How to lubricate a bike chain without removing

Bicycle chain maintenance

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.

How to properly lubricate a bicycle chain

Today, when I lubricated the chain on my bicycle, I thought that I must be doing something wrong. And that lubricating a bicycle chain with sewing machine oil is not very correct 🙂

I decided to google and look for material After all, everything that is stolen is stolen before us! 🙂 So, a good article about bicycle chain maintenance, let’s use it 🙂

Cycle days Not a day without a bike!

Bicycle chain lubrication and maintenance

Chain maintenance is one of the darkest issues in bicycle mechanics. How and when to lubricate it, when and how to change it. everyone has their own opinion, and everyone does it in their own way. All authorities agree on only one thing. an unkempt, dirty chain greatly affects the ease of movement, and accelerates the wear of the cassette and system sprockets. And since the chain of an imported bicycle is quite expensive, it makes sense to take care of it sometimes.

lubricate, bike, chain, removing

The bike chain should be as clean as possible. For those who ride only on asphalt in good weather, it is much easier to keep the chain clean than for long-distance cycling enthusiasts who may encounter muddy sections of roads, fords, and complete off-road. It happens, of course, that under a layer of dirt you cannot see the chain itself, and there is no time to wash it. you have to go forward On good, the chain must be washed after each ride on dirty or dusty terrain. Sand and clay, getting into the links of the chain, sharply accelerate its wear. If you leave the chain dirty for a few days, rust will appear on its links.

How to wash a bicycle chain?

Sometimes you can hear recommendations to wash the chain with soapy water or non-abrasive household detergents (such as Fairy). In my opinion, this is not the best option. although valid. In any case, soap can be used in the living room as well. But after such a wash, the chain must be quickly dried so that it does not have time to rust.

The quickest way to clean the chain is to simply wipe the outside of the chain with a dry cloth. The cleaning quality will be low, but if the chain is not very dirty, then it’s okay.

How to wash a chain?

There are tools that allow you to wash the chain without removing it from the bike. For example, as shown in the photo. The machine is sold complete with a detergent, which, however, does not last long. But you can pour kerosene or white spirit into it. Gasoline dissolves the plastic from which it is made. This machine will not immediately clean a heavily soiled chain, in this case you will have to change the solvent several times.

The procedure for using the washing machine should be read in the manual for it.

If there is no such machine, then you can remove the chain from the bike and rinse it in a bath with solvent or detergent, cleaning hard-to-reach places with a brush (you can use an old toothbrush). If the circuit is split, then this is probably the best way. For a one-piece chain, each link opening operation reduces the service life, so this method should be left only for deep cleaning, and after rolling through the mud it is better to use a machine.

The chain must be lubricated. Again, those who ride on wet / muddy or dusty / sandy terrain need to lubricate the chain more often than fans of the park’s asphalt paths.

What needs to be lubricated in the chain? The lubricant 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.

What is a good lubricant? Good lubricant should easily penetrate hard-to-reach areas such as between rollers and link pins. (So ​​it must be liquid). On the other hand, it should not flow out of there. (So ​​it should be thick.) In addition, a good lubricant should not be washed out with water, should not enter into chemical reactions with the metal from which the stars are made, and a lot of things should be done. That is, good chain lubrication is always a compromise.

Aerosol lubricants. Supplied in aerosol cans. On bezrybe you can use domestic UNISMA oil or imported WD40.

Pros. the aerosol can penetrate into the most inaccessible places of the lubricated unit.

Cons. it often turns out that aerosol lubricant does not go where it is needed, but quite the opposite, where it is not needed at all (on rims, tires, etc.)

Liquid lubricants. Supplied in oil bottles. In principle, automotive gear oil can be used.

Pros. spot application. Using a medical syringe, oil can be dripped precisely into the gaps between the rollers and the link side plates.

Cons. not all, but many of these lubricants thicken in the cold and cannot get into the right place in the chain.

Two-component greases. Supplied in oil bottles. This is an attempt to kill two birds with one stone and make the lubricant thick and liquid at the same time. This oil is a thick grease diluted in a solvent so that it is a liquid (consistency like water). When lubricated, this fluid easily flows under the chain rollers. Then the solvent evaporates and a thick grease remains inside.

