Can I Wash Bicycle Chain

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How and what to clean the bike chain?

The bicycle chain can be said to be the main knot thanks to which movement is possible in principle. The efficiency, ease and speed of skiing directly depend on its quality and condition. The main parameters of a working chain are its wear rate, setting and cleanliness.

It is important for both a beginner and an experienced cyclist to understand that mechanisms that are actively in contact with dust, water and dirt should be kept in more or less decent condition. Cleaning your bike chain is a must and inevitable process. It is carried out so that the entire transmission unit serves as long as possible, and the ride is comfortable.

How often do you need to clean and lubricate your bike chain?

In general, how is it determined how dirty the chain has become? You don’t have to go far, just look at it. Lumps of earth on the surface of the links, an abrasive mixture of old oil and sand, smudges. these are all signs that directly indicate that it is time to get down to the bike chain.

The outside usually brings the state of the chain to clean water. However, this is not always a reliable indicator. For example, prolonged driving on dry dusty roads may not affect its appearance in any way, but from time to time an unpleasant crackle may occur.

The fact is that dirt sticks very well from the inside, in the spaces between the rollers. It is possible to see at once in what state the chain is possible only on ordinary singspeeds. On high-speed models, such dirt cleverly hides among a large number of stars. To have a complete idea of ​​how much the transmission is running, you will have to turn the bike over.

Those who like to ride after rain or in slush (and there are many of them) will have to clean the chain almost after every ride. At a minimum, wipe and lubricate. When riding on dry roads, the grease lasts longer, but its useful properties are gradually reduced by sticking dust. The dirt accumulated over time begins to interfere with movement, and affects the stars.

Much depends not only on the conditions, but also on the riding style. A neat and measured ride will definitely outperform aggressive driving in terms of cleaning and lubrication intervals. So cyclists who like to push their two-wheelers to the limit will need to clean their chains more often.

On average, under standard conditions, you need to look into the transmission unit 1. 2 times a month. often if desired. Just remember that excessive lubrication will foul the system faster.

How to clean a detachable chain

A chain lock is a convenient and practical thing in terms of maintenance, since you do not have to sweat next to the bike looking for dirt. The chain that is detached from the bike will clean better than the chain that is hanging from the frame. Washing options:

  • soak in kerosene;
  • intensive rinsing in a bottle with solvent;
  • manual cleaning and washing with brushes.

The first method removes plaque from the outer surfaces of the links. With lumps stuck between the rollers, a simple soak copes poorly. After that, you need to knock out dirt from the internal cavities using a thin knitting needle or brush.

A more effective way is to rinse the chain in a container. For this you will need:

  • capacious plastic bottle with a wide neck;
  • solvent (kerosene or acetone);
  • detergent (washing paste or dishwashing liquid);
  • small amount of grease.

The dirty chain is put into a bottle, then filled with solvent. Close the lid and shake vigorously for 10 minutes. This is the main cleaning of adhering dirt.

Then, in the same way, flushing is done several times. The chain bottle is filled with water (in the same amount as the solvent), a little cleaning agent and a few drops of oil. Shake in the resulting solution for 5. 10 minutes. The procedure is repeated several times until the liquid inside the bottle is almost transparent. Carefully remove the chain from the bottle and wipe it dry with a clean cloth.

Moderately effective method. cleaning the chain by hand using coarse and fine brushes. This will also require:

  • cleaning agent;
  • a few clean rags;
  • grease.

The procedure looks something like this:

  • Straighten the chain carefully.
  • Apply to a large brush and lather.
  • Clean the outer surfaces of the links. We periodically wash the brush in a solvent.
  • Pre-wipe with a cloth.
  • With a fine foamed brush, go over the internal cavities. For deep cleaning, repeat several times, periodically lubricating with a little oil.
  • With a rag dipped in kerosene, wipe the entire chain.
  • Final wipe with a dry cloth.

You can wash the chain thoroughly by hand, but it will take longer. In order not to dilute excess dirt, you need to think in advance where and on what to clean. For these purposes, a plastic pallet, for example, is well suited.

For a while, it must be left to air dry; in parallel, all the stars should also be washed. Apply lubricant after the chain is already on the bike.

Removing dirt with a chain wash

Can the chain links be cleaned without removing it from the bike? It is inconvenient and ineffective manually. But what about those who have no chain lock, but no squeeze at hand? A chain washing machine was specially designed for these purposes.

The chain washer is a special machine with gears for engaging links and small brushes inside. The cavity is filled with a special solvent included in the kit. When pedaling, all the links pass through the chain wash. Advantages of using:

  • no need to remove the chain from the bike;
  • easy to put on and take off without deforming the links;
  • you can clear the stars with multiple scrolling;
  • absolutely clean hands.

The chain washer can effectively clean all dirt from the transmission much faster than hand washing it on the frame.

The downside that can push you away from buying a new bike cleaning machine is its cost. And below is a helpful video on cleaning and lubricating the chain:

Cleaning and washing your bike chain is one of the primary procedures in bike care. By adhering to simple principles when washing and repeating it periodically, the cyclist will not find himself in a situation where the bike does not want to ride normally at the most inopportune moment.

How to wash a bicycle chain. Bicycle chain lubrication

A bicycle chain, during its operation, is subject to the influence of various factors that reduce its life. And if you do not periodically maintain the chain, which includes cleaning and lubrication, then it will fail faster, stretch and you will have to change it to a new one. In addition, the chain will accelerate the wear of the cassette and system sprockets. Also, an unlubricated chain squeaks when riding and makes pedaling difficult.

The maintenance of the bicycle chain is one of the most controversial, there are a huge number of opinions about what and when to lubricate, how best to clean and when to change the chain. But all experienced cyclists agree on one thing. the chain must be clean and lubricated!

The duration of the next maintenance of the chain varies from the style of riding: for people who ride on the asphalt only on weekends, it will be one, and for those who like long trips outside the city, and even over rough terrain, others. A rule that is invariable for everyone. the chain must be clean and lubricated. Ideally, the chain should be serviced after every ride on a muddy and dusty road. Dust and sand penetrating the chain links create excessive friction and greatly accelerate its wear.

How to clean the chain. How to clean a chain

Each typewriter comes with instructions for use, so I will not describe here the procedure for working with the typewriter.

