Besides lubricating the chain links and rollers, chain lube also protects the chain from rust. In humid weather, rust spots can appear on an unlubed chain within half a day. Cycling in rain or on wet roads will also wash away chain lube easily. Therefore, it is important to perform chain maintenance after every wet ride, or every month, whichever comes first.
If you want to have a completely clean chain, you will need to remove the chain entirely from the bike, and use degreaser to clean it. All other parts of the bike that touches the chain should also be cleaned at the same time, or the chain will get dirty again very quickly. These other parts are the rear cassette, front chainrings and rear derailleur pulleys.
For myself, I am quite lazy to use degreaser to clean everything. Therefore I just use a rag to clean all of these parts, and just wipe the dirt off. There is probably still about 20% of dirt on it, but for regular basic maintenance this is quite sufficient for me.
After installing the chain back onto the bike, it is time to lubricate the chains! The best way to lube the chain is to actually drip a drop of chain lubricant onto each roller as you move the chain. Turn the cranks slowly to let the lube seep into all the gaps in the chain, and wipe away the excess.
I had the chance to try this new device by Finish Line, which is a new way of lubricating the chain. Instead of putting a drop of chain lube individually on each chain roller, it uses a sponge to wet each roller as it passes the device. Let's take a look at how it works!
No Drop Chain Luber, for quick and easy chain lubrication with no mess.
Best thing is that you can fill it with the lube of your choice!
The sponge pad for applying chain lube onto the chain links.
How it works: Pedal and move the chain, and squeeze the bottle to dispense the lubricant onto the sponge pad as the chain travels across the sponge pad.
My favourite chain lubricant is the Prolink Chain Lube, which is smooth and non messy. It does not have Teflon (PTFE) particles which will turn black after usage.
Filled the bottle with a little of the Prolink Chain Lube
Using this device is really simple! Pedal to move the chain, and press the sponge pad against the chain. Squeeze the bottle gently to dispense the chain lube onto the chain. Do the same for the other side of the chain for even lubrication.
I found that using this chain luber is really simple. Just press the sponge against the chain, squeeze the bottle and pedal! It is possible to lubricate the chain really quickly as there is no need to lubricate each link individually.
The excess lube also does not drip as it is spread evenly across the chain by the sponge pad. There is still a need to wipe away the excess lube with a rag, but that is easily done.
Overall I am quite happy with this chain lubricating device! It is really easy to apply a fresh round of chain lubricant. However, if the chain is dirty, it is best to clean the chain first, or the sponge pad will get dirty very easily.
I don't see this device in the shops yet, this is actually a sample from the recent Eurobike show. If it is so useful, it should be available in the shops soon!