How to take care of your Bicycle chain?
Today we are going to share tips on how to take care of one of the pieces that wears out the most on our bike and one of the components that requires greater maintenance. The chain is responsible for transmitting the energy generated by our pedaling, to the rear wheel pinions, known as cassette or sprocket; allowing a movement of links composed of plates, bolts, rollers and bushings, which are intertwined with the teeth of our pinions and plates. If our chain lacks maintenance or gets very worn, it will jump off the plate, deteriorating the teeth of our plate and cassette.
The causes that generate the most deterioration in our chain correspond to incorrect pedaling, high crosswise combinations between our plates and pinions, environments with too much water, terrains with particulate material and the lack of lubrication.
To prevent an accelerated deterioration, we will have to carry out frequent maintenance of our chain. First, we must clean it, considering that the links gets filled with dust and other particles that contribute to its abrasion, then it is not recommended to lubricate the chain without a good previous cleaning, otherwise, we would generate encapsulated layers of grime, which would accelerate the wear.
For a good cleaning there are two methods, removing or not the chain, what we recommend is to carry out a frequent maintenance without removing the chain and from time to time, remove it to perform a deeper maintenance.
Without removing the chain, we can use a toothbrush, a rag and a multipurpose oil, scrubbing all the links of the chain, then cleaning it with the rag, repeating the process as many times as necessary remove all the dirt from our chain. Once the chain is clean, we will carry out its lubrication with liquid oil or aerosol wax.
If you decide to remove the chain, you will have to resort to a chain breaker, this tool pushes the bolt through a screw. After removing the chain, we will pour a liter of gasoline or chain degreaser, in two bottles with lids, these preferably made of thick plastic, such as those from car oil. In one of the bottles we place the chain, cover it and shake for a couple of minutes, then we remove the chain and remove the excess of gasoline and grime with a rag.
Then we perform the same procedure with the other bottle. Finally, with a toothbrush, soap and water, we scrub and wash the chain. Finally, it is very important the chain drying, considering that if water remains in it, the oil won’t adhere when lubricating it; It is advisable to let the chain dry with a rag and let it rest for a day in the sunlight.
Later we will lubricate our chain, for this we will introduce the chain in a bottle with chain lubricant, we leave it for a few minutes for the cameras to absorb the necessary oil, we will remove the chain and let it drain for an hour on the bottle, when it stops dripping, we remove the excess oil on the plates with a dry cloth. After performing the whole procedure, we will place our chain again.
This process will prolong the chain life considerably, in addition will avoid damaging other parts of your bike or being stranded in the middle of a route. If the chain wear is already considerable, the best would be to change it, to check its deterioration, it is better to get the advice of an expert technician. We hope this information is useful for you and also that you continue learning how to take care of your bike.