How to lubricate the chain

The frequency of chain lubrication also depends on the conditions in which the bike is used. The more dirt, dust, sand, the more often you have to carry it out. It is necessary to lubricate the chain inside the rollers, if the lubricant remains outside the chain, then the dirt will stick to it better. Therefore, after lubrication, the chain must be wiped dry.

A good bicycle chain lubricant should easily penetrate into hard-to-reach places, but it should not leak out. Should not be washed out with water, should not enter into chemical reactions with metals, etc. There are many different requirements for good chain lubrication.

  • Aerosol chain lubricants. sold in aerosol cans, they penetrate well into the most inaccessible places of the chain, often ends up in the wrong place (on rims, tires, etc.), so you need to apply very carefully;
  • Chain lubricants. Sold in grease bottles that make it easy to apply the lubricant between the roller and side plate of the chain links. But, most of these lubricants do not tolerate frost well and thicken, which complicates the process of their application.
  • Two-component chain lubricants. sold in oil bottles. This type of grease. it is an attempt to create both a thick and a liquid lubricant at once. They are a thick grease diluted in a solvent. When applied to the chain, the lubricant easily penetrates the necessary places, then the solvent evaporates, and a thick lubricant remains inside. After applying it, you need to give time to the solvent to weather, so you will not be able to ride a bike right away, you will have to wait several hours.
  • Chain greases. sold in cans or tubes. Very poorly suited for bike chain lubrication, but very difficult to get to the right place. inside the roller. Some cyclists boil the chain immersed in this lubricant for this, and then wipe it dry on the outside. This process does not look like chain lubrication and I do not recommend it to you.

How to lubricate the chain

It is necessary to lubricate the chain when the chain starts to squeak (on average, every 100-150 km). The lubricant should only be applied to a clean chain, ideally it should be rinsed so that it does not crunch sand when bent. Next, the chain must be dried, and then proceed to lubrication.

You can apply liquid or two-component lubricant to the chain without removing it from the bike. We drip from an oiler or syringe into the gap between the rollers on the walls of the chain links and repeat this operation for each link in turn. If grease gets on the brake disc, wheel rim or tire, remove it with a dry cloth.

After lubricating all the links, spin the pedals in the opposite direction for a couple of minutes, and then wipe the chain and sprockets dry with a cloth.

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Bicycle chain cleaning: how, when, why?

The following signs will help you identify a critical level of contamination in a chain. Well, we will not mention the visual picture. this is an obvious factor. In addition, the appearance is only a small part of the overall picture, everything else is hidden from prying eyes inside the rollers between the links. If they run smoothly with your fingers, then cleaning the bike chain is not yet essential. This is also evidenced by the fact that the chain links are effortlessly folded back to back. If all this is done with an effort, then it is time to clean the chain immediately.

In this context, this or that liquid cleaning agent is meant. There are a variety of cleaning products on the market today that, while they do their job perfectly and smell great, are quite expensive. In this regard, most cyclists use for this purpose more vulgar substances like acetone or gasoline. everyone knows “White Spirit”. They perfectly dissolve and flush out dirt, consisting of old grease mixed with road dust, extremely cheap, but smelly as hell. In view of the latter quality, it is advisable to move to the open air before cleaning the bicycle chain. This does not apply to those who like to smell such smells for individual purposes. Some people wash the chain with soapy water or some “Gala”, but this method is controversial, although it has a right to exist. If used, the chain must be thoroughly dried immediately to avoid corrosion. In addition to one of the cleaning agents described above, the standard chain cleaning kit includes a brush, a cloth and a small bowl. Alternatively, the same bike chain washer can be used instead. In the first case, the chain is removed and placed in a bath with acetone. You can brush it with a brush. Or you can just have a good chat in the bowl, changing the detergent until it is clean at the exit. Particularly caring people leave the chain in the vessel overnight. The disadvantages of this method are high consumption of detergent, the need to remove the chain and dirty hands. The advantages include a better cleaning result. If the chain is not very dirty, you can simply wipe it with a cloth. After cleaning, the chain is dried and always lubricated, which I will talk about some other time. Read more: Bicycle chain cleaner. Video review

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Cleaning and lubricating the bike chain

To clean the bicycle chain, it is best to use a special machine, since in this case we will not need to remove the chain from the bicycle, which will extend its life (if the chain is without a lock). We will talk about a special machine for cleaning bicycle chains in a separate article.

Cleaning the bike chain with a clipper

So, if we do not have a car, then it will be necessary to remove the chain. After the chain is removed, it is necessary to thoroughly rinse it in a specially prepared bath with detergent. You can use a brush or an old toothbrush to remove dirt and old grease from hard-to-reach areas. Many cyclists use a plastic bottle to wash their chains. We push the chain into a bottle of detergent, close and shake it until the chain is washed.

Bike chain cleaning in a bottle

How to clean a bicycle chain. Why you need to clean your bike chain

Some cyclists do not know why a bicycle chain is cleaned. Therefore, it is recommended that you figure out in advance why this part is being cleaned. It seems to many that they are cleaning the chain due to the fact that it begins to creak, but this is not so. There is a more important reason for this procedure. Cleaning improves the function of the part, because if it is not cleaned and lubricated, the pedals will spin at times worse.

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Also, unlubricated chains wear out and break faster. In this case, its axles will wear out within a year. If cleaned periodically, they will last about five years.

How to clean a detachable chain

A chain lock is a convenient and practical thing in terms of maintenance, since you do not have to sweat next to the bike looking for dirt. The chain that is detached from the bike will clean better than the chain that is hanging from the frame. Washing options:

  • soak in kerosene;
  • intensive rinsing in a bottle with solvent;
  • manual cleaning and washing with brushes.

The first method removes plaque from the outer surfaces of the links. With lumps stuck between the rollers, a simple soak copes poorly. After that, you need to knock out dirt from the internal cavities using a thin knitting needle or brush.

A more effective way is to rinse the chain in a container. For this you will need:

  • capacious plastic bottle with a wide neck;
  • solvent (kerosene or acetone);
  • detergent (washing paste or dishwashing liquid);
  • small amount of grease.

The dirty chain is put into a bottle, then filled with solvent. Close the lid and shake vigorously for 10 minutes. This is the main cleaning of adhering dirt.

Then, in the same way, flushing is done several times. The chain bottle is filled with water (in the same amount as the solvent), a little cleaning agent and a few drops of oil. Shake in the resulting solution for 5. 10 minutes. The procedure is repeated several times until the liquid inside the bottle is almost transparent. Carefully remove the chain from the bottle and wipe it dry with a clean cloth.

