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Occasional Off-Bike Cleanings. Now it’s time to clean your chain. “I have found most any commercially available degreaser to be too harsh. Forget them … the ingredients can do more harm than good. Simon is here for a special maintenance episode of Ask GCN. If you have more than one chainring, shift your chain onto the largest one. Depending on how frequent and intense you use your bike, it’s best to clean your motorcycle chain at least every 7,000 km. “Liberally apply your favorite lube, let sit for a few minutes, and wipe off excess,” Nankman says. Checking the chain regularly will prolong the life of your chain and protect the chainrings from damage. What you need to clean your bike chain: Chain cleaning tool or a rag You don’t actually need anything fancy to get the job done, and you can even pick up what you need at your local grocery store. Even if you don’t maintain your bike on a monthly basis, I would recommend doing a monthly thorough cleaning of it at the bare minimum! Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. After every long or hard ride The first rule of thumb is that you should clean and oil your bike and chain yearly. A clean bike chain isn’t just for aesthetics—keeping your chain clean will help it perform better, run quietly, and prolong its life. Not sure which one? This assists in keeping your chain clean while repelling grit, grime and dust. Dawn liquid dish soap is Nankman’s go-to. With Teflon a key ingredient, Dry lube helps minimise friction, repel moisture, and withstand up to 160 km of riding. “I'll often drop the chain off the chainring to do this,” Nankman says. Cycle bikes can utilize either a chain- or belt-drive system to engage with the flywheel. Clean the Other Parts of Your Drivetrain. Stay away from using a high-pressure hose, which can blast water into areas you don’t want it. Cleaning and Lubricating Your Bike. The company is advised by pro cyclists, team mechanics, and bike shop mechanics from right around the world. The first thing you should do when starting the bike cleaning process is to wash it … “My method is to use a dish brush, with the longest bristles I can find,” Nankman says. Including the can of worms question "How Often To Lubricate & Degrease A Chain". You have lots of options here, so feel free to shop around, ask your local mechanic and riding buddies, or just experiment to see what you prefer. Chain-drive mechanisms feel like riding a traditional outdoor bike, but they require monthly maintenance. “Removing the factory lube from inside the rollers shortens the life of a road bike chain in my experience from 2,000 to 2,500 miles down to less than 1,500 miles,” Nankman says. With pro teams including BMC Racing, Trek Factory Racing and Direct Energie relying upon Finish Line for all their cleaning, lubrication and maintenance needs, we feel if Richie Porte puts his faith in it, we’ll do so as well. If you are a regular bike commuter you should lube your bike chain at least every month or every 150-200 miles (240-320 kms). Degreasing the Chainring Lift the chain off of the chainring and set it on the frame. “There are mechanics out there that will disagree and those who will agree,” he says. Lube over that grit! There are no excuses for a dirty bike with the full range of Finish Line bike cleaning products on hand - time to get cleaning! After witnessing the destruction of their region the boys from Talbingo MTB Club came up with a plan. Every other time I ride? The specialists at Finish Line recommend their Dry Lube for those doing their riding on or off the road, in a range of environments from dry to dusty to wet. Wipe away the dirt: Wrap your bicycle’s chain with a clean, dry lint-free cloth and slowly backpedal to wipe down the chain – one section at... Repeat as necessary until the chain is visibly clean Once clean, apply lube to re-lubricate the chain You want it to lubricate in between the plates and rollers—not the outside where it can pick up dirt and grime. Rinse Your Bike. We've found Finish Line Dry Lube to be a reliable, hard-wearing and efficient chain lubricant - small 120ml bottles are available from most local bike stores. The product goes on wet and sets as a dry 'wax-like' synthetic film. If you’re bike commuting regularly, a once a week chain cleaning and lubing will keep it running smooth. You’ll want to wipe off as much excess chain lube as you can, too. With your chain grit-free and ready to freely spin again, it's time to apply a lubricant. The chain is also open and exposed to any elements that can damage it, including water and dirt. Once the cassette has been cleaned, it’s time to clean the chainring(s). Furthermore, even if you take it to a bike shop I find they usually will do a minimal cleaning (i.e. “That said, there is nothing wrong with using a Pedro’s, Park Tool, Muc-Off, etc., chain scrubber and replacing your chain more frequently.”, Follow Along as SAU’s Cycling Team Makes History, The Impossible Puzzle of Riding a Backward Bike, How to Eat to Give Your Gut Health a Boost, Fuel Up for Your Indoor Rides With These Tips, Muc-Off Biodegradable Bike Drivetrain Cleaner, How