Pros. as with any liquid lubricant, spot application is possible.

Cons. it takes time for the solvent to dry, that is, after lubrication, you can ride only after a few hours.

An example of a two-component lubricant is White Ligthning. As it is written in the annotation, if you lubricate a clean chain with this oil, then it is not necessary to wash it before each lubrication. White Ligthning, after drying, does not let dirt inside. But you need to lubricate it often (every 50-100 km)

Thick lubricants. Supplied in cans or tubes. An example of such a lubricant is LITOL-24. In principle, they can also be used for chains, but such oils have a huge disadvantage. it is very difficult to deliver the oil to the right place in the chain. You can, of course, boil the chain in hot oil, but then you will have to first remove the chain from the bike for each lubricant, and then, before installing, clean it from the outside It turns out that thick oils are poorly suited for the chain.

When to lubricate the chain? How do you know when it’s time? It’s time when the chain starts to creak slightly when pedaling, or every 100-150 km. Whichever comes first.

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How to lubricate the chain? Only a clean chain can be lubricated. For good, it must be washed to such a state when the solvent remains transparent, and when the chain is bent in the transverse direction, no sand crunch will be heard. It will not hurt to wash both the system sprockets and cassettes. (otherwise the dirt from them will fall into a clean chain)

Then the chain must be dried, or at worst, wiped with a clean cloth, because the solvent will destroy fresh oil.

Then you can start with lubrication. If we use liquid or two-component lubricant, then, without removing the chain from the bike, we drip from an oiler or from a medical syringe into the gaps between the rollers and the side plates of the links. This must be done for each link in the chain (pedaling backwards)

Remember from which link you started the lubrication, so as not to go to the second circle, or count the already lubricated links. If oil gets on the rim, brake disc, tire, then remove it with a cloth.

After all the links are lubricated, rotate the pedals in the opposite direction for a few minutes, then dry the chain and cassette sprockets with a cloth.

And the right video, about the correct lubrication of the bicycle chain:

How to properly lubricate a bicycle chain: 12 Комментарии и мнения владельцев

I was very interested in this article. But there are other, more detailed opinions on this matter. Thanks a lot to the author

I would be glad to see these other opinions expressed in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев 🙂

The article is correct. If anyone is interested, then I clean and lubricate the chain like this. After each ride, I wipe with a cloth and brush the stars and chain with a toothbrush. After 100 km, I wash and lubricate the chain thoroughly. First, I wash the chain with a machine (exactly the same as in the photo) I use diesel fuel as a detergent. Then I lubricate it with hypoid (used in car gearboxes) oil, which I drip from a syringe into each roller. Further, as in the article: I twist the pedals and wipe with a cloth. I do all this outdoors. At a time, it takes 5 grams of oil and 100 grams of diesel fuel. Yes, the smell of the oil is specific, but cheap and cheerful. I will be glad if the information is useful to someone.

Mother grove, IMHO. the time spent on SUCH care is much more expensive than changing the chain every 150 km%)

Good to see real expertise on dislpay. Your contribution is most welcome.

06/10/2014 Thanks to the author! Very helpful article. If we talk about lubrication, then I make it somewhere on the street. When storing the folded electric bike., do not turn the chain in a suspended state. For this, there is always a little bit of lithol applied on cellophane along the way. It is enough to wipe the chain with a cloth and unfold the cellophane. Walking along the inside of the chain with cellophane without getting your hands dirty is a matter of minutes. Although there are always cellophane gloves in the glove compartment, grease is also stored there. After exposure to rain and drying. I do the lubrication, regardless of the kilometers traveled. With such a primitive maintenance (without flushing), the Baltic chain that stands on an electric motor has covered more than 7,500 km on asphalt.

