Whether you bike hundreds of miles a week or just to the nearby park every weekend, taking care of your chain is important. Failing to maintain a clean and well-lubricated bike chain will make it harder to pedal, and could also lead to damage to your gears or other parts of the drivetrain. Luckily, upkeep on a chain is relatively simple and inexpensive.
Maybe you haven't been biking as much as you'd like to, and when you grab your bike out of the garage you notice the chain has become a bit dirty or rusty. You may be tempted to just replace the chain, but that could be an overreaction. It could just need a good spring-cleaning, and it won't be too much trouble to make it happen. Here are some steps to take to get your chain riding smooth and looking fresh:
This should leave your bike chain clean and free of rust and gunk. If you want more detailed instructions or some other cleaning methods you can find them here. If you'd like to see how it's done, here is a quick tutorial on chain cleaning.
Now that your chain is clean and rust-free, let's look at the methods you can use to prevent this from happening again. Rust occurs when metal is exposed to moisture, causing a chemical reaction (oxidation) that changes the structure of the metal. Salt, dirt, and mud can exacerbate this process, so keeping a chain clean and dry will go a long way in preventing rust. Simply wiping your chain down with a clean rag or towel after every ride will make a noticeable difference.
Regularly applying lubricant to your bike chain is another way to keep it in good working condition and prevent rust from setting in. Lubricating your chain is a cheap and easy process, but there are a few tips you should know before getting started:
Adhering to these basic methods will help keep your ride smooth, your chain clean, and the rest of your bike functional for years to come. So stay safe, stay clean, and enjoy your time on your impeccably maintained bike!
If you live in areas of humid climate or by the ocean, check out our blog post with more tips to protect your bike.
The government requires drivers to keep license plates on their vehicles to protect public and private safety. Commuters are opting to ride bicycles over driving cars for any number of positive lifestyle benefits, but cyclists trade off the safety afforded to drivers.
License plates are not required by law for bicycles in most areas, but there are various benefits to implementing this measure to protect cyclists in reckless riding behavior. Several American states have attempted bicycle license plate systems on a provisional basis, as documented.
Whether you are a leisurely bike rider or consider more of a passion, all riders should be in the habit of regularly cleaning their bike. Simply put, a clean bike looks betters, operates better, and will last longer.
Even if you are using your bike just to cruise to the beach or around town, Bicycling.com recommends, "Cleaning your road bike monthly (or every 20 to 25 rides) and a mountain or 'cross bike more often". So, while it may be easier just to put your bike back in the garage after a few rides, making an effort to wash your bike monthly (even if it doesn't look dirty) can really help extend the life of your bike and help with day to day operation of the bike!
Sometimes the world seems so dangerous. We worry about accidents, cancer, and criminals potentially lurking around the corner. Actually, there's a much quieter, much closer concern that many of us overlook.
Inactivity is currently the world's fourth leading cause of death. It's a problem often confused and conflated with laziness and personal choice, but in reality the issue is geographic, systemic, and woven into the structure of modern living. (EuroNews)
That statement may sound shocking, but the numbers back it up.