How to Clean a Bike Chain | Bike Maintenance

How to Clean a Bike Chain | Bike Maintenance


Hi, my name is Jesse McDonough and I’m here
at Spokesman Cycles in New York City, right by Union Square. I’m a bicycle tour guide in New York and formerly
a bike messenger and I’m here to tell you a bit about the bike. Keeping your bike chain clean and lubed is
one of the best ways to keep the ride smooth and to keep the lifetime of the years in the
chain a little bit longer. We’re going to start just by showing you how
to generally clean the chain itself. You wanna find just a degreaser it’s referred
to, or often just say a bike cleaner. Um, sometimes they’re combined with lubricants
but they’re often not. So you wanna just start by fully saturating
the chain itself with the degreaser, using a rag. And you kind of just spread it out amongst
the chain uh, using this, the length of the chain here and kind of move to a different
spot here and get the rest of the chain. You can also make sure you get the cassette
here in the back and um, the front gears. And once you got it all fully wet with the
degreaser, you kind of wipe it with a rag and you can use the brush to get in between
each link here. You notice if you just take hold of the link,
they bend and spin. And as you do that with the brush and the
rag, the little bits and pieces of dirt will come out. Also using this little handy poker, it sticks
right in between the narrow parts of the cassette here. And really does a great job. You can see this cassette here is pretty clean
and you can hear some of the grits back here. It really does a great job of getting the
gunk out. One thing you also want to be aware of with
the derailer pulleys. If you spin backwards, you can just take your
finger. You might want to put a rag on it to keep
it clean and just lightly put some pressure on the derailer pulley. And all of the gunk will attach to your finger
and come right off. So at that point you got the degreaser on
the derailer pulleys, the cassette, and the chain itself and you’re really just kind of
going through a slow cleaning process. So you clean, wipe, brush, um, saturate again
if you like, and then do one final wipe down. And at that point, it’s time to lube. So here you take your proper lubricant and
you put it at the cassette. These things are made to just do a little
drip at a time. So you’re not going to use too much. Spin it backwards and you’re going to get
every link of the chain as you go. Another thing you want to keep in mind is
you do this; you want to get all the gears. So um, you got the lube on the entire chain
at this point. You come up to the gears and as you switch
the gears here, the lube from the chain is also going to be transferred to the cassette
and each chain ring on the front. So at that point, you got all gears, the chain
itself fully lubed.