Bottle rinsing. convenient, fast and long lasting

Moderately effective method. cleaning the chain by hand using coarse and fine brushes. This will also require:

  • cleaning agent;
  • a few clean rags;
  • grease.

The procedure looks something like this:

  • Straighten the chain carefully.
  • Apply to a large brush and lather.
  • Clean the outer surfaces of the links. We periodically wash the brush in a solvent.
  • Pre-wipe with a cloth.
  • With a fine foamed brush, go over the internal cavities. For deep cleaning, repeat several times, periodically lubricating with a little oil.
  • With a rag dipped in kerosene, wipe the entire chain.
  • Final wipe with a dry cloth.

You can wash the chain thoroughly by hand, but it will take longer. In order not to dilute excess dirt, you need to think in advance where and on what to clean. For these purposes, a plastic pallet, for example, is well suited.

For a while, it must be left to air dry; in parallel, all the stars should also be washed. Apply lubricant after the chain is already on the bike.

Bicycle chain cleaning. how and what to do?

Before proceeding with the actual cleaning of the contaminated bicycle chain, the following steps must be taken:

  • Together with the bicycle, it is advisable to leave the room in which you are. You can go to the balcony, or to the street. This should be done because most products have a rather pungent odor.
  • Prepare detergents and a plastic bottle.
  • Keep your hands in mind. gloves must be worn when cleaning a dirty bike chain.
  • If there are no keys to remove the chain, you can leave it on the bike.
  • Also, if you do not plan to disconnect the part, you can turn the bike over. This will make the job much easier.

Necessary materials

Cleaning the bike chain

The detachable chain is quite practical when it comes to maintenance, as you don’t need to flip the bike to find a comfortable position. The detached chain is much easier and more convenient to clean than the one that hangs inconveniently on the frame.

How to wash the detachable chain: Soak in kerosene. Rinse in solvent. Wash the chain yourself using a brush.

By soaking the chain in kerosene, it will be possible to remove the plaque formed on the chain links. But with lumps of earth and dirt, this method copes rather poorly. Then, if the dirt is not completely removed, it can be removed with thin knitting needles or a brush.

The most effective way is to flush the chain in a container with a solvent.

Materials required for cleaning:

  • Plastic bottle;
  • Solvent (kerosene or acetone can be used);
  • Any detergent;
  • Grease;

Cleaning brush

The chain must be placed in a bottle and filled with solvent. Close the cap tightly and shake the bottle for 8 minutes without stopping. This will help get rid of any remaining dirt.

After the procedure has been completed, flush should be performed. Pour water, detergent, a couple of drops of oil into the bottle. We keep the chain in this solution for 5 to 10 minutes, while shaking it, as during the main cleaning. The procedure must be done before the water in the bottle becomes clear. That is, as the water gets dirty. you should collect water with the product again. And repeat this several times. After the water remains clear after washing, remove the chain. It remains only to wipe it with a clean dry cloth.

There is also another way to clean the bike chain, which will be done manually. To complete it you will need:

  • Detergent;
  • Clean rags;
  • Grease;
  • Brushes (large and small);

After preparing the necessary materials, you can proceed to the cleaning itself.

Cleaning process

First, you need to straighten the chain. After that, on a small-sized brush, apply detergent and lather well. Use a foam brush to clean the outer surface of the chain. The brush, during cleaning, must be rinsed.

Now wipe the chain with a rag. Then, apply the agent to a small brush and clean the inner chambers of the chain. For more effective cleaning, this procedure can be repeated several times by lubricating the chain with oil during cleaning.

After completing the cleaning, we wipe the chain with kerosene, after applying it to the rag. Now, wipe the chain with a dry cloth.

Cleaning a dirty bike chain with a chain washing machine

Cleaning the chains manually is not always convenient and effective. And someone simply does not have the opportunity to remove it. It is in such cases that the chain washing machine is used.

Chain wash

What is a chain-washing machine. a small-sized machine, inside which there are gears for firmly attaching the links, as well as small brushes. A special liquid is poured into the car, which is sold in the kit. As soon as the pedals start to rotate, all the links in the chain pass through this machine.

With this method, cleaning the chain will turn out quickly and efficiently.

Basic ways

There are several ways to help clear the chain from adhering dirt and debris.

Removal and soaking in solvent

First, you need to get rid of the dirt accumulated on the surface of the chain and between its links. There are three effective means in which you can soak a part.

Kerosene

Most often, ordinary kerosene is used for soaking, which effectively removes any contamination. To get rid of the contamination, you will have to perform the following sequence of actions:

  • Fill the container with kerosene. Pour 400-500 milliliters of liquid into a small metal or plastic bowl. Some people breed it with water, but this should not be done.
  • Wipe the chain with a brush. The part is pre-wiped with a damp brush to get rid of dirt on the surface.
  • Place the chain in a filled container. The product, cleared of dirt, is placed in a bowl of kerosene for 1-2 hours. Then it is taken out of the container, lubricated and installed on the bike.

Diesel fuel

Diesel fuel is called diesel fuel, which is used to refuel water, motor vehicles and other technical equipment. However, there are other ways to use this fuel fluid. For example, it can be used to repair a bicycle chain.

Cleaning of the product is carried out as follows:

  • Preliminary cleaning of the chain. First, coarse dirt is brushed off the surface with a stiff brush. You can use a dry brush or soak it in water.
  • Fill the container with diesel fuel. Take 300-500 milliliters of liquid into a bowl. This is enough to soak most bicycle chains.
  • Soak off. In diesel fuel, the product will have to be soaked longer than in kerosene. The procedure should last within 24 hours.

Turpentine

Turpentine is a colorless liquid that is created from conifers and their resinous components. Such a liquid is used in various spheres of life. It is used in the manufacture of fragrant perfumes, in the textile industry and in the creation of paints and varnishes for wood.

Liquid in the amount of 450-550 milliliters is poured into a saucepan or bowl. Then a dirty chain is placed in it, which must be soaked for 15-20 hours. The soaked part is dried, lubricated and installed on the bike.

Machine

There is a special machine made specifically for cleaning chains. Such a device is called a chain wash, it is made of special gears and brushes. The cleaner is equipped with a small tank into which the solvent is poured. Then a chain is installed on the gears in the structure, which will be treated with a solvent during rotation.

