How to lubricate bicycle bearings at home

What parts need lubrication and how to properly lubricate the bike?

Competent maintenance will not only avoid unwanted breakdowns, but also maximize the service life of a two-wheeled vehicle. Each unit is processed at different intervals, using certain types of lubricant. But some mechanisms do not need such “oil” procedures at all, even more. they are contraindicated for them, for example, discs, rims and brake pads.

In addition, you need to know how to lubricate the bicycle chain, as well as its other important components, because the use of the same type of lubricant is impossible due to the different operating conditions of the units. Therefore, the correct selection of lubricant guarantees trouble-free operation and durability of the mechanisms.

The main parts of the bike that need lubrication are:

  • moving links of the chain transmission;
  • gear shifters and their moving parts;
  • brake cable shirts;
  • rear derailleur rollers;
  • wheel bushings;
  • steering column;
  • carriage.

The last three nodes are not only structurally difficult, but also require certain skills for adjusting them, so it makes sense to think carefully before proceeding with self-service.

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.

The main question: how and with what you can lubricate the bicycle chain yourself?

One of the important components of the chain drive requires the most special and careful maintenance. With proper maintenance, a medium-price chain can serve about 120-1500 km, more expensive samples work without problems up to 3000 km. Now in more detail about the methods of maintaining this part in working order.

How to lubricate a bicycle chain with machine oil

The enemy of the bicycle is a rusty chain! Fighting with machine oil lubrication

A rusty bicycle chain will slow down the ride significantly and cause annoying noise. A properly lubricated chain will increase the life of both the chain and other bicycle components. In this article, I will show you how to lubricate your bike chain correctly and without problems.

Things and tools that we need:

  • rag
  • bicycle chain lubricant (e.g. machine oil)
  • a new chain if the old one is very rusty
  • Place newspapers or other paper under the bike in an area that might get dirty.
  • Raise the rear wheel of the bike or tilt it so that the pedals can rotate freely.
  • Keep a rag close to the chain to prevent drips of grease from entering the wheel rim.
  • Using a syringe and needle, gently drip a drop of machine oil onto each chain roller from the top side. It is best to lubricate that part of the chain. which is in contact with the transfer rollers. Avoid lubricating the mechanisms and gear rollers on the bicycle, this is not necessary and excess lubrication can lead to their rapid wear.
  • Pedal back slowly while continuing to drip machine oil onto the chain.
  • Stop as soon as the chain is covered with a thin layer of grease.!
  • Press the rag lightly against the chain and pedal back. This will remove excess lubricating oil, which can cause dirt to adhere and further wear on the chain.
  • Wipe off excess engine oil from the bike with a rag, paying particular attention to the rims.

Bicycle chain lubrication tips and warnings:

Watch the video on how to lubricate a bike chain in the field. You can also lubricate the chain this way.

Frequency of lubrication of the bike parts

Lubricants of a plastic consistency are able to maintain their properties and ensure the operation of ball bearings for a rather long time, therefore, they are replaced on average once a year. However, if the bike is used in dusty conditions or in wet weather, it is recommended to replace it after 1000-1500 km.

Any beginner asks not only the question of how best to lubricate his bicycle chain, but also when it should be done. Usually, with intensive operation, the processing procedure must be performed at least twice a season. Over time, it will be possible to determine the lubrication time by ear. if the chain drive “whistles” or “rings” under load, then it is time to smear.

Frequency of lubrication for the main components of the bike:

  • wheel hubs and pedal bearings. 2 times a season;
  • fork legs. after 150-200 km;
  • rear derailleur rollers. after 1000 km of run;
  • speed switches. after 500-700 km of run;
  • brake levers, levers and shifters. 1-2 times a year.

Lubricants with m graphite (for example, “Ussa”) are distinguished by high durability, even after the development of a viscous base, graphite continues to perform its functions. Such lubricants are especially good in units that are exposed to loads.

As for the carriage assembly, in the presence of a conventional bushing (but not a cartridge), you need to monitor its condition and process it at least 2-3 times over the entire season. Otherwise, wear and seizure of the bearings are guaranteed. Before work, it is imperative to clean the parts from dirt and old grease.

What material are lubricants for a bicycle chain made of??

