Monday, July 19, 2010

On Chain Maintenance

Ask any dozen bicycle mechanics about chain maintenance, and you're likely to get at least thirteen different answers. I have, however, come up with a sure-fire method to be sure that your chain is still shiny and intact long after every other part of the bike has disintegrated into carbon dust or been recycled to make latex gloves and flip-flops:

1. Remove the chain and soak it overnight in a mixture consisting of one part rubbing alcohol, one part Absolut vodka, one part single-malt Scotch (definitely NOT blended), and one part Missouri mule pee.
2. Blow dry on low heat.
3. Run the chain through a full cycle in the dishwasher.
4. Soak overnight in extra-virgin olive oil. Yes, it must be extra-virgin.
5. Dry with an entire box of q-tips, one end of the swab for each side of every link.
6. Reinstall the chain and have the bike blessed by a Himalayan monk or, failing that, any one of the NSFW girls to be found here:""
7. Fill your bidon with the soaking mixture from step number one (the squeamish can use a coffee filter to remove grit and metal filings), and go for a ride. Wear a helmet.

I realize that's more than five steps, so feel free to skip any you like except the olive oil and the blessing. Those two are essential.


  1. Can I use the same preparation for my cassette cogs? Of course after removal from the freehub.
    I don't see the NSFW link? Since that is an essential step I have to ask.

  2. Having trouble with the NSFW link--Maybe the anal retentives on high don't like it? Anyway, I try again: