It took them 40 times to figure out the formula that is now known as WD-40. Using a blob of grease on your fingers, smear a light coat along the length of the cable. The chain rings in the front and the sprockets in the back, as well as the pulleys on your rear derailleur, will collect grease and dirt as well, and it's good to wipe them down too. If it feels as though the chain is caked or that its movement is limited by grime, it's time to clean. I use cloth. A chain cleaning sponge (essentially a sponge with a groove cut into the top) makes cleaning a chain easy — just grab the chain in the sponge’s … An easier way to do the same cleaning job on a grimy chain is to use a chain-cleaning tool, such as the one shown above by Park Tool. The chain of your bicycle is the main component that transfers the energy of your pedaling to the wheels of your bike. The name stands for “water displacement” with the 40 referencing the number of attempts it took to create. Having your bike oriented wheels upward is a definite bonus. He received his BA in Literature & Philosophy from Utah Valley University in 2015, and has been a bike mechanic since 2012. If you lube just before riding, you'll end up flinging lubricant all over your bike from the rapid movement of the chain. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Some options include paint thinner, kerosene, and isopropyl alcohol. There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Work your way again completely through the length of the chain. For tips on removing and reattaching your bike chain, read on! Your chain is your bike's primary moving part and the one that needs the most love and frequent lubrication. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/1\/1d\/Clean-a-Bicycle-Chain-Step-1-Version-3.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Bicycle-Chain-Step-1-Version-3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/1\/1d\/Clean-a-Bicycle-Chain-Step-1-Version-3.jpg\/aid550346-v4-728px-Clean-a-Bicycle-Chain-Step-1-Version-3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":259,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":410,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Sometimes you’ll hear that WD-40 is only for removing water and keeping things rust-fre… If you're using WD-40, take advantage of the red straw attachment to focus the spray. You should hang your bike by the wheels on the hooks, but be careful as you do. As you do so, pedal the bike slowly to move the chain across the rag. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. You can put some solvent in a bucket, place this under the chain and brush the links to dissolve the grime. Discover the right way to look after bike chains. Let the chain soak in the degreaser for up to 20 minutes, then wipe away the excess degreaser with a rag. As well as the chain, clean the little wheels in your rear derailleur (if you have one), using a brush, pad or even a screwdriver to get rid of compacted dirt and debris. This technique will help you get the job done quickly and easily. Once the dirt has gone, rinse your chain and making sure you’ve gotten rid of all the de-greaser. This article was co-authored by Ikaika Cox. You fill it to the fill-line with solvent (you can also use lube if you prefer), snap it on the chain and pedal to brush the links clean (photo). Now that your chain is free of all the crud that was clogging it up and slowing you down, reapply lubricant. http://www.markelinsurance.com/bicycle/resources/bikechain-cleaning, http://www.potomacpedalers.org/?page=cleaningyourchain, http://centurycycles.com/tips/5-tips-care-and-feeding-of-your-bicycles-chain-pg1243.htm, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYU6l6MLPa8&list=PL3ig1wZVZyCVbSfiB0IF69wKwflqdfI2S&index=26, http://www.markelinsurance.com/bicycle/resources/bikechain-cleaning/, http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/bike-clean/, http://www.bicyclinglife.com/HowTo/ChangeAChain.htm, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. FREE Delivery on your first order shipped by Amazon. Shift gears so that the chain is on one end of the cassette. You can also use the bike chain cleaner or brush. Step 2 From that point onward, you need to release the bolts of your rear wheel with the assistance of wrench and afterward, you need to modify the tire in a way that you need to slide the tire back until the point when you feel the chain is getting tight. How to Clean Bike Gears. A chain caked with sludge requires more drastic measures. % of people told us that this article helped them. A bike stand is a simple holder for your bicycle that you can buy or build from scrap parts. This will make the chain and drivetrain of your bike more accessible, raising it up to a level more comfortable for you to work and inspect. You're really just getting the outer surfaces of the chain so there are a couple of additional steps you can take to get your chain that much cleaner if you desire. Finally, you'll want to wipe down your chain one final time with a solvent-soaked