Best Bike Chain Cleaner (Tools, Degreasers + Lube)

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Ever wondered why you’re bothering to clean or lubricate your bike chain, whether it’s dry or coated with mud? Simply unsure of how you clean a dirty bike chain in the quickest and most efficient way? And is there a bike chain lube for all seasons or are you stuck with alternating between wet and dry lubes?

If any of this applies to you, then don’t fret – we’ll address each of these points here as we run through the importance of a clean bike chain, the most simple method behind it, and recommend eight different tools including brushes, degreasers and lubes.

Let’s take a look:

Why a Clean Bike Chain is Important

A clean bike chain will work effortlessly no matter how the treacherous the conditions may be. The best bike chain oil will help enormously in this regard, but they are also superb at extending a chain’s shelf life, too.

Why? Because they prevent metal-on-metal friction between different components of the bike which, along with dirt itself, causes metal to wear much quicker. So, regular lubing will also mean you’ll get the best out of your bicycle for longer.

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There’s also a fair amount of science behind it. A test by Friction Facts found that not cleaning and lubing your chain after a muddy ride cost 12 watts for a rider with a 250 watt output, and six watts after a ride in the rain. That’s a fair amount of unnecessary energy expended on just keeping going, when a clean chain could make life far easier in that respect.

Bike lubes are also widely protected from corrosion and don’t attract contaminants, and will eradicate that ear-splitting ‘squeaking’ noise from a dirty chain. All in all, they’re a really essential investment – and don’t cost a fortune, either.

How to Clean a Bike Chain in 3 Steps

  1. Degrease – clean the chain (while still fitted to the bike) using a degreaser and something small and pointed, like a toothbrush.
  2. Chain Scrub – while holding it still, clean the chain thoroughly, rotating the cranks repeatedly to make sure they’re free of dirt or grime.
  3. Lube Chain – once suitably scrubbed, rinse it with bike lube before drying.

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Best Bike Chain Cleaning Tools

Park Tool Cyclone Chain Scrubber (£24.49)

If you’re looking for a quick, easy and efficient way to clean your chain without having to remove it, the Park Tool Cyclone is a safe bet.

It boasts a large amount of solvent and hundreds of rotating bristles, and the two-step process to clean it will both improve shifting performance and help your chain last much longer.

Park Tool CM-5.3 - Cyclone Chain Scrubber,blue
  • Works with all multi-speed bikes (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12-speed)
  • Sturdy handle makes the Cyclone easy to use and control
  • Special wicking sponge draws solvent from the chain as it exits, minimizing drips and mess

Ciaopangor 8Pcs Bike Clean Brush Kit (Price not available)

Or if you fancy a bit of everything, this tool set is perfect for all types of bicycles – namely mountain, road and bikes – and is as lightweight as it is useful in helping your chain look good as new.

And at just £11.99, it’s a fantastic bargain.

8pcs Bike Clean Brush Kit,Bicycle Cleaner Tools Set for Mountain Bike, Road Bike, City Bike,BMX, Folding Bike etc
  • 8Pcs Bicycle Cleaning Tools: Tire Scrubber, Sprocket Brush, Tapered Detail Brush, Sprocket Scrapper,Chain Cleaning Brushes,Universal Brush,Chain Washer and Bike Clean Mitt.
  • These bike tools are made of Plastic+ Coral velvet.
  • Ergonomically designed handle,economize labour and definitely helps with hard to reach areas cassette and derailleur,or other hygienic dead corners.

Muc-Off Claw Brush (£5.99)

And how about this Muc-Off chain cleaner brush, which comes with three heads and nylon bristles and costs less than a fiver?

Perfect for chain-cleaning, its bristles are tough, durable and built to last, while again, don’t worry if it fits your type of bike, as this Muc-Off brush can cater for all sorts.

Muc-Off Claw Brush - Bike Cleaning Brush, Motorbike Cleaning Brush, Bike Chain Brush - Bike Cleaning Brushes for Bicycle & Motorcycle
  • FOR CHAIN CLEANING: The Muc-Off Claw Brush features an three brush heads that are ideal for cleaning hard-to-reach areas, such as your chain and sprocket. The brush also has an integral mud scraper...
  • BIKE CLEANING TOOLS: The Muc-Off bicycle cleaning brushes are a must-have for keeping your bike factory fresh ;Designed to make your post-shred clean up even easier, we've built a comprehensive range...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Our brushes are designed with non-slip handles for ease of use and have rubberised impact zones to prevent any damage to your bicycle during cleaning; All of our brushes are designed...

Best Bike Chain Degreasers

Weldtite Dirt Wash Bike Degreaser (£15.99)

There’s no spray with this model, but with a whole litre of liquid, it’s the best bike degreaser if you’re looking to buy in bulk.

Being entirely water-soluble and extremely quick to rinse, your bike chain will only be lovely and clean again in a matter of minutes.

This is extremely proficient at removing grease without leaving a damaging or corrosive effect on your bike frame, cables, brake pads or rotors.

WELDTITE Bike Chain Degreaser for Cleaning and Degreasing Chains and Other Bicycle Components - Citrus - 1L
  • POWERFUL WATER-BASED FORMULA: The Citrus Degreaser obliterates dirt and grime from your bike's drivetrain, delivering an unmatched deep clean. Its advanced formulation ensures thorough removal of...
  • VERSATILE APPLICATION METHODS: Whether you use a cloth, brush, or as a 'bath,' this degreaser works effectively to meticulously clean all traces of dirt and oil. It prepares your drivetrain perfectly...
  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: This biodegradable, non-aerosol degreaser offers powerful cleaning while being a safer choice for the environment. You can maintain your bike with confidence, knowing that...

