When to maintain you chain?
Maintenance depends very much on the conditions you ride in, obviously wet and muddy conditions prompt a more intensive schedule than dry and asphalt conditions.
Indicators to watch out for:
- reduction of shifting function;
- chain-Suck (chain sticking to your front chain wheel);
- squeaking noises from the drive-train;
- in a tunnel or passing an object reflecting sound, you can hear your chain rattle (it’s too dry).
At all events, for road use: inspect your chain at least once every month or every 250 kilometres
(150 miles) for off road use: at least once every 100 kilometres (60 miles).
Use a piece of dry cloth
- Clean your chain after each trip, especially after riding in the wet.
- Always use a piece of dry cloth to clean the chain and it’s component parts.
- If neccesary, use an old toothbrush to clean between the plates.
- Do not forget the sprockets, front changer and derailleur pulleys.
- To remove mud or sand, use a bristle brush, if necessary with light soapy warm water .
- Never use acidic or alkali based detergents (such as rust cleaners), these agents can damage the chain and may cause breakage.
- NEVER EVER use a so-called ‘chain washing machine’ in combination with solvent. This is the one and only sure way to instantly ruin your chain.
- Avoid the use of solvents, not only are these bad for the environment, they remove lubricant from the chain’s bearing.
Lubricate into the chain's bearing
Lubricate with an aerosol
- lubricate the chain every time you clean it, scrub it, or wash it with any solvent (the usage of solvent is not recommended!);
- before lubricating, make sure the chain is dry;
- use a lubricant which initially penetrates the chain’s bearing, and then turns ‘sticky’ or ‘dry’. In this way you can reach the chain parts which are most sensitive to wear;
- make sure you are using the appropriate lubricant - you can test it by spraying some on your hand - first it feels like water (penetration), after some time it should become sticky or dry (durable lubrication);
- in order to avoid a build-up of excess grease, try to apply it on the critical places only, like the rollers. Applying grease there helps to reduce chain wear and noise;
- apply just a little grease on the rest of the chain to prevent rust;
- remove excess grease from the outside of the chain;
- in the case of derailleur bikes: do not forget to pay some attention to the derailleur pulleys, chainrings and cassette sprockets. Use the same principle as above for maintaining and lubricating them.
- after lubricating, use a dry cloth to remove excess grease from the chain’s outside, this prevents attracting excessive amounts of dirt and dust.
Cleaning inner bearing ends
Before re-connecting your chain, do not forget to clean the chain’s ends inner bearings of chain ends, to make sure no dirt remains there. After cleaning, and before applying the connecting link, apply some grease inside and on the connector’s pins.