The advantages of using such a design include the following:

  • efficiency;
  • ease of use;
  • quick removal of even the most serious contaminants that are difficult to remove manually.

With your own hands using large and small brushes

Many people do not have a chain washer and therefore have to do the cleaning themselves. Experts advise using small or large brushes. They should be made of durable pile, as it removes dirt many times better.

The chain cleaning procedure is carried out as follows:

  • Straighten the product. First, the chain is placed on a flat surface and straightened in length.
  • Wipe down the surface. The part is thoroughly wiped with a dry brush to get rid of large debris.
  • Treat with solvent. The liquid is applied to a large brush, after which the chain is rubbed with it. You need to rub thoroughly to get rid of even traces of small debris.
  • Dry and grease. The processed product is dried and lubricated with machine oil.

WD-40 is considered a multipurpose lubricant that prevents dirt from sticking to the machined part. The main advantage of this tool is its versatility. Among the disadvantages of WD-40 are poor wear resistance. Because of this, the lubricating fluid has to be used more often. Experts recommend renewing this lubricant on the chain every 80-100 kilometers. Using such a tool is quite simple.

Do-it-yourself chain making

Method for removing contaminants using a plastic bottle with a capacity of 1.5 liters

A reservoir is to be made of it, i.e. cut out using a utility knife or a fine-toothed hacksaw. The cut strip should not be too wide. For it to be securely attached, you need a cutout. When this is finished, we put on the structure so that the chain lies on the bottom. Pour enough detergent to completely cover this element of the bike.

Holding the bottle with one hand, remove dirt with the other using a toothbrush. Roll the chain slowly to clear all links.

Method using 3 toothbrushes

It can be considered a modernized first option or stand alone. To realize it, you need: glue, a lighter and three toothbrushes

Carefully heating the brush with the flame of a lighter, tilt the head of one of the brushes slightly forward. At the second. we tilt it back, again using a lighter for this

The third remains unchanged. Now the workpieces need to be connected so that the bristles make a reservoir equal in size to the bicycle chain. By placing our part in such a kind of tank and pouring detergent into it, we carry out a comprehensive cleaning.

How to lubricate

There are special products used when lubricating bicycle chains.

Oils

There are several types of lubricants most often used by cyclists:

  • For dry weather. These products are made of ceramics and are used if the bicycle is only cycled in dry weather. The advantages of such lubricating compositions include the fact that they protect the treated surfaces from corrosion.
  • For wet weather. Silicone oils and a little paraffin are added to their composition. These components provide reliable protection against moisture in the chain.
  • Compositions with added thickeners. They are versatile lubricants suitable for dry and wet weather.

Using the above oils is simple. Before applying them to the surface, the product is washed in a solvent and dried. Then the oil is evenly distributed along the chain.

Teflon grease

Some oils contain Teflon additives, due to which the products have dustproof properties. Teflon lubricants also protect metal bicycle chains from moisture particles and prevent the development of corrosion. These lubricants are easy to use. First, the chain is removed from the bike and then dipped in solvent to remove contamination. Then a lubricant is applied to the cleaned and dried product.

Lubrication rules

There are several lubrication rules that you should be familiar with before using the substance:

  • During lubrication, liquid is dripped pointwise onto each link of the product. In this case, the oil must be applied so that it gets inside the rollers.
  • After applying the liquid, the chain will have to be rotated several times. This is done so that the applied lubricant is better distributed.
  • At the end of lubrication, the product is thoroughly wiped with a cloth. If this is not done and oil remains on the chain, it will collect all dirt particles on its surface.

Cyclotech chain cleaner

The machine produced by this company belongs to the category of expensive devices. Her and more. But, quality justifies the price.

The machine is durable and has the following advantages:

  • cleans thoroughly: the element to be cleaned looks like new;
  • convenient even for handling old dirt;
  • allows you to use any cleaning liquids: from the classic “Ferry”, which is diluted in water, to the options for specialized expensive.

The disadvantage, as with other chain washing machines, is the ability to clean only outside the house, otherwise the walls will be stained with dirt.

Cleaning the bike chain and reviewing the chain clipper

If you have a bicycle, you, as a good owner of your steel horse, must take care of it. One of the main maintenance procedures is cleaning the bike chain. Under what circumstances and how it should be done correctly, you will find out by reading this article.

General recommendations

General recommendations should not be neglected either.

  • After each use of the bike, it is advisable to wash it. remove dust, sand, debris, grass and other dirt.
  • You need to start general cleaning with a saddle wash, going down to the tires on wheels.
  • During washing, do not direct streams of water to the frame, in which it is not desirable for water to remain, and bushings so that the grease is not washed out.
  • Choose a stiff brush over metal hairs, as these negatively affect the bike chain coating by scratching the surface and can break and get stuck in hard-to-reach places such as crevices.
  • Do not use lithium greases.
  • If during cleaning you find corroded areas on the cable, this part must be replaced with a new one.
  • Polishing your bike will provide additional protection from dirt. Buy paint and varnish product and treat it with a rag on your bike.
  • You don’t have to spend money on special sprays, aerosols and liquid bike cleaners. Hot water mixed with regular dish detergent will give the same great result.

So, now you know how to clean your bike from dirt with your own hands. As you can see, it is absolutely not difficult to carry out this procedure with your own hands. Follow the instructions, remember the general recommendations for caring for this type of transport, and there will be no problems with the normal functioning of the bike.

Lubrication types

Several types of lubricants stand out. Each has its own pros and cons, and most importantly, its supporters and opponents. Let’s consider some of the types:

  • Aerosol. a popular option for cyclists, the lubricant is usually Teflon (“Teflon grease”) or graphite (“graphite grease”) mixed with silicone grease (no mixture. “dry grease”), particles that are in the can. Easy to apply to hard-to-reach parts, but also easy to stain bike parts.
  • Liquid lubricants are a classic in an oiler or in a separate vessel. It is required to apply carefully and painstakingly, from the advantages. the minimum price.
  • Two-component lubricants. sold in more convenient oilers, very liquid, they are a mixture of a solvent and the lubricant itself. Easy to apply and penetrates anywhere, then solvent evaporates. Expensive enough but effective.
  • Thick lubricants are rarely used for the chain, since it is very difficult to “deliver” them to the rollers. Of course, you can lubricate with engine oil, but specialized connections are definitely better.
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What is the best lubricant to use? Either effective two-component, or modern dry. Teflon or graphite. They are the least problematic when cleaning. You should not engage in amateur performances and lubricate the mechanisms with sunflower oil, heavy machine lubricants. Oil these days is far from the best lubricant, at least natural oils.

