Tip of the Week – Love Your Chain Long Time!
To go along with This week’s sponsor highlight – a little TLC recipe for your chain!
Your chain is one of the most unappreciated parts of your bike. We always depend on our chains to”just work”, but for one of the most heavily stressed parts of our bikes, very few people show their chains the regular love and attention necessary to keep them running top notch! First and foremost I want to point out that if you choose a great track chain like the one pictured (Izumi Super Toughness), you should only EVER need to buy 2 in your entire life (one for training and one for racing)! The “Super-V” track chain is NJS Keirin certified. Now some people think that means the chains are bomb-proof and that they will never have to service the chain ever. Those people are idiots and will be buying new chains 1-2x/season. To avoid spending $60-$120 per chain multiple times per season, be like the Japanese and meticulously maintain your training chain like I do. Here is my recipe for success:
- Remove chain from bike via master link screw and nut (if you lost you either master link screw/nut or simply couldn’t master it, you should probably stick to a cheaper alternative)
- Place chain as flat as possible in a tub or other sealable container (like an empty and clean peanut butter jar)
- Add enough cleaner/degreaser (Simple Green, etc) to cover/submerge the chain and then seal jar/container
- Then shake/swirl container for a few minutes until all dirt/grime has come out of chain (drain degreaser and repeat if necessary)
- Once clean, remove chain from degreaser, rinse with water and immediately hand dry with a towel(s) till majority of excess water/moisture is removed
- Also be sure to rinse, clean and dry out the container you used for cleaning the chain!
- Then replace the chain back in the clean container and cover the chain in a light weight motor oil and let soak over night (I do this to let the oil re-penetrate all the pins and rollers within the chain)
- After soaking I like to hang the chain over the oil container to let it drip dry and give it a quick final wipe to remove any excess motor oil
- Finally, complete the process by re-installing the chain on you bike and add a few drops of very light chain lube and go ride! (this is also a great time to inspect closely for any sticky links)