BBC Sport cycling

Related BBC sites

Bike maintenance guide: chain

PedalsChainWheelsGears and brakesSaddleCleaning up

Try to keep the chain on your bike as clean as possible.

People tend to neglect their chain which is a big mistake - it's a job well worth spending 15 minutes on.

If you don't clean and lubricate it properly, it will make pedalling much harder and mess up the other components on your bike.

To avoid the chain doing this or becoming squeaky or too slack make sure you clean and lubricate it at least every month - more often when the weather is wet.

To check if the chain has stretched and become slack, try lifting one rivet at the front of the chain ring.

If you can pull it away even slightly then the chain is worn.

If your chain is caked in mud then hose it clean first.

If it's only covered in oily dirt then give it a quick wipe with a rag or an old T-shirt.

Then use the edge of a cloth to scrape out the muck between the sprockets and to wipe the teeth of the chain rings.

Spray the chain rollers with solvent and scrub with an old toothbrush.

After you've thoroughly cleaned the chain dry with a rag.

Then complete the job with chain lube (lubrication).

Run the chain through at high speed, and then wipe off the excess lube.

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites