Introduction: How to Lubricate a Bike Chain

As a cycling fan or a daily bike rider, maintaining your gears is extremely important, especially in the winter or a rainy day. The regular maintenance will not only give you a smooth riding experience but also extend the life of your gears. However, lubricating your bike’s chain frequently is one of the most important steps in regular maintenance. The bike chain gathers rust more easily than you might imagine, after a heavy rain or even little water splashed on it will cause chain to rust. Once your chain get rusty, it’s so hard to stop rust from spreading because the rust will absorb moisture from the air. So the best way is to protect and maintain your bike chain before it’s too late. By following this instruction, you will learn how to lubricate your bike chain at home by yourself step by step, it will save your time and money. This process did not require any professional technical skills and it may take 30 minutes to finish.

Tools Required:

· Old News Paper or Paper towels

· Wood Stick or Screwdriver

· Chain lubricant

· Rags

Optional Tool:

· Bike Work Stand

As you can see in the figure above, as the optional tool, most of Bike Work Stands have a big clamp to grip the bike frame and lift up the bike. Bike Work Stands will allow you have more flexibility to work around the bikes. However, Bike Work Stand is mostly for professional bike repair work like changing bike chain, changing brakes etc. So, we will focus on first way, which did not require the optional tool. But using Bike Work Stand the process will be similar to the traditional way.

Step 1: Prepare the Working Environment

Put some paper towels on the floor. You don’t want the mud and dirt on your bike to pollute your floor, and also protect bicycle seat not to be scratched by the hard floor.

Step 2: Flip Over Your Bike

As discussed before, When lubricating the bike chain, there are two different bike positions that you can use, the most common one is “upside down” and other option is using a bike work stand, we will show you the example of the traditional way because it isn't required you have a Bike Work Stand. Put your bike upside down on the paper towels as the figure shows above. Because it will be more convenient to access the chain and clean it. Caution: before put your bike upside down, double check bike’s handlebar, and make sure all the accessories on the handlebar were removed! For example, flash light, bell and speedometer.

Step 3: Remove Dust

First of all, removing dust before we actually lube the bike chain. After a long ride or a ride in dirty environment, some dust or mud may attach to the surface of the lubricant on the bike components such as crank set, derailleur and cassette. Use a wood stick or a screwdriver or similar object to remove dust and mud on the teeth of the crank set, rear derailleur and cassette. Pleases be careful, the screwdriver usually made of high hardness metal. If you choose using a screwdriver, gently scrape the mud without applying pressure to the screwdriver, otherwise it will scratch the paint surface of crank set.

Step 4: Polished

Use a rag to wrap the chain to clean deeply. To do this step, wrap the chain with the rag and slowly rotate the pedal at the same time to let the chain come through the rag. This will clean the chain and create a clean surface to make the lube last longer on the chain. Caution: The rotating rear wheel is extremely dangerous! Do not try to touch it by hand and do not let children or pets get close to the rear wheel when it's still rotating.

Step 5: Lubricating

Here comes to the main step of this instruction, lubricate the chain. By doing this, hold the lube bottle and put the head of the lube bottle on the chain and gently squeeze the bottle to let lube come out very slowly in order to prevent extra lube dripping on the floor.

Step 6: Lubricating Cont.

At same time, continue doing step 3 while slowly rotating the pedals by hand to let the lube drip on the chain uniformly, until every joint on the chain has been lubed. The lubed chain will have a glossy surface and un-lubed chain will have a matte surface. You can recognize them very easily.

Step 7: Clean Up & Testing

This is the last step to finish this work. After we are done with step 4, lightly pull up the bike but be careful, the fresh lubricating oil may spread out. And then remove the paper towels and clean the floor. Go out and test your bike. You will find your bike rides smoother than before.


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