fewnotmuch asked in SportsCycling · 10 months ago

Is it "harmful" to use baby oil and Vitamin E Oil on a bicycle?

To basically explain, I biked to my workplace which is a dermatology office. My bike squeaked a lot and very loudly

especially when I used the brakes. It did not seem that it was natural noise as the brake pads press against the bike wheel.There was screeching and "moaning" coming from what seemed to be parts near the wheel. Not just the wheel itself. . So when I got to my workplace there was no Thee in One oil. I thought I would use baby oil and vitamin E oil which there was a bottle each of in the office.

I put some baby oil and Vitamin E oil on the gears and almost all places where there were joints or moving parts. Then I rode my bike back home and it was completely silent and when I went up a very steep incline the pedaling was easier and smoother.

Then for days afterward the bike was silent without squeaking. I got better results than when I use There in One oil. The bike often starts squeaking again a day after using Three in One oil. With baby oil the bike stays silent for a longer time. But then is it harmful to the mechanism or the material of a bike to use baby oil or vitamin E oil on it?


Not to discredit experts but, I find that I have to lubricate the bike fewer times using baby oil than using Three-in-One oil and that the bike seems to work better overall with baby oil than other oils I have used meant for mechanical items or for bikes. The bike often still squeaks with Three-in-One oil applied, but not with baby oil.. As for the cost, a regular container of Three-in-One costs at least three dollars. I can buy a huge bottle of baby oil at a dollar store.

5 Answers

  • 9 months ago

    Technically, vitamin E isn't an oil. It is commonly mixed with vegetable-based oils such as coconut or wheat germ oil. Are those oils a good lubricant? No. BTW, oil has three purposes: 1. lubricate 2. protect against moisture 3. transport metal shavings away from wear surfaces via capillary action. If the oil is too thin it won't be able to accomplish #1 and #3, and probably won't stay put long enough to accomplish #2.

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  • 10 months ago

    3 in 1 oil, baby oil vitamin E oil isn't meant to be used as a bicycle lubricant. Using such items can prematurely wear out the chain and/or gears.

    1) 3 in 1 oil is meant for general household use like door hinges and other such items that only occasionally move.

    2) Baby oil is meant for human skin. It has a very low heat tolerance and will not hold up long in high heat.

    3) Vitamin E oil can't handle high heat. It's thick and would hold dirt particles to your chain and gears. It would be very expensive to use as a lubricant.

    Bicycle oil is inexpensive and designed for bicycles. For most road conditions clean your chain and gears once a month.

    1) Remove the chain soak it in kerosene.

    2) Use a brass brissel brush to clean the chain and gears.

    3) Use clean rags to wipe the chain and gears clean.

    4) Apply bicycle oil to the gears and chain.

    5) Last of all put the chain back on the bike.

    Then at least once a week apply bicycle chain oil to the chain and gears.

    Source(s): Motorized Bicycle Owner and Builder.
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    • ◄WhoMe►
      Lv 7
      9 months agoReport

      Thanks Jerry. It still isn't showing. Try pulling the links out. I'd like to give you a best answer. I'm not giving it to mr dictionary, I know what a bike is, I've got 5 of them!

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  • 10 months ago

    Why use something not designed for a bicycle? Jeez...how hard is it to buy a bottle of proper chain oil? This stuff is my choice. IMHO...best on the market.

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  • David
    Lv 6
    10 months ago

    Any oil is better than no oil.

    Heck, even spit is better than no oil.

    And stuff that’s meant to be used on the skin won’t hurt bicycle parts as such.

    But the stuff you’ve been using isn’t much good when compared to real lubricants actually meant for mechanical moving parts.

    As you might have guessed from how often you need to reapply it.

    Particularly Three-In-One oil is too runny to be suitable for general bicycle lube.

    So you aren’t chemically hurting the materials of the bike, but you are causing excessive/premature wear on the mechanisms by using poor lubricants.

    To make it easy for yourself, swing by a bike shop, or even the bicycle aisle of your preferred department store and pick up some dedicated bicycle lubricants. They’ll last longer and do a better job.


    I repeat: Three-In-One oil is too runny to be a good general bicycle lube.

    Your experience with that is entirely as could be expected.

    If you’re so pleased with your choice, then why are you asking about our opinion?

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  • 10 months ago

    Baby oil should work just fine. It is far cleaner than ordinary shop oil but it is just oil.

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