How to Lubricate Your Bike Chain

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Chain Lube! The Johnny D Method:

Make sure your chain is clean. Simply scrubbing it with a stiff bristle brush and Dawn dishwashing detergent will do nicely; rise throughly and wipe dry with a clean rag. No need to let it drip dry because T-9 works wonderfully to displace water.

Shift your chain to the smallest gear on the cluster where you can access it easily. I like putting it on where the chain is curved around and more of the inner bits are exposed.

At this point there are two schools of thought:

1.) A single drop of lube on each roller is more than adequate

2.) Soak that sucker and make it drip. Well, sort of…

I usually opt for school #2. Why? Because I tend to ride in the worst of environments where anything that gets on my chain and into my drive train will cause damage. This stuff isn’t cheap! Once the T-9 solvent evaporates after 6-7 hours (over night) my chain is coated with just T-9 paraffin and is protected on all surfaces. Once the chain is coated nicely, spin the pedals backwards and wipe the chain clean of any excess with a clean rag. I have a rag specifically for this purpose. Yeah, I have a T-9 rag; I’m a nerd that way. Then let dry. Overnight, remember?

A wet lube will remain sticky and collect all sorts of crud and corruption. That’s not happening on my bikes. Ever. No, sirree!

Now then, school #1 has it’s merits as well. If you tend to ride in clean, dry environments, then just the rollers and the insides of each plate needs lubrication. Follow up with a wiping with your T-9 rag and go to bed.

A throughly coated chain is protected inside and out for a few hundred miles. As you see fit, clean your chains and repeat the process!

Pro tip: I’ve seen folks lube up and happily show me right before a ride. Don’t do that; chains and drive trains can be costly!

Author: John A C Despres

Next from Johnny D “Winterizing your bike with T-9” But we’ll wait until the temps begin to drop a bit. 

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