in: Gear, Lifestyle, Visual Guides

• Last updated: June 2, 2021

How to Clean and Grease a Bike Chain: An Illustrated 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.

  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.
  2. Scrub the chain with a toothbrush and citrus-based degreaser to remove large chunks of grease and debris.
  3. Soak the chain in a container of the degreaser overnight.
  4. Rinse the chain in clean water and dry it using a clean microfiber cloth.
  5. Put the chain back on the bike, using the chain break tool to align and insert the pin that you took out.
  6. Apply a small amount of the 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.

Like this illustrated guide? Then you’re going to love our book The Illustrated Art of Manliness! Pick up a copy on Amazon.

Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

Related Posts