rag. To spot-clean the chain while it's still on your bike: Brush out the links with a firm brush (an old toothbrush also works). References Some products, like WD-40 or CRC, are not suitable for bicycle chain lubrication and could shorten the life of your chain. Put the bike in the lowest gear and pedal backwards running it through a damp cloth. Here's how. It does well as a general purpose parts-cleaning … Degreasing agents can be very harsh, and in some cases are flammable. While checking the state of your chain, you'll have an excellent opportunity to find the master link for the chain. A toothbrush dipped in solvent will help you work between the links of the chain and down into areas that your first efforts with the rag simply couldn't reach. Use degreaser on the cassette and chain Spray more degreaser over the chain and cassette and give them a scrub. Relubricate the links from time to time with a chain lubricant. Slide the pin of your master link back into its slot to complete the master link and reconnect your chain. Shift the gears on your bike while turning the pedals so that the chain is on the largest ring in the front and on the smallest socket in the back. Reattach the chain to your bicycle and lubricate it. Ikaika Cox is the Director of Operations at the Provo Bicycle Collective in Provo, Utah. Manually clean the cassette, chainrings (or the whole driveside crank), and chain in a degreaser bath. How to clean your bike chain and drivetrain in just … Sometimes this stage may be enough to get the chain clean. WD-40 was created in 1953 by a small company called Rocket Chemical Comapny. XCOZU Bike Chain Cleaner Tool Kit, Bicycle Chain Cleaning Kit with Gear Chain Brush/Scrubber/Crowbar, Cycle Chain Cleaner Tool Ideal for Road Bike/Mountain Bike Cycling - 2 Pair Latex Gloves. Video: How to adjust a rear derailleur and index your gears. 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. 02. of 06. Yanking on your chain to tear it free can do damage to your bike. A spot where you can lean your bike against something to keep your hands free while you're busy is ideal. CLEAN AND LUBE THE CABLE AND HOUSING Wipe the exposed cable to remove old lubricant and debris. You should give yourself at least a couple of hours to allow the lube to fully penetrate, and then wipe away any excess. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 62,419 times. This helps take away the final bits of grease and other crud that were dislodged as you cleaned with a brush and worked at the pulleys and gears. Soaking also give your degreaser time to break up thick or stubborn grime. A clean bike chain will easily shift through the gears. However, you can do a deeper clean, if desired. Tip: Don't lubricate the chain immediately before riding. Repeat as necessary. This article was co-authored by Ikaika Cox. This will loosen the collected grease and dirt on your chain and allow it to be wiped away more easily. The drivetrain is the transmission of your bike. If you have a dirty one then it will be slow to shift and will wear down your expensive drivetrain. Can I clean a bike chain with household items? A thin cog brush, such as the Park Tool GearClean or … How to Clean a Bike Chain. Thusly, the bike winds up less requesting to approach and you can without quite a bit of an extended set the chain back on its gears. Locate where you're going to work, and spread out newspapers on the floor below your bike. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Wipe off excess lubricant with a clean, dry rag. He received his BA in Literature & Philosophy from Utah Valley University in 2015, and has been a bike mechanic since 2012. I try not to get it muddy, but have used car washes (carefully), and can do a descent job with a 1 gal jug of water. Keep in mind the solvent will evaporate quickly and your rag will get filthy, so you'll want to frequently rotate your rag to a clean spot as you apply more solvent. It usually consists of hooks attached to a frame. Chain care is crucial. With the right supplies and know-how, your bike chain could be clean in a half hour or less. Where many cyclists would perhaps degrease and clean their chains before re-adding lubricant, others may wish to use WD-40, which will clean you chain and add lubricant at the same time. 59. By cleaning your chain regularly, you'll also be aware of changes that happen in your chain over time, like chain stretch or damaged links. A quick eye inspection should be enough to tell if your chain needs cleaning. A clean bicycle chain also needs to be well lubricated in order for you to get the best performance. Our guide below shows you what we believe is the best method to clean and lube your chain. After you're finished with the chain, take a few minutes to clean the other parts of the drivetrain. Make sure to relubricate the chain if you soaked it for a long time. Yes. Derailleur Assemblies . Apply plenty of soap or degreaser to the brush and thoroughly scrub all the cogs, … I am sure you would love to read our updated guide of 2019. Now use a bucket of