How to lubricate a bicycle chain at home

What should be lubricated in the bicycle chain?

The lubricant (bike chain oil) should be under the chain rollers. There is no need to lubricate the outside of the chain. the lubricant will only pick up a lot of dirt and dust, which will penetrate into the chain, under the rollers. Therefore, after lubrication, the chain must remain dry on the outside.

Bike chain

A bicycle chain is a rather complex mechanism containing a large number of parts. The condition of the chain affects the ease and quietness of the bike ride.

Lubrication process

Any more or less experienced bike enthusiast who knows how to lubricate the bike’s chain drive will say that the first task is to ensure that the grease that gets on the rivet passes between the plates and into the hub.

As a result of the process, the following chain elements are lubricated:

  • contact space of inner and outer plates;
  • inner plane of the roller;
  • the place of friction of the rivets of the product on the plate.

Hence, we can conclude that it is best to apply lubricant from the inner side of the link, this will reduce its contamination.

Having familiarized ourselves with the theory, we begin to practice:

  • install the chain on the middle sprockets;
  • process the lower sector from the inside;
  • move the sectors by turning the pedals and lubricate the remaining places with grease;
  • turn the pedals to evenly distribute the lubricant;
  • remove oil residues with a rag.

For convenience, the beginning of processing can be marked with a marker.

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

The frequency of maintenance of the chain is not directly related to the time intervals. The nodes wear out depending on the mileage, as well as the intensity of use.

For example, if you spend most of your run on a flat track, you can increase the distance. And if the bike is used on off-road or rough terrain with frequent climbs, the service interval is shortened.

For normal operating conditions, the range from grease to grease is 100-150 km. In severe conditions, or when operating in sports mode, it will be correct to lubricate the chain after 50-70 km.

In addition, the need to apply an antifriction compound can be determined visually:

  • residues of lubricant in the form of lumps are visible on the links, the layer is uneven, there are traces of rust;
  • if you fold the chain in a loop and set it vertically (3-4 links), it is fixed in this position (well-lubricated links will fall down);
  • the links creak, when winding on the chain they linger at the top point.

And, of course, the chain drive must be serviced after riding in rain, mud, and snow.

How to properly lubricate your bike chain

Correct maintenance is a prerequisite for a trouble-free bike. When the seasonal mileage counts for thousands of kilometers, transmission wear will depend directly on proper maintenance. If the bike serves as a vehicle, chain lubrication becomes a key issue.

The bike chain is unique. At the heart of each link is an axis called a pin.

A cylindrical part is put on it. a glass, during movement it contacts with the cassette and system sprockets. The links are connected to each other by side plates.

Surprisingly, there are no rivets or threaded connections in the chain. than four hundred parts are connected due to the frictional force and plasticity of the metal.

The task of the lubrication is to weaken the frictional force between the pin and the glass. Every cyclist has different recipes for chain lubrication.

But there are simple rules that are hard to argue against:

  • Before lubrication, the chain must be cleaned of dirt;
  • the lubrication must be suitable for the conditions and style of riding;
  • apply grease in the right places and in the right amount.

How to lubricate the carriage

Lubrication of the carriage on a bicycle is done by simply placing grease in the cups and on the surface of the bearings, on the bushing, and by distributing them evenly. In addition, before lubricating the carriage, it is advisable to thoroughly wash the bearings and all cavities, the surface of the bushing, for example, with kerosene. It is flushing that will subsequently make it possible to properly lubricate the carriage.

lubricate, bicycle, chain, home

Chain tensioning mechanism

Rear derailleur rollers. They are often “clogged” by grease and dirt deposits that have thickened around the perimeter. They must be removed carefully, for example with a flat-head screwdriver.

How to Lubricate Your Bicycle Chain: The right way and the wrong way

It is necessary to apply a dotted liquid lubricant on the roller axles to avoid squeaking and tight rotation. Only lubricated, they are able to keep the chain taut.

Front fork damping system

It is the presence of a shock absorber that allows the biker not to pay attention to obstacles and makes the bike passable. A good shock absorber resists the reaction of the support to the front wheel in a timely manner, so the fork must be kept in good condition.

Normally, it is necessary to lubricate the “legs” of the plug after 150-200 kilometers, after 700 kilometers (on average) the oil seals are disassembled and lubricated, and annually or after running 3-4 thousand kilometers. the oil in the shock absorber is completely replaced.

