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DIY Bicycle Chain Maintenance: Removal, Cleaning, Installation, & Lube of a 10-speed SRAM PowerLock


A quick video here on how to properly
maintain your bike chain. I like to completely remove the chain, clean it, put it back on and lube it. The little brush things work fine, but they wear out, they break, and this is sort of the tried-and-true method. My bike’s a three by ten mountain bike and this is a SRAM chain. Be aware that on the ten speed
chain SRAM went to these PowerLock master links. So, the PowerLock master
links aren’t really designed to be removed by hand like the gold colored
PowerLink extra links there’s some specialty tools for doing this but I’ll
show how to do it with just common tools in the garage. If you have a Shimano
chain it’s a little different; they have a connecting pin; you may need a chain
tool for that. You can look the procedure up on how to do that.
That’s pretty much why I like SRAM chains. OK so you want to start out by
putting your chain on your smallest chainring and smallest cog to get
maximum slack in the chain; makes it a little easier to work on. and next step get your master link set
up in the top dead center position so it’s easy to get to. okay so in order to be able to get at
the power/lock a little more easily I’m going to use a twisty tie just make a
loop of chain and loop your twisty tie through a couple links of chain below
the power/lock and tie it off real good so instead of buying a tool that’s going
to be useless in a few years I’m going to show how to do this with just a set
of channel locks so the key is you get one set of teeth on one side of the
chain and the other set on the other side and it’s kind of diagonal and just
pinch it it’ll pop right apart easy peasy
you can also use pliers I’ve even used like needle-nose pliers before but you
carry some twisty ties and a little small wrench on the trim this works
great on the trail if you need to bust apart heads up with this little trick: make
sure you’re holding both sides of the chain when you remove the twisty
otherwise you could get some pretty serious chain whip I like to use a little small bowl like
this and a 50/50 mix of citrus degreaser and water I think this stuff here is
simple green but any any citrus degreaser will do and mix it up and get
the chain in there and give it a good rub around and let it soak for some
hours so after it’s soaked for a while you can
you can use a brush or something to get the extra excess off any places but
generally speaking just let it soak long enough you really don’t need to brush it
all that much I just get the get the hose out and spray it down real good so when you’re done rinsing it off you
want to put it on a towel or something wipe it off pretty good and then sort of
spread it out around on the tail on the towel and I like to let it sit out for a
while and air dry evaporate any residual water that in the nooks and crannies but
basically when you’re done I mean you’re effectively you’re looking at a new
chain except for the wear and tear you’ve got so be aware that surround
recommends to replace your power locks and not reuse them I say horse hockey
I’ve been able to reuse them several times without any issue but if they
start to get loose so you can remove them by hand or something like that it
might be a good idea to replace them at that time it’s up to you so once the chains getting dry it’s time
to thread it back on before we want to make sure you thread it on correctly and
then make sure your two end pieces are facing towards the bottom of the bike so
you’re working on it in the same area as before so you can get to that Power
Link when putting the chain back on you don’t
really need a twisty tie trick it’s much easier to to put it on and take it off
but went ahead and did it here anyway just uh just to illustrate the process Once you get it on, get it back into a
more normal gear setting and give it a give it a final wipe off you have any
residual moisture there. So, for lubing, I like to use Tri-Flow or some kind
of penetrating lube though is good as a first layer rather than just starting
with wax because this way the lube penetrates deep into all the tiny little
joints and whatnot I like to put down a little shop rag or something to catch
the excess drip and spray Ahhhight when you’re done with the penetrating lube, just give it a little wipe to wipe off the excess so after your penetrating
Lube you need to use some kind of a dry or semi-dry I use this white lightning
semi dry epic ride they call it as a top coat basically the same process except
this just sort of drips out instead of sprays out just drizzle it on real good
and then just wipe off that excess so as far as how often do you clean the
chain I mean if your bikes tuned real good good and quiet you’ll actually be
able to hear the chain: it starts making little squeaks; that’d be a good time to
clean it or if you live in a wet area where it’s real muddy and of course if
it gets mud and dirt caked onto your chain you need to clean that off that’s
how it’s done

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