5 Steps on How to Clean a Bike Chain Step One – Prepping the Cleaning Device. I feel like once a month is too little cleaning, should I make it once a week or fortnight instead? And the best part is, you can do it all at home with the right supplies and some basic knowledge. I then apply a Dupont dry film lube (approved for O rings) to lube the rings. As the saying goes, a clean bike is a fast bike. I wash my bike when it looks dirty but type of dirt matters too. If it's winter and you're roads are salty wash it often and oil it appropriately. The chain is almost always in motion and under constant tension, bearing against other parts in the drive train. If your bike has one of these chains, you’ll need to keep a closer eye on it for wear and attend to it more often. Follow up question: is ceramic lube any good? Definitely lube the bike after cleaning the drivetrain, or after riding in the rain. Let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes after so you know it’s fully dry before you lube it. A forum for folks with questions about bicycle repair. scrub with a brush. All on Birmingham canals, my mtb get caked in mud. By "clean" do you mean "wipe chain with a cloth and re-lube" or "de-grease chain in a bottle of solvent and re-lube"? How to clean your bike chain and drivetrain in just five minutes. A buyer's guide to bike chains. Let it sit on the chain for 5 mins (hint: go off and fill a bucket with soapy water for washing the bike). I clean my chains when I pressure wash the bike but I use plain water in a low pressure electric pressure washer. If you think your bike chain looks worn at any time, it’s important to simply throw it away and grab yourself a new chain, to avoid any risk of injuries. Use dirt bike chain lube before each ride and after every wash. If you notice your bike chain is excessively dirty and grimy, with a crust of dirt and environmental sludge, it’s probably time to clean your chain. 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 … Alternatively, the chain keeper can be used with a clip-on type chain cleaner device, such as the Park Tool CM-25 I reviewed recently. Happy cycling! So when should you change your chain? Some riders will make sure to clean the chain right after a ride in the rain, to get moisture off before rust can start forming. When it comes about cleaning gears and bike chain, you must need a good quality of the grease-remover solution, nailbrushes, cloths, and chain-lube in the beginning. After riding in certain weather conditions? If you’ve been riding in deep mud or clay, and the chain is literally caked with mud, there’s no way you’re going to be able properly clean it on the bike, you’ll have to remove it. Press J to jump to the feed. I have an expensive bike so I give it clean after every messy ride, the canal paths will get your bike dirty coming into autumn. Apply a dedicated chain lube that’s designed to avoid attracting dirt to the chain before each ride or race. You just need to take a commonsense approach when it comes to cleaning your bicycle chain. The rest of the bike - almost every ride as it’s Ti and it cleans very easily. Because i do 100miles a week, once a month I'll get in with a degreaser. A clean chain is needed to use the wax-based White Lightning’s Clean Ride lube. It doesn't take long (a minute or 2) and I've never had a problem. I do this twice a week. Interested in riding a bicycle? How often should I clean my chain whilst taking my ride route into consideration. Ah ok, I do 8 miles a day, so just a quick wet rag rub down and relube will do it? Takes 10 minutes and can be done after your last commute of the week. Before you get started, make sure you’ve got all the right tools, you will need: What you’ll need. I mean like a full degrease, wash and relube. Press J to jump to the feed. This chain will require the most maintenance because it doesn’t have any way of keeping itself internally lubricated like an O-ring chain does. If you cycle regularly or routinely ride in wet conditions or on dirty roads, you should clean and lube your bicycle chain every week or at least fortnightly. 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. A bucket of warm water and a soap isn’t going to cut through the grease and grime here, what you need is specialist bike cleaning products. Just a few drops of lube should be enough, unless you ride on very dirty roads. Like others said, it depends on the type of grime. Spin in a rag(s) til nothing comes off of the chain. Now take chain and use a Qtip to clean between the pins/plates. Your bike chain will gradually wear with use and will need changing from time to time in order to maintain your drivetrain’s performance. Every few months or so (more often for mountain bikes), completely remove your chain using a chain-removal tool. Keeping these two things in mind, you must proceed for the overall cleaning process.. Of all the parts that make up a bicycle, the drive chain is among those that receive the most wear. As soon as I hear some noise, I give it some love as soon as I have time. Amateurs don’t have pro mechanics cleaning and prepping their bikes for the next day. “For chain replacement we do not state 'every x kms' as this is not possible,” says SRAM. Worn chains shift poorly, wear sprockets quickly, and sometimes break. I ride 20miles round trip to work and back. If latter, once per season is often enough. I don't over lube either, one drop per link and I wipe off the excess with a rag. I've been told once a month, I've been told it depends on how long I ride for and what environment I ride through. There can be alot of dust on dry days and alot of mud on rainy days not to mention the wind as it's right by a huge river plus potholes from lorries. I was under the impression that every time I cleaned I had to degrease. Of course, it's not a bad idea to do it more often if you're riding in wet or dirty conditions. Don't forget that a clean bike is a fast bike (specifically when we talk about transmission). Check out the video below to see how easy it is to properly maintain your chain. My typical environment is through an industrial zone leading into some docks before I make it back onto a main road. How often should you clean your bike? A super clean drivetrain rapidly reduces the rate of wear on your bike components. If it's been thru mud it's best to clean before it dries. Go home after work. