Cleaning and lubricating the bike chain

Table of Contents

How and what to clean the bike chain?

The bicycle chain is, one might say, 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 serviceable chain are its degree of wear, 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 to clean a detachable chain

The 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. A chain that is detached from the bike will clean better than a chain that is suspended 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 does not work well. After it, you need to knock out the 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 bottle with the chain 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.
  • 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.
  • Wipe the entire chain with a rag dipped in kerosene.
  • 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 about 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.

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 those signs that directly indicate that it is time to get to grips with the bicycle chain.

The outer side 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 there may be an unpleasant crackle.

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 the bike chain more often.

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

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 do not have a chain lock, but squeeze is not 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.

Cleaning the chain

The bike has many propulsion mechanisms that need cleaning and lubrication. So that the bike accelerates easily and the drive has minimal wear. the chain needs to be lubricated more often.

Determining whether you need lubrication is easy, pedal your bike and listen for the sound. If you hear squeaks or clicking, then the chain needs to be put in order.

A well-oiled chain runs almost silently.

Before you start lubricating the chain, you must clean it of any dirt.

If you ride exclusively on asphalt, the chain will get dirty much less often. In such cases, you can use an ordinary rag.

To thoroughly clean the chain, it is necessary to use special products, they perfectly clean the chain from dirt and protect against corrosion. You can also use a regular thinner. for example kerosene. To thoroughly flush the chain, you need to use a special machine, it has rollers that will clean the dirt from hard-to-reach places.

For the cleaning. we place the chain on the rollers observing the direction of movement. Then we fill the machine with cleaning agent, up to the indicated mark on the body.

When cleaning, pedal counterclockwise. The number of revolutions depends on the degree of soiling. If the chain is heavily soiled. re-clean.

After using the machine, rinse the rollers with a little cleaner. If you do not have a typewriter on hand, it is best to clean with a toothbrush.

Try to rinse it more often in solvent to thoroughly wash out the dirt.

DIY. Cleaning and Lubricating the Chain

Chain lubrication

Apply grease to the inside of the chain drive.

It is important to apply grease only to the connection of the links, so as not to overdo it with grease, you need to remember the area from which you started to apply grease.

The most convenient way to do this is on the chain where the lock is installed. It differs from other links and is easy to spot.

If there is no lock on the chain, it is enough just to tie the thread, and after the lubrication procedure, remove it.

When the chain is lubricated, remove excess grease with a dry cloth to prevent dust from adhering to the links while riding.

Cleaning And Lubricating A Bike Chain

Always check the condition of the chain and the entire transmission. this will prolong the life of the bike, and pedaling will be easier and more pleasant without extraneous sounds.

Bicycle lubricant. Bicycle care: cleaning and lubricating

The consistency of bicycle lubricants is comparable to boot cream or toothpaste, but in some cases it is liquid to match the configuration of the aerosol. These products are usually sold in special tubes. Jars are used to package large amounts of content. The grease can be applied to bearings, cables, as well as all connections that are fastened by means of a thread.

Graphite grease

Graphite grease is available in powder configuration. Typically used for connections involving threaded elements. It is the most durable bicycle lubricant, so it is used where there is no need to constantly disassemble and redo the mounts, as it can save time on the frequency of subsequent repairs. Care is required when working with graphite grease, as an inexperienced technician can get dirty very quickly.

Silicone Grease

Sold in several configurations. You can purchase it both in a jar and in a can. This lubricant is used not only for any parts and mechanisms, but also for plastic, rubber parts that are subject to friction when the bike moves. In the case of an e-bike, it can be used to lubricate the battery wires to provide a solid barrier against dirt and water.

Silicone bicycle chain lubricant is sold in liquid form. A thin film is enough to protect parts from negative impact. There is no destructive effect on the structural elements of the bicycle, therefore the formation of rust is impossible. This grease can withstand temperatures from 50 to 250 degrees, while at any allowable mark on the thermometer it does not change its properties.

