Saturday, September 27, 2008

Making my bike happy again

On the last couple of rides that I’ve done I’ve noticed that familiar grinding noise coming from my chain again. That can mean only one thing. My bike is super dirty and the chain is whining to be cleaned up and lubed. My bike can such a whiner some times.

Before I started the clean up I collected all of the necessary tools to do the just right.

Neil Young CDs that just I picked up at the library today
Peach, mango & banana 64 oz Slurpee (they were our of Diet Pepsi)
Chain oil
Old used toothbrush
Super old grungy t-shirt
Shop rag
Baby wipes

As you can tell this list is arranged in order of importance.

As I got down to start the cleaning I saw why my chain was doing all of the whining. Man, it was dirty. Take a look at this.




As I listened to some good tunes I wiped the chain down really good with my rag and t-shirt then worked on it with the toothbrush. Not to worry, I don’t plan on using that toothbrush again even in the case of an emergency.

Once I finished with the chain and derailers I went to work on the rest of the bike with baby wipes. This works great to get the road grime off of the bike and makes your bike smell new diaper fresh at the same time.

I figured if baby wipes are soft enough for a newborn rear end it shouldn’t cause any problems with my bike. Finally, I applied plenty of oil to my chain and pedals.

Here’s the after picture.



It will be nice to have a happy bike again.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Hey Mike...have you ever considered running a chain that has a quick-disconnect link in it? I use Wippermans all my bikes now. I LOVE the stainless version, even though it costs more. NO RUST worries EVER, and it lasts longer! (of course, I live in Calif, and about the only time my chain ever gets wet is when...OK, you've got me... my chains pretty much NEVER get wet). But I digress...with the quick link, you can pull the chain off in seconds, and either toss it in a old coffee can w/ dish soap and just swirl it around a bunch (or put the lid on and shake it works good too). Gets rid of all the gunk and doesn't totally strip the good stuff from inside the links. And it makes it OH SO MUCH easier to clean the goo off the rings. And being as you are going to all the trouble to clean the chain, might as well pull the rear wheel off and either take the cassette off (it's REALLY easy to clean that way, and just takes a moment if you have the tools) or just use rags and brushes to really get the gunk out of all the hidey-places). Your stuff must wear out a lot quicker than mine in that wet/gritty environment, but I guess if you wanna ride, you don't have much choice.