Winter just started, and that means more rain. Sigh. It also means your chain and gearing are going to need to be lubed more often. How can you tell? You can hear it. If you can hear it, so can others. That squeaky, grinding, you-are-working-too-hard sound is the finger nails on the chalkboard of bike riding. Chain lube costs $5 and thanks to the Northwest’s extended winter rainy season, you just might earn two bottles.
How to Lube Your Chain – Quickly
- Wipe your chain down with a rag. Just turn the pedals with one hand and hold the rag in the other. Do this for several rotations and use light finger pressure (over the rag) on each side of the chain. Watch your fingers and don’t let the rag get caught.
- Apply the lube. You don’t need a lot, but make sure you slowly apply drops at a time as you rotate. Run the chain through several rotations while shifting through your gears. You want the chain to look a little wet. Again, you do not need a lot, but you do want thorough coverage.
- Hold your rag lightly over the chain and cycle through 1-2 rotations. This light wiping removes excess lube, which attracts dirt and grime that will slow you down and cause chain wear over time.
Proper chain maintenance will extend the life of your chain. It is also good for your drivetrain. But perhaps most importantly, you will not be that person clearly struggling to pedal while you “eeek-eeek-eeeek” down the road.