Why clean and lubricate your bike chain
The longevity and health of your bike is largely up to you. Even the most advanced transport cannot take care of itself and the owner’s task is to provide timely care for the most important parts of the iron horse. Do I need to clean the transmission? It is enough to look at the state of the chain, cassette, led system, the owner of which considers this process unnecessary. Black spots, drips, a thick layer of an incomprehensible mass, which contains dust, dirt, sand, oil, plant elements and much more that cannot be recognized. in this favorable environment, “steel gnaws”. bacteria that stimulate the appearance of corrosion and corrode metal, multiply very quickly. When asked whether it is necessary to lubricate the bicycle chain, the answer is unequivocal. it is necessary, moreover, first it should be cleaned.
Chain care: features
The bike drivetrain should shine. There should be no dirt or excess grease on it. Any moisture will cause new contamination to appear quickly. It is advisable to clean the transmission every 100 km of driving in good weather. How often do I lubricate my bike chain? It is not necessary to do this with every cleaning. Use a lubricant when the characteristic dry rustle appears.
How and what you can and should lubricate a bicycle chain
How to lubricate a bicycle chain so that the lubricant retains its properties for a long time and provides reliable protection for the part?
The quality of the lubricant directly affects not only the operation of the entire transmission system, but also its service life. To select a lubricant, it is important to understand exactly how this material differs from the substances used to process other parts.
In motion, the chain constantly rubs the rollers against the stars. Such friction does not lead to significant changes, but internal friction can cause more damage to the mechanism. The chain includes many links, each of which contains 4 elements. plates (2 pcs.), Pin, roller.
To determine the place that most requires processing, you need to understand which of the elements is subject to the most wear.
There is no friction between the pins and the outer plates. these elements are very tightly planted. The greatest friction occurs between the pins and inner plates. The plates create grooves in the pin, which leads to its rapid wear. As a result, the rollers do not join the teeth of the stars, which leads to their wear. The rear derailleur rollers, which are most often made of plastic, are equally affected. This leads to a decrease in the coherence of gear changes, the appearance of clicks, noise, chain slippage. What kind of oil is allowed to lubricate the bicycle chain to avoid unpleasant consequences?
For effective action, the lubricant must enter the interior of the system and remain there. over, the substance must have several more important properties:
- do not fly out in splashes when driving;
- do not wash off with water;
- do not dry out.
If you treat the outer part of the chain instead of the inner one, the effect will be exactly the opposite. the thick liquid will collect all the dust and dirt from the roads, further polluting the transmission. So, the rule for every cyclist is that the chain should be dry and clean on the outside and well processed on the inside.
How to lubricate a bicycle chain
Apply light lubricant to each roller of the chain, then wipe dry the outside of the substance. In motion, part of the lubricant gets out in any case. In this case, use a stiff brush to clean the chains, sprockets and rollers. Choose an accessory with medium bristles. Special brushes are available for easy penetration of bristles into hard-to-reach areas.
How to clean a bicycle chain if it is running, one brush may not be enough. Use a special transmission cleaner (grease solvent). Its formula is specially designed to quickly remove caked grease mixed with dirt.
Sometimes cleaning the chain is not enough to remove all the dirt, especially if the links are clogged with a mixture of grease, dirt, sand. In such situations, you need to know how to wash your bike chain. Use a chain cleaner with several brushes. such a device will greatly simplify the maintenance of the transmission.
How to lubricate a bike chain if it’s new
When assembling the chain at the factory, the manufacturer uses a very thick paste, the consumption of which is enough for 300-400 km of rides, after which the owner will have to cope with the task on his own. It is difficult to apply the same thick lubricant, so more liquid alternatives and sprays are used in everyday life.
After buying a bike, wipe off any traces of grease that have appeared on the outside before the first ride. Use a soft cloth. There is no need to remove grease inside the chain! A simple procedure does not take much time, but it will avoid serious pollution and damage to the chain.
How to lubricate a bicycle chain
The main mistake of cyclists is the use of WD-40 grease and analogues. This aerosol is not a lubricant and has a completely different principle of operation. It is used to dissolve old grease (unblock too contaminated and acidified compounds). Use a chain cleaner, not a lubricant. The amount of oil in its composition is not enough to perform the necessary functions.
Engine oil will not be useful for the chain and the bike as a whole. This substance is designed for use in a closed atmosphere at elevated temperatures, which cannot be applied to bicycle transmissions.
There is no need to look for an alternative. the consumption of special bicycle chain oil is minimal. A small jar will last for many years. Why replace it with unsuitable alternatives?
Can I lubricate my bike chain with grease? No, as well as lithol, sunflower oil and aromatic oils. Buy a product designed to work with bicycle parts.