  • Teflon bicycle lubricant is the most common and highly effective and versatile lubricant. At the same time, her price is very reasonable. It is not difficult to guess that such a lubricant is made on the basis of Teflon, which has the ability to form a thin film on the treated surface. Thanks to this effect, dirt and other “nuisances” from the environment do not penetrate the chain. When choosing this lubricant, it should be borne in mind that for the chain it is better to take a bottle with a narrow neck, and not a spray.
  • Wax lubricant is a more expensive lubricant option. In terms of its protective properties, it is similar to Teflon grease: it does not attract dirt and dust. However, it is less popular due to the need to clean and rinse the chain before using it, and it is also important to dose it correctly, otherwise the wax can clog the chain mechanism.
  • Silicone grease, like Teflon, is easy to apply and does not allow dust to stick. However, most often it comes in aerosol cans, which is not very welcome when lubricating the chain.
  • An environmentally friendly lubricant is a biologically processed vegetable oil that is inferior in its properties to the above options, but does not harm the environment.

About mountain biking. How and what to lubricate the bike?

The bicycle is a unique mechanical invention of mankind. And he certainly needs lubrication to improve performance. Proper lubrication of all moving parts is essential to reduce friction between them and facilitate movement. Therefore, beginners ask themselves the question: when and how to do it correctly.?

Special oils, liquid in consistency, are suitable for lubrication of all types of chains, damping systems. The structure of the oil penetrates well into hard-to-reach places, ensuring in the future the trouble-free operation of bicycle assemblies and components.

When is the best time to tidy up your bike? Do not forget that it is imperative to clean the body of the part from dirt before lubricating. To do this, you will need the following necessary tools and tools: a bucket of very hot water, car shampoo or dishwashing detergent, brushes, sponges, an old toothbrush for hard-to-reach places, narrow flat screwdrivers, degreaser, rags. We wash the bike and let it dry for a few hours or wipe it with a rag. Only then we proceed to the procedure for lubricating the parts.

Fast cleaning This procedure serves as an intermediate between major cleanings. This can be the removal of dirt from the chain without directly dismantling it. To do this, you can wash the chain from dirt with a rag and brush, or use a special machine to clean the chain. It all depends on the possibilities of your budget.

Major cleaning To do this, you will have to remove the chain from the bike. Depending on whether there is a connecting link on the chain or not, additional squeezing may be required. After dismantling the chain, place it in a container with a cleaning agent and use a brush and rags to wash it to maximum cleanliness.

It is better to change the water in the container after each remedy. In addition to the chain, other important components should be well cleaned. For convenience, it is recommended to remove the rear wheel to wash the cassette and disassemble the rear derailleur foot with rollers, then get to the tensioner roller, in the case of the tensioner itself installed on the bike.

Cleaners and Lubricants Experienced cyclists have identified several topical cleaners for excellent dirt and lubrication from your bike.

WD-40 Sprayer with fine and long tubular nozzle. A huge plus of the tool is easy access to time-consuming component connections. Will help remove rust and remove old grease from the surface.

2K Spray Ideal for cleaning and lubricating switches, threads and cables. The aerosol can is adapted to work even in a hard-to-reach place to wrap around bicycle parts. If you need to separate the damaged parts, use LM40 and LM47 aerosols. Among the key ingredients is kerosene. It is this substance that will gently make this difficult procedure. The surplus can be removed with a cloth.

Liquid oil Universal agent for all types of chains, shock absorbers. The structure of the oil envelops the surface of the treated area 100%. It is characterized by a long-lasting effect for the smooth operation of parts. The disadvantage is a strong thickening of the consistency in the cold and the likely collection of dirt when riding in bad weather.

Calcium-containing greases A popular type of grease for the care of all kinds of parts and assemblies. The advantage of such a lubricant is stability on the surface of the parts (the formation of a protective layer for excellent bike performance). Unlike lithium products, they have a high level of adhesion and anti-corrosion effect. Bicycle “cosmetics” with m calcium do not react with aluminum, so they are more expensive in price and are used to care for expensive bikes. The tool will take care of the sealing of the joints.

Lithium Lubricants Helps keep your bike’s undercarriage in good shape. These greases are suitable for the maintenance of bearing axles and carriage. A substance called lithium gives the product a specific slip, it does not thicken at temperatures up to 50 ° C and does not liquefy when heated to 150 ° C. Negative nuance. high level of water solubility.

