Bike Chain Maintenance

Bike Chain Maintenance
Nothing on your bike is more important than your bicycle chain--it is literally what makes your wheels go 'round. Most novice bicyclists take their chain for granted and assume that because it's so small and simple, they don't need to spend time worrying about it. Even though bike chain maintenance is relatively simple and easy, it's important that you do it. Proper care for your chain will make it run smoother and last longer.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Soap or detergent
  • Brush or sponge
  • Dry towel
  • Grease or lubrication
Step 1
Clean your chain periodically. Most seasoned cyclists do this once or twice a year, but it all depends on how often you ride your bike--and how dirty the chains get. Mountain bikers tend to clean their chain much more often than road bikers because dirt and sediments accumulate much quicker. Start by pulling the chain off the gears and over the pedal.
Step 2
Place the chain into a one-gallon bucket of water with one cup soap or detergent added. Let the chain soak for five to 10 minutes, then take a toothbrush or sponge and wash the chain thoroughly.
Step 3
Lay the chain down on a towel for 10 to 15 minutes to let the water drain off the chain.
Step 4
Apply grease or lubrication to the chain with your fingers on the rollers and inner plates. There is no need to lubricate the outside of the chain.
Step 5
Replace the chain on the bike, making sure the rollers are situated properly onto the gear teeth.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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