Question: I just started riding after 20 years of overwork at the office and sloth at home. I love it, but simple mechanical chores have me stumped. For instance, how do you lube a chain with a drip applicator bottle without getting it all over the garage? – Basil M.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: This is an essential but easy job. Shift to the big chainring and a cog in the middle of the cassette. Turn the crank backward until the master link is next to the chainring. Hold a rag under the chain and apply one drop of lube to each link while rotating the crank backwards.
You’ll know when you’re done when you get back to the master link. If your chain doesn’t connect with one, just lube until you reach wet links. Take your time and make sure you get a good drop on each link.
Now rotate the crank backwards a few times to work in the lube. Don’t spin it fast or lube will be flung onto the rear wheel, frame and floor.
Finish by holding a clean rag around the bottom section of chain while continuing to turn the crank backwards. This will remove excess lube and the dirty stuff that has been loosened. Change to a clean part of the rag and continue.
A chain with lots of lube on the links will pick up grit faster. You want the stuff inside the chain, not outside. Let the bike sit overnight so more will dry. Then you’re good to go.
Lube your chain this way about once every 10 rides, sooner if you ride in the rain or hear any chirps.