Features of the choice of grease
Of all the parts of a bicycle transmission, only the chain needs lubrication. Do not lubricate the stars! What should be the lubricant? Easy to penetrate the rollers, do not leak, do not dissolve in water, do not dry for a long time. The grease should not be washed off in rain or other precipitation, when driving through puddles. As an analogue of bicycle oil, you can use a motorcycle lubricant. It will not spatter at high speeds, but it is more expensive and sold in larger packs. Such a purchase is not always advisable.
All bicycle lubricants can be divided into 2 groups:
- For dry weather (Dry). Teflon-containing substance, has dustproof properties, protects the chain from moisture penetration. This grease is considered universal. Even if you get into the rain, upon arrival home, it is enough to clean the chain, wipe it, lubricate it, wipe it again.
- For high humidity conditions (Wet). It is produced on the basis of synthetic oils, in some cases it contains paraffin. The formula contains a large amount of silicone, due to which it perfectly protects against moisture, but is not suitable for use in dry conditions due to the increased fat content. This option is the optimal solution to the question. how to lubricate the bicycle chain in winter and autumn.
There are also special formulas with additives on sale. For example, ceramics form a reinforced layer on parts, which increases the strength and extends the chain’s service life.
Thickened formulas provide factory lubrication effects. Such substances are initially fluid, easily penetrate into the inner parts of the chain, after which the solvent evaporates from them and the paste thickens. The main thing is to wipe off the remaining grease from the outside in time.
Bicycle grease is sold in different packages. Packing in the form of a spray is not the most convenient option. The aerosol is uneconomical, its consumption is increased; moreover, by spraying it is easy to smear grease on those parts of the transmission that do not need lubrication, as well as the rim, frame, spokes, brakes.
It is much more convenient to use a can or aerosol with a special tip. Grease can be applied to each roller without overshooting and without requiring additional cleaning of the bike.
How to properly wash your bike?
Periodic cleaning is as necessary for a car as it is for a car. Of course, many people may not like the washing process itself, especially if you do it in haste. Let’s figure out how to wash your bike so that your hands don’t get tired and the bike feels good.
Where is it easier to wash your bike
Here are some places where you can clean up your two-wheeled horse:
- in the yard of a private house;
- on the site near the garage;
- in the apartment;
- at the car wash.
The first option is ideal, since the bike does not even need to be rolled home. You just need to prepare water, a soft cloth, cleaning agent as needed. The whole washing procedure will absolutely not pollute the house, since the bike can be left to dry there, on the street. Of course, in good weather.
It’s great if there is a garage and a bike is stored there. Usually, right in front of the entrance to the garage, there is a concrete platform where you can safely wash your two-wheeled vehicle. You will have to dry the bike in the same place, only then drive it indoors.
Washing in nature is rather an intermediate option, when dirt impedes further movement. “Bathing” will be especially relevant when you need to get rid of lumps sticking between the wheels and fenders or just freshen up the bike from annoying dust.
The least fortunate ones are those who live in an apartment of a storey building and there are no alternatives. You will have to wash the bike in such a way that it does not leave much room in the room, and it will take more time to clean it. It is possible that even after a neat wash, you will still need to wash the floors.
Washing a bike at a car wash is a radical option after long off-road riding combined with rain or sleet. The high pressure jet will knock almost all dirt off the bike. With the exception of only transmission mechanisms and bushings. here it is unacceptable to exert a powerful pressure.
How often is cleaning required? It all depends on the riding conditions, riding style, weather. For example, constant driving off-road, and even in the rain, will force you to wash your bike almost every day. Short trips only in dry weather can hardly affect the cleanliness of the bike, it will be enough to wipe it thoroughly just once before the season closes. Everything according to the situation, but on average, the “general cleaning” should be carried out two or three times a season.
Cleaning the frame and wheels properly
Thoroughly washing the bike at home, for example, in a small apartment, is quite problematic, so we take it apart. Before you start washing a very dirty bike, you need to:
- rip off all large pieces of dirt;
- remove the wheels;
- dismantle tires;
- remove the chain (use a squeeze if it is without a lock);
- remove switches, shifters and brakes;
- prepare water, soft cloth, sponge and chain brush.
You can wash the frame in the bathroom under the shower or by hand. It all depends on the pollution. Solid dirt is wiped with the hard side of the sponge, streaks and smudges are wiped off with the soft side. When the dirt is removed, we wipe everything with a dry, clean cloth. A plus will be to walk through all the pipes several times. When washing under the shower, we avoid getting water into hidden cavities!
The tires can be safely washed under a good stream of hot water with the hard side of the sponge. It will take a long time to tinker with the sponge to completely remove all the dirt from the grooves, especially if the pattern is deep.
The rims and spokes are washed under a gentle shower, but it is advisable to wipe them by hand with a wet sponge and dry cloth. The areas of the bushings should only be wiped with a damp cloth and under no circumstances should they be exposed to pressure. Water can easily get into the bushing, damage the bearings and wash out the grease.