clean water and brush to rinse all of the parts in the same order you cleaned them. Follow that up by drying the bike thoroughly with a few clean, dry rags. Cheap bike stands might not be very sturdy. To most efficiently do this, prepare another bottle with degreaser in the same fashion as you did the first. Ikaika Cox is the Director of Operations at the Provo Bicycle Collective in Provo, Utah. Keeping your chain clean and lubricated makes for a better-running, more efficient bike, and prolongs the life of your sprockets and chainrings as well as the chain itself. This technique is a superficial method of cleaning compared to the full method of removing your chain and soaking it in solvent or by using a bike chain cleaner. This keeps the mess to a minimum making cleaning relatively easy. Slide your chain through the rag and use your hand to apply pressure it to ensure the chain is free of degreaser. Be careful with your choice of lubricant for your chain. Fail to take care of your bike chains and you'll work harder, ruin gear shifting, and damage the drivetrain. Wipe the chain clean The easiest way to clean a chain is to put on some disposable gloves and wipe the links with a rag dampened in biodegradable solvent. Approved. The second bottle can be used to soak the chain for deep cleaning. Never use these around an open flame, and consider wearing gloves when handling to prevent skin irritation. Shift the gears on your bike while turning the pedals so that the chain is on the largest ring in the front and on the smallest socket in the back. Your front derailleur and rear derailleur are what moves the chain between gears when you shift. For tips on removing and reattaching your bike chain, read on! Your first rinse in degreaser will be quick, breaking up heavy grime. As long as the chain isn’t really grimy, you’ll be able to wipe off the greasy mess (photo) with a few minutes of scrubbing. Chain seems to last as long as everyones else’s. The hardest part is getting down in between the small chainrings. In this case, 83% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. By dipping often, brushing and, when the chain is clean, wiping off the excess solvent, you’ll get things spic and span. This is a degreaser that is formulated to work without fail on your chain washers or scrubbers. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Using the technique again of slowly turning the pedals backward, work on each link of the chain, from top, sides, and bottom, paying attention ​to angling the brush so you can get down into those hard-to-reach places. Attach the chain cleaner to the chain to begin cleaning. Most have a pin/slot configuration where you can slide a small pin out of a slot to open the link and remove the chain. For cleaning your bike, first either move outside or find a place such as a garage or basement where it won't be the end of the world if you drip on the floor. They were trying to create solvents and degreasers that would prevent rust. Finally, you'll get to the point that no more grease comes off on the rag as you pull the chain through it. This will help protect the chain from rust, make your pedaling more efficient, and extend the life of your chain. This is all you need to do to clean a bike chain in most situations. Using a gear brush really helps you to get into the cassette cogs. Continue applying solvent and wiping down the chain while turning the pedals slowly until you've worked through every link. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Allow your chain to soak give your degreaser time to work its way into the nooks and crannies between the links of your chain. Place your chain into a bottle containing degreaser, then put the lid on the bottle and shake the container for several minutes. An easier way is to use a chain-cleaning tool. More complex/variable gear bikes might have complicated gear-shifting mechanisms at the wheels. Always clean your drivetrain, which propels the bike, first. A dirty and rusty chain makes you work harder, ruins gear shifting, and can damage the other parts of the drivetrain. Pour enough isopropyl alcohol onto a rag to wet it. Your chain should appear cleaner each time you work through it. This article has been viewed 62,419 times. Finish by scrubbing the chainstays, chain rings, cranks and cogs. It'll never be perfectly clean with this five-minute approach, but do your best and you'll definitely see results as you wipe away most of the grime. You can use a specific rotor cleaner or rubbing alcohol to clean the rotors. You can use an old rag, a paper towel and some warm water. LiveAbout uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. To prevent damage to the shifting mechanisms and sprockets of your bike, use firm but gentle pressure to remove it from the drivetrain. Bike chain lube for the conditions Clean with degreaser: If you’re using a chain cleaning tool, open it up and pour in the cleaning fluid up to fill line. Part of the series: Bicycle Repair. Just run the chain backward several spins. £10.59 £ 10. David Fiedler is an experienced cyclist and author of "Ride Fit," a guide to cycling for fun and fitness. How to adjust your front derailleur . To clean a bicycle chain, remove the chain from your bike by sliding out the pin holding the master link closed. However, if you are unsure, feel the chain with your fingers. