What You Need to Know About Bike Chain Cleaning and Maintenance

What You Need to Know About Bike Chain Cleaning and Maintenance

February 8, 2019

Whether you have a 12-speed or fixed gear, a mountain bike or a road bike, the chain is the heart of your bicycle. Much like your car’s engine, you won’t be going anywhere any time soon without a properly functioning chain. It’d be nice if your chain didn’t require any maintenance, but that’s not the case. Sometime it may even need bike repair in Naples, FL.

Bike chains get dirty really quickly, and if you want your chain to run smoothly, you need to clean and maintain it on a regular basis. The good news is that caring for your chain isn’t all that difficult or time-consuming if you know a little bit about bikes. Keep reading to learn all about bike chain maintenance and cleaning.

Regular maintenance

After each ride (or after every couple rides), take a few minutes to wipe off your chain with a rag and degreasing solvent. Doing so will remove any dirt as well as built-up grease and gunk from the chain. After it’s all clean, apply lubricant to the chain. Oiling the chain will keep it running smoothly and help prevent grease buildup in the future.

Off-bike cleaning

Daily chain cleaning and maintenance is essential, but it’s not enough by itself, especially if you have a mountain bike. Every few months, remove your bike chain, brush it and soak it in chain cleaning solvent. These steps will remove any of that gunk that you weren’t able to clean off with your rag. Once your chain has soaked for a few hours and looks nice and clean, dry it off with a rag, lubricate it and put it back on your bike.

Problems caused by dirty chains

We wouldn’t recommend cleaning and maintaining your bike chain if neglecting to do so didn’t come with serious negative consequences. These are a few of the biggest reasons why you should take good care of your bike chain:

  • Increased wear and tear: The longer you go without cleaning your chain, the more wear and tear it’ll endure. Eventually, you’ll need to replace your chain with a new one. Although chains aren’t all that expensive, we can all agree that taking the time to clean it with a rag after a ride is better than spending money on a new one.
  • Reduced flexibility: Neglecting to regularly clean and oil your chain eventually makes it stiffen up. A rigid chain makes going down the road a whole lot more difficult than it needs to be. You’ll end up pedaling a lot harder than you’d need to if your chain were well lubricated.
  • Impaired shifting performance: Speaking of working harder than you need to, not taking care of your chain could affect how well your bike shifts to different gears. Worse yet, your chain could begin to slip and your bike could suddenly change gears out of nowhere.

If you’re in need of a new chain or bike repair in Naples, FL, look no further than Big Momma’s Bicycles. Regardless of your bike’s make or model, you can rest easy knowing that we can fix it up in no time at all.

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