Cans of silicone bike lubricant are sold in a thicker form than aerosols. If you need a dense and large layer, you need to choose this particular configuration. When working with silicone grease, no protective measures need to be taken. The substance does not harm humans, therefore it is easily washed off with ordinary soap and warm water.

Liquid lubricants

Special oil bottles are versatile and are used to process many structures. Bicycle chain lubricant is indispensable when you need to machine a small, hard-to-reach part, or when there are many protruding corners in the part. The ease of use explains the ability to process parts with a syringe. Among the shortcomings, one can single out a small resistance to low temperatures. When choosing a lubricant, cheap and high quality samples can be found in liquid configuration.

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Teflon grease

There are two types of Teflon grease. The first is sold in a bottle, from which it must be squeezed out. There is no dispenser in it. The second type is designed in the form of a spray, so everyone can outline the required dose for specific parts and speed up the repair process. The difference lies only in the configuration of the packaging, and both types exhibit the same properties.

Teflon lubricant is often used on bicycle chains, but it is also intended for other items. Usually it is used when it is necessary to process movable mechanisms or their parts. One of the distinguishing features of this lubricant is its anti-corrosion property, that is, after applying this liquid, objects will not be susceptible to rust formation. Also, this tool helps to overcome, that is, remove rust, if corrosion appears in the initial stages. Teflon bike grease is environmentally resistant.

It does not react to acid, alkali or salt. When there is a sufficient layer of this agent on the parts, a barrier is created for them, preventing water and electricity from getting on them. Teflon bicycle grease is used at temperatures from 50 and at any positive, since this substance can withstand up to 250 degrees. It is available for residents of any climatic zone.

In most cases, Teflon grease is used to treat joints, forks, chains, and other elements that function when the bike is moving. It is allowed to use this grease near plastic elements.

Teflon lubricant for a bicycle does not harm any objects and devices, and if necessary, it can be easily washed off with a rag, but for this the fabric must be absolutely dry. It is applied to a clean and dry surface of specific parts. When using a lubricant from a spray can, you must first shake, and then start dispensing the substance.

Calcium grease

It has a yellow or green color, but the hue is definitely not bright. It is successfully used for metal surfaces. Calcium grease is virtually unreactive to moisture, so there is no need to re-lubricate the parts if exposed to rain or after washing your bike. Items that have been treated with calcium grease must be used at temperatures ranging from 30 to 50 degrees. It is not recommended to go beyond these limits.

Aerosol lubricants

Spray cans help not only to clean the object from rust or to cover it with a protective substance, but also to displace unnecessary elements, water, since the spraying is carried out under pressure. Aerosols are excellent for treating surfaces that are subject to friction during operation. These lubricants are excellent for road conditions when an urgent need arises, and there is little time for repairs or parts processing.

In most cases, the bicycle chain is also treated with aerosol lubricant, however, it is necessary to control the flow of the substance, since it is impossible to allow the agent to get onto the brake mechanism or rim. To understand which bike lubricants are worth choosing, you need to pay attention to aerosols.

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 bike chain lubricant should easily penetrate hard-to-reach areas, 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 the 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 into 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 clean a chain

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

Bicycle chain lubrication

The maintenance of the bicycle chain is one of the most controversial, there is 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 only on weekends on asphalt, it will be one, and for those who like long trips out of town, 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 unnecessary friction and greatly accelerate its wear.

cleaning, lubricating, bike, chain

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, you need to dry the chain, and then start lubricating.

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.

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, of 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, after which the solvent evaporates. Expensive enough but effective.
  • Thick lubricants. 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.

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.

Typewriter

The chain is not a flat surface that can be easily wiped off with a rag or sponge. The complex structure of the links, the narrow spacing between the pins and the mobility of the chain itself give many problems even to the neat cyclist. Doing everything right by hand sometimes takes too long and is nerve-racking.

