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So, I did it. I cleaned my chain for the first time, beautiful and shiny - thanks park tools, orange cleaner. Now I have applied, one full rotation (is that enough), lube to the chain. Myself being paranoid, and not knowing any better - how often do I need to relube? Everything I have read says to lube "regularly". WTF? What does that mean? Every ride? Every 100 miles? I'll follow everything to perfection if given direction (Virgo). Specific direction.

Lastly, if I wipe it down after every ride to remove any grime, do I have to relube EVERY time as well? Sounds like I'm high maintenance I am sure, but in reality I'd just like to do it right and have a free mind!

Thank you.
 

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With regards to how much lube to apply one drop on each link should do the trick.

When it comes to how often, I always clean my chain with the chain cleaner before applying a wet lube (don't see the point in applying lube to a dirty chain, so about every 150 - 200 miles), however my mate has completely the oposite opinion, he hardly ever uses the chain cleaner and just gives his chain a quick wipe and then lubes it before each big ride. Which is right? well its really down to looks and cost. I like to keep my chain as clean as possible because it looks good and I believe a well maintained drive train will never let you down. The down side to this is it costs me a lot in chain cleaner (thinking of buying shares in park tools). My mate on the other hand doesn't mind having a chain which looks like a sticky piece of black rope but on the up side a bottle of degreaser lasts him about 2 years!

Dry lubes I find require an entirely different approach since they don't tend to last long on the chain (if the weather conditions are not great) so when using dry I always lube before each ride.

In an ideal world you should probably fully clean and lube your chain before each ride but I think thats a bit overkill so every 150 - 200 miles (2 - 3 rides) tends to work for me, however I am sure you will get lots of different opinons from people.
 

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I've been through a lot of lubes...

...and settled on Prolink on the advice of a bunch of people in this forum. I usually lube every other ride or so...more often if it gets dirty. What I'm more anal about is replacing my chain every 1200 to 1500 miles. I like the SRAM PC-970 chains because the work well and are the most compatible after market chains if you're on Shimano cogs 'n' shifters...
 

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The Armagh said:
Thanks for the input!

Is replacing a chain every 12-1500 the norm? And do you actually clean the chain each time, or just wipe it down and relube?
You'll hear different stories about how often to replace the chain from 1000 miles (or less) to 3000 plus. And, of course, what's the quality of the chain you're replacing. Last year, I bought a 2004 Trek 5000...great bike for the price ($1500), but of course they cheaped out on the chain. I only put on about 500 miles last year, but I replaced it with an SRAM this year. Result: less friction, easier shifting, lasts longer. What happens if you don't replace your chain in time? Chains stretch lengthwise...which leads to Bad Things like poor shifting, and so forth, and they also start bending sideways...which is REALLY bad because you can start destroying your rear cluster, chainrings, and so forth.

Today's bikes, with their sealed bearings, require a lot less care and feeding than in the old days, when you had to strip everything down to bare metal and rebuild every spring. All I do these days is clean the frame, true the wheels, align the brakes and replace the pads if necessary, adjust the derailleurs, change the bar tape...and replace the tires/tubes if necessary and replace the chain. It's not that hard to do (make sure you have a good chain tool, like Park or a Topeak Droid), get the old sucker off, measure it so you can cut the extra links off the new one, and put the new one on. All the decent chains, like SRAM, come with a special link that you can use to join the ends of the chain without using a tool.

I only use my chain cleaner if things are really ugly...like after a long, dusty ride. Usually, I'll just wipe it down and relube. Prolink is a wet lube, but it doesn't leave a lot of dirt-attracting stuff on the chain, so my chain stays a lot cleaner...
 
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