It is better to show all the care of the fork in the video than to describe it in detail in text. For example, here you can see all the preventive maintenance operations for the front fork and shock absorbers:

READ  How To Adjust The Speed Of A 7 Speed Bike

How to properly lubricate a mountain bike?

A bicycle is one of such human mechanical inventions, in which there are elements that interact with each other by rolling some surfaces relative to others (wheel hubs, main carriage), by means of a chain transmission and by entering one smaller cylindrical surface into another. this is the damping mechanism front fork.

Despite the fact that bearings significantly reduce friction, proper lubrication of all these elements is necessary: ​​friction is reduced, movement is easier. This increases the life of the parts. However, it is important to know how to lubricate your bike properly.

The better the bike, the better the factory lubricant, the longer it lasts. These mountain bike models include, for example, Merida, GT. For example, it is known that the 2009 GT Avalanche 2.0 can easily reach 10,000 km without any lubrication of the bushings and carriages, while there is no damage to the bearings. Of course, this does not mean that you should not give a damn about the maintenance of the bike.

In the event that you buy an “Auchan-bike”, it will be right to “open” all the units that need lubrication, check them and lubricate them again immediately after the purchase. Sometimes it is necessary to replace something immediately, for example, the rear bushing and bearings of the main carriage.

Probably it is not necessary to additionally indicate that only a thoroughly washed and, most importantly, dried bike should be lubricated.

So which parts of the bike need lubrication and how is it done?

The ride comfort depends on the regular lubrication of the bicycle chain. the chain does not buzz, it switches easily and freely. As a rule, the need for lubrication arises if the chain begins to rustle, rattle, and it also becomes difficult to shift gears. You can feel this after intense driving in rain and muddy weather, after the chain is dry.

Wheel axle bearings

If the grease has dried out, there is resistance to the wheel movement, an increased noise level, and when the bearing is destroyed, a “backlash” appears in the wheel, and even wheel jamming can occur. The bearing lubrication scheme is identical to that of the carriage bearings.

Main run carriage

We can say that this is the “main” axis of the bicycle. It is from her that the impulse is “distributed” to other elements. Therefore, the speed, ease, and comfort of the stroke depend on the state of the carriage. The carriage elements are:

  • cups,
  • actual axis,
  • bearings.

How To Lube A Bike Chain | GCN Tech’s Guide To Oiling Your Bicycle Chain

A different, “thick” grease is put into the carriage, not the one that drips onto the chain or cables.

Wire ropes

The bike has several cables that transmit the force from the shifters and brake levers to the front and rear derailleurs, as well as to the disc brakes or V. brake. If dirt has accumulated between the jacket and the cable, or the surfaces are dry, then the controls can “stick”. This leads to untimely gear changes and even to the impossibility of emergency braking.

To lubricate the cable entry and exit points from the jacket, apply a couple of drops of lubricant, and then “work” with the shifter lever or the brake handle. This allows you to lubricate evenly and to a considerable depth.

For wet weather

Any bottle with WET on the label will do. Inside. solvent-diluted grease. When it hits the chain drive, it quickly disperses over the gaps, the solvent evaporates, and we have a thick composition between the roller and the axle.

The composition does not wash out, but quickly collects sand and dust in dry weather. In the rain, it serves about 150-200 km.

For wet weather conditions

It is best to lubricate the bike chain with heavy grease before it rains. It is delivered in a liquid state to the gap between the pin and the roller and thickens after a while. Crafting recipe:

  • Find vehicle compound 58 for propeller shafts or “sea” consistency for hubs.
  • Mix with gasoline Galosha (alternative. fuel for lighters) in a 1: 1 ratio.
  • Pour the mixture into a vial of nasal drops or fill into a syringe.

For dry weather

A bottle labeled DRY will do, but not any. If resource is a priority, choose Teflon, silicone or graphite bike lubricants. Their common disadvantage is that they dirty everything around. For those who love cleanliness, it is better to lubricate their bike chain with wax. But she also has a major drawback. she has unimportant lubricating characteristics.

Advice. Do not buy drugs in aerosol cans. It is consumed quickly, about 50% of the volume flies past the chain.

A quick way to clean

  • Toothbrush, preferably of maximum hardness.
  • Degreeser bottle (e.g. WD-40 or carburetor cleaner).
  • Rags.