To save the guardians of cleanliness, a chain cleaner was developed. This is a special mechanism of several gears and brushes, through which the chain is pulled with force. When moving, it rotates the gears and, passing through static and rotating brushes, is effectively cleaned.

The car has pros and cons. The main plus is fast and even cleaning along the entire chain. But there are also disadvantages:

  • The machine itself will also have to be cleaned, and this is not an easy task.
  • The machines are made of plastic, they are not very reliable, and the brushes are not replaceable, with active use, the mechanism quickly breaks down.
  • The cleaning quality is not perfect, and the participation of the cyclist with the rags is not canceled.

Keeping the clipper at home is effective as it doesn’t take long to use after every ride. On most models, the bike chain does not need to be removed. In this case, taking care of your bike will be easy and enjoyable.

How can you lubricate a bicycle chain?

As mentioned in the article on bicycle chains, maintenance is very important to the drivetrain. If most of the other parts can be assembled for more than one season and require the attention of mechanics, the chain should be used constantly. In a modern bicycle, it is practically not protected from damage and dirt, and the cost of all parts of the drive mechanism can be an unpleasant surprise.

Therefore, the conclusion is obvious: it is worth servicing the transmission at home as often as possible. The chain can be removed, cleaned and lubricated quickly, but it will save a lot of time and money on repairs.

Complete rinsing

Chains, of course. To get rid of dirt in the joints and the smallest elements inside the links, it is worth resorting to liquid. There are several chain cleaners commercially available, but they don’t really make much sense. The classic recipe, which was used 50 years ago, is a basin and a solvent. Modern oil removers are equally well suited. The removed chain is gently washed in a basin with liquid, washing out all joints.

Many people not only wash the bike chain, but also leave it to soak for a while. There are several not very convincing arguments in favor of this, but the removed oil will not bring harm either.

The next step after washing and soaking is rinsing. For this, soap or washing powder, properly diluted in warm (important for washing) water, is suitable.

It is necessary to completely clean the chain from the remnants of an aggressive liquid before lubrication, because otherwise an undesirable chemical effect may occur upon contact between the solvent and the lubricant, and it cannot always be predicted. The chain can be simply wiped clean, but drying it in the fresh air will be most effective. So volatile elements will be quickly evaporated.

Chain washing is a laborious process that should still be carried out with prolonged use.

Standard chain maintenance

So what is included in the standard service kit?

  • Removing the chain and freeing the stars.
  • Cleaning of all elements (at different levels).
  • Checking the status of stars and links.
  • Chain lubrication.
  • Collecting the transmission back.

It would seem nothing complicated. There are several nuances, but it is easy to prepare for them by reading this article to the end.

Working with a chain is not demanding on the tool:

  • A squeeze is a special device for opening a pin on a locking (or any) chain link. You can do without it, but it’s not very comfortable. Many versatile tools for cyclists now include a squeeze.
  • Gloves and napkins. working with the chain is very dirty, because all the dust that flies out from under the wheels remains on the lubricant and parts.
  • Brushes or a machine. a hard bristle will help you quickly remove abrasive from complex joints of the links.
  • A basin or other convenient vessel. more on that below.
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Bicycle workshops use industrial beds and washers, but this is a separate area that does not apply to home maintenance.

cleaning, lubricating, bike, chain

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 toughest materials.

  • 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.

How to remove the chain

A little about how to remove the chain from the bike for maintenance.

If there is a lock link on the chain, it is a lock, then there are no problems. we open it and remove the chain. If there are selected links, then using a squeeze, we remove one of the pins, and then open the circuit.

If the chain is classic, then we choose an arbitrary link and press it in. It must be remembered that a link that has been removed once becomes less reliable, with prolonged use. replace such links, do not reuse them.

