A bike chain is a solution for transferring power from the pedals to drivetrain-wheels. It made of metal and includes moving parts like plates, rollers and pins.
There are different factors which influent into them. A chain lube is a simple solution for our better cycling. How can the lubricant help to bike chain? In this article, we will try to answer this question.
1. Extend chain life from wear
One of the main chain problems is metal on metal friction. Dry chain wears much faster. Lubrication helps prevent rubbing of rollers, plates between each other very effectively.
Don’t forget about friction between the chain and cassette, crank rings, jockey wheels. Dirt accelerates metal to wear out, so it is also important to keep the chain clean. Regular chain maintenance extends its life from 2-4 time and it saves your money.
2. Add protection from environmental conditions
Riding environment works against your chain. Mud, sand will increase friction and wear. Rain, snow, road or climate salt causes the chain to rust out.
After wet rides signs of rust visible within 1 week. That is why it’s important to maintain the chain after wet rides. Manufacturers confirm that lube protects from corrosion (usually wet lube – for wet conditions), doesn’t attract abrasive contaminants (dry lube – for dry, sunny conditions with better dirt prevention chemicals).
Applying lube to the chain reduce the influence of environmental factors and saves the chain like new.
3. Reduce chain noise
The first sign of the dry chain is its noise. Usually, the chain becomes louder. Some chain lubricants after drying out start squeaking. When you get back home, you can check the chain by using your finger. It is the easiest way to determine how dry, wet or dirty it is. Clean and lubricate the chain to make it sound quiet.
4. Better shifting
Shifting is one the performance key factors. Problems caused by bad shifting will make you slower and will reduce your efficiency. One of the reasons can be a dry chain. You should check the lube and apply lube if required.
5. Watts savings
Completely dry chain consumes about 20 watts at 22 mph (35 kph). After lubrication, it consumes only 5-10 watts depending on the brand. When the chain becomes dry and dirty, in average it adds 5-10 watts more. Supporting chain in good condition, we will save more energy. Sometimes that equals to the advantage of aerodynamic wheels. You can save energy by using lube. Fresh chain rolls fast and smooth. On the market, there are different lubricants for your choice. In the next articles, I will make reviews on the top chain lubes.
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