Keeping your bicycle chain clean and lubricated will do more than make it last longer. You’ll notice right away that shifting gears is smoother, you chain is quieter, and you’ll avoid frustrating freeze-ups that can occur when a chain link becomes locked with dirt. You’ll definitely know it’s time to clean and lube you chain if your gears are noisy, you shifting takes too long and grinds the gears, or your chain is noisy as you pedal.
There are some tools and supplies that make frequent cleaning pretty easy… like 10-minutes easy. Here’s how to get started:
- Start by treating yourself (and your bike) to a chain cleaning kit, like the Park Chain Gang cleaning system, gives you everything you need to degrease and clean your chain. Click on the picture to buy the kit from Performance Bike. You can also find similar kits from other manufactures and retailers sold separately. This cool little tool will remove all the road dirt and grime from your chain with its rotating bristles. When you done, your chain will look all sparkly and new.
The brush will help you clean your cassette, derailleurs, and chain ring. And that toothy scraper will help you get all the road dirt out from between the gears.
The bottle of degreaser is a good start. But if you do this easy cleaning routine frequently, you’ll be looking for a lower cost solution. The video identifies a Zep Citris Degreaser that you can get from your big-box retailer for a much lower price per gallon.
- Now it’s time to get to the cleaning. This is a 10-minute job for me. You’ll want to work in a place that can tolerate greasy liquids on the floor, OR work on top of a drop cloth or lots of newspapers.
Before you go at it, watch the video below. When you’re done watching you’ll know exactly how to attack this quick and easy process.
- Once your chain is sparkling, you’ll need to protect and lubricate it. You have a lot of products to choose from and your choice will be determined by the kind of riding you do. Take a look at this video below to get a good feel for your choices… then shop for the lube that will work best for our bike.
Once you apply the right lube you’re ready to go. You’ll feel and hear the difference immediately when you right… which SHOULD make you want to clean and lube your chain more often, right?
If you’ve got chain cleaning or lubrication ideas that I haven’t covered here, please add them in the comments below.
Enjoy your rides!