6 quick tips to keep your chain in top condition

Keep your chain clean and running smoothly with these tips

Sebastian Nittke is team mechanic with the Canyon//SRAM UCI Women’s World Tour pro team. Here, he gives his 6 tips to keep your chain clean and running smoothly.


1. Keep it clean

1: Keep It Clean
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To keep your chain running smoothly it is essential to clean it regularly and lubricate it well. Use a specific chain cleaning fluid and a brush or sponge to spread it on.

2. More bits to clean

2: Ring The Changes
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Don’t forget that you will need to pay just as much attention to your chainrings, pulleys and the cassette as you do to the chain itself.

3. Dry it off

3: Dry Off
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Once dry, put a good bike lube on the chain system to avoid rust, then shift through all the gears once. After riding in wet conditions, you will need to dry and lube the chain every time.

4: Check for wear

4: Check For Wear
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To check if your chain is in good shape you need a chain measurement gauge, which you can buy in a bike shop, although a ruler can work. A new chain should measure 12in across 12 links.

5: Look for worn out parts

5: Sharp Teeth
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Other reasons why your chain may not run smoothly include if the chainrings or cassette are worn out. If the teeth have become sharp, don’t get bitten, replace the part!

6. Check your rear mech hanger

6: Hang In There
David Caudery / Immediate Media

If your chain is making noises, check your rear mech hanger — even a slight impact can take it out of alignment. Change to the smallest cog on the back and ensure the hanger hangs straight down.