Silicone Lubricants Easily apply to bike parts. Able to “repel” dust and water, but dry faster.

Teflon based lubricants The composition uses a substance for all types of chains. The fluid has an extremely low coefficient of friction relative to the contacting solid surfaces of the chain. For better penetration into hard-to-reach areas, Teflon grease is diluted with oil or solvent. The ratio of the components depends on the operating conditions (dry asphalt road, dusty primers or wet roads). It exists in the form of an aerosol can, but its use is fraught with too fast consumption, so it is better to give preference to a liquid analogue.

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Wax lubricants Can last for several months in dry driving conditions. Frequent mechanical cleaning of the chain is not required. But the wax itself can fall off over time in the form of scales and flakes. It is difficult to treat hard-to-reach areas with this type of lubricant.

Graphite Lubricants Good for overloaded components. An important plus is the long-term effect. Minus. the grease very much stains everything that comes into contact with it.

How to carry out the lubrication procedure correctly? Begin lubricating the bike from any node. Lubricate cassettes and chain sprockets several times and turn the crank arms counterclockwise. A small amount of lubricant is sufficient. Remember, it shouldn’t be too thick. Your cycling comfort depends on the regularity of the procedure. the chain will not buzz, you will immediately feel lightness and freedom in shifting gears. In addition to lubricating, keep an eye on the “mileage” of the bike chain. On average, after every two thousand kilometers, a part needs to be replaced due to sagging, fuzzy gear shifting and damage to the cassette sprockets on the rear wheel.

To lubricate the brakes, clamp them and apply the agent to the cable and pivot, the point of entry of the cable into the jacket. If your bike is equipped with V-brakes, try not to get oil on the rim. otherwise, the rim must be wiped off, otherwise the braking performance will be reduced to zero. Aerosols for a more metered spray are best suited for lubrication. Apply a drop of oil to the outlet and inlet of the cables.

The carriage is one of the key components of the bicycle, which sets the working impulse to other parts of the device. The speed and ease of movement depends on its condition. You will need a thicker lubricant to lubricate the carriage than a chain or cables.

Wheel axle bearings require frequent lubrication. The care scheme for them is identical to the previous one.

All moving parts must be lubricated in the front and rear derailleurs. They are often clogged with deposits from the thickened mass of grease and dirt around the perimeter. They can be gently removed with a flat screwdriver. Move the switch in different directions to see which parts require more lubrication. Remember to machine the rear derailleur roller bearings. they directly affect pedaling.

To process the rollers, you need to apply a dotted liquid on the axis to relieve them of squeak and tight rotation. Lubricated rollers are capable of turning with minimal resistance. For the procedure, experts recommend using aerosol products. When lubricating the chain, it is important to apply lubricant to each link and preferably in a thin layer. If you are using a liquid lubricant, you can use a syringe or oiler for more accurate application.

Taking care of the front shock absorber allows you to travel more comfortably over difficult terrain. A good shock absorber can handle both small and large bumps, so keep it in good condition. Depending on weather conditions, the suspension fork is filled with oil of a certain viscosity, the same is true for the rear shock absorber.

After lubrication, it is worth scrolling the pedals, pressing the brake levers a couple of times, shifting gears. Remove excess grease so that it does not collect dust later. When using an aerosol, make sure that the jet hits all hard-to-reach places. Avoid getting oil on tires, rims, disc brake rotors and other parts.

Chain cleaner: is it necessary or not? Not all newfangled devices are actually very useful. At first glance, this device may make life easier for a novice cyclist and will be completely unnecessary for a seasoned cyclist. In any case, do not leave the chain without proper care.

There are several types of bike chain cleaning machines. They differ in configuration, price and durability. The most affordable models from Bike, Barbieri, Hand and Birzman are machines with three cleaning wheels and a convenient reservoir. A more expensive machine from Kettenmax has all the necessary additional components in its arsenal. In fact, the final choice will depend on your financial capabilities. The key advantage of the machine is the ability to maintain the chain without removing the part from the bike.

To start the procedure, you need to place the chain directly into the machine. The container is filled in advance to the middle of the rollers with flushing solution (the norm is 50 ml). After that, smooth rotation of the pedals is ensured. Hold the clipper and the bike at the same time. For the procedure in a living room, it is better to protect the floor with pieces of cloth or cover it with paper. The cleaned chain must dry and only then can the lubricant be applied.