The work is done directly on the bike:

  • Clean the chain with a rag. It is more convenient to do this at the lower level (under the frame): grasp the chain with a hand, covered with a rag, wipe it from all sides, turn the pedals, repeat the same actions in a new area.
  • Go through with a toothbrush. Press it against the bike chain in the area of ​​the lower roller of the rear derailleur, clean all four sides and sprockets.
  • Blow out each joint with a degreaser, covering the frame, wheel and brakes with a rag or cardboard.
  • Pedal back 10-15 turns.
  • Wipe chain drive dry.

For your information. A quick cleaning can be done with a special chain washer. Only the budget of such a method is in question

Is it necessary: ​​why lubricate a bicycle chain

At least, so that it does not creak or, in an intermediate version, does not chirp. As a maximum, a drop of oil in the friction unit (link) increases its wear resistance. As a result, the chain runs longer. In addition, you are unlikely to be able to accurately adjust the rear derailleur on a dry drive.

Digging deeper, the cycle life is determined not only by the lubricating qualities of a petrochemical product, but also by its ability to repel sand and dirt from the metal. Therefore, it is completely indifferent to what you will lubricate the bicycle chain at home or at a service station.

READ  Bicycle speed adjustment 6 speeds

For your information. The chain has an allowable degree of elongation at which it causes minimal damage to the stars. To determine the critical stretch, buy a Caliber or use a caliper (adjust it to 119 mm and measure the inner dimension: if it is more than 120.6 mm, change it). The cassette wears out faster than chainrings and can withstand no more than 2-3 timely chain changes.

Alternative to liquid preparations

  • Machine gear oil. Simple and cheap analogue. On dry it is enough for 60-70 km, in the rain it is quickly washed out. Dust clings and chains are constantly dirty.
  • Three-component composition (60% grease, 30% motor oil, 10% graphite powder). An old recipe for a bicycle chain cooking mix.
  • Three-component mixture (85% lithol, 5% soap, 10% graphite powder). Another old-fashioned recipe for cooking composition.

For your information. Graphite powder is obtained from brushes of an electric motor using sandpaper.

What not to use?

It is strongly not recommended to lubricate bicycle chains with thick lubricants such as lithol, grease and used oil (working off). Such a lubricant is not able to penetrate into hard-to-reach parts of the chain and attracts a huge amount of dust. WD-40, which contains white spirit, should also be used with caution. The peculiarity of this component is that it does not have an enveloping effect, but, on the contrary, washes away the remnants of lubricants.

Machine oil, which collects and retains dirt and sand, and sunflower oil, which does not have a lubricating effect and quickly drains to the ground, must not be used.

Sewing machine oils and gears are also not the best options for lubricating chains: they attract a lot of dust and do not protect against water.

Manufacturers overview

  • The ranking is headed by the well-known manufacturer of components and accessories for bicycles Shimano, which produces high-quality care products for various bicycle components, including chains. Shimano PTFE Dry Lube is an example. The product is available in a small 170 ml bottle, has a convenient dispenser and is characterized by low consumption. Users note that the chain gets less dirty and the bike travels quickly and is very light. The cost of lubrication is 354 rubles.
  • The second line of the rating is occupied by the German company Lider with its eponymous grease based on molybdenum disulfide. The product is available in a bottle or tube with a capacity of 70 ml, works great in high temperatures and has a more than reasonable price. 176 rubles.
  • Rohloff’s Special Chain lubricant is also manufactured in Germany and meets all modern requirements for lubricants. The grease works well under high loads and protects the chain joints from dirt and moisture. over, the product is created on a biological basis, which means its absolute harmlessness to humans and the environment. The lubricant is low consumption and is one of the best chain care products.
  • Made in Holland, Mottec Grease For Bicycle Chains is specially formulated to make the bike easier to ride at high speeds. This is made possible by the presence of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which makes the chain very easy to slide. Another substance called revitalizant prevents rapid wear of chain links and prevents chain stretching.

The lubricant penetrates well into hard-to-reach places, protects metal from corrosion and, despite the aerosol form of release, is quite economical.

