A greasy chain can turn the pleasant and adventurous bicycle rides into the most uncomfortable ones. This is due to the hindrance caused by the grease collected on the chain. A bicycle’s chain transfers the energy from the pedals to wheels which helps the bike to be in motion continuously. When the chain collects a lot of dust and grimes, its efficiency in transferring this energy reduces drastically. Also a greasy chain requires more effort in pedaling comparatively. To avoid such conditions, it is crucial to clean your bike chain once in a week or twice in a month, depending upon the miles you have ridden your bicycle.
How to Clean a Bike Chain with Household Products
People who use bikes as their mode of commute need to make a routine of degreasing their bicycle chain to enjoy smooth and uninterrupted rides. Visiting a mechanic every now and then is not possible and it also burns a hole when done weekly. So now you might be wondering how to degrease a bike chain without going to a mechanic. Well, you can clean your bike chain by yourself using household products. Yes, you read it right! The process is easy, inexpensive and hasslefree. For this you will require following products:
- A cloth rag
- Pair of gloves
- Wooden cloth hanger
- A degreaser or kerosene/isopropyl alcohol
- A lubricant
- Two spray bottles
You can easily buy all these supplies for cleaning the chain at home in routine from a local store or order it online. Once you are ready with all the supplies, follow this step-by-step procedure to clean the bike chain.
1. Make sure that your bike’s position is proper.
For the first step, it is vital to secure your bike by placing it in the proper bike stand. This stand gives support to the bicycle and holds the position firmly. You can get this stand from a local hardware store. In case you can’t find the stand, rotate your cycle upside down. In this position, the handles of the cycle will be upwards and the chain will be at your eye-level. This position is ideal for working with your bike.
Now that your cycle is placed correctly, examine the chain. If there is little to no grease, you can opt for just wiping it with isopropyl alcohol and get going. But if you find chunks of grime and dust on it, then you have to degrease it once or twice depending upon the amount of grease on your cycle. While examining the chain, try and locate the master link. This link helps to adjust the chain back in its position and removing the chain with ease.
3. Remove the chain and prepare the degreasing solution.
Once you have checked for the grime and dirt on your chain, it is time to remove it. Before removing it, take a few pictures of the chain to remember the position of it while reattaching the chain. Slide the pin in the slot of master link and remove the chain. Now take a bottle and fill it with a degreaser. If you are unable to find the degreaser, you can also substitute with the kerosene or rubbing alcohol. Fill two bottles with the degreaser for double cleansing the chain. Make sure that you do not completely fill the bottle, leave some room for the chain to fit in the bottle.
4. Degrease the chain
Now take the chain put it into the first bottle containing degreaser. Close the bottle with a lid and shake the bottle so that the degreaser breaks down the grime and dust of the chain. Let the chain sit in the degreaser for good 20 minutes to get rid of all the debris. If you feel that the chain is more greasy, repeat the same procedure by dipping the chain in the second bottle. Double cleaning it will also get rid of the factory wax off the chain.
5. Wipe the grease from the chain
After you have kept the chain in the bottle, check the color of degreaser in the bottle to know if the dirt has come out. Take the chain out with the help of a cloth hanger to avoid your hands getting dirty. Keep it in a rag and wipe off the degreaser thoroughly with a cloth. Make sure that you completely get rid off everything that is onto the chain. You can also use isopropyl alcohol to wipe the chain to get rid of everything on it.
6. Reattach the chain in its original position
You can proceed with reattaching the chain once the chain is wiped clean. With the help of previously taken photos and online tutorials reattach the chain back in its original position. For doing so first connect the master link to adjust the chain properly.
7. Lubricate the chain
Now that your chain has no wax on its surface, its time for lubricating it. Take a lubricant in a bottle with dropper or dripper. Start lubricating the chain by rotating it. Make sure you lubricate the chain properly to ensure the smooth function of the chain. Now you are ready to go for a smooth ride.
This detailed procedure will help you to clean your chain in no time. While buying supplies for this process, make sure that you invest in good quality degreaser and lubricant to get better results. Make sure to clean the chain of your bicycle after every 200 miles. Happy Cycling folks!