Clean the Chain on a Touring or Mountain Bike
Edited by Thor, Inukshuk, Eng
Hello and welcome to VisiHow. In this video I'm going to show you how to clean the chain on your touring or mountain bike.
There are two ways to clean your chain. The first is with a chain cleaner which is a specific tool that fits around the chain and contains liquid. You can clean the chain by letting it run through the cleaner. You can buy one of this if you want to use that.
The other way is to do it manually. If you are on the road or if you are travelling or touring, carrying a chain cleaner is not always necessary. You can clean the chain with what you have already in your bike.
I'm going to use a toothbrush - which is an excellent tool. Once you've got an old toothbrush, or you can carry one with you, we are going to use this to clean the chain because it gets right in there. We are going to clean the derailleur as well and it gets right in there allowing you to get all those grease and dirt out.
It's very important to clean your chain, your derailleur, your cassette and the chain rings because the dirt can cause a lot of problems. It can help to destroy the metal and grind up the steel. It often causes skipping between gears. Clean gears and clean cassette help everything to run smoothly and efficiently and you will enjoy the ride a lot more.
First, we are going to get some soapy hot water. We don't want to use anything with too much chemicals in it - so just soap and hot water. We are going to get in the chain and give it a good going over with the toothbrush. Make sure you get in there really good.
You can rotate the pedals to get access to different areas. I'm going to do that all the way around. Try to get all the grease out and see how black the toothbrush is black already. Go all the way around, we're trying to get all the grease and dirt off.
Make sure you keep rinsing your toothbrush off. Go around that until you are satisfied.
Now, we're going to work on the derailleur here. We can get light in there with the toothbrush. Get all the dirt off the cogs.
Rotate the pedals. You are to do both sides. Don't just do the front sides but also do the back as well because the build up of dirt and grime is everywhere. Rotate the pedals. Let's rinse the toothbrush once again.
We could do the top cog. You could see all the dirt falling off here making a big mess. You want to make sure that you put something on the floor so you that you are not making a big mess on the floor. If you are outside, it's not too much of a problem. I'm trying to get off as much dirt as possible - both sides as well, don't just do one side.
Get right in there as much as possible. I'm going to find the dirt. All the time, it really builds up - all the dirt from the road and fields, as well, if you are off road.
When you are satisfied with that, we can move on to the cassette. The cassette is good. Good brush. Hot water really helps to dissolve all the grease because it is very stubborn - it does not want to come off. Here we go, it's moving quite smoothly.
Now, we can move on to the front cassette - the chain wheels. Get all that dirt off. You will see already the difference it makes. It makes your bike look a lot fresher and needless to say it is very beneficial.
Get in here as well - in the derailleur. Shake all that dried mud off. I'm not going to do a complete job now because I am sure you've got better things to do than watch me clean a bike for one hour but this gives you a good idea of what you need to do.
You need to get right in there. Not just a superficial job but right in all the nooks, in all the crannies, everywhere where mud builds up. Mud has a little bit of ammonium on it as well which is really bad - soil has a lot of ammonium, it's very bad for the steel and all the components. If you really want to get it off, do it on a regular basis. If you are a cycler, you got to do this at least once a month because if you are on the road and something breaks, it's very hard to replace it sometimes. Prevention is better than cure. If you can look after your bike, then it can save you money - and it will save you a lot of hard work in the future. No one wants to break in Tajikistan or miles from anywhere just because they have not taken care of their bike, probably.
Try to get everywhere you think is necessary. Have a good look. If you are satisfied, if there's no dirt in the bike, if you can start seeing the metal shining again, then you know that you have done a good job.
I will check on the back, as well. Always get around the back
When you are satisfied, you need to dry everything off. Take a cloth and use that to help hold on to the chain. Lightly, allow it to move through your fingers pulling all the grease off as well. When you are satisfied with that, do that a few times.
Also, we are going to dry off all the other parts that we've cleaned.
We can pull this down, as well, to gain access to it. You can see how much dirt has accumulated on the tissue or tower you are using.
Give this a good dry as well. Rotate to see how it is moving. Check if it's circulating or rotating well - sounds OK. This is how we would clean it.
After cleaning, it's very important to apply some chain lube. We have some chain lube here. Depending on what you are doing, this is for all weather. A lot of time when you are using WD40, it gets washed off very easily. It is good to use specific chain lube.
We are just going to put few drops on top, like this. Rotate and put some more drops on top. Keep squeezing. You do not want too much on because it will just drain and get wasted. If you are on the road you want to conserve this as much as possible.
Just rotate around to get it into the system - to get it into the components. If you are cycling now, what you would do is you would take this out for a little ride and go for the gears so that you are spreading the chain lube through every part - the cassette and the different chain wheels. Go around and try every gear so that you are spreading that liquid and helping to lubricate every component.
That has been a video on how to clean the chain for your mountain bike or touring bike - and also how to lube it and apply chain lube afterwards. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them on the section below. You've been watching VisiHow and goodbye!
Video: Clean the Chain on a Touring or Mountain Bike
Bikes & Motorcycles
Recent edits by: Inukshuk, Thor