Mountain bikes, like any other machine, require lubrication for optimal performance. However, do you know how to perform this task? Well, it is not a complex procedure, but most people do not know how to execute tasks. That should not worry you anymore, as this document will talk more about this.
In this article, we shall look at how to lubricate your mountain bike to give it the best conditions for riding. We shall focus on the bike’s movable parts, the frequency of service, and the consequences of not keeping it fit.
Please read through it for more information.
Methods of lubricating the mountain bike
Generally, there are two ways or components of lubricating the mountain bike. You can use either lube or grease. Both items have their merits and demerits, and choosing the right option can be challenging as well.
Which is better between these two?
The lube is in liquid form. It is applied to the bike’s movable components to prevent wear and tear and reduce friction.
It is designed for bikes and can withstand all the demands of cycling. Lube is easy to apply and moves evenly on the surface. It is best for bike chains and other moving sections.
The grease is a thick substance and provides a lasting barrier between moving metal surfaces. It is strong and works longer than the lube.
It is useful in high-stress areas where metals move vigorously and other pivot points. Erosion in such areas is usually high and needs a strong substance like grease to manage.
Grease is water resistant, hence ideal for lubrication during wet seasons.
Grease and lube work well in a bike, but each has its benefits and negativities. It is easy to choose between the two when you understand their differences.
Clean the parts to lubricate
The first step is to clean the bike before lubricating it. Applying grease on dirty surfaces is a waste of resources because it won’t work to capacity. It is important to remove all dirt, grime, and debris that have accumulated on the surface of these movable parts.
The degreaser is a powerful substance that can tackle all the dirt in these hard-to-reach places. Use it to clean the derailleurs, cassette, and chain. Mix warm water and dish soap to clean these parts and the rest of the bike.
After cleaning, ensure you dry these parts thoroughly, as water and lubricant do not mix!
Lubricate the chain
The chain is the most critical part of the bike and needs constant lubrication to perform optimally. Add a few drops of lubricant to each link, and rotate the chain front and back severally to spread it evenly.
In case of any excess lubricant, wipe it off to avoid attracting more grime and dirt.
Smooth shift the derailleurs and the cassette
These parts of the mountain bike also need some lubrication. Add some lubricant to pivot points and the movable parts. You have to be careful not to apply it to the rubber components or brake rotors.
A lube on the brake rotors will affect the braking system because it will slide instead of stop.
Reduce the friction at pivot points.
They include places such as suspension pivots and also need some lubrication. These points experience a lot of movements and therefore should have adequate lubrication at all times.
Oiling prolongs the life of the bike and reduces friction to an all-time low.
Lubricate the dry spots.
Doing so ensures that your bike operates optimally. After lubricating the movable parts, you need to check the entire bike for dry spots that may need some oiling. They include the shifter cables and the brakes.
Add some little lubrication to these critical parts of the bike for an efficient and enhanced useful life of the bike.
Lubrication also keeps the hard surfaces soft and provides optimal performance.
How often should one lubricate their mountain bike?
It is ideal to lubricate the bike after a few rides, especially if your route is muddy. During wet seasons, it takes in a lot of mud, which wipes out the grease.
It is recommended that you perform the above procedure every time you feel the mountain bike needs some oiling. The first step is preparing the bike for oiling by cleaning it.
During dry seasons, there is a lot of dust around which tends to settle on the bike. The dust also eats away the lubricant, leaving your bike dry at all times.
It is, therefore, advisable to add some to these parts after a few rides.
What are the benefits of lubricating the mountain bike?
There are many benefits of applying lubricant to your mountain bike. They include the following:
- It smoothens the chain’s engagement with the cassette.
- It prolongs the lifespan of the bike.
- It enhances the bike’s functionality and improves shifting performance.
- It helps reduce friction, prevent corrosion, and drivetrain wear and tear.
- It enhances the operation of the bike because of smooth rides.
- It increases the life expectancy of the mountain bike and its parts.
How do I know if my bike needs some lubrication?
When the mountain bike starts squeaking, you know it is time to apply some grease. Another way to identify is when the smooth shifting is no longer happening.
When you realize that it is difficult to pedal, it is time to add the lubricant.
What would happen if you do not lube the mountain bike?
- The chain would let out a squeaking noise.
- The gears would not shift smoothly.
- The chain would snap mid-ride.
- The bike would wear out fast.
If you need to know how to lubricant a mountain bike, this is an ideal document for you. In it, we have placed well-thought-out and researched information to help the rider understand the procedure best.
Mountain bikes cannot function without lubrication, and therefore you should perform the task after a few rides.
Take note of the places to avoid applying lubricant to them. Good luck.