The messy truth about spray-on chain lube

Spray on chain lube
(Image credit: Courtesy)

Before the holidays, a press release from a popular bike maintenance brand touting its shiny new aerosol spray on chain lube landed in my inbox, and I groaned loud enough that my partner, who was sitting across the room, asked me what happened. Spray on chain lube is one of the worst ideas the bike industry has ever come up with, and I wish we could collectively put an end to it once and for all.

Aerosols sprays no longer contain the chlorofluorocarbons that ripped a hole in the ozone layer, and they are handy for certain jobs, whether making sure your skin is covered in an even coat of mosquito spray or de-stinking your pain cave after a sweaty indoor ride. On the bike, an errant spray can blow the grease off of something that needs to be greased or put oil on something that should never be oiled, they are wholly unnecessary.

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Based on the Gold Coast of Australia, Colin has written tech content for cycling publication for a decade. With hundreds of buyer's guides, reviews and how-tos published in Bike Radar, Cyclingnews, Bike Perfect and Cycling Weekly, as well as in numerous publications dedicated to his other passion, skiing. 

Colin was a key contributor to Cyclingnews between 2019 and 2021, during which time he helped build the site's tech coverage from the ground up. Nowadays he works full-time as the news and content editor of Flow MTB magazine.