When our bike accumulates months of use, it is completely normal that the chain loses its initial qualities and needs a wash from time to time.
Cleaning it is a fundamental step so that the mechanical operation of the vehicle is ideal. Otherwise, the chain will not take long to come off or to not change the dishes and gears well.
Techniques for cleaning the bicycle chain
Each person who has cleaned the chain of their bicycle will advise you on a different technique and product to leave it untouched. Below, we highlight the three most common techniques to get rid of the dirt accumulated in the chain, showing you the positive and negative side of each one:
Using a rag
This way of cleaning the chain is not complex. First, we put the degreaser in the area of the chain that will be in contact with dishes and pinions. As we introduce the liquid, we move the pedals back so that all parts of the chain are impregnated with a degreaser.
Once we have fulfilled this objective, we must take the rag and hold the chain completely. Next, we will pedal backward so that the rag can touch the entire chain. It will take several turns for it to reach an optimal cleaning state.
As a main positive point, we must highlight the speed and simplicity with which we remove dirt from the chain. However, with this technique, the holes between the rollers (where the chain fits on the sprockets and chainrings) keep the dirt- since we do not reach these areas with the rag.
In this way, the dirt is not completely removed, and the chain has all the ballots to not function properly. Therefore, we dare to say that it is not the best cleaning technique that exists.
Using a brush
A brush can be a good option to clean bike chains. Always helping us with degreaser, we will brush the entire chain. We will also not forget areas that accumulate dirt, such as pinions and plates.
The most common way to brush the chain is by using gasoline as a degreaser. Many cyclists choose to remove the chain, dip it in gasoline and brush it after a certain rest in the fuel. However, there is also the option of not removing it, although it is a more uncomfortable practice.
Once the brushing has been carried out correctly, the other mechanical elements must be cleaned of degreaser. Taking into account the characteristics of this technique, we can say that it is one of the most effective, but it is also one of the most laborious. Although, without a doubt, the main disadvantage is having to disassemble and mount the chain.
Degreasing machine with roller
You may not know this little machine with a simple and effective mechanism. The tool to which we refer in this section is internally made up of two spirals with bristles that are moistened in a mini tank of degreaser.
When the machine is correctly positioned on the bike chain and has the right degreaser inside, the bristles will fit perfectly with the chain holes while the chain is moved with the pedal, allowing the cleaning of the chain to be thorough.
It is a mechanism that, apart from being quite fast, performs a deep cleaning on the chain, even in its holes. In addition, it is a cleaner technique, since the machine has some pads that are responsible for draining the liquid so that it does not drip.