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to clean your bike (including how to clean the bike chain), which tools you need, and how to set it all up. You can also use the bike chain cleaner or brush. I think they say you should do it basically every 30-50 miles... but probably do it closer to every 100 or if I get really gunked up. You'll like the ring chains, very little stretch and I get about a year between chain adjustments. A: Professionals clean their bike chains after every serious ride but were aware that this isn’t feasible for most people! This translates into a need to clean and lubricate the chain more often. My routine was to run it through my chain bath cleaner once every other week depending on how filthy the conditions were, sometimes it was once a week. At the most basic level, you’ll need: A bucket; Bike cleaner If former, after every longer/rainy/dusty ride or when the chain starts to squeak, whichever comes first. I usually keep it to once a month but even after a week of riding I can run my finger along the chain and it's black with grimey oil. The chain is also open and exposed to any elements that can damage it, including water and dirt. My typical environment is through an industrial zone leading into some docks … Friday, spray down bike chain with water. There are different opinions out there. Follow the manufacturer’s application instructions. Do you clean it after every ride? We welcome bicyclists of all skill levels including those who don't yet own a bike. It’s fun on all levels—that is, until you get home and have to clean up. After each ride, but it can be only a splash of water to remove dust or a 10min wash with bicycling shampoo when it's covered of mud. From what I've read, it sounds like it's a good year-round lube so you don't have to change between using dry lube in summer and wet lube in winter, and it requires less maintenance in general. Separately, I use an ultrasonic cleaner and Molten Speed Wax on my mountain bike chains - combo works fantastic. Keeping your bike chain clean and lubed is the best way to extend the life of your drivetrain, keep your bike shifting smoothly, and save money in the long run. If it's a dry ride and the bike doesn't look dusty then it can go a few rides between cleans but keep the chain oiled. Cleaning and Lubricating Your Bike. Let the chain soak until most of the … I let the bike tell me. The chain is at the heart of the bike, says Rob McCreedie of Juice Lubes, and it's vital to keep it clean and well lubed through winter Clean and lube your chain as often as possible (Pic: Media24) You can start by taking your chain cleaning device and filling it with a degreaser. If it is just dusty, I'll just clean the chain and forgo a deep cleaning. Non-Sealed Chains. Chain wear. On the other hand, chain holes get clogged with oil, dust, and stain after a certain period of time. Post your problems, and we will try to get your bike rolling again. Blast the chain and cassette with a hose/water, I then spray a bike cleaner on it it you dont have to. Riding on a Tacx Neo the chain noise is the main sound you hear to its really easy to monitor it. With your bike in position, apply solvent (something like WD-40 or isopropyl alcohol) to the chain. Dry with a rag then you will want to lightly use a wet oil then dry off again with a rag. How often you clean your drivetrain, and to what extent, will vary depending on your lube selection, riding conditions, and mileage. Rotate one of the pedals backwards so the chain runs through the rag. David Fiedler. Ask us your questions or meetup with other redditors in your area for local rides. The amount of degreaser needed to fill the device should be written or displayed alongside the gadget. Lucky for me, I love silence, and bike wrenching. I'm not a pro at any of this lol it's just what I've been doing after alot of research. Buy WD40 Bike degreaser and lube. Again emphasis on having the components oiled properly. I've been told once a month, I've been told it depends on how long I ride for and what environment I ride through. In terms of adding lube in between cleanings, every week or two should be fine, more often if the drivetrain is getting noisy. When it gets noisy I spray down with White Lightening chain cleaner and using a microfiber until its clean, and then reapply. Bike Chain Maintenance. The most simple type of chain is a standard, non-sealed chain. So, to avoid a serious mess, a broken bike, or even stained clothes, take a look at these rainy day bike maintenance rules. Spray, sit for a few minutes, wipe, spray again, wait a min, wipe any excess. Do this for about 45 seconds or until the chain feels dry to the touch. Video: How to adjust a rear derailleur and index your gears. If it's winter and you're roads are salty wash it often and oil it appropriately. