Bicycle Repair North Andover MA
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Care and Feeding of Chains
Interested in an indepth site about chains and chain construction? Harris Cyclery is a site that has all you'll ever want to know.
LubricationRiders often go overboard when applying chain lube. Then when they ride, the chain flings the excess on the chain stay. The only purpose of lubing the outside of the chain is to prevent rusting. It'll get plenty without you intentionally putting it there. Instead, focus on the rollers and rivets where links connect. It's those moving parts that need the friction reduction from chain lubrication.
How should you proceed? Get down at chain level and begin with the link nearest the chainrings on the bottom run - between the chainring and the derallier. (If your chain has a master link, move it to this position. That way you'll be certain when the whole chain is done.) Working toward the rear derailleur, apply one drop of lube to each side plate - roller junction. Repeat for the other side. Then movbe the chian so that a new section can be lubed. Hold a rag under the links you're working on to avoid dripping lube on the floor and your rim. If you're doing it right, and squeezing out just one drop per roller, the rag won't get saturated.
When you've lubed the whole chain, slowly rotate the pedals backward for 30 seconds to help the lube penetrate. Then hold the rag around the chain to remove excess lube (while still pedaling backwards). This will clean the chain too.
What about wax lubricants? Here are some comments from Jim Langley on the www.roadbikerider.com website. He was asked " Although everything looks incredibly clean despite miles and miles of riding, am I sacrificing anything by not using a traditional "wet" lube?"
Jim Langley Replied: "As long as you keep a good coating on the chain, it protects well and feels the same as a lube that stays wet to the touch. Cyclists who have problems with wax either ride in the rain, which washes away the lube, or they don't apply it frequently enough, which results in dry, squeaking links."
"The biggest advantage to wax lubes is that grit doesn't stick to them. Your drivetrain remains free of the little sandpaper-like bits that accelerate wear on the chain, cassette cogs and chainrings. So, although I haven't seen any test results, it's possible that your drivetrain components will last a bit longer when the chain is properly serviced with a wax lube. Another advantage is that you won't get your hands greasy repairing rear flats." Jim also points out that paraffin waxes have been around (and popular) for many years, indicating that they perform at least as well as oil based products.
Chain StretchChain stretch is just another way to say cahin wear. Lubricate and clean your chain, and you can slow the wear. But when the chain has stretched approximately 1 mm or 1/16 inch, it's time to install a new one.
Today there are a number of tools to measure chain length. Years ago you measured chain wear with a ruler. The 0 marker was pla...