Optimal lubrication intervals There are no clearly defined guidelines. it all depends on the owner of the bike. It is enough to carry out the lubrication procedure a couple of times a season to extend the durability of the bike. at the beginning and at the end. After heavy extreme loads, it is advisable to wash the bike and not be too lazy to re-lubricate parts and connections. Some cyclists lubricate the chain after every hundreds of kilometers, regardless of weather conditions.

What should not be used to lubricate a bicycle chain Experts strongly do not recommend the use of thick lubricants. this will prevent proper penetration of the product into all the necessary places. Another minus is the adhesion of road dust. Do not use concentrated grease and lithol, sunflower oil.

It is advisable to avoid the use of automotive gear oils, sewing machine oily fluids. They attract dust. after two trips, you will have to clean the dirty chain again. Also, such oils are very afraid of moisture, which cannot be avoided in rainy weather.

Bottom Line Remember that the market today is full of bike cleaning fluids. That’s all well and good, but car shampoo and hot water will have a similar effect. Hot water is the key to removing dirt, and all cleaning fluids simply speed up the process and save time.

If you love your bike, polish it with a soft cloth and paint polish. As a result, it will look “shiny” and become more resistant to dirt sticking.

Skateboard Bearings

Since the first skateboard appeared in 1958, its demand is constantly growing. He won the greatest popularity among young people who want to diversify their lives with extreme hobbies.

Bearing replacement

To work, you do not need a set of tools, a special key for repairing the board and a new bearing or kit are enough. If no such tool is available, a wrench (size 13) or an adjustable wrench can be used. The operation to replace a defective part will take no more than ten minutes.

The whole process of restoring the skate can be conditionally divided into several stages.

  • Unscrew the nut on the wheel with a special wrench. This must be done counterclockwise.
  • Remove the spacer (washer) between the nut and the bearing itself. Do not throw out the spacer, it will be needed later during assembly.
  • Remove the defective bearing. To do this, insert the wheel onto the axle so that its end touches the faulty part quite a bit, but does not reach the wheel. Then, very carefully, slowly, tilt the wheel to the axis of the skate at an angle. The bearing will slide out. All operations should be performed slowly and carefully so as not to damage anything. This warning is relevant if the defective element is planned to be used in the future. If not, then you don’t need to be careful. There is a hub in the wheel.

In this case, when replacing new bearings, it is imperative to insert it back.

  • Repeat the previous steps with other wheels. Then insert new or old bearings thoroughly cleaned of dirt and dust. If painted, it is recommended to install them with the painted side out.
  • The bearing must now be reinserted by gently pressing on the outer metal ring. You cannot press into the center of the bearing itself. Pressing should be where the border with the wheel passes. Carry out a similar operation with the rest of the wheels.
  • Tighten all wheel nuts clockwise. Please note that in the process, the axis of the board should not extend beyond the nut. This will prevent thread stripping on the axle. In addition, do not tighten the nuts too much, as the wheels will turn with difficulty.

If the wheels rotate without jerks, with sufficient inertia to move, you can continue to ride.

How to lubricate the bearing?

It is recommended to dry the parts before lubricating them. It will take no more than 15 minutes. To speed up the process, you can use a compressed air cylinder. To do this, you need to direct the jet to the open side of the element.

Then you need to apply a special grease to the bearing. 2-3 drops are enough for one part. For uniform lubrication, the bearing should be turned over.

The use of vegetable oil or engine oil may clog the parts. It is also not recommended to use WD-40. It can act as a cleaner in some cases, but not a lubricant, and it also reduces the life of parts.

Next, you need to put the bushings in their place. When doing this, make sure that there are no gaps between them and the bearing. Then the bearings can be inserted.

In case the skate is equipped with a separator (synchronizer), it is necessary to put the part back. To do this, the wheels are attached to the chassis, but the nuts are not tightened very tightly. The wheels should wobble a little. If the wheel does not spin well and locks up, loosen the nut holding it.

Experts strongly recommend the use of greases suitable for all models. To achieve ease of rotation of the wheels, you need to “roll out” the board for about a week. But at the same time, it is enough to lubricate the bearings once a year.

Grease should be applied in an amount of about 40 percent of the free space inside the bearing.

Never use water when lubricating bearings.

