Each professional cyclist knows how much and which kind of lubricant is necessary for the various parts of his bike, especially for the chain, through which the transmission of torque occurs. But lovers and novice cyclists will be interested in knowing what to use for lubricating the chain and how to properly care for it so that it lasts for many years and does not lead to premature failure of the cassette mechanism of the asterisks.
What contributes to the increased wear of the chain and cassette? What to do is not recommended
Do not think that, having anointed several times over the chain with a solid, you will keep it working, and it will serve a very long time. Before lubricating the chain of a bicycle, it is necessary to know all the nuances that arise during its operation. To begin with, dirt that adheres to the surface of the links and their internal parts is one of the main factors that leads to very rapid wear and damage to parts. Damaged surfaces quickly begin to become rusted and destroyed, so you need to know what to lubricate the bicycle chain and how to apply the lubricant properly.
To rapid wear can result in the use of improper type of lubrication, the presence of heavy loads on the chain and the cassette mechanism, as well as improper shifting gears. The fact is that when the links hit the tooth with the side part, there is an increased friction of the parts, which leads to their destruction. Therefore, the gearshift mechanism needs periodic inspection.
Lubricant should be applied in the required quantity and in a strictly defined place (between the link plates and rollers). In addition, it is advisable to avoid over-lubrication, especially using oils, as they can get to some places where their presence is highly undesirable (eg brake pads). In addition, a large amount of dirt adheres to oil lubrication, including grains of sand and small particles of stones, which intensify the destructive process.
Can I use detergents and soap solutions for cleaning? How do I clean the chain before lubricating?
Before lubricating the bicycle chain, it must be thoroughly cleaned. For this purpose, it is possible to use expensive detergents that can purify the chain practically to the ideal state, as well as various solvents (white spirit, kerosene and others). However, it should be remembered that they are flammable substances, besides cleaning will have to be carried out on the street because of their sharp odor and high toxicity.
With regard to washing the bicycle chain using soap solutions, it is necessary to dry the chain mechanism immediately after cleaning, as otherwise it may become rusted.
To facilitate the cleaning process, you can use special machines designed for this purpose. They will be liked by those who are interested in what to lubricate the bicycle chain at home. The principle of their operation is simple enough: detergents are poured into the device, then, by rotating the lever or pressing the pedal, we move the brushes, which clean the links from dirt. The machine is easy to use in that it allows you to clean up without having to remove the chain. This adaptation costs about 400-600 rubles. Cars are good for cleaning after off-road driving and strong sticking of dirt.
You can also buy brushes with stiff bristles and accessories, thanks to which the dirt inside the links will be easily removed. In addition, unlike a typewriter, they can be used to restore order to asterisks.
The easiest and cheapest way to clean a bicycle chain is to use a stiff toothbrush, a solvent and a normal rag. First, all the links (inside and outside) are cleaned with bristles and solvent, and then everything is wiped clean with a rag. You can use a microfiber cloth to improve the effect.
We begin to lubricate the chain. How to do it correctly? Chain cleaning after winter inactivity
So, the chain parts of our bike sparkle clean, and now you can proceed to the very grease. What you need to lubricate the chain on a bicycle and how to do it correctly? Just note that if cycling is used in difficult road conditions, then lubricating it is necessary more often than walking models.
Do not know how to lubricate the chain of a bicycle and how it is done correctly? Grease must be applied under the chain rollers. It is not recommended to coat the steel surfaces with lubricant from the outside, as this can lead to the accumulation of dirt and solid small fumes, which, penetrating inside the parts and under the rollers, contribute to their rapid wear. In this regard, it is necessary to leave the outer part of the chain mechanism dry.
On the question of how to lubricate the bicycle chain after the winter, you can answer unequivocally: lubrication for moving parts Nano Protech. The product has an excellent water repellent effect and lubricates rotating and friction parts, and also prevents creaking. This lubricant protects the metal surfaces from the appearance of rust, besides, for it there are practically no unattainable places.
Moreover, using it, you can ride at least every day on heavy rain, as it provides the proper level of protection of the bicycle chain for a long period of time. After applying the lubricant to the chain rollers and links, its residues must be removed using rags. The product is manufactured in Russia. Its cost is about 250 rubles.
Polytetrafluoroethylene-containing lubricants (universal grease)
How to determine correctly, than lubricating the bicycle chain at home, so that the lubricant was affordable, easily applied to rubbing surfaces and well protected parts? One of the most effective lubricants for bicycle chains are lubricants with a content of polytetrafluoroethylene.
This chemical compound is better known as Teflon, its friction coefficient is very low. Therefore, rubbing surfaces treated with Teflon-based products are perfectly preserved for a long time. One of these lubricants is the CL1 Park Tool, which costs around 400 rubles. Do you know how to lubricate a bicycle chain in winter or after a long parking in a wet place? Use teflon lubricants that can significantly extend the life of bicycle chains and other parts.
Is it possible to use solid oil, engine oil and lithol as a lubricant?
Many inexperienced cyclists naively believe that the more lubricant is present on the links of the drive chain, the better, they say, abundant lubrication is the best way to preserve metallic rubbing parts. So than lubricate the chain of a bicycle: engine oil, lithol or solidol? It would be possible to give a positive description of all these materials, if not for one essential but it is dirt that instantly adheres to the lubricated parts.
