Cleaner chain and longer cassette life

I get asked a lot how to keep a chain clean and well lubed ,

I find that the best way is to run two chains at any given time, this is more for road bike applications than MTB though.  The trick is to use a “quick Link”


SRAM power link

Both Sram and KMC do them for 10 speed and their only a few dollars,  Sram chains come with them as standard.  Next buy a chain plier, again you can pick up a cheap one for under $10 and a bottle of kerosene its cheaper than bike shop degreaser and it works 100 times better, just don’t get it on your deraileur’s or cassette body as it will strip the grease right out of the bearings and you don’t want that.


Chain plier

So you just put on a new chain and cassette and bought a second chain at the same time.
After two weeks of riding the chain is looking a little black and gritty.
Now it’s time to swap it out for the spare one, here is what to do.


  1. Use a chain plier to remove dirty chain. Be sure to put the link some where safe for now

    Disengaged power link

    Ready to remove and clean

  2. Take  200mls of kerosene in a gatorade bottle or any bottle with a wide neck (a small neck bottle can make it hard to get a tangled chain out of later)
  3. Use a piece of fishing line or string and tie it around the end of the chain , drop it into the bottle and put the lid on tight.
  4. Shake bottle to clean chain, remove from bottle, place on paper towel or hang it over something you don’t mind getting dirty.
    (Take your first chain now clean, re-lube it and keep it in a zip lock bag  until second chain needs cleaning the repeat steps 1-5)
  5. Put new chain on bike using quick link and ride away.

This will maintain longer cassette life as the cassette will wear much faster when used with worn chains.

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