I lubricated easily! I took engine oil dripping on the sprockets and switched, rubbed the chain with a slightly damp cloth, then dropped oil on it and rubbed the chain and stopped skiriping, it appeared after 600 km

only one clarification starting with the French badge WD40 is not a lubricant, but a cleaner / solvent, yes, it leaves an oily film, but only locks can be suitable for lubrication, and this is only for those who were just spinning and went to try to smear the chain with silicone

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

How to clean a bicycle chain with WD-40 and a dry cloth.

Vedashka is not a bicycle chain lubricant, but a classic degreaser (solvent). Wipe off the old grease with a clean, dry cloth, place a rag over the brake rotor, then treat each link with WD-40 cleaner. This takes a total of 5 minutes. Fast and not at all troublesome.

How to clean your bike chain at home

The task of cleaning is to dissolve and then wash out all the dirt from the gaps. You can clean the bike chain directly on the bike or by removing it.

How to clean a bike chain without removing it from the bike

This can be done using a chain link. It is a split design, inside which there are several rollers with brushes. A caustic solution is poured inside, the chain is started up between the bristles, the pedals spin. this is how the washing takes place. It is a pleasure to clean with this tool: it is quick, convenient and hands are clean.

It is better to clean the bicycle chain immediately after a ride, immediately clean the cassette and system stars. Lubricate the chain before the next ride. It will dry out overnight, so you won’t have to waste time drying.

The chain cleaner will wash the bike chain to a sterile cleanliness, and the famous crunch when lateral bend will be absent. You will also make sure that the used grease contains metal dust that collects against the magnets.

To wash your bike less often, you need to figure out for yourself the best way to lubricate the bike chain at home, and how to do it correctly. Do not apply grease to the entire bike chain. Lubrication is needed only in the friction zone, but not outside, and even more so on the stars.

How to clean a bicycle chain with a toothbrush and dry cloth

Use a rag to remove the old grease from the bike chain, and then brush over each link and each chainring with a toothbrush. For improved cleaning performance, use two brushes wrapped with duct tape so that the bristles point towards each other.

How to clean a bike chain with a pressure washer

All methods are useless if there is a pressure washer at hand or a little money, a car wash nearby. High-pressure water knocks dirt out of any gaps, blowing with compressed air speeds up the drying of the chain. After such a procedure, it is enough to walk for 10 minutes, drip lubricant on each link, and go.

How to clean and lubricate your bike

After your walk, did your bike get covered in mud? Here is a step-by-step guide, after completing all the points of which you will receive your bike almost like new and will spend less than an hour.

So, to deal with serious dirt, we need:

  • Time: 1 hour
  • Skills: Beginner
  • Money: inverter grease around 10-20
  • Bucket
  • Very hot water
  • Car wash (car shampoo) or dishwashing liquid
  • Brushes and sponges
  • Old toothbrush
  • Narrow flat blade screwdrivers
  • Degreaser (white spirit)
  • Grease
  • Rags

The chain is the most important part of the bike. The first step in cleaning it is to use hot water. always wearing rubber gloves, this will help you use hotter water to maximize the effect. You need to add some dish soap or car shampoo to your bucket of water and let it lather.

Take a stiff bristled brush and vigorously scrub the dirt off the chain. You will see the chain start to shine.

A degreaser (white spirit) will help remove all small particles of dirt and dust that remain after cleaning with a brush. The chain will no longer be sticky and this will help the chain run freely. Rotate the cranks backward to apply degreaser to the entire chain. Then let the chains dry (the white spirit will evaporate after a short time)

Use a soft cloth to wipe the chain completely. Move the links up and down, left and right as possible. this will help to reveal the sections of the chain that are still uncleaned and are usually hidden from view.

Lubricate the chain with machine oil

Change to engine oil only when the chain is clean. I recommend sparing the chain lubrication. Using a pipette bottle makes it easier to apply oil accurately and with minimal waste. Lubricate the entire chain to keep all links lubricated. Wipe off excess oil with a rag.

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Wipe the cable with a cloth dipped in a degreaser. If you identify sections of the cable that is corroded, then it must be replaced with a new cable.

The best way to distribute the lubricant evenly along the cable is as follows. Apply lubricant to a clean (lint-free) cloth. Take a rag with lubricant in your hand, clamp the cable between your thumb and forefinger, and pull the entire length of the cable. As a result, grease will get evenly on the entire cable without gaps.

