Proper Chain Maintenance by Cranks Bicycle Garage

One of the most common questions we receive at Cranks is how often should I lube my chain? Or how do I look after my chain?

It can be complicated but we like to make it as easy and hassle free as possible.


Depends on use but if you are riding for 5-6 times a week then once a week is ideal to keep your chain running quietly and smooth.

For less use, then once a month will be okay.


There are a couple of methods to cleaning your chain. I personally do not like to completely de-grease my chain as you will clean out all the lubricant and it is very hard to get it back to that level without soaking the chain, so my preferred method for regular use is:

Clean the chain first. You can either buy a chain cleaning device that has a series of brushes inside a container that you run the chain through backwards while the chain is still on the bike. Or you can simply get an old rag dip it into a de-grease solution and wipe down the chain. Ensure that you wipe the chain dry after either step.

Once the chain is clean and dry then depending on the type of bike you are using I prefer a Wet Lube for Road bikes and a Dry Lube for off road bikes. Less is more when it comes to lubricating your chain. There are some products on the market that instruct you to apply liberally then wipe off it also claims to be a cleaner and a lubricant all in one! Last time I checked you are either one or the other!

Chain wear is another area that over the past 17 years of working with bikes has popped up daily. A bicycle chain will wear out. It is the weakest link of your entire drive train (cassette, chain rings and jockey wheels). It is also the cheapest to replace and if done before it is due then you can extend the life of the other components.

A rough guide to chain wear and when to replace can vary between riders and maintenance, Riders weight and type of riding e.g. Loads of hill work will wear chain quicker than flat riding. Another factor is chain cross over or using the extreme of gears.

This picture is a great display on the gear cross over and why we should not use it.





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