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Article: Lubricating your bicycle chain

Fietsketting smeren

Lubricating your bicycle chain

In this blog we have discussed in detail how you can properly clean and clean the chain of your bicycle. After you have cleaned the chain of your road bike, it is time to grease / lubricate the chain again. To ensure that there is no black layer of dirt on your chain in no time, it is important to read the tips in this blog carefully. Because many people often lubricate the chain with too much oil and also lubricate it in the wrong places. In this blog we explain how to properly lubricate your chain and give you practical tips.

Among other things, we answer the following questions:

  1. Why should you lubricate a bicycle chain?
  2. What kind of oil/lube/wax/lube should I use for my bicycle chain
  3. How do I properly lubricate the chain of my road bike?
  4. How often should I lubricate my road bike chain

You need the following tools to lubricate your bicycle chain:

  • Oil (lube, wax, grease)
  • Piece of old textile

Why should you lubricate a bicycle chain?

A bicycle chain consists of links that fall around sprockets. To make the links rotate smoothly over each other and to let them fall smoothly over the gears, you need oil. If the chain is too dry (i.e. too little oil), it will make a squeaking sound. Because the links move over each other without oil, we will also wear them faster and your bicycle chain can break more quickly. Correct lubrication of your bicycle chain is therefore very important!

Bicycle chain lube
Bicycle chain lube

What kind of oil/grease/wax/lube should I use for my bicycle chain?

Before we start lubricating the bicycle chain, we will first explain to you which types of lubricants there are. In general, oil, lube, wax or grease is used. If you look at products that are suitable for the bicycle, then it concerns lube and wax. Lube is a type of oil specially developed for bicycle chains. Oil is too greasy and therefore attracts dirt more quickly than lubricants that have been specially developed for bicycle chains. A common beginner's mistake: using WD40. Never ever use WD40 to lubricate your bicycle chain. Not only does it attract a lot of dirt, it also gets into all kinds of places where it shouldn't be. In addition, WD40 ensures that parts can rust faster.

To properly lubricate your chain, we recommend that you use lube. Do you have a mountain bike? Then use wax. There are two types of lube: wet lube and dry lube. Now we hear you thinking: what is the difference between wet lube and dry lube. The difference is quite simple. Dry lube is made for cycling in dry weather and wet lube is made for cycling in wet weather. The advantage of dry lube is that it is firmer and therefore you have to lubricate your chain less often. The advantage of wet lube is that it has been specially developed for cycling in dirtier conditions. As a result, dirt is less likely to stick to it.

Preferably use wet lube because it attracts dirt just a little less quickly than dry lube. This means you don't have to clean your chain as often. Do you still have a bottle of dry lube? Then feel free to use it up, the difference between wet and dry lube is not very big.

A useful tip is to use a bottle with a spout that fits exactly between the links. This allows you to apply the lube properly and neatly. We explain the importance of this below.

Bicycle chain with sand
Bicycle chain with sand

How do I properly lubricate the chain of my road bike?

Lubricating your bicycle chain correctly is not difficult, often people just don't know how to do it. For example, we often see that people use far too much oil. As a result, a lot of dirt (read: sand) sticks to the chain. Because there is sand on the chain, the chain and sprockets wear out a lot faster. It is therefore important to lubricate your chain correctly.

The purpose of lubrication is that the links of your bicycle chain can move smoothly over each other. That's why you don't have to lube the side of the chain, because you only attract extra dirt. The only place where oil needs to get is between the links themselves. Most chain lube bottles have a handy spout that fits right in between. As a result, the amount of lube is neatly distributed and it only reaches the parts where it is needed.

To start, turn the bottle of lube upside down and place it on the inside of your chain on one of the links. Now slowly start spinning the chain. If you have turned the pedal around twice, you have made the chain go around once. When lubricating, make sure that you make about four to five full circles with the bicycle chain.

Next, take a clean piece of fabric and run all of them down the outside and side of the chain. There does not need to be any lube here, so it is better to remove the lube here.

In principle, your chain is now well lubricated and you can hit the road! Have you completely degreased the chain? Then we recommend that you lubricate again after your first ride so that the lube can pull properly between the links.

How often should I lubricate my road bike chain?

The bicycle chain must be lubricated anyway if it has been degreased. In addition, you do not have to lubricate the chain very often. You can feel and hear this, if the chain is dry or makes a lot of noise, lubricate it again. A guideline for this is between five and ten trips (depending on the distance you are racing). We also advise you not to use too much lube while lubricating because this quickly attracts dirt. Therefore, use as little lube as possible. We recommend lubricating your chain a few times with little oil rather than once with a lot of oil.

Can we help you further?

If you still have questions about maintenance and lubrication of your bicycle chain after reading this blog, feel free to send us a message via the chat function on our website. For now: enjoy cycling!

1 comment

Waar Kan ik die smering lube verkrijgen?
Vr Sjack

Sjack Reijn

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