The main parts of the bike are washed in this sequence. Now let’s look at how to clean mechanisms and a chain.
How to properly clean the chain and mechanisms
- manual with a brush;
- chain wash;
- in a bath with kerosene.
You should not spare your efforts on the chain. The dirt is washed off with a stiff brush (you can take a shoe). In order not to stain the floor and hands, we put it on a thick rag, and put gloves on our hands. In the longitudinal direction, brush along the chain several times, then turn over and repeat the same.
An excellent option would be a special device. a chain washing machine. It is especially useful when the gaps between the rollers are clogged with hard clay or the chain is not removable.
Cleaning the chain with a sander will probably get rid of the dirt faster, but it will also leave cuts on the outer surfaces. If the chain has already seen the views and is not afraid of mechanical stress, remove it from the bike, fold it into a circle and carefully pass it with a nozzle. This method will clean the outside of the dirt well (and will scratch the chain), but is ineffective if dirt has accumulated between the rollers.
Kerosene is what remarkably relieves the chain from the adhering dusty-oil suspension. It is placed in the tray in such a way that all the gaps between the rollers are open. Cleaning time. from 12 hours to 24 hours. After kerosene, the chain is wiped with a dry clean cloth.
Cleaning the switches: carefully and methodically, all dirt is removed with a damp cloth, abrasive products cannot be used. The same applies to a dirty brake:
- Remove the pads, wipe them.
- With a moistened clean sponge, collect all adhering dirt from the pressure mechanism.
- Wipe the cables.
- Lay out the brake mechanism, pads and mountings separately, let dry completely.
It is also better to clean the stars by hand: it is much more effective than washing them under the tap. Since the surface of the sprockets is not only dirty, but also oily, a mild detergent (for washing dishes, for example) is just right here.
A small amount of cleaning compound is applied to a sponge soaked in hot water. With a foamed sponge we pass through problem areas. First, the dirt is thoroughly removed with the hard side of the sponge, then the surfaces of the stars are wiped dry with a clean soft cloth or rag. Particular attention should be paid to the gaps between the teeth, as well as between the stars themselves. Washing direction is from top to bottom. There is also a special brush for cassettes on sale. It is compact and convenient:
Compared to washing under running water, manually cleaning the sprockets has disadvantages:
- it is difficult to crawl into the space between the stars;
- dirt can be pushed even deeper;
The main advantage of the manual method is that the surface of the stars does not deform, water is not poured where it is not necessary.
Bike wash with Karcher
This type of cleaning is great for removing dirt, certainly faster than home cleaning, and the quality of cleaning is much better. However, not all cyclists will agree that knocking dirt off a bike at a car wash is a good way to go. Why?
The jet is very powerful, so a safe distance from the hose to the bike must be maintained. Despite this, there is still a risk of the jet hitting the bushings, their mechanical damage or water leakage inside.
We bypass the bushings, it is undesirable to pour water over the carriage. In some cases, the spray can knock paint off the frame. True, there is no need to talk about the quality of this paint, because it must withstand mechanical stress and harder. It is undesirable to clean the sprockets with Karcher, they can be easily bent, as well as let water inside the rear hub.
And finally. After washing the bike, you need to slightly lubricate the outer surfaces of the bushings and carriage, and also properly apply lubricant to the chain and sprockets. After that, the bike is calmly going back. Washing and cleaning will not take much time, but it will give comfort on trips and extend the life of the entire bike.
How to properly lubricate a mountain bike?
A bicycle is one of such human mechanical inventions, in which there are elements that interact with each other by rolling some surfaces relative to others (wheel hubs, main carriage), by means of a chain transmission and by entering one smaller cylindrical surface into another. this is the damping mechanism front fork.
Despite the fact that bearings significantly reduce friction, proper lubrication of all these elements is necessary: friction is reduced, movement is easier. This increases the life of the parts. However, it is important to know how to lubricate your bike properly.
The better the bike, the better the factory lubricant, the longer it lasts. These mountain bike models include, for example, Merida, GT. For example, it is known that the 2009 GT Avalanche 2.0 can freely gain 10,000 km without any lubrication of the bushings and carriages, while there is no damage to the bearings. Of course, this does not mean that you should not give a damn about the maintenance of the bike.
In the event that you buy an “Auchan-bike”, then it will be correct to “open” all the units that need lubrication, check them and lubricate them again immediately after the purchase. Sometimes you need to replace something right away, for example, the rear bushing and bearings of the main carriage.
Probably you should not additionally indicate that you need to lubricate only a thoroughly washed and, most importantly, dried bike.
So which parts of the bike need lubrication and how is it done?
