If you are brave enough to ride outdoors wet weather means a dirty bike. I know I have been very guilty in the past of not giving my bike the TLC it deserves. My solution to cleaning was to simply throw my lube on the chain. However now that I have found a way to whip through a clean, degrease and oil change in under 10minutes it is something that is becoming a normal part of my existence.
If you don’t invest into cleaning your drive chain it can significantly increase wear and tear costing you money and more importantly performance. While wet lube is great for lubricating the chain it does attract grit and dirt which can quickly build up on the chain. Creating the habit of cleaning your bike regularly is a good one to form. It is also a good sign that you are taking pride in your ride and success comes from doing the little things and this is one that everyone can see.
The process I use is:
- Hose and wash the bike down with water and detergent making sure to remove any dirt. This is an important first step f you get caught in the rain and the bike is filthy
- Wash the chain off with some soapy water and dry it off
- Apply a bike degreaser to the chain, cassette and jockey wheels using a small paint brush, working to remove all build up
- Dry the chain off and apply some wet lube to the chain ensuring a good coverage. Apply to the inside of the chain as this is what comes in contact with the chain ring and cassette.
- You can use dry lube as it doesn’t attract as much dirt but it tends not to cover as well.
- Wipe the chain off by spinning the chain through a dry rag to remove any of the excess oil and hopefully it will come up shiny bright
- You can also check for chain stretch using a special tool or 12inch ruler (each chain spindle should be one inch apart) to make sure the chain will still mesh up fine with the cassette. Most bike stores change a cassette when you need to change your chain so a bit of TLC should hopefully delay the expense a little longer.
After 25+years of cycling I have finally made this a part of my bike hygiene. I hope this little prompt will help you to get to the same point as me much quicker J