× How to Clean and Grease a Bike Chain Frame 1: Use a chain break tool to remove the chain from your bike. Line up the tool's arm to push a pin out of a chain link so that you can pull the chain apart. Frame 2: Scrub the chain with a toothbrush and a citrus-based degreaser to remove large chunks of grease and debris. Frame 3: Soak the chain in a container of the degreaser overnight. Frame 4: Rinse the chain in clean water and dry it using a clean microfiber cloth. Frame 5: Put the chain back on the bike, using the chain break tool to align and insert the pin that you took out. Frame 6: Apply a small amount of bike chain lubricant along the chain, pausing in between applications to lift the rear wheel up and spin the pedals to advance the chain and distribute the lubricant.  

| June 2, 2016

Last updated: December 13, 2017

Manly Skills, Visual Guides

How to Clean and Grease a Bike Chain: Your 60-Second Guide

how to clean and grease a bike chain illustration

When you ride, your bike chain is subject to an onslaught of mud, sand, rain, oil, and chemicals. Over time, that cocktail of gunk starts to affect your chain’s performance, causing linkages to stick and skip so you’re no longer getting the power you deserve with every leg-pumping pedal. With regular riding, you should remove, clean, and grease your bike chain every few months.

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Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

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