Winter is a tough time for both you and your bike.
The combination of rain, mud, grime and corrosive road salt means it’s particularly important to keep your machine clean and well maintained through the coming months, and particular attention should be paid to the chain.
Not only will a clean chain improve the efficiency of your ride, it will help your components last longer and avoid the grinding, crunching noise of a dirty chain that could make you unpopular on the club run.
We caught up with two British chain lube manufacturers, Juice Lubes and Muc-Off, for their expert advice on how to keep your drivetrain running smoothly at this time of year.
How important is it to keep your chain clean and well lubed through winter?
While it’s your wheels that roll and send you and your bike from A to B, the chain is at the heart of the bike and a smooth-running chain has a significant impact on performance, says Rob McCreedie from Devon-based Juice Lubes.
“Think of the forces you are putting through a bike chain,” he says. “To keep the chain running smoothly, the lubricant has to maintain its structural integrity on a molecular level when being crushed between the pins and plates due to the pulling force you are exerting by turning the cranks.
“This is a very small area of actual contact and since pressure is calculated by dividing the force of something by the area over which it is acting… well, you can see you end up with a big number!”
So how often should you clean and lube your chain?