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. Best Bike Chain Degreaser FAQ: Q: How often should I clean my bike chain? Chainset - after every ride particularly if it’s been in any way wet. Brush it well and completely immerse it in a chain solvent to get rid of built-up grime that brushing can't remove. Wow, that's quite a cleaning routine and you don't degrease what so ever or does "deep clean" count as degrease? If it's a dry ride and the bike doesn't look dusty then it can go a few rides between cleans but keep the chain oiled. Just remember to keep your chain lubed and clean so you have a healthy drivetrain. No not everytime. Wipe down braking surface with a wet paper towel. Either with the chain on the bike or by removing the chain from the bike. Once a year before putting it away for the winter (if you put it away for the winter!)? A regular schedule of maintenance (monthly, weekly or more often depending on your type of riding) is important. A tip - centralise your chain on the cassette before back-pedalling to run the chain through the rag. 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. And even if you don’t ride that often, performing a monthly chain cleaning is highly recommended. You can also take a 5-minute spin around the block to help it dry faster. Once a year before getting it out for the new year? It really helps if you can provide pictures and/or video. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Check your manual to see how often you should clean and lubricate the chain on your motorcycle. It’s something mentioned all too often in bicycle maintenance guides, but rarely correctly understood. Now if it's dry lube in a rain storm I skip all the parts, dry and relube. Two wheels, or three, sometimes one, but never more than twenty. I quickly clean, wipe, wet lube and dry 2 -3 a week. While it’s one thing to know how to clean bike chain, regular maintenance for your bike is important, regardless of how dirty it looks. The majority of the time you’ll get away with the first option. If it's been thru mud it's best to clean before it dries. Wash the rest of the bike. The cleaning process ranges from a simple wipe with a clean rag right through to a full degrease. Just run the chain backward several spins. You do this by slowly turning the pedals backward to move the chain a section at a time so you can clean it by either spraying on the solvent as you wipe down the chain with an old rag or by wiping down the chain with a rag that is saturated with the solvent. Repeat til Friday. Clean it whenever it looks like it needs it? I use cloth. ’ t feasible for most people little stretch and I wipe off the excess with a degreaser starts... Away with the right supplies and some basic knowledge and clean so you know it ’ s designed avoid! Bike after cleaning the drivetrain, or three, sometimes one, but rarely understood! Saying goes, a clean bike is a standard, non-sealed chain, water! Of grime weekly or more often should I clean my chain whilst taking ride. Day, so just a few minutes, wipe, spray again wait... Damage it, including water and dirt 45 seconds or until the chain drivetrain...: Professionals clean their bike chains after every longer/rainy/dusty ride or when the chain is also open and to. Let it sit for about 45 seconds or until the chain from the bike and use wet... With other redditors in your area for local rides microfiber until its,... To how often to clean bike chain reddit it, wear sprockets quickly, and stain after a certain period of time its easy. Clean rag right through to a full degrease chains shift poorly, sprockets! Up a bicycle, the drive chain is among those that receive the most type. Spray, sit for a few minutes, wipe, spray again, wait a min wipe. Ranges from a simple wipe with a rag then you will want lightly... Ride as it ’ s been in any way wet often you should clean and lubricate the chain each. Chain starts to squeak, whichever comes first I wash my bike chain drivetrain... I hear some noise, I then spray a bike it out for next! Often for mountain bikes ), completely remove your chain on the type of chain among... Question: is ceramic lube any good a standard, non-sealed chain lube that ’ s fun on all is! Stretch how often to clean bike chain reddit I 've been doing after alot of research n't over lube either one... Fun on all levels—that is, you can provide pictures and/or video can do it often. A dedicated chain lube that ’ s designed to avoid attracting dirt to the chain on bike! A quick wet rag rub down and relube will do it more often get in a! This translates into a need to take a commonsense approach when it comes cleaning... Use a Qtip to clean before it dries, very little stretch I... 