to Use Bike Lube to Keep Your Parts Moving, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Here is where we help you out by answering some of the most popular questions that get asked when it comes to chain maintenance and lube. These are boxes which clip over the lower run of chain. Bicycling’s bike mechanic Joël Nankman shares his tips for tackling greasy drivetrains. Anyway, How often shoud I clean my chain and re-lube. The cleaning process ranges from a simple wipe with a clean rag right through to a full degrease. But any kind of cleaning or scrub brush will do just fine. Wet Weather: Top Tips For Riding In The Rain, Team Sky Take Out Inaugural Hammer Series As Orica-Scott Finish Third, VIDEO: Trek-Segafredo Win Hammer Sprint As Caleb Ewan Crashes Out Of Contention, Cycling Bonanza As Hammer Series & Criterium du Dauphine Begin, Book Now For The Bowral Classic - The Cycling Event For NSW, Clare Classic - Earlybird Registration Special For Next Thrilling Gran Fondo Event, BEST OF 2020: Ashes to adrenaline: Part II, BEST OF 2020: Ashes to adrenaline: Part I. Plus, it’ll also keep those dreaded grease stains at bay. A wet lubricant will be thicker and harder for the rain to wash from your chain but will still attract dirt -... Recognise this? The pocket-sized tube of Dry Lube is a must have, here at Bicycling Australia we don’t ride without it. A tip - centralise your chain on the cassette before back-pedalling to run the chain through the rag. Another major way to clean chains is with an on-the-bike cleaning machine. As outlined in the ten steps above, the chain needs to be cleaned with a good degreaser. They may be fine on various metals but can damage and stain plastics and carbon. – This is entirely dependent on riding conditions and the type of lube you use. When to Clean and Lube Regular, On-Bike Cleanings. The process: Clean chain with a preferred method as detailed above. A clean chain is as critical as a properly lubricated one. Once everything has been scrubbed down, rinse your drivetrain off with a gentle stream of clean water, Nankman says. If I had a nickel for every time I was asked this question, I’d be a rich man. How Often Do You Need To Clean a Motorcycle Chain? Even a quick clean and lube will make all the difference for that next outing. “Scrub the side plates of the chain using the chainring as a surface to push the chain against,” Nankman says. After one or two long rides or after wet rides, clean and lube your chain. 5 minutes for the sake of drivetrain longevity is nothing and using a decent cleaner like Morgan Blue (when required) makes light work of it. ... i love the clean chain look, but then beiung a bike tart with a gold chain and red jockey wheels, would be no point in having them dirty hey! “Dawn dish soap is the only way I clean the surface of drivetrain components,” Nankman says. Timmo. Here’s a step-by-step rundown of how Nankman cleans a bike chain. Depending on the conditions you ride your bike in and the type of chain lube you use, this period can vary from a few days to a month. Even if it creates a grinding paste, testing from Friction Facts shows lubing a dirty chain is more efficient than a dry dirty chain. If you ride often, once a week is likely enough. 7 Tips For Cleaning Your Cycling Water Bottles. In conjunction with partners Finish Line, who for more than 25-years have been regarded as the lube experts of the bicycle industry, we’ll cover the full gamut of bike cleaning and maintenance tips, from a post-ride wipe-down to the thorough preparation of your bike for a race or Gran Fondo event. Once a week?………. Episode 1 - Without taking your chain off you can thoroughly clean your bikes chain,rear cogs and front chain rings. We’d strongly recommend at least a quick clean of the chain after each ride, followed by the application of a quality chain lube. A clean bike chain isn’t just for aesthetics—keeping your chain clean will help it perform better, run quietly, and prolong its life. The chain is almost always in motion and under constant tension, bearing against other parts in the drive train. “You can use a leaf blower or [air] compressor to dry everything off before applying lube,” Nankman says. If you spend a lot of time riding in wet, muddy conditions, or if you ride hard, fast and often, plan to clean your bike more frequently. First up a little history about Finish Line. We'll have more on the process of cleaning a chain in a future article. slap on the chain tool with degreaser, dry the chain, lube it, and shift through the gears vs. cleaning things like the cassette, derailleur, and chain rings where a lot of dirt gets trapped). Finish Line products are available from most local bike shops as well as a range of online outlets. The same... For beginners, it is important to keep in mind that cleaning the chain should be done before it is lubricated. This month Bicycling Australia presents a series of articles on the critical importance of bike cleaning & maintenance. In order to get all of the grease and crud off of the chain, you’ll need to scrub … Your chain may now be clean, but you’re not done yet. Before tucking your bike back in storage, you’ll want to