How To Lube Your Bicycle Chain

ArleighCycling Tips, Latest, Mechanics4 Comments

Proper technique in lubing your chain will help prolong the life of your drive train also a clean bike is a happy bike!!

Bicycle Lube

1. Pick a lube

There are dozens and dozens of decent lubes out there depending where you ride. I could write a whole post about the different lubes and when/where to use them. For now consult a good riding buddy or a local mechanic. Here in Charlotte I like to use ProLink for everyday riding, in the winter rainy months or when I head up to Asheville in the winter I swap over to a more wax based lube.

2. Keep old towels/socks/tshirts around

If you want to recycle you can wash them with a good degreaser and reuse!

Bicycle Lube

3. Wipe down the chain

Grasp the chain lightly with your rag, pedal and remove as much old lube/dirt as possible.

Bicycle Lube

4. Clean your pulleys, chainrings, & cassette as needed

If you have tons of grit left over on these moving items it will just go right back on your chain. Clean the chainring with your rag, between the cassette cogs with a flat head & clean the pulleys by gently placing a flat head while back pedaling. Make sure not to whap yourself with the chain or spokes!

Bicycle Lube

5. Apply lube

Squeeze the bottle gently until there is a slow stream coming out the tip of the bottle, back pedal slowly about 4 revolutions to get the whole chain lubed.

6. Wipe off the excess. (Refer to step 3)

This is huge for mountain bikers. If you leave a ton of lube sitting on your chain it is asking to get dirty again. Depending how dry your chain was to begin with you might want to leave on over night but remember to wipe it off before your next ride.

4 Comments on “How To Lube Your Bicycle Chain”

    1. I have mostly only used White Lightning, without complaints.

      However, I would *love* to read a post on lubes for different riding conditions. hint, hint…

  1. In a pinch, lip balm works well as a chain wax. Use something low quality, like chapstick (petroleum based) to lube up and keep away water.

    Also – olive oil is an excellent (and readily available) chain lube. Apply liberally!

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