How to Lubricate a Bike Chain

How to Lubricate a Bike Chain

Lubricating a bike chain is not a difficult task, but if you fail to do it regularly, you will surely reduce the life of your bike chain.
If you love your bike, there are 3 things that you should know:
  1. How to clean a bike
  2. How to lubricate a bike chain
  3. How to change a bike tire
I am assuming, that you know how to clean your bike, and how to change a bike tire, so here I will just tell you how to lubricate your bike's chain.

How to Lube a Bike Chain

You will take time to lubricate the chain, so start only if you are sure that you will have time to complete the process. Follow the steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Choosing the Lube
Before you start, you should get the right oil to lubricate the chain. You can ask your mechanic for some advice, he will tell you which oil is suitable for your bike. The type of lubricant used by you will influence your ride, so see that you choose the right one. You can also go for lubes that do not cause stain. In addition to the lubricant, you should also buy a degreaser (you will need the degreaser in the next step).

Step 2: Cleaning the Chain
Is your bike dirty? If yes, you should clean it before proceeding (it is better to work on a clean bike, rather than a dirty one). You are going to get dirty so be prepared. Hose your bike thoroughly. Now, invert it, preferably on a newspaper. You are going to clean the chain now, take some water and start cleaning the bike chain. How to clean the chain? Wet a rag, and then hold the chain with the rag. Now, slowly move the pedal. Repeat till you feel that the chain is free of dirt (use a clean rag for every repetition). After you have done that, take the degreaser, and apply it on your chain (this will help to remove the hidden dirt), let the degreaser stay for a while.

Note: You can use hot water to clean the chain, but see that you do not burn yourself. You should also clean the cogs.

Step 3: Lubing the Chain
I hope that the chain is clean now. Before you begin lubing, make a mark on the chain; this will be your starting point. Now, listen to me carefully, take the lube, and slowly apply one drop of lube per link. Yes, you heard it right, just one drop. Some people have the habit of pouring the lube on the chain. There is no point in using more lube, as you are going to wipe off the extra lube when you are done! Stop, once you have reached the mark that you had made earlier. Leave your bike alone for a while. Now, wipe off the extra lube. How? Use the same technique that you used to clean the chain, but do not use water this time! You can use a clean rag instead.

Step 4: Testing
You will never know whether you have done a good job, unless you test your bike. Ride your bike. How does it feel? Smooth? If yes, then great job! If you feel that the ride is uncomfortable, then you may not have lubricated the chain properly. Go back to your garage, and find out where the problem lies. Lubricate the chain again, and test it, I am sure that you will have no problems this time.

Things to Remember
  • If your chain is rusted, do not even think of keeping it; replace it immediately!
  • Do not choose thick greasy lubricants to lube your bike chain.
  • Switch through all the gears while testing the bike.
  • Lubricate the chain periodically.
If you love your bike, you will surely take good care of it. The way you maintain your bike, indicates your love for biking.
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