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Cleaning Your Chain

A clean chain means smoother shifting and less wear on other parts. Here's how to give your chain a thorough clean.

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STEP 1: DEGREASE YOUR CHAIN

Start by using a firm brush to remove gunk from the chain rings and use a flat-head screwdriver on the derailleur jockey wheels. Now apply a generous amount of degreaser to the chain, chainrings, cassette and derailleur; let it sit for a few minutes. Then give the chain a good scrub with a brush. It’s a good idea to give the chain ring(s) and cassette/freewheel a scrub at this stage too. Use an old rag to ‘floss’ in between each sprocket.

STEP 2: CLEANING THE CHAIN

Degreasing is usually enough, but if you want a deep clean, you can follow up with a lather. We recommend using a proper bike cleaner here. You can use a sponge, specialist scrubbing brush or even a pair of tooth brushes facing each other and scrub the chain and jockey wheels to break up the grime and flush out the remaining degreaser. Rinse off the cassette, chain, chainrings, and derailleur pulleys with a low-pressure stream of water, avoiding squirting water directly into any bearings.

STEP 3:  DRY AND LUBE YOUR CHAIN

Dry your chain using a rag or an old t-shirt and then let the bike dry naturally. Once dry, it’s time to apply lube. The type you use will depend on the weather, but an all-purpose biodegradable lube is the most versatile. Apply the lube by back pedaling slowly and coating every link evenly. Don’t apply too much. It shouldn’t take more than two or three rotations of the pedals.

STEP 4: FINAL STEPS

With lube applied, run the chain through all of the gears– this ensures proper distribution of lube on the chain. Let the chain sit for 15 minutes. Finally, wipe off as much lube as you can. Take a clean rag and slowly back-pedal. Any excess lube on the outside of the chain will attract more grime. The lube you need will have already soaked into the rollers of the chain.

 

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