17. How to Clean and Lubricate a Chain
Frequent chain cleaning and lubrication will help keep dirt off your chain and prevent wear.
Regular cleaning and lubrication of your chain will help prevent your drivetrain from wearing out. You should clean and lubricate the chain when it is dirty, dry or begins to sound noisy. If you ride every day, you should clean and lube the chain at least once a month.
I don't recommend using either motor oil or 3in1 oil to lubricate the chain. Motor oil is too heavy and won't fully penetrate the rollers, and 3in1 oil is vegetable based and will gum up the chain. I also don't recommend using wax lubricants because while they don't collect as much dirt, they are a lot of hassle to apply correctly, and wax is simply not as good a lubricant as oil. I do recommend mineral based chain oils like Finish Line Cross Country or Phil Wood Tenacious Oil because they do the best job of fighting corrosion and don't wash away when they get wet.
For cleaning, first shift the chain into the smallest sprocket on the rear. For average dust and dirt, wipe the chain clean with a solvent soaked rag. The easiest way to do this is to hold the chain still at the rear derailleur cage while firmly wiping the lower run of the chain. Then move the chain backward and wipe again until you've wiped the entire length of chain. Wipe between the rear sprockets using either a rag or a sprocket cleaning tool. Then clean all of the front chainrings on both sides.
Shift your gears into the middle sprocket both front and rear. Remember that oil does a good job of spreading itself, so try not to over-apply the lubricant. Lubricate the inner circumference of the chain, on the side that faces the sprockets along the top of the lower run of the chain. Run the chain backwards while dropping oil down both sides of the rollers.
Shift through all of the gears to spread the lubricant evenly through the drivetrain. Then use a rag to wipe off any excess oil.
I have an older frame with an ultra-6 freewheel. When the rear wheel is removed the stays measure 122.78 (hub is a 120 for the ultra-6). I can cold bend it out to 126, I'm sure, but do I need to if I just put a regular 6-speed freewheel on? I'm not sure how tight that would be as far as the chain scraping the frame. has anybody tried it? Has anybody bent a 120 out to 126 or 130 without problems?... Read more >>
I recently picked up a Park CC-3.2 to put in my portable bike tool-bag (12 inch ruler won't fit). With it one of my chains that measures fine with the ruler, fails, even at the .75 side. Reading on the subject states that the CC-3.2 doesn't take into account roller wear, which the Shimano TL-CN41 does. So, I took a popsicle stick (perfect thickness) and shaped it to press the roller nearest the drop-in end of the Park to give similar results to the Shimano and eliminate roller wear anomalies. Sure enough, measurements come out differently, and what "failed" previously with the Park, now ... Read more >>
Hi all. 1st time post. I am unablr to remove the cassette from my rear tyre. I followed the easy tutorial on bikeradar but havent managed to get any success.
See link to pics of my cassette and the lockring i bought. http://s1067.photobucket.com/user/Nexus62/library/Mobile%20Uploads
I think i know where i went wrong. The lockring i purchased didnt fit properly, so i just used a spanner to remove the bolt. Now all that is left on the wheel is the old cassette..
... Read more >>
i've recently started riding my bike for exercise. was going well for a couple weeks, but a few days ago the chain on my bike has been slipping off of what i think is the gear shifter. it is very annoying and i haven't been able to ride my bike because of it.
Edit More info: i have a Schwinn Ranger 10 speed. the gear only slips like that in high gear. it does not slip while in low gear.
i have a video of basically what happens. can't get a video of it while riding. it is a video of it slipping off stationary.