Bearing cleaning

Regular cleaning of these parts can reduce wear on the skate, greatly increase its speed and help prevent wheel wedging. If you do not clean the bearings in a timely manner, the likelihood of accidents when using the board increases significantly. The cleaning operation itself is simple, it can be done independently at home, without involving a specialist and spending money on calling him and paying for the work.

To start cleaning, you need to remove the bearing. This entire process is described in detail in stages above. To avoid the loss of important parts (bolts, washers, spacers), it is better to keep them all together, for example, in a box or plastic bag.

Cleaning is recommended in the following order.

  • Clean the main areas of the bearing from dust and dirt. To remove obvious areas of contamination, wipe it with a tissue or dry cloth. To clean the most problematic areas, you can use a solvent.
  • Prepare cleaning solution. This will require a clean container and a cleaning agent (acetone, grease cleaner, white spirit, or rubbing alcohol). Rubber gloves are recommended for hand protection.
  • Place the bearings in a container filled with detergent.
  • Rinse the elements and wait a while for the parts to be completely cleaned (about 10 minutes). If the cleaner has darkened, it is recommended to carefully drain it and refill the container with new cleaner. The operation should be repeated until the elements are completely cleaned.
  • Remove the bushing, remove the rubber insert from the bearing itself. To do this, pry it off with something thin, such as a paper clip or a sewing needle. If this fails, the needle can be inserted between the outer race of the bearing and the bushing. Then gently lift the rubber grommet until it comes out of its seat.
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To do this, they can be spread out on a clean rag.

Maintenance of non-separable bearings

To do this, one boot must be removed. At the same time, it will bend and become unusable. You should not be upset, as it will not be needed in the future. After flushing and lubrication, the bearing is installed in the wheel with the open side.

The absence of one boot will not significantly affect the performance of the skate, since the bearing adheres tightly to the walls of the wheel. That is why you should not be afraid of dust and dirt. The process of cleaning non-separable bearings is the same as above.

Subject to all the conditions for the care and replacement of problem parts described in this article, you can expect a significant increase in the operating time of your skate.

You can learn how to properly clean bearings on a skateboard by watching the video below.

How and how to lubricate the laptop cooler

Quite common is the situation when a still old laptop, which has worked for one or two years without any complaints, starts to freeze, slow down, and sometimes turn off on its own. Of course, first of all, you need to reinstall the operating system, clean the registry, remove unnecessary programs and perform other necessary manipulations.

But often this does not help, and then you can cope with the trouble that has arisen only by cleaning its internal elements and lubricating the cooler.

How can you lubricate a cooler at home

If you “score” this question in the search engine of any browser, it will give you a huge number of results. Most of them are not credible, because the answers are not supported by facts, but are based on personal experience. However, experiments with lubricants can lead not only to breakdown of fans, but also to malfunction of other elements.

The main component of any cooler is the bearing. The latter is of two types: sliding, twisting. Each requires a different type of lubricant.

Most modern laptops use sliding bearings, so the appropriate lubricant should be selected. In addition, it must meet certain requirements:

  • The viscosity should be suitable for high speed operation. Liquid products do it better.
  • The composition should include various dispersion substances, for example, Teflon. They are necessary for faster starting of the bearing.
  • Do not negatively affect other elements of the cooler.
  • The substance must freely penetrate inside.
  • One of the main characteristics is a high level of grip. Otherwise, the substance will simply flow out of the cooler.

Reference. These parameters are also suitable for the second bearing option. The main thing is that the chosen tool should be more plastic.

The following means meet all parameters:

  • Automotive oil. You need to take “synthetics”.
  • Special oil for sewing machines, trimmers, hair clippers and other power tools. Usually it comes with the product.
  • Silicone Grease. Needed one that is designed to lubricate door locks, gearboxes.
  • Specialized lubricant designed for the care of coolers.

Why you need to clean and lubricate your laptop cooler

Why do you need to clean? It’s pretty simple. Overheating of the processor is often the cause of such malfunctions. Despite the fact that the design features of laptops assume operation with minimal power consumption, in some cases the graphics and central processing units get quite hot and begin to require additional cooling.

To accomplish this task, all devices are equipped with a cooling system. It consists of several interconnected tubes that remove excess heat and transfer it to the radiator and fan. It is the fan that needs regular cleaning.

