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Bicycle Lubricants

Years ago most people would just use regular motor oil to lubricate the chain.

Although this works well when first applied it tends to attract dirt and the contaminants picked up by the chain will then accelerate chain and gear tooth wear and reduce your overall drivetrain performance. Cleaning and re-lubricating must be done much more frequently than when using lubricants specifically designed for bicycles. Modern bike-specific lubricants usually contain synthetic ingredients to increase durability and resistance to water.

Use a light or medium weight for the chain and sprockets and for any nuts and bolts when reassembling. A dry or light lube should be used for dusty, sandy conditions – which is most of the summer in the Kelowna area. A high viscosity or “thicker” lubricant should be used for wet weather (spring, fall and winter) because it has a higher resistance to being washed away.

Use a medium weight lubricant for bushings, such as pivot points (front and rear derailleurs) and derailleur pulleys.

Bearings (in the hubs, headset and bottom bracket) should be lubricated using a grease. Many modern hubs and bottom brackets use sealed bearings, therefore they generally do not require regular re-greasing. All parts should be cleaned thoroughly using a solvent or degreaser BEFORE re-greasing. Parts which come into contact with dissimilar metals should be greased before being assembled (seatpost, handlebar, handlebar stem) to prevent galvanic corrosion from occurring.

Brake and shifter cables should ideally be pulled out and lubricated with grease – except for Teflon or Gore-Tex lined cables. Gripshift cables should be lubricated only with a “Gripshift approved” lubricant such as Jonnisnot (honest, it’s really called that!).

Most important to remember – you MUST do this on a regular basis. It will keep your bike performing at its best and prolong the overall life of you bike.

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