Looking for new ways to spend time while responsibly sheltering at home? This productive task has the added benefit of helping you prepare for your next fresh-air excursion. Plus, it helps keep important components of your bike—your chain, chainrings and cassette—in good working order. Here’s how.
Set up your bike and gather your materials
- Place a drop cloth on a cleared table, flip your bike over and set it on top
- Get rags, an old toothbrush and your favorite lube
- Note: Use a bike-specific lube, not a household or automotive product
Clean the chain
- First, grasp the chain with a dry rag and crank the pedals backward
- Your goal is to remove grit, not all the lube
- Add a small amount of lube to the rag and repeat, removing more grit
Clean the chain rings
- Now take the toothbrush and use it to brush grit off the chainrings
- Turn the crank as you work your way around each chainring
Clean the cassette
- Now take the toothbrush and use it to brush grit off the cassette cogs
- Turn the wheel as you work your way around each cog
Finish by re-lubing everything
- Slowly turn the crank as you apply a small amount of lube to each chain link
- Now grasp the chain with a dry rag and crank the pedals backward to remove excess lube that would otherwise glom onto grit on you next ride
Now go for a ride!
With more of us not driving to work these days, the roads should have less traffic.
Looking for more bike care tutorials?
See our Drivetrain Maintenance series or our entire library of Bicycle Care and Repair articles and videos.