How and what is the best way to lubricate a bicycle chain?
During the movement of the chain along the stars, friction is created, which provokes its rapid wear, therefore it is necessary to regularly clean and lubricate the chain. What kind of lubricant to choose is up to the rider himself, depending on the weather conditions and the duration of the trip. It is believed that in dry weather, the chain should be lubricated once every 100 km, in rainy and muddy conditions. once every 50 km. But if you hear a creak or rustle, or it is difficult for you to pedal, then you do not need to wait, it is better to immediately smear!
For humid environments
This look stays on the chain after lubrication, so it is recommended for driving in wet and muddy conditions, for winter driving, and also in dry conditions where many water obstacles are expected, such as fords.
- Advantages: does not wash out, so it does not need to be applied constantly (it is recommended every 50 km of run).
- Disadvantages: Since the lubricant stays on the chain, dust and small particles of dirt easily adhere to it, which later act as an abrasive and increase the wear of the links. It is also much more difficult to clean the bike from such oil.
For dry environments
This type is applied to the chain, but does not remain on its outer surface, so dust and dirt do not adhere to the lubricant, which means it is ideal for riding in dry weather.
- Pros: Not as sticky as in wet weather, so it repels dust rather than attracts it. The main thing is to remember that it should be applied several hours before the trip so that it has time to dry.
- Disadvantages: it washes out quickly, therefore it is recommended to apply it after each hit in the stream or in the rain.
Tips for choosing the right lubricant
The first and most important tip is to not lubricate the chain with anything not designed for the bike. This includes sunflower oil, used engine oil, and other cheap substitutes for normal bicycle lubricants. Even WD-40 is not designed to lubricate the chain, but only to clean it!
Whenever possible, purchase biodegradable lubricants to help nature cope faster with chemicals washed down to the ground.
A PTFE-based lubricant, better known as Teflon, will help make pedaling easier. It does not matter which type of lubricant you choose, always apply it to a clean chain, otherwise dirt will get into the inner parts of the links along with the oil, which will accelerate the wear process.
Leaves a protective layer on the bike chain after application, only suitable for dry weather conditions.
- Pros: The wax-based lubricant keeps dirt away from the chain, so it doesn’t need to be cleaned that often. This is an ideal solution for those who are obsessed with cleanliness, and for those who are not going to get wet. after all, this lubricant can stay on the chain for several months, and after the expiration date it flakes itself.
- Disadvantages: it is not effective in wet and dirty conditions, therefore it must be applied more often than oil. Also, because of the main component. wax. it does not penetrate into the links as well as oil lubricants.
Types of lubricants
There are three categories of chain lubricant:
How to apply chain lubricant?
There are two methods of application: aerosol and drip. Aerosol is convenient, but drip is correct. To understand this, you need to figure out exactly where you need to lubricate the chain:
- where the rivets rub against the inner plates (at the moment of bending of the links relative to each other);
- where the inner and outer plates rub against each other;
- inside the roller so that it can easily rotate around its axis.
It turns out that the lubricant should be applied to the inner parts of the chain, and not to the outer ones. The drip method involves a long and slightly tedious process of dripping oil onto each joint of the links, and the aerosol can be sprayed in a couple of seconds.
But! During the application of aerosols, those parts of the bicycle that do not need to reduce friction at all can get under the stream. brake discs, rims, brake pads. This is fraught with not only excess dirt and dust adhering to the bike, but also serious injury when the brakes fail.
A kind of compromise between drip and aerosol lubrication is a two-component lubricant. it is essentially a thick oil diluted in a solvent. It is applied quickly enough and easily penetrates into the links, leaving a thick oil layer after the solvent has evaporated.
How to quickly and effectively clean and lubricate a chain, see here:
A famous cyclist once said that just a few drops of oil can dramatically increase pedaling efficiency. To his words, it remains only to add that oil drops should be selected in accordance with the conditions and distance of the trip, as well as depending on the speed of their application.
Properties of bicycle chain lubricants recommended for dry weather
Designed for dry, dusty operating conditions;
They contain anti-corrosion additives;
Does not damage paint and varnish coatings, the grease is neutral to plastic parts, does not damage chrome coatings;
Adheres well to oiled surfaces.
Wet Lube vs. Dry Lube
In theory, special lubricants should not absorb dust, but this mainly depends on the proper procedure for lubricating the bicycle chain, see What do we lubricate when we lubricate a bicycle chain?
Chain lubrication for inexpensive bicycles
The chain of an inexpensive bike bought for the occasion at a sale, which does not ride very fast and close, also does not make much sense to lubricate with branded oil.
The chains of these bicycles are rarely lubricated regularly, more often from time to time. The principle of lubrication is simple: the chain creaked, which means it needs to be lubricated. Such bicycles usually have few gears: from one gear for a road model, up to 3-5 for a model with a rear derailleur. The chain skew is either absent or very small. The chain wears out slowly, and given the low mileage, it is almost imperceptible.
Inexpensive bicycles are good for their tasks, but do poorly at the role of a sports equipment. But they help you start cycling on a regular basis.
Lubricating Old Road Bike Chains
Probably, the chain of an old road bike, miraculously preserved in the grandfather’s barn in the village, can be lubricated with almost any oil, including sewing machine oil. After all, before that, the chain was not lubricated at all.
Road bikes are made for short trips and are rarely considered sports equipment.
Dry weather lubricant
Special compounds are used to lubricate the bicycle chain. Some lubricants are recommended for use in dry conditions and others for wet conditions. There are differences between dry weather grease and wet weather grease
Special lubricants with specific properties are used to lubricate bicycle chains operating in dry dust conditions.
First of all, special components are introduced into the composition of lubricants, which provide high penetrating power and stickiness (the ability to adhere to the lubricated surface). In addition, the lubricant contains components that prevent corrosion.
Do I need to use special lubricants?
This is a debatable and very specific question. At least on the forums on the Internet.
In reality, it all depends on the type of bike, the nature of use and the terrain.
It is useful to have a little discussion of this topic. So:
How To Select Chain Lube For Mountain Biking | Wet Lube Vs Dry Lube Explained
Chain lubrication for branded bicycles
Bicycles from renowned companies are bought for active and regular riding. In this case, the bicycle should be considered as a sports equipment and should be treated accordingly.
A good indicator of sports riding on a branded bike is runs starting at 100 km per week.
Such a weekly run with a season duration from May to October (about 26 weeks) allows us to speak of a seasonal run of 2600 km or more.
This is a very solid indicator. Indeed, not so long ago, even passenger cars were calculated for an annual mileage of 5000 km, and the oil in the engine had to be changed every 2000 km.
Due to the significant seasonal mileage, these sport bike chains should be cleaned, rinsed and lubricated without fail and on a regular basis.
Rides are typically dry, so your bike chain’s primary lubricant is the recommended dry weather lubricant.
If the cyclist is caught in the rain, then on his return, the chain must be cleaned and lubricated.
Special lubricants for bicycle chains are welcome. Such greases are made on a synthetic basis and have all the necessary properties.
The consumption of such lubricants, recommended for dry weather, is completely low. Only 1 ml is enough for one-time chain lubrication.
Typical consumer packaging. 100 ml of lubricant. This volume is enough to lubricate a bicycle chain 100 times.
Lubricants recommended for dry weather are applied once every 100 km.
One bottle of such a lubricant has a volume of 100 ml.
It is easy to calculate that one bottle of lubricant recommended for dry weather will be enough to provide a bike mileage of 100 x 100 = 10,000 km or 3-4 years of active riding.
DRY WEATHER CHAIN LUBRICANT 100 ML
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