“A clean chain is a happy chain”, says mountain bike mechanic Greg Heil. “And a happy chain means happier shifting and longer component life.”
Cleaning your bike chain is one of the most basic—and important—maintenance tasks you can do. Not only does it keep your drivetrain running smoothly, it also prolongs the life of your chain, cassette, and chainrings. A clean chain also helps prevent premature wear on derailleur pulleys.
There are a few different ways to clean your bike chain, but I prefer the old-fashioned manual method. It’s simple and doesn’t require any fancy tools or products. All you need is a rag, some degreaser, and a little elbow grease.
Lucky you in this article I will share everything you need to know about How To Clean Bicycle Chain? So let’s get started!
Table of Contents
How To Clean Bicycle Chain? – Step By Step Method
The following are the steps you need to take in order to clean your bicycle chain.
Step 1: Prep Your Workspace.
First things first, you need to prep your workspace. You’ll want to lay down a few layers of old newspapers or a drop cloth to protect your floor from any drips or spills. Then, gather all of the tools and materials you’ll need: a bike stand or repair tabletop, rags or paper towels, a good degreaser, an old toothbrush (or other small brush), and a clean rag for drying.
Step 2: Put Your Bike In Position.
Next, you’ll need to put your bike in the repair stand or upside down on the table so that the drivetrain is accessible. If you don’t have a repair stand, no worries—you can simply turn your bike upside down and rest it on the handlebars and seat.
Step 3: Remove The Chain.
Once your bike is in position, you can remove the chain. To do this, shift your bike into the smallest cog on the cassette (rear) and largest ring on the crank set (front). This will give you the most slack in the chain so that you can easily remove it.
Using a chain tool (or a quick link, if your chain has one), push out one of the pins that holds the links together. If you don’t have a chain tool, you can also use a pair of needle-nose pliers. Once the pin is removed, pull the two halves of the link apart to remove the chain from the bike.
Step 4: Clean The Chain.
Now it’s time to start cleaning! First, apply degreaser to a rag and wipe down the entire length of the chain. Be sure to get both sides of each link. You may need to use your brush to help loosen any stubborn grime.
Once the degreaser has had a chance to break down the dirt and grime, rinse the chain with clean water. You can do this by holding the chain over a bucket and pedaling backwards, or by using a spray bottle. Be sure to rinse until all of the degreaser is gone—you don’t want it getting on your clothing or tires when you reassemble the chain!
Step 5: Dry The Chain.
Once the chain is clean and rinsed, it’s time to dry it off. You can do this by running a clean rag over the links or using a compressed air duster (just be careful not to blow any dirt or grime into the inner workings of the chain!).
Step 6: Lubricate The Chain.
Now that the chain is clean and dry, it’s time to lubricate it. This will help prevent rust and keep your drivetrain running smoothly. First, apply a generous amount of lube to a rag. Then, run the rag along the length of the chain, making sure to get both sides of each link. Wipe off any excess lube with a clean rag.
Step 7: Reassemble The Chain.
Once the chain is lubricated, you can reassemble it. To do this, simply line up the two halves of the link and push the pin back in place. You may need to use a chain tool (or needle-nose pliers) to get the pin started. Once the pin is in place, give the link a little tug to make sure it’s secure.
If your chain has a quick link, simply line up the two halves of the link and push them together until they click into place. Again, give the link a little tug to make sure it’s secure.
Step 8: Put Your Bike Back Together.
Now that your chain is clean and lubed, you can put your bike back together. First, shift your bike into the largest cog on the cassette (rear) and the smallest ring on the crankset (front). This will give you the slackest in the chain so that you can easily put it back on the bike.
Using one hand, hold the chain at the bottom bracket (the point where the pedals attach to the frame). Then, use your other hand to thread the chain through the derailleur pulleys and around the cassette. Once the chain is back on the bike, shift into a couple of different gears to make sure everything is running smoothly.
There you have it the best and easy method for cleaning your bicycle chain!
What Are The Benefits Of Cleaning Your Bicycle Chain Regularly:
The following are the benefits of cleaning your bicycle chain regularly.
It Helps To Keep The Bike Running Smoothly:
A clean chain will ensure that your bike runs smoothly and efficiently. A build-up of dirt, grime, and grit can cause the chain to skip and jump, which not only makes pedaling harder but can also damage other components on the bike.
It Prolongs The Life Of The Chain:
A clean chain will last longer than a dirty one. This is because all of the dirt, grime and grit that builds up on the chain will act as an abrasive, causing the links to wear down faster. By keeping your chain clean, you can help to prolong its life.
It Helps To Keep Your Gears Shifting Smoothly:
A clean chain is also important for smooth gear shifting. If the chain is caked with dirt and grime, it can cause the gears to slip and miss, which can be frustrating and even dangerous.
It Makes Pedaling Easier:
A clean chain is also much easier to pedal than a dirty one. This is because all of the build-up on the chain will add resistance, making it harder to turn the pedals. By keeping your chain clean, you can make pedaling much easier.
It Helps To Prevent Rust:
Rust is one of the biggest enemies of bicycle chains. If left unchecked, rust can quickly cause a chain to break down. By keeping your chain clean and lubricated, you can help to prevent rust from forming.
Cleaning your bicycle chain is an important part of regular maintenance. By keeping your chain clean, you can help to prolong its life, keep your bike running smoothly and make pedaling easier. So be sure to give your chain a good cleaning on a regular basis!
How Often Should You Clean Your Bicycle Chain:
You should aim to clean your bicycle chain at least once a month, and more often if you ride in dirty or wet conditions.
What Are The Consequences Of Not Cleaning Your Bike Chain?
If you do not clean your bike chain on a regular basis, the consequences can include: the chain skipping and jumping, gears slipping and missing, pedaling becoming harder, and rust forming on the chain.
Tips For Keeping Your Bike In Good Condition Year-Round
To keep your bike in good condition year-round, follow these tips:
- Clean your bike regularly. A build-up of dirt and grime can cause premature wear and tear on components.
- Lubricate your chain regularly. This will help to prevent rust and keep your chain running smoothly.
- Inspect your bike regularly for any signs of damage or wear. If you notice anything, take it to a professional for repairs as soon as possible.
- Store your bike indoors during the winter months to protect it from the elements.
By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your bike stays in good condition year-round!
Cleaning your bicycle chain is an important part of maintaining your bike. A clean chain will last longer, run smoother, and make pedaling easier. You should aim to clean your chain at least once a month, and more often if you ride in dirty or wet conditions. By following these tips, you can help to keep your bike in good condition year-round!
What Household Items Can I Use To Clean My Bike Chain?
There are a number of household items that can be used to clean your bike chain, including: dish soap, WD-40, vinegar, and baking soda.
What Is The Best Way To Clean My Bike Chain?
The best way to clean your bike chain is to remove it from the bike and soak it in a degreaser solution. Once the chain is clean, rinse it with water and dry it off before lubricating it.
Is It OK To Use WD-40 On Bike Chain?
Yes, WD-40 can be used on bike chains to help clean and lubricate them. However, it is important to note that WD-40 is a degreaser and not a lubricant, so it should not be used as a sole means of lubrication.
Can You Clean A Bike Chain With Soap And Water?
Yes, you can clean a bike chain with soap and water. However, it is important to make sure that you rinse the chain thoroughly afterward to remove any soap residue, as this can attract dirt and grime.