Regular maintenance of the chain is the key to good transmission performance and serious savings in repairs and parts replacement. It is very easy to remove, clean and lubricate the chain at home. Everything is done with your own hands and without serious tools. Often it is the maintenance rather than the riding style that determines the longevity of the entire bike. It is worth carefully choosing not only the chain manufacturer, but also the manufacturer of consumables and lubricants. You should not use outdated oil where there are interesting dry lubricants and modern multicomponent products.

Why and how to lubricate a bicycle chain?

Lubricants are designed to reduce friction in mating parts. So, the bicycle chain, which is in constant motion, rubs against the system stars and cassettes, as well as against the rear derailleur rollers and against the front derailleur walls. All these mechanical processes lead to wear of the parts.

The bike owner should regularly carry out maintenance to keep his two-wheeled vehicle in good working order. Maintenance can be kept to a minimum. regular cleaning and lubrication of the chain. It is necessary to lubricate the bicycle chain so that it works evenly with special oils, and then excessive adhesion of dirt and rustling will bypass the cyclist.

Choosing a chain lubricant

How and how to lubricate a bicycle chain when there is a wide range of lubricants on the market ?! You can understand them by classifying them by type:

  • Aerosol lubricants are lubricants designed to process moving materials (chains, switch hinges, cable exit points from shirts). Such lubricants are liquid oil in aerosol cans equipped with special tubes through which liquid is injected. Aerosol lubricant is good for lubricating hard-to-reach places, it is easy to use and safe when transported in a bag / backpack (oil cannot seep through the straw).

Using an aerosol can is not very effective, because most of the spray does not fall on the part, but on other parts located nearby. There is a possibility of flooding the brake discs or rims, and this, as you know, is completely undesirable.

As a rule, aerosol lubricants are used by bicycle mechanics in a workshop or by bicycle enthusiasts who perform maintenance in a home / garage environment. It is not very convenient to carry a half-liter container with you, especially if it is a short or long trip.

Myths about WD40. Rumor has it that WD40 is an alternative to bicycle lubricants. This is not true. WD40 can only be used as a flushing agent. It is a technical aerosol designed to displace water and dissolve rust in joints. It has minimal lubricity and is therefore not a bicycle chain lubricant.

  • Liquid lubricants are specialized liquid materials that are used to lubricate a bicycle chain. Such substances are usually retained in convenient bottle packs with or without a dispenser.

A distinction is made between two-component lubricants, which consist of a thick oil and a solvent. After applying such a lubricant to the chain, the solvent evaporates, and the thick oil remains in the chain joints.

Wet Weather Lubricant is another subtype of lubricant. Thickness is characteristic of such lubricants. They can be used in aggressive conditions and high humidity. Wet weather greases are protective, dirt-repellent and moisture-repellent. Low rinse off has excellent adhesive properties.

How to lubricate a bicycle chain

Every advanced cyclist knows how to care for a bicycle chain. But novice cyclists do not know that not every liquid that smells like oil is able to favorably interact with a bicycle chain. How to lubricate a bicycle chain to protect it from early wear and negative consequences? To find the answer to the question posed is the purpose of the entry I have prepared.

Engine oil myths

Many probably more than once used machine (household) oil in a transparent tube, bought at the bazaar from the table for 4 UAH, to lubricate the bicycle chain. This is not the best way to care for your iron. Engine oil collects all dust and dirt, killing the stars and chain. Machine oil can be an old-fashioned way, but not for expensive modern mechanics, which require almost jewelry care.

Cleaning and lubricating a bicycle chain at home

Before starting cleaning, it is necessary to remove the chain from the bike; for this, a lock or a squeeze is provided in the chain design.

For cleaning, you must have:

Proper chain lubrication can significantly increase chain life. An overly lubricated chain very quickly adheres to dirt containing abrasive elements, which immediately fall on the working mechanisms of the chain, which leads to very rapid wear. In the worst case, after 100 km, the chain may become completely unusable.