The ride comfort depends on the regular lubrication of the bicycle chain. the chain does not buzz, it switches easily and freely. As a rule, the need for lubrication arises if the chain begins to rustle, rattle, and it also becomes difficult to shift gears. This can be felt after intense driving in rain and muddy weather, after the chain is dry.
How to lubricate a bicycle chain
We proceed as follows:
- increase the chain tension by moving it to the corresponding large sprockets;
- thoroughly clean the chain from dirt, you can use a rag by pressing it against the free section of the bicycle chain and turning the pedal;
- then we lubricate the chain, it is better to apply lubricant over the top point of the roller (if the bike is standing with its wheels up). Make sure one drop falls on each link.
- When the whole chain is lubricated, you need to intensively turn the pedals in the opposite direction for a minute. the “idle” of the chain, and then, having selected medium speed, turn the bicycle chain in the forward direction.
- At the final stage, use a soft clean rag to remove all excess oil from the outside, since the main action of the lubricant is to work on the inner joints of the links, and from the outside, ordinary grease “clings” dust, poplar fluff and contaminates the rollers and rear sprockets with its deposits. So don’t be afraid to rub the chain properly.
In addition to lubrication, you need to monitor the “mileage” of the chain. On average, it needs to be replaced after every 1500. 2000 km for the following reasons:
- it starts to sag;
- unclear gear changes;
- the extended chain damages the cassette sprockets on the rear wheel.
Also, the question often arises about how often to lubricate the chain.?
There are no uniform standards. It all depends on the feelings of the bike owner:
- if resistance or crunch appears in the circuit;
- after driving through dust and sand;
- after any walk that exceeds 3-5 hours.
Some lubricate the chain after 100 km of run, regardless of operating conditions. Probably this decision is the right one, as it teaches you to regular maintenance.
Chain tensioning mechanism
Rear derailleur rollers. They are often “clogged” by grease and dirt deposits that have thickened around the perimeter. They must be removed carefully, e.g. with a flat head screwdriver.
It is necessary to apply a dotted liquid lubricant on the roller axles to avoid squeaking and tight rotation. Only lubricated, they are able to keep the chain taut.
The bike has several cables that transmit the force from the shifters and brake levers to the front and rear derailleurs, as well as to the disc brakes or V. brake. If dirt has accumulated between the jacket and the cable, or the surfaces are dry, then the control may “stick”. This leads to untimely gear changes and even to the impossibility of emergency braking.
To lubricate the cable entry and exit points from the jacket, apply a couple of drops of lubricant, then “work” with the shifter lever or the brake handle. This allows you to lubricate evenly and to a considerable depth.
Main run carriage
We can say that this is the “main” axis of the bicycle. It is from her that the impulse is “distributed” to other elements. Therefore, the speed, ease, and comfort of the movement depend on the state of the carriage. The carriage elements are:
- actual axis,
A different, “thick” grease is put into the carriage, not the kind that drips onto the chain or cables.
How to lubricate the carriage
Lubrication of the carriage on a bicycle is done by simply placing grease in the cups and on the surface of the bearings, on the bushing, and also distributing them evenly. In addition, before lubricating the carriage, it is advisable to thoroughly wash the bearings and all cavities, the surface of the bushing, for example, with kerosene. It is flushing that will subsequently make it possible to properly lubricate the carriage.
Wheel axle bearings
If the grease has dried out, there is resistance to the wheel movement, an increased noise level, and when the bearing is destroyed, a “backlash” appears in the wheel, and even wheel jamming can occur. The bearing lubrication scheme is identical to that of the carriage bearings.
Front and rear derailleurs
The continuity of the cycle depends on the clarity and consistency of their actions. Sometimes, especially when going uphill, switching should be done immediately after the afterburner, in order to change gears not in tension, but on free speed. It often takes fractions of a second, and the switches must work flawlessly so that the upward movement does not “get bogged down”.
Switches are ideally disassembled for lubrication. details about maintenance and lubrication can be found here:
Front fork damping system
It is the presence of a shock absorber that allows the biker not to pay attention to obstacles and makes the bike passable. A good shock absorber resists the reaction of the support to the front wheel in a timely manner, so the fork must be kept in good condition.
Normally, it is necessary to lubricate the “legs” of the plug after 150-200 kilometers, after 700 kilometers (on average) the oil seals are disassembled and lubricated, and annually or after running 3-4 thousand kilometers. the oil in the shock absorber is completely replaced.
It is better to show all the care of the fork in the video than describe it in detail in text. For example, here you can see all the preventive maintenance operations for the front fork and shock absorbers:
About the types of lubricants
Greases with an increased m of any element. such as lithium or calcium.