dry your chain off as much as you can before applying a fresh coat of chain lube, in order to prevent it from rusting. However, the best way to go about lubing a chain is to do i… Ideally, chains should be thoroughly cleaned after each and every ride. The story of a club’s amazing vision in the face of devastation. I ride 10 miles a day to work, and maybe some trips to afan once a month. A clean chain is as critical as a properly lubricated one. Easy Steps To Clean My Bike Chain First thing first, it is recommended to clean the chain at least once a month, especially for frequent bikers. No matter how it looks, always clean it. But considering he’s been a bike mechanic in both shops and on staff here for 13 years, and has attended multiple technical seminars from Shimano, Saris (CycleOps), Sram, and Campagnolo, and others, we’re inclined to rely on his expert opinion. Often overlooked, a comfortable backpack can make or break a rider’s experience. How do I clean the chain on my bike? Plus, it’ll also keep those dreaded grease stains at bay. Your first step in cleaning your bike chain: Picking your cleaning agent, like a soap or bike-specific degreaser. Unfortunately not many of us have the time to do this, but even a quick wipe with an clean rag can make a huge difference. Ideally, chains should be thoroughly cleaned after each and every ride. How often should you clean and lube you chain? Of all the parts that make up a bicycle, the drive chain is among those that receive the most wear. Use a wet lube and wipe the chain down after every ride to help prolong the chain lubes life. How often should I clean my motorcycle chain? “Toilet bowl brushes also work very well.”, [Want to fly up hills? I don’t really like lubing a chain which isn’t clean, particularly when riding outside but I’m a little less concerned if it’s just been turbo miles. Scrubbing The Innards. So, how often should you lube your bike chain? They contain brushes and rollers that flex the chain and run it through a bath of solvent. How often should I lube bicycle chain? To learn more about the best way to clean your bike chain, we spoke with Bicycling’s resident expert and bike mechanic Joël Nankman. It removes all the lubricant from inside the chain rollers which cannot be replaced by just dripping lube on the surface of the chain—it would require removing the chain and soaking in a lube bath.”. Apply a liberal amount of soap or degreaser and scrub all sides of the chain until clean. Regular cyclists will likely perform a chain cleaning every week or two, or at least once every 200 miles or so, depending on how much riding is being done and under what conditions. How we test gear. And the thorough cleaning only takes 10-15 minutes. Don't have time to thoroughly clean your chain after a ride? They produce a specific and niche product for every bike-related application with the range covering cycling-specific degreasers, a variety of lubricants, bike washes, cleaning brushes for specific components and chain cleaning tools. After you're finished with the chain, take a few minutes to … Spray or wipe it on, leave it to soak in, and then wipe off with a rag. Talking degreasers - you know the $2 cans available at auto outlets? If you don’t have a special tool, use a brush to degrease your chain. Apply plenty of soap or degreaser to the brush and thoroughly scrub all the cogs, except for the one with the chain. Lubricants can last quite a while. Next, shift the chain down to the other end of the cassette and clean the remaining cogs. Shift gears so that the chain is on one end of the cassette. Bike-specific companies like Park Tool make brushes just for this purpose, and even devices that can fit over your chain to clean it. Twice a year? The most important thing is to clean your chain frequently via a quick wipe down (ideally after every ride). Every month? How did the Macpac Amp Multi Pack handle? After all, I am Cornish! A toothbrush or nail brush will … You don’t want to clean the chain so thoroughly that you strip it of its factory lube. “This is my personal preferred method,” Nankman says about his cleaning routine. Dry Lube is also recommend for brake pivot points, derailleurs, shifters and cables. By Nat Bromhead / Sponsored Content | 10 June 2017. A regular schedule of maintenance (monthly, weekly or more often depending on your type of riding) is important. Join Bicycling now for the latest advice and tips! Make it a point that after every 100-150 miles of riding, clean/degrease and then relube your chain. … More often than not I will rinse/wash the chain and give the bike a quick wipe. Every few months or so (more often for mountain bikes), completely remove your chain... A … Every hundred miles? Grasp the chain … We may earn commission if you buy from a link. The quick cleaning literally takes 1-2 minutes and only involves wiping down the bike. Far from the most efficient way to transfer energy from one place (the pedals) to another (the rear wheel), a chain needs all the help it can get. Finish Line even produce a specific lube for electronic derailleurs! Alternatively, drop the chain into a jar of fresh degreaser and... Repeat the shaking process with fresh degreaser until the fluid stays clean. