Can You Use Olive Oil On Bike Chain? | PedalChef

Can you use olive oil on bike chain? This is one of the most frequently asked questions by biking enthusiasts. Read on to find out the answer!

The answer to the question is not easy. While you can use olive oil to lubricate your chain and cassette to prevent metal-on-metal contact, you should be cautious about how much oil you use, how often you lubricate the chain, and how you lubricate it.

Oiling your bike chain to prevent it from creating friction and drying out is a common part of bike maintenance for bike owners. This technique prevents rust and corrosion in the chain and ensures a smooth ride with reduced noise and improved shifting.

After speaking with several experts in the industry and conducting extensive research, we have put together this guide to help you understand if using olive oil is a viable way to lubricate bike chains.



Can You Use Olive Oil on Bike Chain?

Despite the large variety of store-bought bike chain lubricants, bikers frequently seek alternatives to lubricants such as olive oil. However, olive oil will never be as successful as a specialist, store-bought lubricant for chains. Apart from the fact that the greasing effect is only temporary, olive oil has dirt-attracting properties that may affect the performance of your bike chain in the long run, resulting in chain deterioration and replacement.

Choosing the correct chain lubricant is usually the first thing bikers look for in bike maintenance. Your bike chain is one of the most important sections of the bike, after all. Therefore, you should know how to inspect it properly and what oil to use.

Keeping your bicycle chain lubricated prevents it from drying out. It also prevents rust in the chain and provides a smooth ride. Despite the availability of several bicycle chain lubricants, most bikers look for alternatives.

Is It Safe to Use Olive Oil on Bike Chain?

Yes, you can use this oil on your bike chain, at least at first. However, there are certain drawbacks and advantages to using this oil.

Although olive oil can prevent the formation of rust on iron bike chains, the oil will trap dirt and attract dust particles to the material. So, you will achieve the primary goal of oiling your bike chain, but this will come at a high price. As a result, you must wash and re-oil your bike chain daily. However, you should not use olive oil as a primary lubricant on a daily basis.

Effects of Olive Oil on a Bike Chain

There is no conclusive answer as to whether or not using olive oil on bike chains is the best practice. This is due to the conflicting effects of olive oil on a bike chain and cassette contact. Some of the benefits and drawbacks of applying olive oil on your bike chain are mentioned below:

Advantages of Using Olive Oil

Reduced Friction

Olive oil is an effective lubricant because it fulfils the most fundamental purpose of preventing chain dryness and reducing chain friction. It has proven to do a great job at that. Olive oil  successfully generates a greasy layer between the chain and the cod’s metal surfaces. Wear and depletion of the chain are decreased due to the reduced friction between surfaces, allowing your bike to perform better and last longer.

Hence, you will have to make less effort and use less energy to pedal – thanks to the well-oiled chain. As a result, cyclists will benefit from improved aerodynamics and less stress on their leg muscles. Even if you use olive oil to lubricate your bike chain, it will always function better than a dry one!

Reduced Noise

Olive oil’s perfect, lubricant-like concentration is another quality that makes it a viable substitute for other lubricants. Olive oil, for example, has a viscosity that’s neither too thin nor too thick.

This constancy in thickness is important because the lubricant must be thick enough to be applied to the metal to reduce friction yet thin enough to permeate effectively through the chain segments. Olive oil’s superior application will ensure that pedaling reduces the noise created by dry chains.

Improved Shifting

Another issue that can be resolved by oiling your chain is your bike’s shifting abilities. The dryness around the bike chain recesses is reduced by the thin texture and composition of olive oils, making the riding experience and minimizing unwanted shifting.

Similarly, the thickness guarantees that the oil’s sticky characteristics are minimal, allowing you to wipe it off with soap and water simply.

Overall, olive oil can be used for bike chains since it is better than not using any oil at all. But it should merely be used as a temporary solution to dryness and friction and can’t be considered effective lubrication or replacement.

Disadvantages of Using Olive Oil

Some bikers assume that olive oil is quite effective for bike chain lubrication primarily because it is smooth and slippery. While this is true to some extent, it isn’t always the case. Here are a few disadvantages of using olive oil on a bike chain:

Lack of Viscosity

There’s a reason why we recommend using oil only as a last resort. Olive oil, in particular, lacks the viscosity required to lubricate a chain’s moving elements. When you combine that with the fact that the consistency degrades quickly, you know they lack the requisite strength to attach to the chain.

Temporary Solution

It’s critical to realize that the effect of olive oil on a bike chain is just temporary. The lube may be enough to keep the chain going for another fifty miles or so. However, once the oil’s viscosity breaks, the chain is no longer lubricated. Have you considered the impact of rain or water on the chain yet? Most likely not. As soon as olive oil comes into touch with water, it quickly loses its effect on the chain.

Weather Conditions

Another factor to consider before applying olive oil to a bike chain is the current weather. In most cases, the oil is effective in hot weather, while it is ineffective in cold weather due to solidification, resulting in a greasy mess. And any dust particle that hits your bike chain will attach to it, so you’ll have to clean it afterwards.

Accumulates Dust

There is little indication that the oil has a long-term impact on the chain, especially when measuring performance. Furthermore, the oil will accumulate dust as you ride your bike, which will detract from your cycling experience. The potential of olive oils to collect and deposit dirt on bike chains is the primary reason experts strongly advise against using them regularly or long-term. This is especially true for riders who travel on bumpier, muddy roads.

Dirt buildup on your chain can be detrimental to the performance and smooth operation of the chain and other metal components. This means you’ll have to clean your bike chain more frequently, which will further dry it out.

So, what’s the deal?

Olive oil will never be as effective as professional lubricant oil, but it can be quite helpful in an emergency. It can have a temporary effect, which should be sufficient to get you to a bike shop in time for thorough repair.

If you have ever thought about using olive oil on a bike chain before, we’re guessing you did so under the assumption that a lousy lubricant is better than none at all.

To be more specific, olive oil quickly enters the chain, reaching the recesses and assisting in removing squeaking noises. You’ll also notice that, in addition to keeping the chain lubricated, it can quickly remove dirt and sludge in a matter of minutes. Plus, you can clean off the dirt and grime with a washcloth due to less stickiness.

At the very least, it keeps the rust at bay. It might even get rid of a clump of dirt from the chain. However, it would be best to use it only as a last resort because the effect is temporary.

What Is the Best Way to Oil a Bicycle?

This is a crucial step to take before beginning. To ensure safety and a smooth ride, you need to lubricate six specific parts thoroughly. These include:

  • Chain links
  • Derailleur
  • Braking cables
  • Levers for shifting gears
  • Brake assembly
  • Pedals

To run the chain by spinning the wheels smoothly, you must first grease it. Following that, you should lubricate the derailleur. After you’ve finished with the derailleur, you should go on to the brake wires. This is an important task that no one ever mentions or pays attention to. You should also consider oiling the shifters if you own a mountain bike.

Finally, it would be best to lubricate the pedals and pedal joints. If you don’t lube the pedals, they won’t travel as smoothly as they should, causing damage to your bike chain. Once you’re done lubricating these parts, you are good to go.


Danny Lawson

Danny Lawson

Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.

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