How To Lube Your Bicycle Chain

One of the steps to properly maintaining your bike is to lube the chains every so often. Doing so will allow your bike to ride smoother, shift gears more easily and simply last longer. If you don’t take the time to lube your chain, it will rust and eventually deteriorate over time.

What You’ll Need To Lube Your Chain

All you’ll really need is a towel or rag that you don’t mind dirtying up and a bottle of bicycle chain lube. Be sure to avoid using lubes which aren’t made for bicycles, such as car oil, vegetable oil or even WD-40. All of these can potentially damage your chain even further, so never use them on your bike.

Pick a Location

Under no circumstances should you lube your chain outside while you’re on the trail. No matter how much you try to prevent it, some of the lube will make its way down onto the ground and contaminate the soil. Instead, I recommend lubing your chain inside of a garage or on your driveway. Just lay out some newspapers or old towels underneath the area first.

Lubing The Chains

When you’ve chosen a location and have everything you need, go ahead and lift your bike slightly up and place something underneath the front wheel. This extra height will allow the gears to spin more easily and give you more room to work with. Before you lube the chains, you should clean off any hardened dirt or debris as much as possible. Even if it’s not on the chains, it may fall off and stick to the lube after you’re done.

Start by dripping a small amount of lube directly onto the chains while spinning the pedal with your hand. As the chain progresses, continue dripping small amounts of lube onto it until you’ve completely covered the surface of it. Once you’ve finished, use a rag to gently wipe any excess lube off of the chains and gears.

Tips on Lubing Bike

You’ll likely see half a dozen or more different types of lubes at the bike shop. When choosing one, look for one that’s thin and wont and doesn’t easily attract dirt or dust. If you need help, ask an employee which one works best.

To keep your bike in optimal shape, you should lube the chains about once every 2 to 3 rides. If you do this, you’ll notice your bike ride will ride and perform more smoothly than before.