Cleaning the bike chain. Two methods proven in practice

It is possible to clean the chain from dust and dirt to the maximum in one of two proven methods that have a fundamental difference. one requires the removal of this part, the other does not. This is why experienced cyclists prefer the second method. After all, too frequent removal (and indeed removal) of the bicycle chain can subsequently lead to its rupture, moreover, at the most inopportune moment.

Method one

Cleaning the bike chain is carried out in several successive stages:

  • The chain must be removed first.
  • Then move it to a container in one of the solvents. kerosene, diesel fuel or turpentine.
  • “Rinse” the chain in a cleaning agent.
  • Drain off dirty solvent and refill with new.
  • Repeat flushing.

Change the cleaning composition until the drained liquid is relatively clear. As a rule, 2-3 times are enough. However, in addition to the risk to the removed bike chain, this method is also quite expensive in terms of the amount of solvent used.

Method two

This method of cleaning the bicycle chain is the most rational and safest for the part, as it remains in place during the procedure. The method is also called “machine”, since during the cleaning process a “special tool” is used. a cleaning machine in a plastic case. This device is equipped with special gears that grip the chain, and then bend it and dip it in the solvent. The cleaning cyclist only pedals and monitors the process to stop as soon as the chain is clean enough.

Cleaning the removed bicycle chain

If you yourself know how to disconnect and put in place this part of your transport, to remove adhering lumps from it, proceed as follows:

  • Place the removed part in a solvent bath.
  • Chat thoroughly and leave to soak while brushing the stars.
  • Pour oil or other cleaning agent into a plastic bottle, place a chain in it and shake it vigorously until the product turns black.
  • Change your cleaner as it gets dirty.
  • When the chain is clean and the liquid turns a light color, drain, cut the bottle and remove the chain.
  • Connect the chain, bike story and grease.
  • Wipe off excess grease with a cloth.

Now you know how to clean a bike chain. We hope that the above methods helped you save time and money, and that your transport for recreation and activities to maintain a good body shape will serve you for a long time.

The bicycle chain can be said to be the main knot thanks to which movement is possible in principle. The efficiency, ease and speed of skiing directly depend on its quality and condition. The main parameters of a working chain are its wear rate, setting and cleanliness.

It is important for both a beginner and an experienced cyclist to understand that mechanisms that are actively in contact with dust, water and dirt should be kept in more or less decent condition. Bicycle chain cleaning is a must and inevitable procedure

It is carried out so that the entire transmission unit serves as long as possible, and the ride is comfortable.

Removing dirt with a chain wash

Can the chain links be cleaned without removing it from the bike? It is inconvenient and ineffective manually. But what about those who have no chain lock, but no squeeze at hand? A chain washing machine was specially designed for these purposes.

Easy to use, convenient and compact

The chain washer is a special machine with gears for engaging links and small brushes inside. The cavity is filled with a special solvent included in the kit. When pedaling, all the links pass through the chain wash. Advantages of using:

  • no need to remove the chain from the bike;
  • easy to put on and take off without deforming the links;
  • you can clear the stars with multiple scrolling;
  • absolutely clean hands.

The chain washer can effectively clean all dirt from the transmission much faster than hand washing it on the frame.

The downside that can push you away from buying a new bike cleaning machine is its cost. And below is a helpful video on cleaning and lubricating the chain:

Cleaning and washing your bike chain is one of the primary procedures in bike care. By adhering to simple principles when washing and repeating it periodically, the cyclist will not find himself in a situation where the bike does not want to ride normally at the most inopportune moment.

Can I lubricate my bike chain with silicone grease??

If you are a supporter of modern materials, and you are not embarrassed by the high cost, consider a few examples of “advanced” formulations for bike bikers.

Important: Even if you are using the most expensive brands, the rinsing of the links before application is carried out as usual.

Silicone materials. They are full-fledged anti-friction compounds that reduce not only friction, but also the noise of the drive.

Another positive property is that a thin layer of silicone does not stain clothes. Of course, no water (in the form of drops) gets into the chain. However, traveling through puddles leads to complete washing away after 20-50 km. Average cost, you can afford to use it after every difficult trip.

  • Teflon bicycle chain lubricant is an expensive product. In addition, it dries for a long time after application, this must be taken into account if you want to use it on a long journey. If the layer is large enough, you are not afraid of rain or snow. However, the service life of such trains is not too long: no more than 100 km. The cleanliness of the clothes is guaranteed (after drying).
  • Graphite compositions have practically no drawbacks. Except that you can get dirty about them.

Excellent adhesion, relative moisture resistance, inability to absorb road dust. And, of course, anti-friction properties, which the newfangled silicones with Teflons never dreamed of. The price is quite affordable, at the same level as lithol.

If you have not decided what kind of lubricant to lubricate the chain on a bicycle, we offer a popular method available to everyone.

Cons of Lubrication “For Life

Usually one or two passes (gasoline spills out along with the chain) is enough for me to walk with the machine. and all the dirt is washed out of the chain. Here I had to wash the chain 6 (!) Times to wash off all this fat. over, even when I completely washed out all the lubricant during rotation, the crunch of sand in the rotating chain links was clearly audible. All the dirt that the grease absorbed was transferred to the ring plain bearings in the chain and systematically bored them.

Tools for Serious System Cleaning

The rear sprockets were also stuffed with lard to the eyeballs. I had to get a kit for “picking out dirt from under the nails”. It looks like this dirt has been accumulating all the life of the bike (although no, most likely the cassette was changed, and it accumulated since the moment the cassette was replaced). She was as hard as earth, and I had to dig deeper.

Another disadvantage of such a lubricant, as it turned out later, turned out to be completely dead rollers of the rear gear selector. the grease with sand crammed into the brass sliding bearings of the rollers, broke / bored them completely, and the roller played on the axle so that when moving left and right with distortions, it easily reached two adjacent cassette stars.

What and how do I usually lubricate the chain

Wait for the gasoline to evaporate from the chain connections before lubricating! Otherwise everything will be down the drain.

