Bike Chain Maintenance- Can 90,988 Viewers Be Wrong?

bike chain maintenanceI just watched a You Tube video on bike chain maintenance. 90,988 eager cyclists have watched it before me.

So I bought some popcorn, pulled up a theater-style chair, and prepared to be dazzled. But things didn’t go well, I’m sorry to report.

Several disappointments with the bike chain maintenance video come to mind immediately.

  • Corny scripting.
  • Simplistic diagnostic and therapeutic chain skills. I think bike mechanic Doug is holding back some nun-chuck bike maintenance moves.
  • A cluttered movie set.
  • No helpful background music.
  • Difficult to look at side-burns.

The guys who ‘scripted’ the video are from a shady group calling themselves ‘Crank My Chain’. Having established themselves as a major player in the bike chain maintenance industry, they appear to have become sloppy in the presentation of their expertise.

Here are some highlights (like an enticing movie trailer)…

  • Wet weather makes water splash up onto the chain, leaching the lubricant out.
  • You can use just about anything to clean the outside of the chain as long as it’s Simple Green…and not a harsh cleaner like diesel, kerosene, WD-40, or residue from spent nuclear energy fuel rods.
  • Proper lubrication lengthens the life of a chain.
  • Proper lubrication keeps a chain from stretching, because the grit and grime of an inadequately lubed chain gets between the plates and rollers of the chain. Chain ‘stretch’ isn’t due to metal actually stretching, but is instead due to looseness in the roller/plate interface (I don’t hear that word much anymore).
  • Chain stretch causes the sprockets and chain-rings to wear out prematurely.
  • A significant number of mentally ill Americans are ‘driven nuts’ by squeaking bike chains.
  • Doug likes to crank his chain fast, rather than slow. Being somewhat of a daredevil, he doesn’t like to lubricate it one link at a time.

I actually got a kick out of watching the bike chain maintenance video, and wish that I had You Tube-posting skills to show off a bit too. You can tell that Dan Kaufman went to bed the night after posting the video feeling very much like a satisfied movie producer.

Not smug…just satisfied.

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