Bike Care – How to Lubricate Your Bike Chain

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 44,694
    Jason from Revolution Cycles demonstrates how to lubricate the drivetrain on your bike.

    Revolution Cycles

    Revolution Cycles was originally established in Georgetown in 1997, and has since expanded to bring the owners’ more than 40 years of experience to three additional locations in the Washington, DC metropolitan region: First to the heart of Clarendon, and eventually arriving in Rockville, MD and Stafford, VA. Our customers come from all aspects of the cycling community, from children getting their first two-wheeler to the racer looking to upgrade; from couples considering their first new bike since college to the hard-working courier in need of a quick fix. Our customers are the backbone of our business and we appreciate the confidence they place in us to provide them with an outstanding experience. Our commitment to service and excellence has resulted, among numerous other awards, in our being named one of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News’ Top 100 Bicycle Dealer each year since the award’s inception in 2004. We are also honored to be the official bike shop for maintaining and acquiring bicycling equipment for the US Secret Service -- including the White House, Naval Observatory and Foreign Mission divisions. We provide the same services for several other law enforcement agencies including the US Capitol Police, The National Institute of Health, US Mint Police, George Washington University Police, sections of the National Park Service, and several local Washington metropolitan area police agencies. Thank you for your support and for giving us the opportunity to earn your business. Please check out our website for more information regarding the products we carry and our locations.

    Jason: Hi! I am Jason from Revolution Cycles.

    I am going to be talking to you about another important step in maintaining your bicycle, which is lubricating the drivetrain area, in particular the chain and the front and rear derailleur - front derailleur, rear derailleur. This is another step that you will be taking probably weekly if you are riding once or twice a week, at least something youll be looking at visually to check to see if its okay. The particular area that we want to concentrate on is the chain itself. Ideally, you want the chain to be clean before you apply a lubricant and that means the whole chain itself. The easiest way to apply the lubricant is either in aerosol form or a drop form with an Application Straw.

    I am going to use the drop form in this particular demonstration, its real easy. In this particular instance the bicycle is in a bike stand at the shop, this is how we work on the bikes but if you are at home, you dont have access to a stand, you could do this while the bike is just sitting on the floor of the garage or preferably outside, so you dont get any drop on the floor. What I usually do when I am applying the lubricant is, apply it on the back of the bicycle and grab the pedal and just backwards pedal and freewheel, and apply the lubricant to every chain link as you spin the pedal around. And again, you want the chain to ideally be clean before you apply the lubricant, and youre just going to drop the lubricant on every link as you back-pedal. Thats going to ensure that the chain gets thoroughly coated with all the lubricant. And you want to use the Applicator Straw when you are doing this procedure because what it does is, it pinpoints the lubricant. You dont want the lubricant all over the chain itself, and thats something that you might get into if you buy the aerosol, because the aerosol will spray all over. You really ideally just want to place it on the inside part of the chain where the chain moves over the cogs through the pulleys of the derailleur around the crankset.

    Another area that you want to concentrate on with the lubricant is the derailleurs; front derailleur, rear derailleur. Basically you want to use the straw again, to applicate, to apply the lubricant; you just apply it to the pivot points of the derailleurs. And again, you want to be pretty precise about the lubricant; you really dont need to spray the whole unit with the lubricant, you just need to concentrate on those specific areas. And when I say pivot points, I just mean the areas of the derailleur that move; and if you shift the mechanism, you can actually see where the derailleur moves, and thats where you want to concentrate your lubricant on. So, the front derailleur, and also the pivots of the rear derailleur here - just one or two drops; if you get a little too much on it, just take a rag and dry off the excess.

    Any of these lubricants, Tri-Flo in particular, you can find at any of the bike shops. There are lots of products available for consumers, there are lots of different formulas, so I recommend to try a particular formula, use it, if you like it, buy it again.