A bicycle chain is cleaned.

The chain of your bicycle transfers the energy of pedaling to the wheels.A poorly maintained chain can hurt the efficiency of the energy transfer.If you want to have an enjoyable ride, you should make sure that your bike chain is in good working order.If you have the right supplies and know-how, you can clean your bike chain in less than an hour.

Step 1: Put your bike in a safe location.

A kickstand isn't likely to hold your bike in place while you work on it.Your bike could be damaged by a hit on the ground.If possible, use a bike stand that securely holds your bike, lean it against a wall, or set it upside down so it rests on the seat and handlebars.It's a bonus to have your bike oriented wheels upward.This will make it easier for you to inspect and work on your bike.A bike stand is a simple way to hold your bike.Hooks are attached to a frame.You should hang your bike by the wheels, but be careful.It's possible that cheap bike stands aren't very sturdy.

Step 2: Evaluate the health of your chain.

If you notice that your bike chain is dirty and grimy, it's time to clean it.Cyclists will want to perform a chain cleaning at least once every 200 miles.If you have a quick eye inspection, you can tell if your chain needs cleaning.If you're unsure, feel the chain with your fingers.It's time to clean if the chain feels caked or limited by grime.Proper maintenance can prolong the life of your chain.You will be aware of chain stretch or damaged links when you clean your chain regularly.You can find the master link for the chain while checking the state of your chain.You can easily remove your chain from the drivetrain with the master link.The pin/slot configuration is where you can slide a small pin out of a slot to open the link.If you don't have a master link, you can either install one yourself or have it done by a local bicycle shop.This is usually cheap, costing around$15 or less.

Step 3: Take a look at your drivetrain.

When it comes to bicycle maintenance, it's important to have a good idea of how the chain works and how it fits in your bike.The motor is connected to the wheels of the bike.The force of your pedaling is transferred to the wheels by your chain.Variable gear bikes might have complicated gear shifting mechanisms.You might want to take a few pictures with your cell phone of the parts so you have a reference when it's time to fix your chain.

Step 4: Make sure you have your supplies.

If you want a quality bicycle chain lubricant, you'll have to go to your local bike shop or hardware store.This job will be easier if you have your supplies on hand.You'll need a clean rag, bike chain lubricant, degreaser, or alcohol.

Step 5: You can wipe the chain with alcohol.

To wet it, pour enough alcohol onto a rag.Hold the rag against the chain.To move the chain across the rag, pedal the bike slowly.It's all you need to clean a bike chain.If you want, you can do a deeper clean.

Step 6: If you want to soak the chain, fill a bottle with degreaser.

To deep clean your chain, soak it in a degreaser and then wipe it off with a cloth.To immerse your chain, fill enough degreaser in one bottle.If you have excessively dirty chains, you may want to do a double rinse.Prepare another bottle with degreaser the same way you prepared the first one.The first rinse in degreaser will break up heavy gunk.The second bottle can be used to deep clean the chain.If you don't have a degreaser formulated for bicycle chains, you can use an equivalent found in your home, though these might not be as strong or fast acting.Paint thinner is one of the options.

Step 7: Take the chain out of the bike.

Since you scoped out the position of your master link, you should be able to find it again.To open the master link, you need to slide the pin out of the slot.You should be able to pull the chain free once the master link is open.Firm but gentle pressure can be used to remove the shifting mechanisms and sprockets of your bike.Damage to your bike can be caused by yanking on your chain.

Step 8: It's a good idea to keep your chain clean.

Put your chain in the bottle and put the lid on it.Shake the bottle to make sure the degreaser breaks up the film on your chain.You should allow your chain to soak for up to 20 minutes after shaking.You will need to lubricate the chain after you have removed the factory wax from it.Give your degreaser time to work its way into the nooks and crannies between the links of your chain.Give your degreaser time to break up stubborn gunk.

Step 9: Remove the chain from the bottle and wipe it off.

If you want to prevent getting your hands and clothes dirty with harsh degreaser, you can use a coat hanger to hook your chain and pull it out of the bottle.To clean the degreaser, use a dry rag.To make sure the chain is free of degreaser, slide it through the rag and use your hand to apply pressure.If you soaked the chain for a long time, you need to relubricate it.

Step 10: The chain should be put back in the drive train.

Specifics of how you attach your chain to your bike will be unique.Take pictures with your phone of the wheel mechanisms to insert your chain.You can find a manual for your bicycle online if you struggle to get your chain back on.You can do a quick Internet search and use the manual to get your chain back.

Step 11: Remove your master link.

The easiest way to connect your master link is if the ends of your bike chain meet between your wheels.To ensure this, you may want to thread your bike chain into the drivetrain with one end extending to either the top- or bottom-middle point between your wheels.To complete the master link, remove the pin from its slot and connect your chain.Make sure the master link is fastened by touching it with your fingers.The link could warp if it is skewed.

Step 12: Your bicycle chain needs to be Lubricate.

A good quality lubricant will help your bike chain run smoothly, but will also help protect it from the elements.Hold your bottle of lubricant above the top-middle point of the chain and squeeze out a thin, steady stream, spinning your pedals as you do so.Your bike chain will be ready to ride when you have completed a full revolution of the chain.

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