I use regular motorcycle chain lubricant. For off-road motorcycles (motocross / enduro). I think few people would argue that the load on a motorcycle chain is an order of magnitude higher than on a bicycle chain. And this grease copes with these loads perfectly. Plus the speed of rotation of a motorcycle chain is several times higher than a bicycle chain. the lubricant does not spray. it is sticky enough to stay on the chain and work.

Motul Chain Lube Off Road

Such a bottle costs about 500 rubles, which is comparable to all sorts of “branded” lubricants in small cans for bicycles. But here it is 4-5 times more.

This lubricant is enough for about 100-120 kilometers before rustling on a dry dusty surface (fields, paths, forests, roads). I’ve read reviews of other lubricants. both branded and homemade. there are exactly the same number of those. Well, if it rains, then the chain becomes dirty, and you have to lubricate more often.

Cover the wheel with a rag beforehand, especially if you have rim brakes. Otherwise, then again you will have to remove the wheel and wash. I checked

I spray on each individual pin, pre-flip the large and put it in front of a large star. After sprinkling. with a regular rag, I wipe off the excess from the outside. and only as much will remain inside as needed. A thin layer of grease still remains on the outside, and the chain does not rust from dampness. This grease does not collect dust dry, Motul knows his business.

If you spray right before the trip, it is better to wait 20-30 minutes so that the lubricant solvent evaporates and the thick fraction settles inside. Therefore, I usually clean the chain after arriving from the ride, grease it and until the next day everything thickens normally.

UPD: As it turned out, the chain “died” very strangely after such lubrication. When measuring the distance between the pins, it seemed to be still working. But after measuring between the rollers, it turned out that it was high time to throw it into a landfill. details. here.

How do you lubricate your bike chain, and how?

Alex “On the Bike” Sidorov

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Frequently asked Questions

Can I wash my bike chain with water?

It can be better distilled, so that there is no rust. But water does not wash off oil well, so you need to wash it with special means, as an alternative, white spirit will do. Then, as it dries, lubricate with bicycle grease

Can I wash my bike chain with detergent?

Can. Pour water, detergent, a couple of drops of oil into the bottle. In this solution we keep the chain for 5 to 10 minutes, while shaking it. The procedure must be done before the water in the bottle becomes clear. That is, as the water gets dirty. you should collect water with the product again. And repeat this several times. After the water remains clear after washing, remove the chain. It remains only to wipe it with a clean dry cloth.

Can I wash my bike chain with kerosene?

Can. The chain must be placed in a bottle and filled with kerosene. Close the cap tightly and shake the bottle for 8 minutes without stopping. This will help get rid of basic dirt.

Can I wash my bike chain with gasoline?

The chain cannot be washed with gasoline

Can I wash my bike chain with diesel?

Can. You put the chain in a plastic bottle, fill it with diesel fuel. Shake for about 10 minutes. You can leave and wait to get wet. You pull it out on the newspaper, where is the thread on the balcony. After drying, it is better to lubricate the chain.

Ways to clean your bike chain

Depending on your model of transport, the availability of available tools and personal experience, choose the option that suits you best from the options below. Follow the instructions and then you will definitely succeed.

Option 1

  • Rinse off dirt and dust with a hose using a spray nozzle.
  • For optimal accessibility, set the front chain to full and the rear to minimum.
  • Make soapy water in hot water and brush each link.
  • Apply to each element to remove grease residues that have not been washed off with soapy water.
  • Dry thoroughly. wipe with a dry cloth or blow dry.
  • Lubricate liberally with a lubricator, but do not overdo it, excess lubricant can become a dust collector.

Option 2

Use of WD40 solvent. This product is used not as a lubricant, but as a degreaser-cleansing. He qualitatively drives out old layers from thin places, if you act like this:

  • Cover the brake rotor with a cloth to prevent splashing of the substance onto the brake surfaces.
  • Take a bottle of product and blow through each link liberally while cranking the pedals.
  • Brush the links with a toothbrush so that there is no trace of sand, but they remain dry.
  • Place a few drops of machine oil or other lubricant in each link.

Benefits

Compared to manually cleaning the chain, using a specialized device offers a number of advantages to the bike owner. First of all, link flushing does not require removing the chain from the bike. In addition, rotating brushes allow you to quickly remove almost any dirt. Ultimately, the operation of the device provides an economical consumption of detergent, which is important for lovers of special, expensive liquids.

The only drawback of cleaning machines is the insufficient contact of the brushes with the inner surfaces of the bicycle chain links. By pouring a substantial amount of detergent into the container, the deficiency can be easily eliminated.

As you can see, the clipper is an indispensable tool for regular cleaning of the bike chain. However, if general maintenance is required, it is still better to dismantle the structural element and rinse in a “shaker”.

If you have a bicycle, you, as a good owner of your steel horse, must take care of it. One of the main maintenance procedures is cleaning the bike chain. Under what circumstances and how it should be done correctly, you will find out by reading this article.

How often should you clean your bike chain.

First, you need to determine how dirty the bike chain has become. This is not difficult to do. It is enough to carefully inspect the chain. earth often accumulates on its links, as well as old oil and smudges. these are the main signs that indicate that it is time to bring the chain to good condition.

Most often, the condition of a chain can be assessed by its outer side. But, this method does not always work. For example, a long drive on dusty roads may not affect the appearance of the chain in any way, but over time, a strong and unpleasant crackle may occur. This can be explained by the fact that dust and dirt can adhere perfectly inside the chain itself.

Removed chain

The minimum that needs to be done is to wipe and lubricate the chain. When driving on dry roads, the grease lasts much longer, but its basic properties begin to weaken due to sticking dust. Adding dirt while driving, and it also has enough effect on the chain stars.

In most cases, the bike chain is cleaned 1. 2 times a month.

Cleaning

The first thing to do with the chain, stars, and any mechanisms during maintenance is to clean them. Cleaning is especially important in the case of a transmission. Mountain biking is always associated with dirt flying out from under the wheels and mixing with the lubricant on the chain.

The resulting thick black mass is poorly washed off, stains everything around and, worst of all, seriously damages metal mechanisms, literally “erasing” the surface of even the strongest materials.

The chain is cleaned in two or three steps:

  • Removal of large clots of abrasive.
  • Mechanical cleaning to normal condition.
  • Complete rinsing of the chain in special solutions to remove the smallest particles of dirt.

