How to Clean Bike Chain Correctly?

Bike Chain Cleaning

  • Any rider would know that your bike chain is vital part of your bike.
  • If your bike chain isn’t in good condition then you’re going to find riding your bike really tough going.
  • You really need to know how to remove your bike chain and how to clean your bike chain properly.

You need to regularly clean and lubricate your stainless steel bike chain to keep it working smoothly…and for those of you who ride off road, you should really clean your dirt bike chain after each ride as it’s going to get dirty every time you use it.

If you ride your bike every day on roads or pavement, then you should probably clean and lubricate your chain at least once a month.

When you clean your bike chain, you should first change gears to the smallest rear cog so you have some slack in your stainless steel bike chain. If your bike chain doesn’t have too much dirt and grime, you can clean the bike chain by wiping the dirt and grease off with a cloth soaked in a solvent or other bike chain cleaner. Move the chain by pedaling backwards so that you wipe the whole length of the bike chain. Once you have wiped the entire length of the chain clean, you should then clean each sprocket, and make sure that you clean in between each sprocket too. You can clean your sprockets with either a cloth or a special bike cleaning tool that you can get from your local bike store.

Okay, so now your bike chain is clean, now you need to lubricate your bike chain. You should choose the right type of lubricant according to the type of riding you do. For example, if you are lubricating your dirt bike chain, you will want to choose a lubricant that repels water so that your lubricant doesn’t wash off when the chain gets wet as you ride through any mud or water on the trail. Try not to use motor oil as this is generally too heavy for use on stainless steel bike chains and won’t get down in between your chain links.

Your best option is to go to your nearest bike shop and get a proper chain lubricant. There is a range of oil based lubricants available including vegetable oils, light oils chain oils, and waterproof grease. You could also choose to apply a wax lubricant. These may be better suited to those who live in dry climates, and they are more difficult to apply. First, you’ll have to take your chain off completely and leave it soaking in the wax for several hours. Once you’ve done this, you then need to stay off your bike for another couple of hours. If you’re in a hurry, wax lubricants may not be the ideal solution.

Now, how to clean your bike chain. Firstly, shift your gears onto the middle sprocket for both the front and rear gears. Then, lubricate the inner part of your bike chain, remembering not to use too much as the lubricant will naturally spread out over the chain. Once the inside of the chain has been lubricated, then pedal backwards and lubricate both sides of the chain links. To spread the lubricant over the chain and sprockets, pedal forwards and shift through all your gears. This will spread the lubricant evenly throughout the whole drivertrain of your bike.

If you follow these steps on a regular basis, you will keep your bike running smoothly every time you jump on to it.

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One Response to “How to Clean Bike Chain Correctly?”

  1. Randy says:

    Sounds like some solid advice. I’m no hard-core bike rider by any stretch of the imagination, but I do like to take care of my trusty old Schwinn. I know, it’s a dinosaur. But it’s served me well for many years now. I never knew better than to use grease or motor oil on the chain, and there weren’t any “special” lubricants back then, at least that I was aware of. Thanks for the tips. I’ll definitely be taking a ride to the bike shop this weekend.

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