Lithium greased. such as “Litol-24”, it is good to lubricate the bearing axles, carriage. It is lithium that gives the lubricant a specific sliding, and it exhibits antifriction properties. In addition, lubricants with the addition of lithium do not thicken in frost up to 50 degrees and do not liquefy even at midday temperature in the desert, since they can not change their properties when heated to 150 degrees. The negative side is a fairly high water solubility, therefore, the lubrication points must be covered with sealed anthers. In addition, this lubricant is not recommended to be applied to aluminum surfaces.
Calcium greases are greases and work well for a long time. An example of such a lubricant is Uniol. Unlike lithium, they have high adhesion, or adhesion to the surface, and hold for a long time. In addition, they help to resist corrosion in wet conditions. These lubricants are yellow or greenish. It is very important that they do not react with aluminum, unlike lithium greases. Therefore, their price is high and they can be used to lubricate expensive bikes.
Aerosols are a special type of lubricant. which may contain several components, for example Teflon. Their advantage is the ability to penetrate into hidden cavities and hard-to-reach places, including due to adhesion and surface tension. Their predecessor is kerosene, which has a truly unmatched enveloping ability, even able to get out of the vessel. With the help of such lubricants it is possible to process cables, all types of threads, especially when loosening “heavy” and “stuck” connections. Examples of such greases are LM 40, LM 47 and others.
Perhaps the most famous “quick release” aerosol lubricant is the well-known WD-40. Among other things, it creates a hydrophobic layer and displaces water.
Lubricants with m silicone. They are easy to apply, able to “repel” dust and water.
Wax lubricants: on the chain, for example, the coating can last for several months under dry conditions. But the wax is subsequently able to “fall off” itself in the form of scales and flakes. If the bike is operated in water, mud, fords are crossed or riding occurs in spring or autumn, then you need to choose a different lubricant, because the wax is not fluid and cannot effectively penetrate into the chain joints.
A bicycle is not an easy machine. Before you lubricate your bike, you need to know that, in addition to the places for lubrication, there are areas where lubrication is completely undesirable. These include wheel tires (accidental ingress of grease on large areas can lead to skidding and the impossibility of emergency braking), rims (in the case of using tick-type brakes), as well as brake discs and pads. In addition, if oil gets on the rubber tube, it can begin to corrode the rubber, which will lead to its rupture for a considerable length.
And now, finally, it happened! The bike was bought and even run in. And then a new problem arises: the pedals and all parts of the bike begin to creak, and the chain is slightly rusty. What should be done? the answer is simple: use a lubricant.
What needs to be lubricated in the bike?
In order for the bike to serve its owner as long as possible, it is necessary to periodically lubricate all its parts. The most important and first in line is the chassis. that is, all the parts that ensure the movement of the bicycle, combined into one system. These include:
- Chain. This detail is one of the most important because it ensures the movement of the bike. That is why the entire technical condition of this transport depends on the quality and quantity of lubricant applied to it. The first signal that the chain is out of order is its tinkling. You should also take into account such a moment as the wear of this part. It needs to be changed as often as possible. about every 1500 kilometers of cycling.
- Brake axles. The entire braking system is responsible for driving safety and stopping the bike in time.
- Roller wheels for chain tensioning. They help to keep the chain perfectly tight and resist loosening.
- Speed shifter. It consists of two parts: front and back. The first is responsible for shifting gears, and the second is for gradually increasing speed. In order for these actions to occur flawlessly, constant lubrication and proper care of these parts are required.
- Shift and brake cables. Since neither the brake nor the derailleur can transmit commands through the air, each bicycle has special cables that carry two functions: combining the braking and switch parts with each other and transmitting signals that induce action. To lubricate them, you need to drop a little oil near the entrance and exit of each cable and press a little on the pedals and switches.
- Carriage assembly. The carriage is a small bushing that contains bearings and special cups. This device is responsible for the pedals. The bearings help them to twist easily, and the cups keep the pedals from rolling and falling out. Thus, by lubricating the carriage, you ensure yourself safe driving.
- Wheel bearings. They help the wheels move and keep the wheel from wobbling while driving. They also need constant lubrication.
- Damping system. She is responsible for the softness of the ride. In addition, in the presence of various obstacles, shock absorbers soften the impact of the wheels and resist bike breakage. The owner is required to lubricate the special front fork and rear shock absorber.
Thus, if the owner lubricates everything in advance, he will not observe any problems with the bike for a long time.
How to lubricate your bike?
There are a huge number of names of various lubricants and oils. They are all great for bike care:
- Specialty liquid oils. This category is suitable for all types of chains, suspension systems and brakes. They completely cover all areas to be treated and ensure long-term uninterrupted operation of bike parts.
- Aerosols with two components. They are great for a variety of switches, thread and cable lubrication. Aerosols are designed in such a way that when spraying the oil they contain, even the most inaccessible places are covered, which is an undoubted advantage in the processing of bicycle parts. In addition, some of them contain kerosene. It is also a great helper in separating damaged parts. These include: “LM40” and “LM47”.