Clean the front derailleur

The front derailleur is often overlooked on a bicycle. The switch is usually hard to reach and often has a lot of dry dirt and poor performance as a result. The first thing you can do is clean your switch with a hot soapy water brush. Use a small brush to reach all of the front derailleur locations.

Wipe down the front derailleur

Take a thin strip of rag and wipe down all areas of the switch. In a couple of minutes, you can enjoy the shiny front derailleur

Clean the rear derailleur

Take a flat-blade screwdriver and carefully clean off any adhering grass, dried dirt that is stuck between the rear derailleur bar and the wheel.

If there is not too much dirt, you can immediately take an old toothbrush to clean the switch wheel (do not forget about the inside). You can, of course, unscrew the switch wheel, but I do not advise, after frequent unscrewing, a backlash appears in it.

Lubricate the rear derailleur wheel

Apply a small amount of grease to the wheel as a lot of dirt adheres to it. Wipe off excess grease with a cloth. The wheel should look dry on the outside.

Disconnect the switch cables

Set the reverse gear to the largest sprocket and then prevent the rear wheel from shifting. shift towards the smallest rear sprocket. This will allow the cable cable to release from the groove. With cable. completely detached from the frame, you can inspect, clean and lubricate the cable.

Lubricate shift mechanics

Lubricate the mechanical parts of the switch with machine oil from the dropper bottle as shown in the photo. Shift speeds for better lubrication.

Clean out large debris from the rear sprockets

Cleaning the rear sprockets is the last step in the maintenance of the bike. By technology, the sprockets are made so that debris does not linger on them. But nevertheless, between the stars there may be remnants of grass and dry dirt. Take a flat-blade screwdriver and clean in hard-to-reach areas. You will be surprised. how much dirt is hiding from your eye.

Clean the rear sprockets with a brush

Take hot soapy water and scrub with a brush. You can brush it again using a degreaser (white spirit). It can be difficult to get to the start of the stars, but try to clean as deep as possible.

Wipe the sprockets with a rag

Wipe the bike sprockets with a narrow strip of cloth. The better you clean the sprockets, the easier they will move. Dirt acts like sanding paste when it comes into contact with any part of your gear, so get rid of it.

Tip: don’t forget about general bike cleaning

You can only clean the important parts of the bike, but thorough cleaning should be your regular post-ride activity. Wash your bike from top to bottom. from the saddle to the tires.

Tip: Coat other bike parts with engine oil

Add a drop of grease to the pivoting brake lever. there the grease dries quickly and the lever works better with a little oil. The same goes for the speed derailleurs. For SRAM X.9 / X.0 gears, simply unscrew the top cap and place a few drops on the cable and cable clamp. With Shimano, unscrew the plastic screw and apply a few drops inward before tightening the screw.

Tip: polish your bike

If you love your bike, polish it with a soft cloth with paint polish. This will make your bike look shiny, but also add extra protection from dirt.

Tip: hot water and detergent

The market is packed with bike cleaning fluids and they do their job very well. Most are sprayed on, left on for 30 seconds and then rinsed off with a brush. This is all well and good, but you can get the same effect with car shampoo and hot water. You can also use dishwashing detergent for this, but be aware that some of the detergents contain special salts that can damage your bike.

The main agent for cleaning dirt is hot water, and all detergents only speed up cleaning. Get a good sponge and brush and you can wash all the parts of your bike effortlessly. Video on where, how and how to lubricate the bike:

  • How to lubricate a bicycle chain
  • How to wash your bike
  • Where to lubricate your bike
  • Four simple guidelines
  • Master class: How to make your own
  • Daily bike check

Cleaning the chain without removing

The most common tool is a special machine with attachments and brushes. In order to clean the bicycle chain, you need to put the machine on it and pedal in the opposite direction until the chain is clean. These machines are usually sold complete with a special fluid. The truth is, make sure it doesn’t damage the machine. The main disadvantage. the machine is not intended for cleaning bicycle sprockets. To do this, you can use a special brush or an old hard-bristled toothbrush. Rust marks can sometimes appear on the bike chain and should not be ignored. spray the chain with a lubricating spray. It will also help protect the bike from corrosion.

