How to Clean Road Bike Chain and Gears: A Guide For All The Bikers

To enjoy a smooth ride on a road bike, it requires ensuring the cleanliness. Each part of a road bike has to give proper attention to make this happen.

Gears and chain of a road bike are linked with each other. So, when you are intended to clean the ride and its organs, you have to follow certain steps.


Without having them cleaned, there is a strong chance of damaging the ride in a short time. You will not get the satisfaction or speed like a new one. Gears are stainless and require some special treatments.

On the other hand, chain holes get clogged with oil, dust, and stain after a certain period of time.


Keeping these two things in mind, you must proceed for the overall cleaning process.


When it comes about cleaning gears and bike chain, you must need a good quality of the grease-remover solution, nailbrushes, cloths, and chain-lube in the beginning. Keep the road bike vertically and apply degreaser on it.

Take a cloth on the chain and backpedal by hand. This will remove the grease on the chain hole. Later on, at the middle point of the chain, make a sandwich with nailbrushes.


Backpedal again and this will completely remove the grease. At the finishing stage, you must wash the chain with a sponge and soapy water. Apply the same thing with stain-remover on the other gears of the road bike.


You will get a fresher and faster biking experience. The process is elaborately described with another simpler way of cleaning the chain and gears in the later section. Let’s have a look at them!


What Causes Gears and Bike Chain Malfunctioning?

cycle chain cleaning DIY Tips


Generally, people use road bike roughly in an urban area. The bike has to deal with a lot of unsmooth conditions. Also, gears like brakes, cassette, handle, and pedals have to face some sudden frictions.

Because of all these reasons, bike chain and other gears start malfunctioning. You will get a clear idea from the following section about the lack of cleanliness in bike chain and gears.


How much dust does your road bike has to face in a single run? This is the major reason for clogging the chain and gears with dust and other pollutants.



After applying lubricating oil or washing the road bike, do you dry it properly? This is very essential to keep the bike as clean as new. The gears are required having a tiptop condition.

However, sometimes the rider forgets to dry the bike after cleaning it. This causes greasing the gears and chain.


Though most of the metals of the road bike gears are made of stainless steel, there is a strong possibility of losing the shininess because of stain.

Continuous connection with water causes such disruption of the metal. As a matter of fact, the gears and chain become permanently damaged.


Along with these reasons, irregularity of using and keeping the road bike in a damp weather may be harmful to the proper functioning.


When Will You Know Your Road Bike Requires Cleaning?


If your bike starts to move slowness, it is an indication for clearing the gears and chain. In the most of the cases, the bike loses its speed and navigation. You may have to apply more pressure on the pedal than required.


A road bike is meant to run faster. Clogged chain and un maintained gears will cause the slowness.


The second indication is sound. There will be some weird squeaking from the brakes, pedals, and handles. When you hear something like this, consider it is the time to clean the gears and chain.


How to Clean Gears and Chain of a Road Bike?

There are two phases of starting this process. The first phase is all about the chain and the second phase is about the additional mandatory gears of the road bike. This cleaning process is very simple. So, don’t take it to a repairing shop. You can do it all by yourself.

Phase 1: Cleaning the chain

Required Items

For chain cleaning purpose, you have to gather the following items.

  1. Degreaser
  2. Sponge
  • Nailbrush
  1. Soap water
  2. Cloth

Step 1: Applying Degreaser on the bike chain

Put on some degreaser on the chain and make sure it reaches every hole of the chain. Rub the chain with a cloth.

Step 2: Use Nailbrushes

Take two nailbrushes and attach them together keeping the chain in the middle of them. Backpedal the bike and the grease will be gone completely.

Step 3: Soap Water Wash

Take some soapy water in a sponge and wash the chain properly. You must focus even on the trivial parts of the chain. Wash the chain with water.

Step 4: Dry

You are not finished with the chain yet! Dry it properly with a dry cloth or paper towel. This will help in keeping the shininess of the chain.

Phase 2: Cleaning the Gears


For gears, you have to gather these items:

  1. Washing liquid
  2. Water
  • Cloth
  1. Paper towel
  2. Brush
  3. Sponge
  • Lubricating Oils

Step 1: Wet the Bike

Use a hose to water the bike. Let the mud on the bike tire get softened. Then, water on it to remove that. Apply this on the cassettes, handles, pedals, and screws.

Step 2: Use Washing Liquid

Biodegradable liquids are the best for this step. Rub the gears with a sponge. You must reach every corner of the bike.

Step 3: Wash It

Clean the bike with a strong flow of water. Corners of the bike cassettes are often clogged with mud. Rub roughly with the strong nylon brush to clean it off.

Step 4: Dry the Bike

Keep the bike in the sunlight and wait until it dries properly. This is important to maintain the shininess and durability of the metals used in the bike.

Step 5: Apply Lube

There are several lubes found on the market. You have to apply chain lube on the degreased chain and the gear lube on the gears. Pedals have to be smooth as well as fast. The moving parts of the pedal should be rubbed with the lubricating oil.



Benefits of Cleaning the Road Bike Chain and Gears


When you finish the cleaning process, the bike will run like new. The speed increases and you can experiences a completely fresh thing about the bike. Enhanced durability is another benefit you will get after cleaning gears.


Also, most of the bikers don’t realize the necessity taking care of their bike. Regular application of the steps will increase the awareness and you will feel an attachment with your favorite road bike.



What Else Do You Prefer While Cleaning Your Road Bike Chain and Gears?


I guess everyone has their own way of doing things. And, there can be some new techniques which we might have escaped.

Let us know what you think about the process.

If you want to suggest anything or share any technique, please leave a comment in the following section. Your appreciation will be useful for the other bikers.

Participate and share the opinion. Thanks

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