While working on the first product, I got into the topic of chain lubrication very deeply. I chose it because I believe it is one of the most important steps in servicing a bicycle. Below I will try to explain why.
I think a lot of people will say at this point, “But what is it? Just as I have my car serviced once in a while, I will give my bike back once a year and it’s cool! “
Unfortunately it is not …
The bicycle chain must be cleaned and lubricated regularly. Depending on the conditions in which you ride, it may be every several hundred or even several dozen kilometers. If you don’t do this, theoretically nothing will happen right away. However, the chain will wear excessively, which will cause it to stretch.
This in turn will prematurely war teeth on the cassette and front chain ring. In consequence, it will be necessary to replace both the chain and the rest of the drive components. The more expensive your bike is, the more it will hurt.
Why is the occasional visit to the bike service not enough and you have to “play around” with the chain so much?
All moving parts in the bike move thanks to rolling bearings, which are well hidden or even sealed. Therefore, dirt does not get into them and they can work for a long time without re-lubrication. In a chain, however, individual links rub and slide between each other. They are directly exposed to the weather and everything that rises from roads and trails, and then ends up on a chain.
You probably ask, “Can’t you use a chain that has the links sealed like other bearings?” Theoretically, you can (such chains are used, for example, in motorcycles), but they will not work in a bicycle.
The bicycle chain must be flexible to shift gears. For this reason, the links are loosely fitted to each other, which precludes sealing and makes them even more vulnerable to the ingress of dust.
Without frequent cleaning, the dirt will mix with the remaining grease to form the perfect abrasive paste, and you already know what the consequences are.
Well, there’s no choice, the chain has to be looked after!
But how you can do it simply and quickly I will describe in the next post.