Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 Bicycle Cleaning Tips

Lubricate Your Bike

After a good cleaning, lubricating your bike's chain and other components is a must. A little lubrication protects your bike's moving parts from damaging friction and oxidation. It's easy to use too much lube, though. Laying it on a little too thick can make a gooey mess that will attract dust, pollen and flying insects. Trapped particulates in that extra layer of lubricant can be abrasive and damage your bike, too. Oh, and when you're in the company of other cyclists, it can be pretty obvious and embarrassing when you've gone a little heavy on the lubricant. They don't call it grease for nothing.

A number of factors will have an impact on the type and amount of lubricant your bike components need. For example, if it's the rainy season in your area, lubricate your bike more frequently. If you live where it's arid and dusty, consider using a lightweight oil that will attract less dust and grit. There are a number of variables to keep in mind. If you're paying attention, you'll get better at responding to them with the right oil in the right quantity.

Lubricate these bicycle components regularly:

  • bike chain
  • brake cables and derailleur cables
  • brake and derailleur assemblies
  • bearing components