How to clean and lubricate your bike chain

You know the importance of our chain rings if you’re a cyclist. The chain is constantly in high tension as we pedal to propel the bike forward. The chain is the most important component of a bicycle drivetrain.

Understanding your bike chain

They do eventually wear out. It is important to keep them in good condition as they are a mechanical part. The outer plate, inner and chain pin are the three parts of the chain. The pin holds the outer and inner plates together, creating a long chain.

It can deliver motion for the front, back and sideways. This is also called lateral movement. This is required to switch gears. The chain will become longer over time. Higher elongation means that the chain’s lateral movements increase, which can affect gear shifting.

How to extend the life of your chain

Your bike chain must be cleaned regularly. This will depend on where you ride your bike. Mountain bikers are likely to need to clean their chains more frequently. Use a scrub brush, water and dish soap or bio-degreaser. Change gears so the chain wraps around the largest gear (sprocket that has the most teeth). While you are pedaling backwards, position your brush on the bottom of the chain. To remove stubborn dirt, you can use a screwdriver.

You also need to ensure that the sprocket on which the chain runs is clean. To clean the teeth on the sprocket, you can use a toothbrush.

After cleaning your chain or sprocket tooth, dry them with a towel. This prevents moisture from entering. Most often, the chain and sprocket are made of steel. Keep the moisture out to prevent rust.

What and how often should you lubricate your chain

Lubrication is essential. Lubrication is key to preventing rust and other dirt issues.

Only lubricate clean chains. It is not necessary to lubricate a dirty chain. If you don’t have the time or budget to do a thorough cleaning, it is worth lubricating the chain once in a while. Experiential riders prefer to lubricate their chain once a night before going out on rides.

Place the lube on one end of the chain. Then pedal slowly backwards. Each roller should be lubricated. You should clean off any oil from the plates.

A wet lubricant is best. This is especially important if your bike will be used for extended periods of time or in muddy conditions. Dry lubricants tend to lose their effectiveness over time and not last as long as wet ones. Dry lubricants are not suitable for dusty environments. Because dust and dry lubes do not mix well, this is why they are so limited in use.

By Zain Liaquat

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