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Make sure your chain and gear train are in good shape

Make sure your chain and gear train are in good shape


Bicycle gears - Make sure your chain and gear train are in good shape - SportActiveThe gears and the chain are another area which require that bit more attention, especially throughout the winter months. Cycling on wet roads covered in grit and salt will often throw a lot of debris into the mechanisms of your bicycle.

It is very important you keep these parts clean and functional, to ensure an enjoyable and safe ride. These parts should be closely inspected for any sign of damage or excessive wear on a regular basis.


The chain is probably the one part of the bike that takes the greatest hammering during the winter. Unless you happen to ride a vintage or utility bike fitted with a fully-enclosed chain complete with oil bath, it's going to get soaked in filthy water every time you ride and in the worst cases lubrication won't last even a single journey. What this means is the chain will need to be cleaned much more often than during the summer.

The problem with chain cleaning is A: it's really boring and B: repeatedly removing and reinstalling the chain is a pain. Although there are several gadgets and products on the market to make this a simple hassle free job, none of them come close to a good cleaning by hand.

 Bicycle chain - Make sure your chain and gear train are in good shape - SportActive

Once the chain has been thoroughly cleaned it is then time to lubricate the chain, there are a never ending variety of products on the market for this process. In dry weather a dry wax is good at keeping dirt out, but for wet weather riding wet lubricants perform better as they are oil based and therefore repel the water penetration much better.

You should always buy your lubricant from a bicycle shop which is selling it specifically for use on bicycles as many motor lubricants will not be suitable. Apply the lubricant only to the rollers and the pins as it serves no purpose on the flat plates as it will only attract dirt, allow it time to soak in and then wipe off the excess, all the while ensuring no lubricant comes into contact with the brake components.

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