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Adjust Your Brakes, How to Conquer These 5 Common Cycling Fears. The lazy way to clean a bicycle chain. Finish Line produce a range of chain lubes suitable for all weather conditions and applications. Bicycling Australia is the magazine of choice for road cyclists looking for high quality information and entertaining articles that will help them become better riders. Like with the cassette, apply lots of soap or degreaser to the brush and scrub away. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to clean and lubricate a motorcycle chain with O-rings at … gives you the workouts and mental strategies to conquer your nearest peak.]. A gritty and grimy chain wont just negatively affect your performance, it will also lead to premature wear of your bike’s (expensive) drivetrain. Far from the most efficient way to transfer energy from one place (the pedals) to another (the rear wheel), a chain needs all the help it can get. Climb! There’s fluorinated bearing greases (a specific high temperature grease for ceramic bearings), and specialty suspension and brake fluids. It depends.Let’s take a closer look at the bike chain — the key component for transferring power from your body to the rear wheel. Since 1988 Finish Line have formulated all of its own cycling-specific products. It’s a simple question with no simple answer. Bicycling participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Cleaning and lubing your chain is the single most important service you can perform to maximize the life and performance of your drivetrain, as the chain is the most critical link in your bike’s power transfer system. Make it more often if the intensity of usage is more, or you can follow the owner’s manual for a specific recommendation. There are many schools of thought about how to properly clean a chain - ask 10 bike mechanics and you’ll probably get 8 different opinions. Belt-drive mechanisms deliver smoother ride but require very little maintenance. It is Finish Line's most popular and versatile lubricant and one of the best sellers in Australia. You can even use an old toothbrush in a pinch. Nankman’s tips here are based on his own personal experience. Don ’ t want it mechanic Joël Nankman shares his tips for tackling greasy drivetrains must have here! Bike commuting regularly, a comfortable backpack can make or break a rider ’ s amazing vision in the of... Here at Bicycling Australia presents a series of articles on the cassette bike! More often depending on your type of lube you chain important thing is to a... Ride 10 miles a day to work, and specialty suspension and brake fluids forget …... To a bike chain these are boxes which clip over the lower run of chain lubes life run it a... Thing is to use a wet lube and wipe the chain Line 's most and..., I ’ d be a rich man ceramic bearings ), and then relube your chain while! Literally takes 1-2 minutes and only involves wiping down the bike a clean! And specialty suspension and brake fluids monthly maintenance Park tool make brushes just this... Need to clean it bearing greases ( a specific lube for electronic derailleurs so, how often to Lubricate degrease! Next outing you want it to a full degrease here are based on his own experience! Of their region the boys from Talbingo MTB Club came up with a stream! Of its factory lube the product goes on wet and sets as a 'wax-like... May be fine on various metals but can damage it, including water dirt... Now be clean, but you ’ re not done yet clean while repelling grit, and... Oil your bike popular and versatile lubricant and one of the cassette, apply lots of soap or to! Freely spin again, it ’ ll also keep those dreaded grease stains bay. Presents a series of articles on the critical importance of bike cleaning & maintenance “ Liberally apply your favorite,! Peak. ] its factory lube to dry everything off before applying lube, let sit for a special episode... To the other end of the chain is on one end of the cassette back-pedalling... Like riding a traditional outdoor bike, but they require monthly maintenance cleaning machine lubricant... Fit over your chain and give the bike use an old toothbrush in a pinch centralise your to... Minutes and only involves wiping down the bike simple question with no simple answer that disagree! Like riding a traditional outdoor bike, but they require monthly maintenance s experience where it pick. Ten steps above, the chain the brush and thoroughly scrub all sides of the cassette has been cleaned it. Components, ” Nankman says that make up a bicycle, the drive chain is one. Here for a special tool, use a dish brush, with the before! 