- Lubricating greases. They are used to lubricate and seal all types of joints.
- Lubricants with m calcium. This type belongs to the group of greases. They are also designed to lubricate all kinds of connections and assemblies. These include: “Solidol”, “Uniol” and so on. The advantage of using this type of lubricant is that calcium is able to stay on the surface of parts for quite a long time and, at the same time, provide them with excellent performance.
- Lithium greases. Another type of grease. These include: “Litol-24”, “Fiol” and so on.
All these oils and greases can quickly and thoroughly lubricate all parts of the bike. In addition, they keep the entire undercarriage in perfect order for a long time.
How to lubricate your bike?
Seems like what’s so hard about lubricating bike parts? However, here too there are some wisdom. For example, you need a certain amount of lubricant, as well as a certain type. In addition, certain manipulations are required with any of the parts. Here are the basic requirements for lubricating parts:
Bicycle chain lubrication
Axle of the brake system
Roller wheels for chain tensioning
Brake and shift cables
With the right lubricants, you should have no problem maintaining your bike. Below is a more detailed description of the lubrication of each part of the bike.
Bicycle chain maintenance
Since the chain is the most important part of the entire bike, it requires the most detailed and thorough care.
Chain cleaner: useful device or newfangled uselessness?
Not all innovations turn out to be necessary and useful, many of them can be easily dispensed with. At first glance, a bicycle chain cleaner (chain-loader) can also be classified as such: it would seem, well, what is easier than removing and cleaning the chain yourself. But if such a procedure is not difficult for an experienced cyclist, then for a beginner cyclist or a girl who recently bought a bicycle for herself, this can become a serious problem. Leaving the chain without leaving means guaranteeing yourself difficulties in the near future with both driving and repairing a two-wheeled friend.
There are several types of such devices: they differ in their configuration, price, and reliability. Barbieri, Bike Hand, Birzman. these brands offer budget-class chain washers: standard with three cleaning wheels and a convenient reservoir. The Kettenmax brand offers a chain hoist not only at a higher cost, but also with all the necessary additional accessories. The choice of one or the other is a question of the financial capabilities of a particular person.
The principle of the machine for cleaning the chain (chain)
How the chain cleaner works.
The main and, probably, key advantage of the chain cleaner is the ability to take care of the chain without removing it from the bike. To get started, it is enough to put the chain inside the machine, pre-filled with flushing liquid to the middle of the rollers (about 50 ml).
Then you should smoothly rotate the pedals, while carefully holding both the machine and the bike itself. In order not to spill used liquid on the floor or drip grease, protect the floor covering with rags or newspapers: if weather conditions allow, then it is advisable to perform the procedure outdoors. this will relieve both stains and the sharp smell of cleaning liquids. After the chain is cleaned of dirt, it is easy to lubricate it: for this, it is enough to replace the flushing fluid in the machine with lubricant.
The principle of operation of the machine is extremely simple, it is available to every bicycle owner, regardless of age and knowledge. Therefore, the presence of such a device can be considered justified, especially in the absence of experience in self-care and repair of bikes.
How to lubricate a bike chain?
Bicycle chain lubrication
To lubricate the chain as thoroughly and quickly as possible, you must use the following procedure:
- Transfer chain from large sprockets to medium sprockets. This is to keep the chain as tight as possible. This makes it easier to clean the chain links and lubricate them much more thoroughly.
- Remove dirt from the chain. This can be done with a regular clean cloth. Wipe thoroughly so as not to miss a single section of the chain.
- Apply lubricant to the chain. It is best to use a lubricant rather than an aerosol, as it will lubricate absolutely all parts of the chain. It is necessary to lubricate all its parts, while rotating the pedals counterclockwise.
- Pedal at the same speed. This is necessary for the best penetration of the lubricant inside.
- Wipe off any excess oil. All the lubricant the bike needs to perform well stays inside, and excess grease shows through on the surface. They only interfere with the bike’s performance, as they collect dirt. That is why the excess needs to be removed with a clean cloth. Everything, the chain is lubricated.
How to lubricate a bicycle chain? Hybrid bike chain lubricant
- Manufactured using a unique hybrid technology based on the principle of synergy between different materials.
- Has a high penetrating power, due to which the grease gets on the inner surfaces of the hinges.
- After evaporation of solvents, the high-viscosity oil reliably holds the grease in the friction zone.
- Solid lubricants form a thin layer that prevents dust from entering the chain.
- Convenient aerosol can with a straw nozzle allows you to evenly apply the material over the entire surface.
It is necessary to select the correct lubricants. This is the lubricant recommended by experts:
These are the most popular and effective lubricants to help keep your bike chain running smoothly.
How often to lubricate the bike chain?
On this issue, everyone has different opinions. But the best and most optimal solutions will be the following:
- With a hard start. If it becomes difficult for the owner to go out into the street, then the whole thing, most often, is in a state of chain.