How to properly clean and lubricate a bicycle chain?

Does your bike chain need cleaning? Check out our tips on how to properly clean and lubricate your bike chain!

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When we ride a bike often, it quickly gets dirty and the chain wears out. If you want your bike to last as long as possible, you need to regularly clean and lubricate all parts, especially the bike chain.

Regular cleaning and lubrication of your bike chain will greatly extend the life of your bike.

Chain cleaning with removal

Safety regulations

Read the instructions before use.

How to clean a bicycle chain?

There are two ways to clean a bicycle chain. in the first you need to remove a part from the bike, in the second you can do without disassembling it into parts.

The first is considered more effective. however, you will have to remove the chain and put it back on, for this you need to understand the structure of the bike. The second method does not cleanse very much, but is great for removing small dirt.

How to lubricate a bicycle chain?

  • Use a solvent such as white spirit to clean your bike chain.
  • To remove rust, spray the bike chain with a lubricating spray.
  • Do not lubricate the bike chain with oil-based products, as they act as a magnet for dust and dirt.
  • Carefully read the instructions of the bike manufacturer and make sure that these procedures are not contraindicated for him.
  • Originally published Sep 14, 2018.

    Step IX: lubricate the chain

    After completing the reattachment exercise, you will now need to lubricate the bike chain. For best results, insist on using a good quality lubricant. Follow these steps:

    • Hold the grease bottle by the top of the middle chain pin
    • Squeeze a light, steady stream of lubricant onto the chain
    • Pedal to spin the chain
    • After completing the chain, a complete revolution, ready!
    • You may need to increase the amount of lubricant for a smoother ride if the revs are sticky.

    You are ready to hit the road a second time. Before you leave, restore your workplace and save any tools you used. This is to protect your neighbors and your family members from any accidents or hazards that may often arise in the process.

    Can I use olive oil?

    Olive oil can be used, but with some side effects. This will work when it comes to rust protection, but easily attracts dust to the chain links. It also lacks graphite, which is one of the most important components of any lubricant that causes it to polymerize, and vegetable oils have a similar effect. The fact that they harden in cold weather turns them into a greasy mud, especially when the dust hits the chain. The chain should look good even when lubricated. The fact that these oils degrade can end up costing you more than you want.

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    Wax-based lubricants

    For some reason, wax is considered one of the best options on the market. This is until you understand the nuances of its application. Hot wax is difficult to use at this stage, but it is full of benefits. The wax will flake off after use, which means you don’t have to worry about degreasing your bike at all times. Wax also does not attract dust, which is an added benefit; it is the best option in dry conditions and can last several months on the chain.

    Finish Line Ceramic Wax Bicycle Chain Lube

    Step I. Collect supplies and equipment

    To do this, prepare your workplace accordingly. You should keep your work area fenced off and out of the way, especially from small children. You don’t want unsuspecting passers-by to collide and interfere with your work, do you? Your local city charter may require you to obtain approval before beginning an assignment. Find out and respond appropriately.

    What kind of oil can you use for your bike chain?

    Bicycle Chain Replacement Oil

    People usually look for cheaper ways to solve everyday problems. We don’t expect anything to change when it comes to cycling oils. People have tried quite a few options; most will work, but not perfect. Bicycles are demanding on the quality of service you offer. The substitutes will either be too thin or too greasy, attract a lot of dust, last a very short time, or simply cause more problems.

    Q3.Can I clean my bike chain without removing it?

    Yes you can! Follow these steps to acquire this role:

    • Pour some hot water into a saucepan containing dishwashing detergent.
    • Dampen a cloth with hot soapy water.
    • Wipe the bike chain with a dampened cloth.
    • Advance the chain by turning the bicycle pedals with your hands. Then wipe the entire length of the bike chain.
    • Dampen another piece of cloth with degreaser.
    • Wipe the chain with a cloth while pressing down on the bicycle pedals to keep the chain moving. Be careful to rub the entire length of the chain.
    • Rinse the entire length of the bike chain with a cloth dampened in water.
    • Dry the bike chain with a clean cloth.