Cooling is carried out with the help of air entering through the air intakes. Then it hits the cooler blades. This process takes place continuously, therefore, over time, dust and dirt accumulate on the internal elements of the cooler. As a result, the fan, which usually cools the “brains”, becomes dirty, and in some cases stops rotating altogether. The temperature inside the case begins to rise, and upon reaching a critical level, the PC will shut down spontaneously.

Reference. The operation of the cooling system resembles a vacuum cleaner, because, like it, the laptop fan actively sucks in dust and dirt from the environment. As a result, the dust knocks into lumps, resembling felt.

To prevent damage and prolong the life of the cooler, it is necessary to regularly remove accumulated dust and dirt, as well as lubricate the cooler. To do this, you must choose the right lubricant.

How to lubricate a laptop cooler to keep it quiet

After you have chosen and purchased a suitable tool, you can proceed to the very process of lubricating the fan:

  • It is necessary to de-energize the PC, remove the battery.
  • How to properly remove the cooler is indicated in the instructions. This usually requires removing the back cover of the laptop.
  • Use a soft brush to remove accumulated dust and dirt from the inside of the laptop. Pay special attention to the processor, video card. A vacuum cleaner will be an excellent helper in this case.
  • Unscrew a few screws that secure the cooler. Do not forget about grooves, loops and other connecting elements. They must be carefully disconnected. Then you can remove the fan.
  • Take a cotton swab or small paintbrush. With their help, carefully process the blades. Also for these purposes, you can take a remedy based on medical alcohol.
  • All coolers have a sticker on them. You should find it and carefully peel it off. There is a miniature hole under it.
  • Using a medical syringe or pipette, draw up the correct amount of lubricant and drop it into the hole. To evenly distribute the composition, twist the blades with your fingers.
  • The next step is to reassemble and install the cooler. It is important to do everything exactly in reverse order and do not forget to connect loops and other connectors.

I would like to add that now many laptops are equipped with non-separable coolers. In this case, you will have to drill a hole in the PC case yourself, after lubrication, it will need to be sealed with tape. However, the effectiveness of this method has not been confirmed, so it is unlikely that it is rational.


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.

Standard chain maintenance

So what is included in the standard service kit?

How To Service Cartridge Wheel Bearings

  • 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.

How To Service Your Bearings | Mountain Bike Maintenance

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.

Bicycle workshops use “industrial” beds and washers, but this is a separate area that does not apply to home maintenance.

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 attention from mechanics, you should work with the chain 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.


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 nerves.

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:

How to Grease Bike Wheel Bearings

  • 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 to remove the chain

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

lubricate, bicycle, bearings, home

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.

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 is suitable, properly diluted in warm (important for washing) water.

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.

lubricate, bicycle, bearings, home

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

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Plastic (grease, thick) lubricants

Greases are found based on lithium, calcium and graphite.

Supplied in cans or tubes. These lubricants are used in the following bike parts:

  • front and rear bushings;
  • steering cups;
  • carriage;
  • pedal bearings;
  • all threaded connections;
  • ropes.

Calcium greases The main part of Russian greases. obsolete hydrated calcium lubricants (greases). However, they have low melting points and mechanical stability and are therefore not recommended. At temperatures above 60. 70 ° C, Na and Ca-based lubricants are used. Calcium-based greases adhere very well to metal surfaces and wash off slowly with water, which is why they are often used in machines operating in humid conditions. They protect the metal well from corrosion, and the chemical activity of calcium is not as high as that of lithium.

CIATIM-221. grease is a synthetic oil thickened with a complex calcium soap with the addition of an antioxidant additive. Designed for lubrication of rolling bearings of electric machines, devices with a rotational speed of up to 10,000 rpm, aircraft aggregate bearings, friction units and metal-metal and metal-rubber mating surfaces operating in the range from 60 to 150 ° С.

CIATIM-203 is a frost-resistant grease. Application: gear transmissions, sliding bearings and rolling bearings; various power drives, screw pairs, loaded gearboxes, mechanisms operated in open areas, friction units of cars (Tr-50 100 ° C).