- After three hours of riding.
- Chain crunch. This effect can be observed at the moment when the chain becomes dry.
Thus, coming to a common denominator, the following can be noted: the chain is best lubricated every 100 kilometers of driving and after it has been cleaned of dirt.
How to lubricate a bicycle fork?
Bicycle fork lubrication
The suspension forks on bicycles from different brands are completely different from each other. However, the approximate list of actions for all surebets is almost the same. with the exception of some peculiarities. Here is this fork cleaning plan:
- It is necessary to clean the fork of any debris, then remove the wheel.
- From the rods. the rods into which the pants of the fork are inserted. you should unscrew the bolts. Then you need to remove the regulator.
- Then you should remove the brake system, and then pull the pants out of the bike.
- The next step: wipe the rods from grease and remove the stopper rings from the oil seals.
- Then you need to wipe the pants with a fork from the inside.
- Grease is applied to the oil seals, and a little oil is poured into each leg. Use, best of all, oils with m grease.
- Then everything is assembled the same way as it was sorted out.
- The inside of the fork is lubricated with an aerosol. Everything is ready.
How to lubricate shock absorbers on a bicycle?
The principle of disassembling the shock absorber was described above. Therefore, there is only one thing to add: in case of rainy weather, cleaning and lubrication of the shock absorbers should be carried out daily. Otherwise, weekly. Cleaning is done with soapy water and a brush and lubricated with aerosol and oil.
Bicycle bearing grease
The bearings require a lubricant that will keep them running smoothly for a long time. This includes lithium-based grease. It can last for a whole year without requiring replacement or addition.
Before applying it, the bearings must be rinsed with kerosene and allowed to dry. And only after that, the grease is applied to the separator, which holds the bearings together, or directly into the cup, where, then, the balls are pressed.
How to lubricate bicycle pedals?
In order to lubricate the pedals, you must first disassemble them.
- First, the pedals are removed from the bike.
- Then the plugs covering the nut are removed.
- The nuts are unscrewed and the lock washers and the cone are removed.
- The bearings are taken out, and the pedals are removed from the axles.
After that, all parts are washed in kerosene and wiped with a rag. After drying, grease is applied to the axle and bearings, after which they are reassembled.
If you do not know anything, that is, how to lubricate the carriage of an ordinary bicycle, then the answer is very simple: it is disassembled in the same detail as all other parts of an ordinary bicycle, but it is lubricated with thick grease. In addition, it can be lubricated without being dismantled into numerous parts. It is enough to apply liquid lubricant from above, and it will be sucked in by itself.
Often there are situations when, after winter, you take your bike out, and it creaks. Or worse, it got corroded. In such cases, nanoprotech grease comes to the rescue. It perfectly protects the bike from damage and keeps the bike in excellent condition throughout the winter. Using this lubricant, the bike owner will forget about problems with parts for a long time.
How and how to lubricate a chain on a bicycle with a multi-speed transmission. Is it necessary: why lubricate a bicycle chain
At least, so that it does not creak or, in an intermediate version, does not chirp. As a maximum, a drop of oil in the friction unit (link) increases its wear resistance. As a result, the chain runs longer. In addition, you are unlikely to be able to accurately adjust the rear derailleur on a dry drive.
Digging deeper, the cycle life is determined not only by the lubricating qualities of a petrochemical product, but also by its ability to repel sand and dirt from the metal. Therefore, it does not matter at all how you lubricate your bicycle chain at home or at a service station.
How to lubricate a bicycle chain
Let’s paint a portrait of the perfect bike lubricant:
- Does not attract dust.
- Keeps the chain clean.
- Penetrates into the smallest crevices, while not flowing out of them.
- Does not wash out with a stream of water.
There is no such composition in nature. There are dry summer weather products that rain off in no time, and wet lubricants that smear clothes and attract dust. Therefore, when choosing, it is completely indifferent which brand of bike is better and how high it is in the rating.
Proprietary bicycle lubricants. For dry weather
A DRY bottle will work, but not any. If resource is a priority, choose Teflon, silicone or graphite bike lubricants. Their common disadvantage is that they dirty everything around. For those who love cleanliness, it is best to lubricate their bike chain with wax. But she also has a major drawback. she has unimportant lubricating characteristics.
For wet weather
Any bottle with WET on the label will do. Inside. solvent-diluted grease. When it hits the chain drive, it quickly disperses over the gaps, the solvent evaporates, and we have a thick composition between the roller and the axle.
The composition does not wash out, but quickly collects sand and dust in dry weather. In the rain, it serves about 150-200 km.
Homemade recipes: how to make your own chain lubricant
It is not necessary to use proprietary chemicals. No matter how colorfully the label is painted and the composition of some special formula is chewed in the same detail, the drug is hardly different from home analogues.