    You can also use a bike chain cleaner or brush. I am using cloth. Just start the chain a few spins back.

    How to remove a bicycle chain?

    The bicycle chain is one of the key transmission units of any bike, which directly transfers the rotational-translational energy of the rider’s legs to the rear wheel, which sets the entire unit in motion. In this case, the chain is subjected to the most intensive work and various external influences of a destructive nature, which means that it needs careful care, prevention and ensuring the initial working condition.

    Depending on the conditions of use of the bike, if it happens occasionally in favorable sunny weather, you can limit yourself to simply cleaning and lubricating the chain without removing it. But when riding happens regularly with extreme elements, including rough terrain, landscapes, rainy, windy weather, etc., regular wear and tear occurs and the need to remove the chain from the node for thorough washing from dirt in special solutions, lubrication, possibly a complete replacement or in separate cases. adjusting its length.

    You need to know that bicycle chains are produced only taking into account the compatibility of various transmissions and are available with or without a coupling lock and, accordingly, are called locking or clamping. A separate global manufacturer tries to develop its own sound technologies, proprietary developments in connecting mechanisms and implements in each model, adhering to certain principles.

    Chains with a lock are considered more practical, especially in assembly and disassembly, which do not require much effort. Clamping devices represent a monolithic structure, which means it is more reliable, but they assume the presence of a special tool. squeeze, the handling of which requires experience and work skills, which is hardly suitable for beginners.

    How to remove the lock from a bicycle chain?

    Carefully inspect all the links of the chain, usually the lock has a prominent shape with more enlarged holes for pins, or in the form of an elongated horseshoe, an elongated oval and similar nuances. You will need to loosen the chain in the area of ​​the lock, this method is also great for installation. For convenience, you can use a wire or make a bracket out of it and fix it on the links on both sides of the lock so that it sags down, somewhere two or three links from the connection, and more, as it is convenient for you. To keep the chains in a slack state, special holders are sold, you can use them. Further, if you cannot remove / fasten the lock manually, then use ordinary pliers and slide the pins (axles, pins) on each half of the lock cheeks. the circuit will open. There are on sale special pliers in the form of a movable trident for opening and closing locks, which can be purchased, it will be easy to work with them.

    How to remove a chain without a lock?

    First of all, you need to choose a link that will be sorted out. If this happens for the first time, it does not matter what it will be, if possible, look for the link with which the chain was connected at the manufacturer’s factory (as a rule, it stands out). However, if this has already happened before, it is very important to choose a new one, and not the link that was dismantled, otherwise the probability of rupture increases.

    Next, we arm ourselves with squeeze. This is a special tool like a miniature press with the same extrusion wedge. We install the selected link in the squeeze, carefully fix and squeeze out the axle using the rotating handle of the press. It is strictly not recommended to extrude the axle to the end if you do not plan to replace it, otherwise it will be very problematic to insert it into its original place. It should remain in the opening on the back of the link cheek, so that there is room in the middle. The chain is removed. For the installation process, everything happens the same, only in reverse order.

    Removing the chain from a bike?

    How to remove a chain from a bicycle without squeezing?

    Dismantling the chain without a puller is considered vandal and such a bicycle chain will be loosened at the point of separation by improvised means. But how to do it. we will tell you in this article.

    • We start by loosening the tension by removing the chain from the cranks and putting the bike on its side (which is no longer good, you can damage the paint).
    • We spread the chain so that you can knock out the pin. It can be a bushing of a small diameter, a nut, two objects lying at a short distance from each other…. Anything…. We turn on imagination and ingenuity.
    • We take a hammer and a tip slightly smaller in diameter than the pin. and gradually knock it out. We knock out not completely so that it does not fall out. This will make it easier to put the chain back together.

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

    But with the modest cost of the simplest, one-time squeeze, it is better to use it. With an inexpensive tool, we handle it carefully so as not to bend the squeezing pin on the squeeze. This way you can remove the chain more than once.