Lithium greases The basis of multipurpose and anti-friction greases in Europe and the USA are lithium soap greases. Lithium compounds give lubricating oils such beneficial properties as antifriction and a wide temperature range at which the oil retains its properties, that is, it does not thicken and does not fade. In Russia, these include Litol-24, SHRUS-4M, Fiol-2 (workable at temperatures of 40 120 ° C); heat-resistant BNZ-4 (stable in the presence of water vapor and corrosive media, Tr =.40 160 ° C). Lithium greases are very cheap and readily available.

Litol-24 is an anti-friction multipurpose waterproof grease is a mixture of petroleum oils, lithium 12-hydroxystearic acid soaps and an additive package. The grease has good preservation properties, protects metal products well from corrosion. Designed for use in friction units of wheeled, tracked vehicles and industrial equipment, ship mechanisms for various purposes.

SHRUS-4M has low volatility; field of application. hinges of equal angular velocities of all-wheel drive vehicles and other friction units.

Grease 58. Scope of application: rolling bearings of automotive and tractor equipment, needle bearings of universal joints of variable angular velocity (Tr-30 110 ° С).

Greases prepared with lithium complex soap are more promising. They operate in a wider range of temperatures (from.50 to 160.200 ° C), loads and speeds, for example, LKS-2 or LKS-metallurgical, which is used in bearing assemblies of machine tools.

All lubricants, except for many parameters, have one thing in common. degree of adhesion (fixing to metal). Any liquid grease has low adhesion and, accordingly, is easily washed out with water from such important components as bushings, steering column cups, carriage shaft. It is quite natural that in the absence of lubrication, the bushing cups, cones, carriage shaft and other parts that have high hardness after heat treatment quickly corrode and crumble.

In winter it is better to use CIATIM-221, 203 or LKS.2, as they are washed out longer and have a wide temperature range. It is also worth noting that lithium greases are more reactive and should not be used in aluminum assemblies.

Russian greases have no advantages over their foreign counterparts, except for the price. The best results were achieved by applying imported greases containing lithium. These greases have a characteristic white color. I recommend Weldtite TF2 Lithium Grease Tubes. Bushings and cups, as well as cables, they need to be lubricated once every 20,000 km or once a year / season (depending on the intensity of riding).

Mobilgrease XHP 222 is also praised by many for its resistance to washout, good tack and adhesion, resistance to humid environments and extended service life. Expensive.

Graphite greases The main advantage of this type of grease is its durability. After the base of the lubricant is depleted or burned out, the graphite remains inside the assembly and continues to work. The disadvantages of such lubricants include the fact that they stain everything that comes into contact with them very well. Excellent for lubricating threaded connections. An example is the Russian oil USSA.

Teflon Greases Weldtite recently released Bike Grease with Teflon, a very low friction Teflon grease that can be used in suspensions. Works at threshold temperatures from 30 ° to 130 ° C, that is, it is not suitable for winter. As you know, Teflon protects against moisture by creating a protective film. Obviously, such a lubricant should be applied to the open surfaces of the transmission.

Remember! Thick lubricants should be applied to a clean surface.

How to lubricate your bike

I have written more than once that a bicycle requires proper maintenance, including regular lubrication. This will not only improve ride comfort, but also significantly extend the life of the bike parts.

All units are capable of different friction and rolling loads, and therefore different wear. Therefore, they also need to be lubricated at different intervals and different lubricants. brakes and rims do not need to be lubricated at all.

All hinge and bearing assemblies are subject to lubrication: bushings, chain tensioner rollers, steering column, pedals, gear selectors, as well as the carriage, if, of course, it is collapsible. Also, to ensure better braking and clearer gear shifting, it is necessary to lubricate the cables and cable jackets.

By consistency, lubricants are divided into semi-liquid, plastic and solid. Plastic and semi-liquid are colloidal systems consisting of a dispersion medium, a dispersed phase, additives and additives (as a rule, of a base oil and a thickener). At ordinary temperatures and low loads, it exhibits the properties of a solid, that is, it retains its original shape, and under load begins to deform and flow like a liquid. When the load is removed, the grease solidifies again. Its main purpose is to reduce wear on friction surfaces and thereby extend the service life of machine parts and mechanisms. In some cases, lubricants do not so much reduce wear as streamline it, prevent friction and jamming of adjacent surfaces, and prevent the penetration of corrosive liquids, abrasive particles, gases and vapors. Various oils and liquids are used as a dispersion medium. About 97% of greases are made from petroleum products.

