|Popular Uses for WD-40 on Bikes. I Can't Say I Recommend Them All, But There are a Few Good Ones That Hadn't Occurred to Me|
My first job, after college, was working as an engineer at Rocketdyne. Yup, I was, more or less, a "Rocket Scientist (Engineer, actually). One of the products I worked on was the Atlas engine, which was then near the end of its lifespan. The Atlas Rocket was the application that WD-40 was originally developed for. Convair used WD-40 to coat the external rocket skin (as you might imagine, they needed a LOT) to keep water from corroding things. It worked so well that employees started smuggling the stuff home, and then they started selling it out of car trunks around San Diego. By the time that WD-40 helped John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth, WD-40 had become available to regular consumers. To make a long story short, the company that made WD-40, the Rocket Chemical Company, bowed to the inevitable and BECAME the WD-40 company. And it's still going strong. Pretty good for something we "shouldn't use."
WD-40 Showing a Major Early Application - Sending the Atlas Rocket and John Glenn Into Orbit
While I really don't recommend that you use WD-40 as a primary chain lubricant, it CAN be helpful in getting a wet chain dried off and clean, especially if used in conjunction with an excellent product such as Simple Green. Sprayed on the bottom of the frame, it can help winter splatter and moisture from attacking the metal in a bike frame. And, yes, WD-40 lists BICYCLE U-LOCKS as one of the favorite consumer uses.
So, if someone tries to tell you that WD-40 isn't good enough for your bike, you tell THEM that, properly used, WD-40 is one of the most successful spinoffs of the manned space program - EVER. I'll bet John Glenn keeps some around HIS house.