How To Maintain Your Bike Chain For Smooth And Efficient Riding

Having a good bike that fits your riding style is one thing, maintaining the bike to give you a smooth and efficient ride at all times is another thing and the most important thing. And one way to do this is by maintaining your bike chain by cleaning and lubing it constantly.

To know if your bike chain needs maintenance, simply check if it is showing rust or squeaks while you ride, if it does, then you need to act fast. Ensuring that your bike chain is always clean and lube is the best way to extend the life of your bicycle and save money. And it doesn’t cost so much to do this because you can get it done right inside your home with the right supplies and basic knowledge.

There are several reasons why you should clean your bike chain, some of it being;

chain lube
  • To help reduce wear.
  • To improve your bike performance.
  • To save money in the long run.
  • To reduce friction level at sliding surfaces.
  • To prevent squeaky sound while riding.
  • To increase the longevity of your bike.
  • To make it look better.

When to lube your bike’s chain;

recreational cycling shoes
  • Lube every 100-150 miles or once a week when riding most days on the pavement in dry conditions.
  • Lube and clean after every ride if you are riding in wet, snowy conditions, or conditions where there’s more dirt.
  • Use Teflon-based lubes, which don’t attract abrasive dirt if you are riding in dusty, sandy conditions.

Supplies you need to maintain (clean and lube) your bike chain;

chain supplies
  • Degreaser
  • Lube
  • Hand gloves
  • Chain cleaner
  • Rotating brushes
  • Chain keeper
  • Rags
  • Bike stand (optional)
  • Bucket
  • Water

Read also: The Benefits Of Cycling For Arthritis And Joint Pain Relief

Here are tips on how to maintain your bike chain for a constant smooth and efficient ride through cleaning and lubing;

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  1. If you have a disc-braked bike, first, you need to think about covering your disc rotor or removing your bike’s wheels. If you don’t want to cover it, ensure to apply the degreaser far from where the chain meets the chain ring. To do this, you can also use a chain-cleaning device or remove the wheel and use a chain keeper.
  2. Spray your degreaser on the chain while backpedaling to ensure it coats the entire area.
  3. Using a brush or a rag, rub the degreaser into the chain. Remember to use different rags for the bike chain and for the rest of the bikes to avoid getting black marks over it.
  4. Wait for five minutes for the degreaser to settle in.
  5. Wash off the degreaser using water, then clean the rest of the bicycle.

Read also: How To Choose The Right Cycling Gloves For Your Needs

  • Wipe the bike chain with a rag till it’s no longer black. You may need to redo the whole degreasing process if your chain is so dirty.
  • Completely dry the bike chain with a rag or any other clean dry cloth or air compressor.
  • Don’t leave the chain overnight to prevent rust build-up.
  • Lubricate the chain with either a drip-on lubricant or a spray-on one.
  • Done already? Check your chain to ensure there are no wear issues with it.
  • When you are repairing a broken bicycle chain, never reuse the pin to fix it, rather use a new one as it will be more reliable.
  • Never use rust cleaners or other similar solvents that are not meant for bicycles as they will have negative effects later on.

Found these tips helpful to you? Try them out and save your bike from looming danger it may already be in if you haven’t been properly taking care of your bike chain before now.

Read also: The Best Bicycle Routes In South America For Adventure and Wildlife

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