Of course, the “firm” may have superiority in the resource by 5-10 km, but why this conversation if the amount of money is at stake, which is more than enough for one more chain. For a budget bike like Stels or Forward with cheap components, buying branded lubricants is also not a reason.
For dry highway
An alternative can be made to all kinds of factory DRY formulations. Based on their service life, it makes sense to look for substitutes for lubricant products based on graphite and wax.
Graphite Bike Lubricant
- 50% of gasoline “Kalosha”.
- 50% graphite auto-lubrication.
It is more convenient to mix directly in a 20 ml syringe. According to the experience of enthusiastic specialists, this amount is enough for about 4 treatments.
There are two ways to push the substance into the joints of the links:
- Boil the chains in molten paraffin.
- Dilute with kerosene in a ratio of 1: 2. 100 g of paraffin to 200 g of kerosene (better than aviation kerosene) and leave to stand for three days (during this time the paraffin clots will completely dissolve).
Adherents of the method extract paraffin from candles or buy at a pharmacy. Before applying, the material is ground on a grater. Practice shows that the average service life is about 500 km. In terms of costs, it is much cheaper than the analogue Squirt known in the cycling environment.
Alternative to liquid preparations
- Machine transmission oil. Simple and cheap analogue. On dry it is enough for 60-70 km, in the rain it is quickly washed out. Dust clings and chains are constantly dirty.
- Three-component composition (60% grease, 30% motor oil, 10% graphite powder). An old recipe for a bicycle chain cooking mix.
- Three-component mixture (85% lithol, 5% soap, 10% graphite powder). Another old-fashioned recipe for cooking composition.
For wet weather conditions
Before it rains, it is best to lubricate your bike chain with heavy grease. It is delivered in a liquid state to the gap between the pin and the roller and thickens after a while. Crafting recipe:
- Find automotive compound 58 for propeller shafts or “marine” consistency for hubs.
- Mix with gasoline Kalosh (alternative. fuel for lighters) in a 1: 1 ratio.
- Pour the mixture into a vial of nasal drops or fill into a syringe.
Can the bike chain be lubricated.
- Machine engine oil. Not recommended, it is watery, the chain dries quickly.
- Litol or grease. Cannot be applied directly: practically nothing gets into the friction points; it will quickly collect all the dirt from the road.
- WD-40. No, it’s a great degreaser, but not a lubricant. In the composition. white spirit and some light oils. The solvent transports the oils to sour spots where they thin out rust and other formations. In fact, they can only wash the bike chain.
How to properly lubricate a bicycle chain with various lubricants
The goal is to deliver lubricant to the link joints. Externally, the chains must be dry. This service result is considered competent. To make it also correct, it is necessary to thoroughly flush the drive before the procedure.
How to clean a bike chain
Whatever you lubricate your bike chain with, clean it first. The purpose of this event is one. to remove the mixture of dirt with oil and abrasive. At home, this cannot be done efficiently and quickly. But hardly anyone wants to spend about half an hour each time on service. Check out two methods and use them alternately.
A quick way to clean
- Toothbrush, preferably maximum hardness.
- Degreeser bottle (e.g. WD-40 or carburetor cleaner).
The work is done directly on the bike:
- Clean the chain with a cloth. It is more convenient to do this at the lower level (under the frame): grasp the chain with a hand, covered with a rag, wipe it from all sides, turn the pedals, repeat the same actions in a new area.
- Go through with a toothbrush. Press it against the bike chain in the area of the lower roller of the rear derailleur, clean all four sides and sprockets.
- Blow out each joint with a degreaser, covering the frame, wheel and brakes with a rag or cardboard.
- Pedal back 10-15 turns.
- Wipe chain drive dry.
Here you need to remove the chain and rinse it in any organic solvent (gasoline, kerosene or white spirit). Easy to rinse in a bottle, jar or small dish.
How to combine methods? Alternate 3-4 quick washes with one major and the cycle chain will serve the inherent resource.
How to lubricate the chain at home
Almost all preparations, including home-made ones, are applied by external coating of each joint from a bottle, oiler or syringe. Procooking in the prepared solution is practiced by a few.
It is most economical to use a small medical syringe (5 cubes):
- Coat each roller (1 drop on both sides).
- Pedal back 10-15 turns.
- Drive 300-500 m.
- Wipe the chain with paper towels.
- Finally walk with a damp cloth.
- If you decide to boil the chain in paraffin, then do it in a water bath so that the material does not burn. Cooking time. no more than 10 minutes.
- The transition to wax lubrication is best combined with the replacement of the chain. The composition, as it were, preserves the joints of the links, so it is desirable that they do not have an abrasive.
- With the next treatment with wax or paraffin, there is no need to thoroughly wash the drive. It is enough just to walk with a rag.