Cleaning and maintenance of bicycle chains:

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Cleaning and maintenance of bicycle chains:

Cleaning and maintenance of bicycle chains

The Cleaning and maintenance of bicycle chains, and that dirt are bad news for bike longevity and performance. Special:

Increased chain wear.

Reduced flexibility of the bicycle chain links.
Extra wear on derailleurs and gears.
deterioration of switching performance.
This article and video will help you get a clean running machine.

When to clean and lubricate

Regular cleaning of the bike

Standing next to your bike and raising the back wheel off the ground will allow you to periodically inspect the whole chain. By carefully rotating the following pedal with your free hand, you may check each chain link for corrosion, dirt, or tight links (links that are sturdy enough to resist bending while passing through the rear derailleur). Check for sufficient lubrication by listening for grinding noises while driving. Your chain requires at the very least a spot cleaning if you see any of these issues.

To remove chain stains while still on the bike:

Brush the links with a stiff brush (an old toothbrush will do).
Lubricate the links with a chain lubricant from time to time.
Excess lubricant should be removed using a fresh, dry towel. Excessive lubrication can actually attract new dirt.
For more thorough cleaning, use a chain cleaning tool. For an immediate thorough clean, attach it to your chain.

Occasional Cleaning and maintenance of bicycle chains

Completely remove the chain with a chain puller about every few months (more common on mountain bikes). Give it a good brush and soak it completely in chain solvent to remove any built-up dirt that brushing can’t remove. Allow the chain to soak until most of the dirt is loosened from the links and bushings. Dry the entire chain with a clean cloth. Make sure the solvent has completely evaporated, then relubricate and reinstall the chain.

A word about lubricants

There are 2 key properties for any bicycle chain lube. You have to:

Minimize dirt buildup, as dirt accelerates wear.
Be durable, as lack of lubricant also increases bicycle chain wear.
Durability is even less of an issue as you can and should lubricate your bicycle chain often. Oils marketed specifically as bicycle chain lubricants are superior to products that are not bicycle specific. They usually contain Teflon® and are dirt and water-repellent.

Reminder: Constantly use cleaners and lubricants made specifically for bicycle drivetrains. WD-40 should not be used on bicycles, according to REI (it is a cleaner, not a lubricant).

Issues to consider when cleaning

close links

These links are no longer smoothly bending. To find them, carefully pull the bicycle chain back while keeping an eye on how each link maneuvers around the rear derailleur’s fiddly turns.

Most link plate problems are brought on by corrosion or dirt between the plates; they may be fixed by cleaning, lubricating, and gently bending the plates back and forth. Others are caused by incorrect pin installation (the pin holding the bicycle chain links together is not properly placed into the links and rollers) or serious bicycle chain damage. Incorrectly installed bicycle chain pins can sometimes be reset by moving them back and forth in their bicycle chain plates with a chain tool or by hand. Damaged bicycle chain must be completely replaced.

bicycle chain stretch

As the bicycle chain wears out, they get longer. This is called stretching, which is a misnomer because nothing actually stretches. The bicycle chain lengthens as wear occurs between rollers and bicycle chain pins. This creates unevenness or backlash, which in some cases leads to “jumping” gears. It also causes additional wear on the chainrings and rear sprockets.

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