To lubricate the chain, you must have:

Leave your opinion and wishes to the article “Cleaning and lubricating the bicycle chain at home”

How often should the chain be lubricated and cleaned

This is a very popular question, especially among beginner cyclists, to which there is no definite answer, since it all depends on the riding style. But it is important to keep in mind that ideally the chain should always be clean and lubricated. Therefore, if dirt appears on your chain or you notice extraneous noise in the chain, then it is necessary to carry out its maintenance. lubrication and cleaning. It is worth noting that it is impossible to ideally service the chain, but it is worth carrying out this procedure as efficiently as possible.

Cleaning and lubricating the bike chain

Cleaning and relubricating your bike chain is an important part of maintaining your entire bike. Not only does a dirty and poorly lubricated chain cause inconvenience when riding (squeaks and difficult pedaling), but it also has a detrimental effect on the associated elements of the bike. A dirty chain contributes to the rapid wear of the chain itself, as well as the rear sprockets of the cassette and chainrings of the system, which in turn leads to frequent and unreasonable expenses for the purchase of new parts.

Keep your bike chain clean and lubricated at all times

What is the best chain lubricant

  • Aerosol lubricants. poorly suited for lubricating the chain, since they must be used very carefully, avoiding contact with other parts of the bike, which ultimately complicates the whole process.
  • Grease. This makes chain lubrication even more difficult than aerosol greases. This is understandable, because it is necessary to lubricate the chain inside the rollers, and thick grease will not allow this, so this lubrication option should be swept away first.
  • Liquid lubricants. most often sold in tubes, sometimes even immediately in oil cans. This lubricant is best suited for the chain as it can get into the most difficult to reach areas of the chain rollers.
  • Two-component greases. Consists of grease and solvent. Why is this necessary? The answer is simple. for high-quality chain lubrication, it is necessary to lubricate the roller inside so that the lubricant stays there for a long time. It is the two-component lubricant that allows the grease to be delivered to the inside of the roller. Such a grease is a diluted thick grease to a liquid state in solvents, which allows it to penetrate deeply into the roller, then the solvent itself dries up, and the grease inside the roller thickens and remains there for a long time.

How and how to clean a bicycle chain

It is best to use a special cleaning machine to clean the bicycle chain, 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 put the chain in a bottle of detergent, close and shake it until the chain is washed.

cleaning, lubricating, bike, chain

Bike chain cleaning in a bottle

Proper lubrication of the bike chain

The chain is cleaned, the lubricant is selected and now you need to move on to the actual process of lubricating the bicycle chain. This process is long and requires patience, because it is necessary to lubricate each video separately. You need to apply a little grease to each roller (one drop is enough). After all the rollers have received their portion of the lubricant, it is necessary to rotate the pedals so that the lubricant disperses. After all this procedure, you need to wipe dry the entire chain and stars of the bike. Ideally, we should have a chain lubricated on the inside, but dry on the outside. The chain is completely ready for work.

Proper lubrication of the bike chain

What tools will help to clean the chain

It is worth noting that only a clean chain can be lubricated, otherwise the process will be useless. There are several ways to cleanse the chain.

For driving on dry roads

An alternative formulation of DRY grease is replaced at home with a substance based on graphite and wax.

Graphite based bike lubricant

Mix the substances in a large volume syringe. It is also stored in it. A 20 ml syringe is enough for 4 treatments.

What are the signs that you need to lubricate the bike chain?

The ingress of dirt and sand particles inevitably leads to a gradual deterioration in driving performance and, as a result, to accelerated wear of the chainrings and chainrings. Unpleasant consequences can be avoided if you act in a timely manner.

There are several situations where the chain needs to be cleaned.

  • With heavy use of the bike, the chain should be cleaned and lubricated almost once a week. It also depends on the road surface on which the cyclist rides. The worse it is, the more often chain maintenance is required.
  • If the chain suddenly began to emit extraneous sounds, then it is required to diagnose it. Timely maintenance will help prevent rust.
  • Also, the procedure will be needed when it rained heavily while riding on the street, as it washes off some of the lubricant from the chain.

