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Velo, essential checks to bike.

With the velo fast approaching, it is wise for all cyclists to start checking and cleaning their kit.

Today i am going to talk about looking after and checking your chain.

If you have a bike stand of any sort hook your bike up to it.

First thing we are going to do is to get a chain checking tool and see if your chain has stretched at all. if you have not got a tool don't worry, it will likely start slipping before you get a catastrophic failure. if your chin slips then definitely get it checked.

If the tool drops in on both sides, the chain is ready for replacement.

Secondly we are going to get eyes down level with the chain and slowly rotate the cranks. Keep an eye on the chain to see if it has any stiff links that will not pass smoothly through the derailleur. look for any links that are out of shape or cracked. if any problems are found, then it's time to buy a new chain.

Thirdly if you are capable, remove the chain.

find the split link if you have one.

here is a typical split link, between the pliers.

If you have a chain tool then squeeze the link until it opens.

The link is reusable so save it aside.

Now make not of how the chain passes through the derailleur and remove it.

coil it up ready for cleaning.

Lay the chain in a suitable degreaser, fairy liquid will do. and give it a good agitation.

clean chain then make sure it is properly rinsed off.

Your nice and clean chain is ready for a final inspection and replacement.

Be careful to thread it through the jockey wheels and inside the guides.

inspect the passage through the derailleur to be sure it is through all the guides on the correct side.

One small guide on each jockey wheel.

Now put the split link back together, making sure your gears give some slack in chain.

third chain change of the day, hence filthy nails and hands.

Once the link is together it will require a bit of tension to snap it back into the locked position. i usualy get the link to bottom of cranks and snap pedals sharply, this causes the lock.

The link here is not yet snapped in.

Once snapped, it's time to add lubrication. Below i am applying a wet lube, then cleaning excess off with rag.

Rubbing chain to ensure spread of lube.

The chain is now ready for your next adventure.

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