Proper Lubrication for Your Bicycle

Proper Lubrication Bicycle pic
Proper Lubrication Bicycle
Image: bicycling.com

The owner of ENT Associates of Northwest Florida, Dr. William B. Clark has been in practice for 25 years, treating ear, nose, and throat problems with surgical and non-surgical techniques. In his spare time, Dr. William B. Clark enjoys cycling.

One major component of cycling is proper maintenance, especially lubrication, which is essential to protecting moving parts from the elements. Without regular lubrication, parts will be vulnerable to corrosion, rust, and eventual failure.

The two most common types of lubricants for bicycles are grease and oil. Usually thicker than oils, greases are good for large-thread bolts and bearings, such as hubs and headsets. They are also useful for the connections between the pedals and the crank arms. Meanwhile, oil-based lubricants are best suited for the gear and brake assemblies and other parts that move frequently, such as the chain. Use bike oil for thin-thread bolts.

Though maintaining all components of a bicycle are important, keeping the chain regularly lubed is especially vital. In addition to lubing while it is attached, you should occasionally remove the chain from the bike and soak it in a solvent, being sure to re-oil it after you have finished. Regular spot-lubing can reduce the need for a solvent bath.

Braking and gear-changing components need equal attention. Brakes and levers require a few drops of oil. In wet conditions, oil brake and derailleur cables regularly, paying particular attention to the pivot points of the assemblies.

Consult with a bicycle dealer for details on which grade lubricant to apply. In rainy climates, more durable lubricants should be used more frequently. Drier weather calls for lighter weight oils that attract less dirt.

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