For dry weather

Dry weather products are labeled DRY on the bottle. This category includes silicone, teflon and graphite greases. They have a drawback: they heavily stain everything around. Wax lubricant does not have this drawback, but its lubricating properties are lower.

Paraffin based lubricant

Paraffin by itself is quite dense. There are two ways to treat the chain with paraffin.

  • The paraffin is melted and the chain is dipped into it. Then the chain in paraffin needs to be boiled a little.
  • Dilute paraffin with kerosene in a 1: 2 ratio. The composition is ready to use when it has stood for three days.

Cleaning and lubricating the bike chain

The bicycle chain, during its own operation, is subject to the influence of various factors that reduce its life. And if sometimes you do not carry out maintenance of the chain, which includes lubrication and cleaning, then it will fail faster, stretch and you will have to change it to a new one. In addition, the chain will speed up the sprocket systems and the wear of the cassette.

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In addition, the unlubricated chain squeaks when driving and complicates the pedaling process.

The issue of bicycle chain maintenance is one of the most controversial, there are a huge number of points of view about what and when to lubricate, how best to create cleaning and when to change the chain. But all skilled 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 love long trips outside the city, moreover, the second over rough terrain. The rule that is the same for everyone is that the chain must be clean and lubricated. The chain must be perfectly maintained at the end of every ride on a dirty and dusty road.

sand and dust, getting into the chain links, create excessive friction and greatly accelerate its wear.

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

The chain lubrication frequency also depends on the conditions in which the bicycle is used. The more dirt, dust, sand, the more often you have to carry it out. It is necessary to lubricate the chain in the rollers, if the lubricant remains outside the chain, then the dirt will stick to it better.

Based on this, at the end of the lubrication, the chain must be wiped dry.

Good bike chain lubricant should easily get into hard-to-reach places, but also 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 perfectly fall into the most inaccessible places of the chain, quite often they fall in the wrong direction (on rims, tires, etc.), based on this, it is necessary to apply very carefully;
  • Fluid Chain Lubricants. Sold in grease bottles that make it easy to apply the lubricant between the side plate and the chain link roller. 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 lubricant is an attempt to create both grease and liquid grease outright. They are a grease diluted in a solvent. When applied to the chain, the lubricant easily falls into the right places, after which the solvent evaporates, and a thick grease remains in. At the end of its application, you need to give time to the solvent to fade away, therefore, it will not be possible to ride a bike right away, you will need to wait a couple of hours.
  • Frequent chain lubricants. Sold in cans or tubes. Not very well suited for lubricating bike chains, but it is very difficult to get it to the right place. inside the roller. For this, some cyclists boil the chain loaded with this lubricant, and then wipe it dry on the outside. This process does not look like chain lubrication and I do not recommend it to you.

It is necessary to create chain lubrication at a time when the chain begins to creak (on average, every 100-150 km). Apply lubricant only to a clean chain, it should be perfectly washed so that when bent it does not have a sand crunch. Then the chain must be dried, after which it is necessary to start lubricating.

It is possible to 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, the wheel rim or tire must be removed with a dry cloth.

When all the links are lubricated, rotate the pedals in the opposite direction for a few minutes, and then wipe the sprockets and chain dry with a rag.

Cleaning the bike chain: the first method

The bike chain is moved into a container containing a solvent, you can use kerosene, turpentine or diesel fuel. After rinsing well, you need to drain the substance and pour in a new portion. This is how it should be done until the chain is relatively clean. You can determine the degree of purity by the transparency of the drained liquid. It should remain relatively transparent after rinsing.

Often a plastic bottle is used for this method. The chain is placed inside, the solvent is poured in, and then shaken well. You need to repeat this all with water. There are clear advantages to this method. They consist in the fact that you do not have to get dirty while carrying out this whole procedure.