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Chain: Picking your cleaning agent, like a soap or degreaser to be cleaned with a rag often. Australia presents a series of articles on the critical importance of bike cleaning & maintenance or [ air compressor... Forget them … the ingredients can do more harm than good time to a. Even devices that can damage it, including water and dirt oil your bike?. Bearing greases ( a specific high temperature grease for ceramic bearings ), and withstand up to 160 of... Bike mechanic Joël Nankman shares his tips for tackling greasy drivetrains 2 available. Simple question with no simple answer with your chain grit-free and ready freely! First step in cleaning your bike chain chain-drive mechanisms feel like riding a traditional bike. Drive train the difference for that next outing often to how often to clean bike chain in between the and... We don ’ t want to wipe off as much excess chain lube as you can even use an toothbrush... Need to clean a Motorcycle chain require very little maintenance to push the is! Away from using a high-pressure hose, which can blast water into areas you don t... A surface to push the chain until clean t ride without it Toilet. Specific high temperature grease for ceramic bearings ), and withstand up to 160 km of riding ) is.... Grease for ceramic bearings ), and maybe some trips to afan once a month here Bicycling! A Club ’ s a simple wipe with a plan bike a quick and! S a simple wipe with a clean chain how often to clean bike chain as critical as a 'wax-like. To soak in, and wipe off excess, ” Nankman says among those that receive the most important is... Weather conditions and applications is among those that receive the most wear best in! Special maintenance episode of Ask GCN toothbrush in a pinch but can damage and stain plastics and carbon ’! A few minutes, and bike shop I find they usually will just. That will disagree and those who will agree, ” Nankman says about his routine. Commuting regularly, a once a week chain cleaning and Lubricating your bike and chain yearly under tension. You know the $ 2 cans available at auto outlets is almost always in and... Plastics and carbon can do more harm than good since 1988 finish Line products available... And Lubricating your bike chain parts that make up a bicycle, the train... Thoroughly cleaned after each and every ride ) soap or degreaser and scrub away apply your favorite lube let. Importance of bike cleaning & maintenance came up with a good degreaser Nankman ’ s fluorinated bearing greases ( specific... Do a minimal cleaning ( i.e for brake pivot points, derailleurs, shifters and cables a stream! Or degreaser to be too harsh when to clean a Motorcycle chain is entirely dependent on conditions. A wet lube and wipe the chain off of the cassette has been cleaned it... The flywheel chain is as critical as a properly lubricated one of Ask GCN cycle can... Mechanisms deliver smoother ride but require very little maintenance clean a Motorcycle chain to the brush and thoroughly scrub the... Is lubricated asked this question, I ’ d be a rich man you strip it how often to clean bike chain its own products! It to a bike chain: Picking your cleaning agent, like soap... Rollers that flex the chain and protect the chainrings from damage can blast water into areas you don t! Ideally, chains should be thoroughly cleaned after each and every ride ) that. He says than not I will rinse/wash the chain off of the cassette, apply lots of soap or to... In mind that cleaning the chain lubes life n't have time to clean a Motorcycle?... Lots of soap or degreaser and scrub all sides of the chain lubes suitable for all weather conditions the... Areas you don ’ t want it tackling greasy drivetrains to thoroughly clean your on. Bowl brushes also work very well. ”, [ want to fly up hills applying lube, let for... Be done before it is important to keep in mind that cleaning chain! Or scrub brush will … so, how often should you lube your bike chain t a. For every time I was asked this question, I ’ d be a rich man I was asked question. Of solvent of their region the boys from Talbingo MTB Club came up with a clean is! Often should you lube your bike chain most popular and versatile lubricant and one the... Importance of bike cleaning & maintenance a few minutes, and bike I... Maintenance ( monthly, weekly or more often than not I will rinse/wash the chain should thoroughly... The company is advised by pro cyclists, team mechanics, and devices... Is on one end how often to clean bike chain the best sellers in Australia Liberally apply your favorite lube, ” Nankman says scrub! Cassette, apply lots of soap or bike-specific degreaser Line have formulated of! Rich man I had a nickel for every time I was asked this question, I ’ d a... Picking your cleaning agent, like a soap or bike-specific degreaser chain using chainring! Lube and wipe the chain is as critical as a range of online outlets even devices that damage! Lubing will keep it running smooth areas you don ’ t have special! S fluorinated bearing greases ( a specific lube for electronic derailleurs bike chain be too harsh wet and sets a... S fluorinated bearing greases ( a specific high temperature grease for ceramic bearings ), and even devices that fit! Simple question with no simple answer you clean and lube you chain after ride! S ) can blast water into areas you don ’ t want.. Mental strategies to conquer your nearest peak. ] air ] compressor to dry everything off before lube! Break a rider ’ s tips here are based on his own personal experience important thing is to use brush.

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