Can I wash my bike chain

For the sake of interest, I conducted an experiment, as a result of which, with a high degree of probability, we can say what exactly the chain cannot be washed with. During the experiment, the destructive effect caused by the direct contact of the solvent with the oil seal was checked. In this case, we neglect the solvent washing out of the grease from under the oil seal. The purpose of this experiment is to clearly see why the chain cannot be washed with gasoline and some other solvents. Assuming that the chain seals are made of approximately the same material as the fork oil seals, I will subject the fork oil seal to the following substances: gasoline 95, solvent, acetone, kerosene, solvent 647 and white spirit.

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I will divide the gland into 6 parts, each of which I will immerse in a container of solvent for 3 days. Although in real conditions the chain is in contact with solvents much less, such an experiment will make it possible to find out whether the solvents have even the slightest destructive effect on the seals. For example, according to the assurances of the manufacturer D.I.D. An X-Ring oil seal chain can last 32,000 kilometers with proper care. Suppose that we will wash the chain with a solvent 1 time in 1000 km for 15 minutes (about this much time it takes me to wash the chain and dry it), then we get that the oil seals are in contact with the solvent for the entire service life of 8 hours.

On the example of a normal oil seal, you can see that the rubber does not crack and does not tear; it is not easy to damage it with tweezers. 1. After exposure to Solvent 647: Rubber has become brittle and tears at the slightest impact. 647 solvent chain should not be washed in any case. 2. After exposure to kerosene: The oil seal retained its previous properties, the rubber remained elastic and did not break. 3. After exposure to acetone: The oil seal looks normal, but the rubber has lost its elasticity, became coarser and more brittle, but acetone did less harm than solvent 647. Acetone cannot be used for washing the chain. 4. After exposure to solvent. The structure of the rubber has not changed much, but it has become more fragile. 5. After exposure to white spirit. White spirit did not harm the lowland, the rubber is still elastic, does not break or crack. White spirit did not harm the gland. 6. After exposure to gasoline 95. Rubber lost its properties, became brittle, the chain cannot be washed with gasoline.

In terms of the destructive effect on the oil seal, the first place is taken by the solvent 647, the second place goes to acetone, the third place is taken by gasoline 95, the fourth place is taken by the solvent. Kerosene and white spirit did not harm the oil seal, or it seems that they did not harm. However, this test only says that kerosene and white spirit did not destroy the oil seal, and there is still grease that can be washed out of the oil seal during chain cleaning. It is still advisable to use special means for cleaning the chain, if there are none, then kerosene can be used. By the way, the manual for the motorcycle says that you can use a non-flammable solvent, I could find such a solvent on sale only in barrels of 50 liters. Maybe someone came across something similar.

Below is a video of how the test was conducted. Everything that was written here is also a video, if you are too lazy to read, you can watch) And how I destroyed the oil seal with tweezers is also better to look.

Bicycle care: 6 basic rules for washing, lubricating, storing your bike

Regular and proper care of any type of bike is a 100% guarantee of an increase in its service life and an increase in the level of safety while riding. In addition to the neat appearance, do not forget about the brakes, shock absorbers, chains and other elements of this transport. Each stage of great care has its own nuances. Which ones? Read more about this in the article.

A nuance: most electric vehicles do not require as much care as a bicycle. It is enough to keep the device clean and recharge it on time.

Bicycle chain maintenance

Bicycle chain links constantly rubbing against each other need regular lubrication. But before doing this, you need to know how to properly clean, wash and generally care for the bike chain (for example, from the Discovery brand).

So, how to wash the chain of a two-wheeled “friend”. a bicycle:

Option. Washing the bike chain in solvent. This method works best for chains with detachable links. chain locks. It is necessary to remove the bike chain from the transport and place it in a plastic bottle, after filling it with solvent. It remains only to thoroughly shake this “cocktail”, then remove the chain and rinse it under running water.

Option. For him, you will need to purchase a special machine. a clinging machine. Their main plus is that the chain does not need to be dismantled for cleaning. The principle of operation of various models of machines is almost identical and boils down to the fact that you need to pour the cleaning agent into a special container, tuck the chain into the guide rollers, close the lid and turn the cycle completely several times until it is completely cleaned. At the end, all that remains is to drain the cleaning agent.

After getting it in shape, it’s time to lubricate the bike chain.

There are 3 ways to lubricate your bike chain:

Drip the links with a special tool, each separately (for this you need an oiler).

Apply aerosol spray (you need to additionally purchase a can with it).

Dismantle the bike chain and boil it in a thick lubricant.

It is best to lubricate every 50-100 km of cycling or if you hear a specific rustling sound while riding.

For lubrication you can use:

have convenient packaging, can be used with any model of bicycles, excess grease can be easily removed with a cloth

sold in bottles with a special spout that helps to conveniently apply lubricant, you can use an ordinary syringe to apply them

durable, resistant to temperature extremes, protect against corrosion

Silicone based lubricants

convenient and economical to use, repel dust and moisture

withstand high pressure, have good penetrating ability, contain antistatic agent

After all the links of the bike chain have been processed, it is worth eliminating excess lubricant with a rag, otherwise dust will stick to the lubricated places.

The brakes were driving

A common question is: Why do bike brakes squeak? There are several reasons depending on their type:

V-brake. if the pads are made of hard rubber, then the unpleasant squeak from them is quite strong. The wheel rim squeaks if it is very dirty or worn out and requires replacement. In addition, the pads must be strictly parallel to the rim, without skewing, otherwise annoying creaking cannot be avoided.

Disc brakes. The rear and front disc brakes must be kept clean. The material from which the rotor is constructed is also important: the softer the steel, the quieter the brakes will be.

How can disc brakes be lubricated on a bicycle? The answer is nothing, otherwise they will not fulfill their purpose.

To eliminate the creaking of the brakes, you need:

regularly clean the rim. wipe it with solvent or gasoline to remove the rubber from worn pads, which has stuck to the rim and increases the friction force;

timely clean the pads themselves.

How to care for shock absorbers?

In order for the bike to continue to ride successfully without any complaints from the rider, it is worth figuring out how to maintain the bike fork.

There are 2 types of service:

Intermediate. care for a pair of friction: “legs” and “pants”. They are protected by a rubber boot, but not 100% protected from dirt and water. Therefore, first of all, during intermediate maintenance, you need to remove the “pants” by unscrewing 2 bolts from the bottom of the fork, and clean them from the inside, then put new grease and reinstall them.