Muc-Off Bio Degreaser (£9.99)

But if you do prefer a handy spray, this design from Muc-Off is the way to head.

It’s suitable for all bikes, is fully biodegradable so won’t damage the environment, and can also come with a claw brush for about double the original price if you so wish.

Muc-Off Bio Degreaser, 500ml - Effective Bike Chain Cleaner and Degreaser Spray for Bicycle Cleaning - Bike Cleaner for MTB/Gravel/Road/BMX Bikes
  • FAST AND EFFECTIVE: Our advanced grease cutting formula effectively rips through dirt and grime to safely eliminate even the most stubborn of drivetrain contaminants, including chain oil and wax...
  • BIODEGRADABLE: Our water-soluble bicycle degreaser is formulated to be fully biodegradable; We've designed a badass cleaning spray that is tough on dirt but gentle on the planet. The Bio Degreaser...
  • EASY TO USE: Designed to perform, our bike chain cleaner is super easy to use. Shake the can, spray it generously all over the drive chain and leave for a minute. Agitate any stubborn grime with a...

Best Bicycle Chain Lube (for Different Conditions)

If you’re unsure as to whether it’s a wet or dry lube you need, remember: dry lube for dry conditions, wet lube for wet conditions.

In terms of the difference between dry and wet chain lubes, the former typically offer a cleaner finish but needs more frequent use, while the latter are usually more water-resistant.

Dry lubes use a volatile carrier to fill your chain with waxy lubricant, causing the carrier to leave a solid lubricant as it evaporates. Wet lubes are sticky and can find their way into every crevice of your chain to lubricate it, and flow back in when pressure gives way.

Now, let’s go through the best bike chain lube for both dry and wet weather:

Best Dry Bike Lube:

120ml Muc-Off Dry Chain Lube (£9.75)

Also available as a bottle of either 120ml or one litre, this dry lube from Muc-Off is fully biodegradable and suitable for all types of bike, too.

It’s a versatile durable lubricant which will cut deep into your chain, leaving no nook or cranny untouched thanks to its state-of-the-art penetrative qualities.

MUCOFF Dry Chain Lube Bike Lube, Bike Chain Oil, Chain Wax for Dry Weather Conditions - Biodegradable Bike Lubricant and Bicycle Chain Oil, Black , 120ml , Pack of 1
  • ULTRA-DURABLE: Muc-Off Bio Dry Lube is an ultra-durable bike chain lube that penetrates deep to provide long-lasting lubrication; A single application will last up to 150 miles so that you can double...
  • REDUCES FRICTION: Our bicycle chain lube uses an advanced formula that reduces friction and energy consumption to ensure silky-smooth gear shifts. Regular application of our chain lube can help to...
  • IDEAL FOR DRY WEATHER: Muc-Off's dry bike lube uses a wax-based formula that coats the chain and helps to protect against contaminants in dry and dusty conditions. A quick squirt is all you need -...

Best Wet Bike Lube:

120ml Muc-Off Wet Chain Lube (£9.95)

But if it’s a wet lube you need, Muc-Off can also cater for that, either with this 120ml bottle or, likewise, with 50ml or one litre.

Again, it’s completely biodegradable, and again, it suits all bikes; it’s an extremely resilient long-distance bike chain lubricant designed to permeate your bike chain in wet or muddy weather.

MUCOFF Wet Chain Lube, 120ml - Bike Lube, Bike Chain Oil, Chain Wax for Wet Weather Conditions - Biodegradable Bike Lubricant and Bicycle Chain Oil, Black
  • ULTRA-DURABLE: Muc-Off Bio Wet Lube is an ultra-durable bike chain lube that penetrates deep to provide long-lasting lubrication; A single application will last up to 150 miles so that you can double...
  • REDUCES FRICTION: Our bicycle chain lube uses an advanced formula that reduces friction and energy consumption to ensure silky-smooth gear shifts. Regular application of our chain lube can help to...
  • IDEAL FOR WET WEATHER: Muc-Off's wet bike lube uses a wax-based formula that coats the chain and helps to repel water in wet and muddy conditions. A quick squirt is all you need - simply apply a drop...

Best All-in-One Bike Chain Cleaning Kits

Muc-Off Ultimate Bicycle Cleaning Kit (£69.99)

But if you’re prepared to splash out (and have the budget to do so, of course), Muc-Off also offers an all-in-one service thanks to their fantastic Ultimate Bicycle Cleaning Kit.

The box contains: a one-litre Muc-Off biodegradable bike cleaner, a 500ml bike spray, a detailing brush, a soft washing brush, a two-prong, a claw brush, a microcell sponge and a ‘parts washer’.

It’s great for all bikes, and also comes with a bottle of their own Wet Chain Lube to lubricate adequately at the end of cleaning your chain.

Muc-Off Ultimate Bicycle Cleaning Kit - Bike Cleaning Kit, Cleaning Bundle for MTB/Road/Gravel Bikes - Set Includes Bike Cleaner and Bike Degreaser, Black
  • THE ULTIMATE GIFT: Muc-Off bike cleaning kits make a perfect gift for any cycling fanatic. We’ve bundled together a selection of our best products to get you started with super easy bike maintenance...
  • CLEAN, PROTECT AND LUBE: The Ultimate Bicycle Cleaning Kit contains some of our hardest hitters when it comes to keeping your ride looking factory fresh This gnarly bundle is loaded with our infamous...
  • BIKE CLEANING TOOLS: To make your post-shred clean up even easier, we've packed this kit with a few of our handiest cleaning tools so that you can give your bike some serious TLC. The Ultimate Kit...

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