Sand, small solid particles and other debris are converted into a durable abrasive when interacting with such a lubricant that inevitably leads to the erasure of nodes of various mechanisms, primarily rotating and rubbing parts. Before lubricating the bicycle chain with lithol, it should be remembered that the dirt that has accumulated in it also significantly hinders the rotation of the pedals, therefore it is strictly recommended not to use these types of grease.
About the use of graphite grease and aerosols
Considering the question of how to lubricate the chain of a bicycle (salt oil and other grease lubricants are not suitable, as we have already said), one should pay attention to graphite lubricant, as well as various products that are made in the form of aerosols.
Graphite lubricant has a good protective effect on metal parts, relieves them of rust and penetrates deep into the most inaccessible places. Grease based on graphite permanently creates a film that prevents metal damage and reduces frictional force. Usually it is enough for a run of about 400 km, provided that there is no rain and deep puddles. Otherwise, the lubricant is not enough for 50 km of run.
For aerosols there are no unreachable places at all. This lubricant is sold in special cartridges, in which the product is under pressure, and its spraying is carried out by pressing the corresponding button. As active agents, various kinds of oils or substances that are capable of cleaning the metal from rust, weakening the "fastened" fastening element, and also displacing moisture can be used.
There is nothing at hand, and do not know what to lubricate the bike chain? "VD 40" will help to solve this problem (such an aerosol can be found in many auto and bike enthusiasts). However, it should be remembered that the "VD" is not a lubricant and is quickly washed off with water, so the ideal option is to pre-process the chain with this agent and then apply lubricant.
Liquid lubricants for the bicycle chain
To date, sellers of bicycles have a large arsenal of all kinds of chemistry and various protective equipment, including special liquid lubricants for bicycle chains. There are universal means that you can use in any weather. In addition, there are lubricants for chains, which are used when driving during rain and severe drought. Therefore, it is up to you to decide what kind of lubricant to stop the choice.
With regard to the use of liquid products, they are sold in polymer bottles, equipped with a special spout, so that you can carry out spot lubrication. Therefore, if you do not know what you need to lubricate the chain on the bike, or doubt the choice of the means, stop your choice on liquid lubricants.
The problem of hard-to-reach places is solved by means of a conventional syringe, into which the lubricating liquid is easily recruited. Such a lubricant should be applied at the junctions of chain links, after which its excess should be removed. Before buying this type of lubricant, it is necessary to find out from the seller how the product behaves in the frost (does not thicken too quickly), since most of them come into disrepair at minus temperature (however, they quickly restore their properties in the heat).
Considering the answer to the question, the better lubricating the bicycle chain, you should also pay attention to the lubricant, which consists of two main components: a liquid solvent and a thick lubricating mass. Such material has a sufficiently effective effect on rubbing parts. The bicomponent grease is sold in special lubricators, which allows the liquid to be poured under the chain rollers.
The essence of using such tools is as follows: after the main component of the lubricant has been delivered to the necessary place, the solvent evaporates, and a thick lubricating layer remains for a long time on the surface of the part. It is recommended that after the treatment of the parts by this means, before the bike ride, allow time to completely evaporate to the solvent, which will take at least 1 hour of time.
When and how is it recommended to lubricate the bicycle chain?
Many novice cyclists often have a question about when and how to lubricate the chain of a bicycle. How to determine that she already needs lubrication? Many years of experience in the use of cycling equipment shows that when the first appearance of the creaking in the chain mechanism, it is necessary to lubricate its components. Usually this can be observed every 100-130 km of run (means such as Nano Protech are capable of preserving the chain up to 900 km of run). To facilitate the calculation of kilometers, you can set an odometer that will accurately count the kilometers traveled.
As we have already said, before the lubrication the chain and sprockets need thorough cleaning and drying of their surfaces. In the case of using a bicomponent or liquid lubricant, the composition is applied from special greasers to the interval of the chain, which consists of rollers and side plates connecting the links to each other.
All rollers are lubricated, for which it is necessary to drip each gap, moving the chain by turning the pedals. In order not to get confused in the calculation of the number of lubricated links, the side plates of one of them are made of a different color or subjected to stamping (usually they are lubricated from them).
Than lubricate the chain of the bike, it's definitely up to you. After applying lubricant (regardless of the type of product used) it is recommended to remove excess lubricant with a dry rag. After this, the pedals should be rotated for several minutes, so that the lubricant is evenly distributed on the rollers and axes of the plates. After that, the excess must be removed again with rags.
Practical advice for cyclists
It should be remembered that not only sand and other debris can enhance the wear of the chain and sprockets. Improperly selected transmission also contributes to the rapid wear of parts. For this reason, do not allow the chain position with the maximum skew. This position will be if it is located on the front and back of small or large asterisks. These options make it difficult for the switching process itself, contribute to a poor transition of the chain tape to the teeth of the sprockets and its fast failure. It is also highly discouraged to subject the circuit to overloads (for example, when driving uphill in high gear).
Do not forget about applying lubricant to the hinge mechanisms of the bicycle, as well as bearings and bushings. In addition, you need to lubricate the chain tensioner mechanism, pedals, carriage and steering column. It is mandatory to subject the bicycle cables, which perform a mechanical brake and participate in the gear shift, to preventive treatment.