The area of ​​application of the lubricant is largely determined by the melting and decomposition temperature of the dispersed phase, as well as its concentration and solubility in oil. Antifriction and protective properties, water resistance, colloidal, mechanical and antioxidant stability of the lubricant depend on the nature of the thickener. To impart these properties, salts of higher carboxylic acids, highly dispersed organic and inorganic substances, refractory hydrocarbons are added to the composition.

As fillers, highly dispersed, oil-insoluble substances are used that improve the performance of the lubricant, but do not form a colloidal structure in it. Fillers with a low coefficient of friction are often used: graphite, molybdenum disulfide, sulfides of some metals, polymers, complex metal compounds, etc.

The composition of the grease is divided into four groups.

  • Soapy. As a thickener, salts of higher carboxylic acids (soaps) are used. The most common are calcium, lithium, barium, aluminum and sodium greases. Soap lubricants, depending on the fatty raw materials, are called conditionally synthetic, based on synthetic fatty acids, or fatty. based on natural fatty acids, for example, synthetic or fatty solid oils.
  • Inorganic. As a thickener, thermostable highly dispersed inorganic substances were used. These are silica gel, bentonite, graphite lubricants, etc.
  • Organic. To obtain them, thermostable, highly dispersed organic substances are used. These are polymer, pigment, polyurea, soot lubricants, etc.
  • Hydrocarbon. Refractory hydrocarbons are used as thickeners: petrolatum, ceresin, paraffin, various natural and synthetic waxes.

Liquid lubricants (for chain)

Chain lubrication is another matter. This procedure must be carried out much more often than the lubrication of the above listed units. Supplied in the form of oil bottles. Such lubricants can and should be applied pointwise to the chain and are allowed to penetrate deep into the chain pin, on the other hand, they are washed out much faster and a lot of dirt adheres to them.

Good chain lubrication should be fluid on one side and not too fluid and sticky on the other. The debate about which oil to choose flares up every year. One of the best lubricants is TF2 Plus Dry Lubricant with Teflon (for dry weather) and TF2 Extreme (for wet weather) synthetic oils. It not only resists moisture, but also creates a protective film that prevents dirt from sticking to it, as well as washing out. Extreme is more moisture resistant and able to displace water from the surface. You can also use a product from the same company. TF2 Lubricant Cycle Oil. This oil can be used at low temperatures and protects against corrosion.

Silicone Lubricants These lubricants sound fashionable, but they are not at all as progressive as they seem. Indeed, these greases are not thick, low-drying, provide the highest degree of sliding, especially in small bearing mechanisms at high speeds. The excellent lubricating effect of silicone is due to its exceptional fluidity and, as a consequence, its ability to easily form films on a wide variety of surfaces. Silicone spray lubricant is chemically inert and non-corrosive to metals. It differs from mineral lubricants in a wide range of operating temperatures (from 40 C to 200 C) and a low dependence of viscosity on temperature. But at the same time, it protects the surface rather poorly at high surface loads. Shimano recommends the use of silicone lubricants to lubricate shift and brake cables and shirts.

Graphite lubricants stay on the chain for the longest time (up to 300 km), but since they are thick, they must be dissolved. There is a proven method of cooking a chain in graphite lubricant for 10-15 minutes with its preliminary cleaning or dissolving the graph in gasoline and lubricating the chain with it. The gasoline will evaporate, but the graphite will remain. But this is only recommended if the bike will be used in very aggressive conditions.

Keep in mind that wet weather oils are more resistant to washout, but more sticky, and therefore collect dirt and dust when applied in dry weather. Let me also remind you that liquid lubricant must be applied to a clean chain, rotated, let it thicken for at least half an hour and, after thickening, dry it with a dry cloth.!

Aerosols (sprays)

These greases are also used for the lubrication of the chain and transmission in the field. However, this lubricant should not be taken seriously. it serves rather to remove dirt, flush out old grease, and push moisture out of surfaces. The main advantage is that it penetrates into any gap, displaces dirt and creates a protective film. Disadvantages. it is quickly washed out, does not stick to the chain, does not thicken, is sprayed in different directions. Can be used to clean the chain and then wipe it dry before applying a thicker lubricant. Cannot be used for surebets, as many do! Which spray to use is not so important. Again, I recommend TF2 Aerosol Spray with Teflon.

For chain maintenance, you can read a separate article.