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. You can remove the chain from your bike, slide the pin holding the link closed out of its slot to open the master link. The master link, like a Connex or SRAM Powerlink link, allows you to easily remove your chain from the drivetrain. My bike and chain usually get a through cleaning 4-5 times a year. Once you have removed the chain put into the bottle with degreaser, fasten the lid and shake for a couple of minutes. With your bike in position, apply solvent (something like WD-40 or isopropyl alcohol) to the chain. Feel the master link with your fingers to make sure it is properly fastened. Every bike chain degreaser on the market possesses similar features that enable them to eradicate all forms of grime and debris, but the Runaway Bike Degreaser is one product that offers customers with more than a bicycle maintenance item. Then, hold the rag against the chain. Cleaning and lubricating your bike chain is an essential but often neglected maintenance routine. 3.6 out of 5 stars 624. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. By using LiveAbout, you accept our, Prepare Your Workspace and Assemble Your Supplies, How To Inspect, Lubricate, and Adjust a Motorcycle Chain, How to Store Your Motorcycle for the Winter and Cold Weather, Use Penetrating Oil to Loosen a Stuck Nut or Bolt, Homemade Cleaning Products to Detail Your Ride, How to Restore Your Classic Car's Leather Interior, Replacing a Worn Trunk or Side Car Emblem, 10 Tips for Cleaning and Detailing Your Ford Mustang, Solvent of some sort, such as WD-40 or isopropyl alcohol. Do a quick Internet search, and use the tutorial/manual to reattach your chain. If you struggle reattaching your chain even when consulting the pictures you took of the drivetrain, its likely you can find a tutorial or manual for your bicycle online. This article has been viewed 62,419 times. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. If you ride in dusty or muddy conditions, you should clean your chain regularly. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. It is made up of four parts: a cassette (collection of gears on your back wheel), a rear derailleur (metal arm on the back wheel), chain rings (big gears next to your pedals), and the chain. Get it Saturday, Jan 23. If you don’t have a chain cleaning tool, use a rag. Preventative maintenance can prolong the life of your chain and keep your sprockets in good condition. A water bottle makes a good squirter for hard to reach places. To ensure you have an easy, enjoyable ride, you should make sure that your bike chain is kept in good condition. Here we have shared an amazing tip on how to fix a bike chain with gears. By using our site, you agree to our. Last Updated: September 6, 2019 Cleaning the chain on your bike is a key part of reducing wear, improving performance and showing love to your bike. You might want to take a few pictures with your cell phone of of these parts so you have a reference when it comes time to reattach your chain. A super clean drivetrain rapidly reduces the rate of wear on your bike components. If the link is skewed, sitting unevenly in its slot, it could warp. A poorly maintained chain can hurt the efficiency of this energy transfer, making your bike ride less smooth and more strenuous! If you don't have a degreaser formulated for bicycle chains available, you can use an equivalent found in your home, though these might not be as strong or fast acting. Wipe the chain with isopropyl alcohol on a rag for a quick clean. Regularly cleaning your bike's chain will help protect it from rust, extend its life, and make your pedaling more efficient. If does not have a master link, you can install one of these yourself or have it done a local bicycle shop. More buying choices £7.75 (2 used & new offers) Rhino Goo! Here our Great Britain Cycling Team mechanic guides you through the routine. Scrub the chain clean. If the chain has a master link, you can start with it as an easier way to keep track of your progress. For excessively dirty chains, you may want to do a double rinse with your degreaser. This is usually fairly inexpensive, generally costing around $15 or less. Apply a little alcohol or WD-40 to a clean rag and simply wipe the accumulated crud from these parts or use the brush to get at them. Keep in mind that this will remove even the factory wax off of the chain, so you will need to lubricate the chain well after you are done. Wipe down your frame too, to clean off any dirt or grease that have flecked onto it, as well, so that your bike really looks great. Remember to clean both sides and the top and bottom of the chain. Once the master link is open, you can easily pull the chain fee by feeding it through the drivetrain.