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The use and maintenance of bicycle chains
As we all know, if the chain is not well maintained or used properly, it will be broken soon, and the existence of the bike is meaningless without the chain.
When do you need maintenance?
- Reduced speed performance.
- The chain is prone to chain jamming or chain dropping (e.g. the chain is stuck in the front gear plate).
- Noise is generated when the transmission system is running.
- You can hear the chain gurgling sound when you are in the pit or passing an object. (This means the chain is too dry)
The chain needs to be serviced at least once a month or every 250km when riding on general roads, and at least once every 100km when driving off-road.
- Clean the chain after each ride, especially in rainy and wet conditions.
- Be careful to use a dry cloth to wipe the chain and its accessories.
- If necessary, use an old toothbrush to clean the gaps between the chain pieces.
- Also clean the front chain sprocket and rear chain sprocket guide pulley.
- Use a brush to clean off the dirt and mud accumulated between the chains, and if necessary, use warm soapy water to assist.
- Do not use strong acid or alkaline cleaners (such as rust remover), as these chemicals can cause chain damage or even breakage.
- Do not use chain washers with added solvents to clean the chain, this type of cleaning will definitely damage the chain.
- Avoid using organic solvents such as stain removal oil, which will not only damage the environment but also wash away the lubricant in the bearing area.
- Be sure to add lubrication after each cleaning, wiping or cleaning the chain with solvent. (It is not recommended to use organic solvents to clean the chain)
- Before lubricating, make sure your chain is dry.
- Penetrate the chain links with lubricant and leave them to become sticky or dry. This will really lubricate the parts of the chain that tend to wear out.
- To confirm that you are using the right lubricant, you can test it by pouring some on your hands. A good lubricant will feel like water at first (penetration), but will thicken or dry out over time (lasting lubrication).
- To avoid excessive oil build-up and blockage, oil only the critical parts of the chain. Oiling will reduce wear and noise when the chain is running.
- The other parts of the chain should only be lubricated with a small amount of oil to prevent rust.
- Wipe off any excess oil from the chain surface.
- At the same time, you should also pay attention to the lubrication of rear derailleur, sprocket and flywheel. Use the same principle to maintain and lubricate these parts.
- After lubricating, use a dry cloth to wipe the excess oil from the chain to avoid dirt and dust.
- Before reinstalling the chain, remember to clean the chain joints to make sure there is no dirt left.
The degree of chain wear lies in
- Usage habits (performance, frequency of shifting, frame centerline).
- Environment (terrain, wet, dry, mud, moisture, salt).
- Rider's riding condition.
- The degree of maintenance.
Regardless of the type of chain used, some tips are recommended to get the most mileage out of the chain drive system.
When shifting, avoid using extreme gear combinations such as minimum cogs with minimum flywheel or maximum cogs with maximum flywheel. Consider road conditions in advance (e.g. when going uphill, shift early to avoid excessive force on the chain when changing gears).
Before stopping, please change to the minimum gears to avoid the need to change gears when stationary.
When should I replace the chain?
If you ride 1,000km per month (250km per week), you should change the chain two or three times a year.