How To Clean Bike Chain - London Bike Show
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London Bike Show

5-7 March 2021 | Excel London
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How To Clean Bike Chain

Bicycle chains can become dirty and grimy over time, leaving your bike with reduced performance. Cleaning your bike chain is an important part of maintaining your bicycle.

Taking the time to properly clean your bike chain not only helps keep it in good working condition, but also ensures that your bike is running smoothly and efficiently. By taking care of your chain regularly, you will be able to prevent costly repairs and extend the life of your bike for years to come.

By removing old grime and dirt from the chain, you’ll help ensure that it lasts longer and runs smoothly. Fortunately, cleaning a bicycle chain is quick and easy.

With the right tools and techniques, you can restore your bike’s chain to like-new condition in no time!

To start cleaning your bicycle chain, gather together the following tools and supplies:

Next, follow these simple steps to clean your bicycle chain:

  1. Remove The Chain From The Bike

First, you need to remove the chain from your bicycle. This will allow you to clean the chain thoroughly and get rid of any dirt or grime that has accumulated on it. To do this, first begin by turning your crank backwards so that the pedals are in line with the sprockets. Then, take a wrench and loosen the chain from the sprocket by moving it counter-clockwise.

  1. Apply Degreaser To The Chain And Use A Brush To Scrub It In

Once you have removed the chain from the sprockets, place it in a container filled with degreaser to help clean it more effectively.

Applying degreaser to the chain and scrubbing it in can help you clean your bike chain effectively. This process may take a bit of time and elbow grease, but it will be well worth it when your chain is free from grime and debris.

To get started, begin by spraying your bike chain with a quality degreaser. You can buy degreaser at your local bike store or online, or you can even make your own at home by mixing household ingredients like white vinegar and dish soap together in a bucket of water.

Once you have applied the degreaser to your chain, use a soft-bristled brush to scrub it into the chain. Don’t be afraid to put some muscle into this process, as it will help remove any built-up grime or debris from the chain surface and links.

  1. Rinse Off The Degreaser And Dry The Chain Off

Once you have applied the degreaser, it is important to rinse it off and dry the chain properly. This will ensure that any remaining lube or residue from the degreaser does not damage your chain or do any harm to the bike itself.

To rinse off, use a clean rag dipped in water and lightly scrub the chain until it appears clean and shiny. It’s important to make sure all of the degreaser is removed, as any residue could cause damage to the lubrication you apply later on.

To dry off your chain, use a clean rag or some compressed air to gently blow away any remaining water or moisture. Once this step is done, your chain should be fully cleaned and ready for grease or lubricant.

  1. Apply Lubricant To The Chain And Use Your Fingers To Work It In

Many bike owners find that after cleaning their bike chains, it’s also helpful to apply lubricant to keep them running smoothly.

Applying lubricant to your bike chain is an important part of keeping it in good condition and ensuring that it runs smoothly. Lubricating your bike chain helps to prevent rusting and corrosion, eliminates squeaking noises, protects against wear and tear, and keeps the chain moving freely.

There are many different types of lubricants that can be used on a bike chain, including regular motor oil, WD-40, white lithium grease, petroleum jelly, and dry lube. Each type of lubricant has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is best to experiment with different types to find the one that works best for you.

You can simply spray or coat your chain with a thin layer of lubricant. Begin by pouring the lubricant onto a small area of the bike chain, then use your fingers to work it into the chain.

Be sure to apply the lubricant to all of the links on both sides of the bike, and to also apply it to any other moving parts on your bike that may require lubrication.

Then allow it to dry for about 30 minutes before riding again. You can also choose to apply lubricant regularly, or as needed.

  1. Reattach The Chain To The Bike And Spin The Pedals A Few Times

Once your bike chain is properly oiled and lubed, it’s time to reattach the chain to your bike and spin the pedals a few times. This will help distribute the lubricant evenly throughout the chain, which will make it run smoothly as you ride your bike.

To attach the chain back onto your bike, first locate the front gear shifter on your handlebars. Then, find the chain guide or derailleur on your bike and make sure that it’s in the position where you want to reconnect the chain. Usually, this will be in one of the lower gears, depending on how fast you want to ride.

Next, hold onto the front gear shifter and pull down gently on the chain until it is fully connected to the bike. Then, hold down on the gear shifter and push your foot down on the pedal a few times to help get everything lined up properly. Once you’ve done this, you can release the gear shifter and start riding your bike as normal.

If you notice that your chain is still squeaking or making other unpleasant noises as you ride, it may be time to reapply your lubricant. Simply do the same steps as before to remove any excess grease from the chain and use a clean cloth to apply a fresh coat of oil or lube. With regular maintenance, your bike chain will run smoothly for years to come!


While maintaining your bike can seem like a daunting task, following these simple steps can help you keep your bike in great condition and ensure that it lasts for years to come. Start by applying fresh lubricant or oil to your chain, then reattach the chain back onto your bike and spin the pedals a few times.

If you notice that your chain is still making noises as you ride, you may need to reapply your lubricant or oil. With regular maintenance, your bike chain will stay in great shape and help you get around town with ease.