  • Nanoprotech bicycle chain spray lubricant 210 ml made in Holland effectively protects metal from moisture and corrosion, eliminates squeaking, frees rusted links from rust and makes the ride much easier. What’s more, it prevents the joints from freezing in the cold, reduces friction, extends chain life and is great for preserving your bike for the winter.
  • Ballistol BikeCer Ceramic Oil is made in Germany and has been specially formulated for bicycle chains operating in extreme conditions. It is applied in a dotted manner to the chain and significantly reduces friction and link wear. In addition, it perfectly protects the metal from corrosion, penetrates into all hard-to-reach places and displaces water from the surface of the chain. Thanks to good adhesion, the time between greases is significantly increased, which leads to cost savings. A bottle of oil with a volume of 100 ml costs 700 rubles.


The principle of action of grease with silicone is the same as for Teflon compounds: silicone forms a thin film on the surface of the chain, which repels dust and dirt. Most often, silicone grease is produced in the form of aerosols, which is not very convenient for lubricating small chain elements. According to the subjective assessment of experienced cyclists, up to 50% of the total volume is sprayed off target. The disadvantages of silicone grease include the need for frequent application, since one treatment is enough for no more than 30-40 km.

How to lubricate a bicycle chain?

The bike chain is an important part of the bike and needs regular maintenance. Not only the convenience of vehicle operation depends on its technical condition, but also the safety of the cyclist. Therefore, the question of the right choice of chain care products is relevant and worries many.

Why lubricate the chain?

The bicycle chain requires constant cleaning and timely lubrication. If these procedures are neglected, then over time it will begin to emit unpleasant creaks or chirping. In addition, it is very difficult to adjust the rear derailleur without lubrication. Lubricated chain prevents sand and dirt from penetrating the joints and working as an abrasive, while in the dry chain, the pins are quickly boring out, leading to lengthening of the chain.

The stretched chain, in turn, entails damage to the cassette teeth and chainrings. This leads to an increase in noise and a decrease in efficiency, due to which the cyclist is forced to spend much more effort to maintain the desired vehicle speed.

Mountain and touring bike chains that are used in off-road conditions are especially in need of lubrication. Fans of cycling and extreme sports are forced to devote a lot of time to the condition of the chain, while owners of city bikes, moving exclusively on tiles or asphalt, do not have to worry about the condition of the chains and lubricate them several times a season. However, this relaxation is only allowed if the bike is not used in rainy weather and is stored in a dry room.

READ  Bicycle Rear Brake Does Not Brake

If the bike is exposed to rain, then the chain is thoroughly cleaned of sand and dirt using a special machine or a toothbrush, after which it is abundantly lubricated. Otherwise, the adhering dirt will provoke corrosive processes and cause the chain to rust.

How to choose?

When choosing a lubricant for a bicycle chain, first of all, you should focus on the conditions in which the bicycle will be used. So, for dry weather, it is recommended to buy products that have a “dry” mark on the bottle. However, it should be noted here that not all types of dry lubricants are equally good and there is no universal option among them.

For example, graphite, teflon and silicone compounds perfectly protect the chain from contamination and have a high lubricating effect, but they get dirty around everything. Therefore, for those who are interested in the perfect cleanliness of the vehicle, it is better to use wax compositions. But they also have a significant disadvantage. in comparison with Teflon, silicone and graphite greases, they have a low lubricating effect.

If the bike is going to be used in the rain, then you need to choose lubricants marked “wet” on the label. There is usually a thick grease inside that has been diluted with a solvent.

When applied to a chain, it quickly penetrates into all hard-to-reach places and, after evaporation of the solvent, densely envelops the links. The product is not washed off with water, but in dry weather it attracts dust and sand. In the rain, as well as when driving through puddles and wet grass on such lubricant, you can drive up to 200 kilometers or more.


This lubricant protects the chain elements from rapid wear and has high anti-corrosion properties. In addition, the agent is able to penetrate into the most inaccessible parts of the chain, reduces the negative effect of friction force and does not wash out for a very long time. In dry weather, one treatment is enough for 150 km of track, in rain or driving through puddles. for 70-80 km.

The lubricant is produced in the form of a very thick product, which is mixed with gasoline “Galosha” in equal parts. According to the observations of many bikers, one 20 ml syringe of the mixture is enough for 4 lubricants.

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.

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 grease 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 lubrication properties 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.

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 the front derailleur walls. All these mechanical processes lead to wear of the parts.

The bike owner should do regular 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.

Engine oil myths

Many have probably more than once used machine (household) oil in a transparent tube, bought at the market from the table for 4 hryvnias, 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.