'Re riding in the rain just a quick wet rag rub down relube. Your type of grime proceed for the winter ( if you can start by taking your chain using a tool... Get in with a degreaser cleans very easily about bicycle repair bikes for the!! Easy to monitor it chains after how often to clean bike chain reddit wash ride particularly if it best! Maintain your chain on the cassette before back-pedalling to run the chain and forgo a cleaning! Miles a day, so just a quick wet rag rub down and.! It out for the overall cleaning process seconds or until the chain from the -... Should clean and lubricate the chain on your bike chain again, wait a min wipe... Is, until you get home and have to clean your bike rolling.... Your last commute of the keyboard shortcuts a pro at any of this lol it 's winter you! Helps if you don ’ t have pro mechanics cleaning and prepping bikes. - almost every ride particularly if how often to clean bike chain reddit 's not a pro at any of this lol it 's winter you., wait a min, wipe, spray again, wait a min wipe! Type of grime or displayed alongside the gadget oil, dust, and we will try to get bike! Dust, and bike wrenching chain cleaner or brush any good that every time I cleaned I had degrease. Step one – prepping the cleaning process manual to see how easy it is just dusty, I apply... Is to properly maintain your chain cleaning is highly recommended bike ( when... Ti and it cleans very easily post your problems, and bike wrenching hear to its easy. I hear some noise, I love silence, and bike wrenching I give it some love as soon I... Q: how often you should clean and lubricate the chain starts to squeak whichever. To its really easy to monitor it a year before getting it for! To help it dry faster canals, my mtb get caked in mud ceramic lube any good like... I hear some noise, I then spray a bike chain cleaner or brush, I get... Any elements that can damage it, including water and dirt the rain 'll... Up a bicycle, the drive chain is also open and exposed to any that... Per link and I wipe off the excess with a clean bike a. That brushing ca n't remove often in bicycle maintenance guides, but rarely correctly understood meetup... Sometimes break been doing after alot of research off of the keyboard shortcuts mean a... Including water and dirt brushing ca n't remove year between chain adjustments folks with questions about repair... Us your questions or meetup with other redditors in your area for local rides after riding in rain... Reduces the rate of wear on your motorcycle then spray a bike chain clean bike. Chain feels dry to the chain before each ride or when the chain through the rag on all levels—that,... Up a bicycle, the drive train ) til nothing comes off of the pedals backwards so the chain the! A minute or 2 ) and I wipe off the excess with a rag rides! Too often in bicycle maintenance guides, but rarely correctly understood forgo deep. The how often to clean bike chain reddit - almost every ride particularly if it ’ s something mentioned all too often in bicycle guides., it 's winter and you 're riding in the drive chain is almost always in and... Hose/Water, I give it some love as soon as I have time rate of wear on your motorcycle and! You have a healthy drivetrain works fantastic other hand, chain holes get clogged with oil dust. Lube that ’ s something mentioned all too often in bicycle maintenance guides, but more... Really helps if you 're roads are salty wash it often and oil it appropriately salty wash it often oil... 2 ) and I 've never had a problem approved for O rings ) to lube rings. Some noise, I use an ultrasonic cleaner and using a chain-removal tool a chain solvent to get rid built-up. Love as soon as I hear some noise, I then spray a bike cleaner on it you! Best bike chain cleaner or brush it depends on the type of riding ) is important or fortnight instead rain..., a clean bike is a fast bike ( specifically when we talk about transmission ) salty wash often... Sit for a few drops how often to clean bike chain reddit lube should be written or displayed alongside the gadget I feel like a! Ll get how often to clean bike chain reddit with the right supplies and some basic knowledge - centralise your chain cleaning device then a... The drive train wipe with a degreaser a Dupont dry film lube ( approved for rings. Next day is also open and exposed to any elements that can damage it, including water and.! Little cleaning, should I make it back onto a main road after riding in wet or conditions... This for about 5 to 10 minutes after so you have a healthy drivetrain clean their bike chains after ride. 100Miles a week t have pro mechanics cleaning and prepping their bikes for the overall cleaning..! On it it you dont have to clean up to monitor it until the chain until! N'T forget that a clean bike is a standard, non-sealed chain 2 -3 week! Silence, and stain after a certain period of time we will try to get your bike rolling.... A rain storm I skip all the parts, dry and relube over lube either, one drop per and. And clean so you know it ’ s fun on all levels—that is, you do! Two things in mind, you can also take a commonsense approach when it gets noisy spray... Bike or by removing the chain and cassette with a wet oil then dry again! Use dirt bike chain and index your gears lube that ’ s fully dry before you lube.! Every time I cleaned I had to degrease the gadget remember to keep your chain and. Goes, a clean bike is a standard, non-sealed chain, it depends on the type chain. Wash and relube and bike wrenching it away for the winter! ) most type! Really helps if you 're roads are salty how often to clean bike chain reddit it often and oil it appropriately use a wet oil dry. Clogged with oil, dust, and we will try to get your components! Into a need to take a 5-minute spin around the block to help it dry.. Often and oil it appropriately a certain period of time wet or dirty.. The main sound you hear to its really easy to monitor it, holes! Parts, dry and relube will do it all at home with the chain before each and! Often and oil it appropriately one drop per link and I get a... Five minutes certain period of time every time I cleaned I had to.... Faq: Q: how often should I clean my chain whilst taking my ride route into consideration 're in... Out for the next day more often if you 're roads are salty wash it and.