the re-lubing.
We categorize a wet degreaser as any cleaner than can be poured and needs to be applied with a brush or a chain scrubber. If you apply the degreaser with a brush, this will be effective for a quick cleanup.
If your chain has got seriously dirty, a chain scrubber will do a much better job than either painting on a degreaser or using a spray formula. The downsides of using a chain scrubber are that they take a lot more degreaser in order to fill the chain scrubbing device. Also, they’re a lot messier to use than any of the alternatives.
The chain scrubber is the most effective way to clean your chain other than removing it and immersing it in some kind of degreasing fluid.
Spray On Degreaser
Spray on degreasers are quick and effective ways to remove dirt and grime from light to moderately dirty components. They have the advantage of being easy to target in hard to reach places as well as being suitable for use on all components.
Another advantage of spray-on degreasers is that they’re more economical than wet degreasers and also dry more quickly. Fast-drying is an obvious benefit as it allows you to quickly begin re-lubing your drivetrain.
There are some products that have both degreasing and lubricating properties, such as Finish Line 1-Step Bicycle Chain Cleaner & Lubricant. Whilst this is effective for use in less gunked up chains, we wouldn’t recommend it for really grimy chains. Also, it should be noted that this product can only be used on chains and nowhere else on the bike.
If you don’t properly clean, degrease and lubricate your drivetrain, you can expect poor gear shifting, reduced efficiency, and performance, plus a significantly reduced lifespan for your components.
Lubrication is the final part of the cleaning process and, in some ways, is one of the most confusing.
Gone are the days when you could sneak into your dad’s garage and use whatever oil was lying around. These days there are wet lubes, dry lubes, multi-weather lubes, and wax lubes.
There are also plenty of variants within each of these categories.
- Dry Lube
Dry lubes leave very little product on the chain and produce a dry finish. These kinds of lubes are perfect for drier conditions because they don’t pick up dirt and grime as easily as thicker lubes. Most dry lubes will usually contain some kind of wax element.
- Wet Lubes
Wet lubes are thicker than dry lubes and have water-repellent properties, which make them more suited for use in the rain. The downside of wet lubes is that due to the thicker protective coat, they attract grime more easily, and therefore drivetrains need more regular cleaning and re-lubing.
Using wet lube in dry conditions is a really bad idea because it will quickly attract every piece of dirt and dust to your drivetrain.
- Wax Lubes
Purely wax lubes are manufactured with performance in mind. They’re difficult and time-consuming to apply but will give the highest levels of efficiency. Wax lube is a great lube to use when racing, in a TT, or when trying to set a personal best time.
When applying degreaser to a vintage bike, whilst it’s not harmful to paintwork, rubber, or plastic components, we advise you to be careful when using it around any old decals.
Old decals on a vintage bike can be delicate. If any of the decals on your vintage bike are already showing signs of aging or deterioration, we’d urge you to keep degreaser, and pretty much any form of strong detergent, well away.
Some restraint using strong cleaning agents around vintage decals, please!
Keeping Your Bike In Tip-Top Condition
In order to maintain your bike, you may need more than just the best bike chain degreasers, so get yourself some of the Best Aluminum Polish to keep it looking spik and span.