Lessons from a learning bike commuter: chain maintenance

  • There are two different types of chain lubricant, dry and wet. One for dry season when you get a bit of rain. One for wet season.
  • Don’t overdo it. I’ve put on far too much lubricant and what it does is collect loads of grit laying a mushy dirty grease layer over your frame and parts and doing more harm than good. I got into a bad habit of liberally applying grease before each ride, nope, wrong move. It’s a balance, I got lulled into thinking adding more grease would keep everything flying but the trade-off with grit and muck attraction and buil-up offsets this.
  • Clean with degreaser using a cleaning gizmo and then wipe as much grit off as you can from the chain and gear parts
  • Then grease, put a drop of lubricant on each bead (I learned this from a Brilliant Bikes video guide).
  • Try and clean once a week and add grease once a week if you’re doing around 100k a week.
  • Chain maintenance, along with keeping your tyre tubes inflated, is one of the two most influential things on your ride quality.
  • The better cleaned and lubricated, emphasis on quality of the process, the more efficient your pedalling will be and the less friction from your chain and parts.
  • WD40 sits in a weirdly useful space and feels to me like a combination between de-greaser and greaser; use it as a cheat when you’re in a rush or to clean the chain when it’s been wet and you need to ride again the next morning. But I think greasing and de-greasing properly is still better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: