Tags:How to Lube and Clean Chains,mountain bikes,prolink-chain lube,rubber gloves,rug,zinncycles
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You can see this chain is fairly dirty and so are these jockey wheels. This is just one day's riding on trails. On a mountain bike you ride through puddles and stream crossings and it washes the lubricant off, and then also dry grip gets in there; just sand and fine dust particles. You really want to keep a lot of lubricant in there. Obviously it gets messier the more lubricants you have in there, and it picks up more dirt. There are some lubricants that are dry lubricants, wax based, and unless you live in a really, really dry environment, I actually don't usually recommend those, because they tend to not be able to deal with a lot of water. But I find I get a lot of chain life if I just wipe the chain down after every ride.
So whenever you wipe this down, go ahead and wipe the goop off the jockey wheels, because it builds up really fast. If your chain is well lubricated, then your -- it's always going to be bringing a lot of stuff into the jockey wheels as well. You just pinch on them; usually the upper one, you turn the other direction, and you are just trying to get the moving parts wiped down pretty well.
I just keep gloves next to my bike and a rag and some of this ProGold, which is purported to be a metal conditioner that has a way of actually soaking into the metal, that the temperature gets very high in between the chain plates as its working, and that's what -- that once it gets that elevated temperature, the ProGold actually goes into the surface a little bit. Of course, I have no way of knowing whether true or not, but I do know that I get better, longer chain life using that than other things I have tried.
I just take an extra few moments and this is all I do. I don't even have to have a bike stand to do this. I just lean it up against the wall. It doesn't have to be beautiful. It's just going to get dirty again the first time you ride, but what I am interested in is not the external look of it so much as what's going on in between the chain plates.
I just run chain lube in like this, and you can actually go and put a drip on each link, like that. I just run it in on one edge of the chain and then on the other edge, and then you can do a little brief wipe on the outside, but I don't usually even bother doing this, I just leave it overnight and then the next day when I ride it, I am ready to go and the chain is clean.
I also do wipe the chain rings when I am doing this. I am not making any big production about it. I just wipe the chain rings. Literally, you can do this in less than two minutes I would say. Your drive train will always be running smoothly, your shifting will be great, and your whole drive train is going to last a lot longer.