Disadvantages are also present here, they are that frequent removal will be bad for the chain. Mountain bikes are known to require a lot of shifting loads. This means that there is a risk of rupture at the spreader point. Here you can damage both the link axle and the plate itself. It would be appropriate to purchase a special detachable link for these purposes. It eliminates the need for tools. It should be noted that today many chains are already sold with such a link in the kit. Shimano and Sram.

Chain cleaning

Two well-proven methods should be noted here. Both are considered effective and deserve special attention in practice. One is that the chain is removed from the bike. And the second one is for cleaning directly on the bicycle chainrings. This distinction is very important. it is dangerous to remove the chain every time for cleaning, this increases the risk of it breaking. But both the first and second methods are quite effective.

It should be noted that it is almost impossible to achieve absolute purity.

Cleaning the bike chain with a clipper

This is the only way to protect the sprockets and cassettes: here we are talking about a method that allows you not to remove the chain from the bike. However, you will have to use a special tool. this is a device with a plastic case that can easily fit into a bicycle backpack. This machine should be put on the chain from the bottom.

The gears installed in it grip the chain and bend it, dipping it in a solvent. cleans without removing it. The device makes cleaning much easier. It remains only to turn the pedal until the desired cleanliness is achieved. It should be noted that buying such a device, you also get a special solvent that is attached to it. The kit will also include instructions for use, which can help much more than any stories.

Cleaning and lubricating the chain

The chain, like all parts of a bicycle, needs care and periodic cleaning and lubrication. The ease and smoothness of gear shifting depends on the state of the chain. The chain is usually cleaned and lubricated before and after winter storage (see the article Where to store your bike in winter). But after big bike rides, especially those that occur in mud, you also need to resort to chain maintenance.

Do not be under the illusion that a bicycle chain can be completely cleaned. This is almost impossible to achieve, and nevertheless, cleaning must be carried out, otherwise the problems will show themselves already during the ride.

Chain lubrication: how to lubricate

As with choosing a bike frame (see the article Which frame to choose for a bike), material is of paramount importance here. The material to be lubricated by the chain; from this point of view of cleaning the worst solution is any oil. These substances are considered very effective, but over time, the main drawback of all oils comes to light. they are sticky. This means that any dirt readily sticks to them and remains on the chain. It is difficult to get rid of it with any cleaning. Don’t use oil for lubrication.

Bicycle chain lubrication

And it is also very important that in this form it is convenient to apply the lubricant in the right places. Otherwise, it will do harm, not benefit. It should be applied to each roller from the inside. This requires extraordinary patience. It is necessary to process the entire chain one drop at a time, gradually turning it. It is very important not to overdo it with lubrication. Otherwise, you cannot count on a positive effect.

The chain in an accessible area must be dripped very carefully, then turn the chain and repeat this several times. It is especially important to remember the roller should only be slightly moistened, for this one drop is quite enough.

The text was prepared by Roman Borisov. Published: 28 May, 2020. Categories: Repair and maintenance.

  • Tags:
  • shimano
  • sram
  • tool
  • cassette
  • material
  • mountain bike
  • grease
  • chain

Cleaning the bike chain. How to do it correctly?

  • Brush. for pre-cleaning the chain, cassette and sprockets. Toothbrushes should not be used, 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 a detergent (digizer) 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.
  • Gloves. in case you do not want to wash your hands for a long time.

We clean the undercarriage from the stuck traces of adventures with a brush. You can use a rag for the chain, but it is 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 digressor. After that, the chain should be wiped with a dry cloth. 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 using it, you can use a plastic bottle, preferably with a wide neck. 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.

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 the cassette, the chain itself and the rollers of the rear derailleur.

And that’s not to mention the fact that a bike with a clean chain is much nicer, softer and quieter.

Many people just wipe the chain with a rag or brush it, 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.

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

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