The Online Voice of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My drive train is supposed to be silver?

Not black? Oops.

I will be the first to admit I am not very good when it comes to chain maintenance. Although I know better, often I forget to wipe down my chain after a rainy ride (which is about 90% of my rides), worse yet, I am really bad at lubing my chain. Let this be a lesson to you: remember to take care of your bike, your bike is good to you, it carries you mile upon mile across town or across the country.

These may be incriminating photos on my part, perhaps when I'm up for reelection on the BAW board these will surface, "But how can she possibly be on the board? She doesn't even take care of her chain?" I'm willing to take that risk, and first, admit I have a problem, then try to change it.

Here are two before pictures:

Yes, very black with 'street muck' as I like to call it. Gross really. And is that hair in the derailleur? Oh boy....

I don't own a bike stand, so to clean my bike I simply flip it over like so:

This makes for relatively easy access to the drive train. As you can see I took both the wheels off as well. Armed with some
Simple Green, an old toothbrush, a rag and some chain lube
I cleaned it up! The Simple Green and some elbow grease works
great, in fact, that is what my local bike shop recommended
I use to clean my drive train years ago.

After about an hour or so of cleaning and scrubbing my drive train was back to a nice silver color.

Like I said before, I know better.
I know that if I don't clean and
maintain my chain it can lead to
more problems, like having to
replace the cassette. I can already see that some of the cogs are

Take my advice, a little care in the short term can save you a lot of time and money in the long term.

1 comment:

  1. You also need to either measure your chain for stretch, or buy one of those chain testing tools. At 75% wear you need to replace the chain, otherwise you'll end up replacing both the rear cogs and the chain every time.

    I get about 1,500 miles per chain commuting with like you, minimal maintenance.