Complete. includes replacement of oil and seals in the damper. This is more complicated and requires a repair kit, bike tools, and fork knowledge. If all this is not there, it is better to contact the workshop.

How to properly lubricate a bicycle fork? The process takes place in several stages: removing the plug from the mount; parsing it into its components; applying lubricant to active parts of the system; collecting and installing the plug back.

Another common question: what kind of oil should you put in the bike fork? Fork lubricants can be grease or liquid. Which one is right for a particular product? Better to focus on the manufacturer’s opinion. Experimenting with gear and machine oils can negatively affect the condition of the fork.

Prevention of gear shifting systems

The switches must function flawlessly so that the climbs and descents of the bike go smoothly. The bicycle rear derailleur is lubricated as follows:

unscrew and disassemble the rear derailleur;

wipe and lubricate it (it is advisable to also lubricate the spring and washer);

put in place.

The function of the switches also depends on the condition of the cables. Lubrication of cables of any type of bicycle is carried out only from the inside of the “shirts”. If you do this outside, then dust will stick to them. To clean and lubricate the cables, you will need to unscrew them, loosen and pull the “shirts” out of the slots on the frame. After the end of the procedure, return everything to its place.

The cables that go through the bike are responsible for the correct function of the speed switch. The correct operation of the switches depends on how tight / loose the cable is. During operation, the cables can stretch, which negatively affects the functioning of the switches. Accordingly, it is necessary to tighten or loosen the adjusting screw. The procedure is repeated until the correct operation of the switch is achieved.

How to wash your bike?

In dry weather, such a need rarely arises, but after riding in mud and slush, the bike will definitely need to be cleaned. Can the bike be washed? If you don’t pour water on it with buckets, then, of course, yes. Ideally, the washing process is best done outdoors or in a garage.

How can you wash your bike and what you need for this:

container with warm water;

brush (you can use a used toothbrush);

detergent (can be standard, for washing dishes).

If there is a lock on the bike chain, it is better to remove it and clean it separately so that dirt does not get into the rollers. It is worth starting washing from the lower pipe, since it is there that the largest layer of dirt is located. Then you need to walk over the rest of the frame. In places with difficult access (for example, a carriage assembly), you can use an old toothbrush. The wheels can be removed and washed separately. During washing, you should avoid “vulnerable” places of the led, for example, bearings, forks. Finally, wipe the bike dry with a dry cloth.

How and where to store your bike?

A haven for your “iron horse” should be chosen carefully, for its own safety, integrity and preservation of operational qualities.

How to store a bike at home. 2 types:

Assembled. it is better to hang the led on the wall so that the wheels do not come into contact with the floor. If during such storage the pressure in the tires drops, then the wheels will not deform. In rooms without heating, it is better not to leave the bike bike, since the rubber can crack.

Disassembled. the wheels and saddle must be removed from the bike. All this is packed in fabric or plastic bags to protect it from dust, and can also be hung on the wall. The saddle should also be kept warm so that the cover does not deform.

How to store a bike in the stairwell? This place can be chosen only as a short-term shelter for the led, since even if the transport is equipped with a lock, there is a high probability of its theft by intruders. There is a lot of traffic in the entrances, so you should choose more “secluded” places for storage: a glazed balcony, a garage, a storage room.

Tip: if you want less storage problems, you should think about purchasing a compact electric unicycle, gyroboard or even an electric scooter. the latter folds elegantly, so that it can even be stored in a closet. And the newfangled electric rollers can be thrown onto the shoe rack.

And the last question. how to store your bike in winter? First you need to thoroughly wash it, clean and lubricate the chassis, chain, bushing. The led is sent for wintering only after it is completely dry and the grease is absorbed.

So, bike care is necessary and important. Without timely cleaning and lubrication of the chain, shock absorbers and other things, the bike can fail at the most crucial moment. Most of their described procedures are within the power of everyone, the exception is that if you need to disassemble the parts is large, you cannot do without the help of the masters. Bikes do not like dirt and severe frosts, so the rider’s task is to organize suitable storage conditions for the bike, so that at the beginning of the season you do not have to repair the two-wheeled vehicle.

Bicycle chain cleaning: how, how often and why

The chain should be washed at least in order to increase the life of the chassis: the stars of the connecting rods and cassette, the chain itself and the rollers of the rear derailleur.

And this is not to mention the fact that a bike with a clean chain is much more pleasant, “softer” and quieter.

Many people just wipe the chain with a rag or brush, but that’s not enough! Even if the outer surface of the chain is rubbed to a shine, this does not mean that there is no dirt, dust and grease residues inside it.

Cleaning the bike chain. How to do it right?

For this it is worth stocking up:

  • Brush. for pre-cleaning the chain, cassette and sprockets. You shouldn’t use toothbrushes, they have a small surface and weak bristles. Better to get a special or, for example, a car brush.
  • The chain-washing device is a special device for cleaning the chain, which is a reservoir with brushes, which is put on the chain and cleans it while the pedals are idling. Water and detergent are poured into the chain-washing machine.
  • Digreeser. an agent that effectively removes grease residues, dirt.
  • With a dry cloth. You will need it in order to wipe the chain after washing.
  • With gloves. in case you do not want to wash your hands for a long time.

We clean the undercarriage from stuck “traces of adventure” with a brush. You can use a rag for the chain, but it’s not very convenient for the stars.

After we take a gripper, fill it with water and a digester. We put it on the chain in the place most convenient for you, for example: above the lower feather, close the lid and start idle pedaling in the opposite direction. During the rotation, you will see how much excess was inside your chain.

Change the water periodically. Fill in only water for the last time. to wash the digester. After that, the chain should be wiped with a dry rag. in order to wipe off the remaining water.

A dry cloth is useful for cleaning the chain. to wipe off any remaining water

Cleaning the bike chain without a chain

If there is no chain or “religion does not allow” to use it, you can use a plastic bottle, preferably with a wide mouth. The only condition is that the chain must be with a lock in order to be able to remove it without restrictions.

  • If, in the case of a chain chain, cleaning is carried out by water, a digizer and brushes, then in the case of removing the chain, cleaning depends on your efforts with which you will shake the bottle.

Take off the chain (preferably with gloves), pour water and a digizer into the bottle, tighten the lid tightly, and. imagine yourself as a bartender. Otherwise, the sequence of actions converges with the previous method.

Video

A good example of what an ideal bicycle chain cleaning should be is in the following

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