Bikes sitting on trainers...how often do you clean the chain?

bike

#1

Same as a bike that’s out on the road? Less?

Give me some guidance, forum!


#2

For me it WAY less…maybe to the point of abuse. My theory is that there’s no dirt, very little moisture. I think in the last year I’ve cleaned and lubed the two trainer bikes in my home 2 times each. Last weekend I actually just overhauled the drivetrain on my girlfriend’s trainer bike, new chain and cassette…and I won’t touch that again until it gets noisy.


#3

I usually clean and lube it when it gets noisy which tends to be every other week or every 10 hours.


#4

When I can’t stand the noise anymore.


#5

I think I read this somewhere. On the trainer or off trainer lube every week. Clean every month. simple. I like to use Squirt which is a liquid wax.


#6

My indoor training bike is always waxed. There is a little flaking initially after it has been mounted, but never need to worry about any micro-spray from oil that didn’t get wiped off. Dust or pet hairs never seems to be a problem ith build-up either. Of all the values/issues with waxing, indoors seems to be the most ideal place for it.


#7

When it starts squeeking for me personally


#8

how many hours does the wax hold up for before you re-dip? obviously with no outside elements its far easier on it. I’m strongly thinking of heading this route as well and just wondering.


#9

I used Dumond Tech Lite on my trainer bike at the moment. I do take it out for some outdoor rides as well, so not purely an indoor bike. However I clean and relube based on chain noise. With Dumond tech the chain is really quite when you first apply it and then slowly gets noisier as it wears. Riding on a Tacx Neo the chain noise is the main sound you hear to its really easy to monitor it. When it gets noisy I spray down with White Lightening chain cleaner and using a microfiber until its clean, and then reapply.

Separately, I use an ultrasonic cleaner and Molten Speed Wax on my mountain bike chains - combo works fantastic.


#10

I recently switched to waxing and have probably 20 hours on my current wax job (all indoor use). I bet I could get another 10-20 hours out of it…and probably more if I wanted to push it. Since they’ve been indoor miles, I feel pretty confident I can basically just re-dip without any issues. I’ve already got the wax in the crockpot, so it seems pretty easy to just re-dip it once a month. It takes basically no time at all.


#11

I change from weekly wash & dry lube when riding outdoors to probably (at least only) lubing every 3 weeks-ish when solely using the turbo.

I don’t really like lubing a chain which isn’t clean, particularly when riding outside but I’m a little less concerned if it’s just been turbo miles.

More often than not I will rinse/wash the chain and give the bike a quick wipe. 5 minutes for the sake of drivetrain longevity is nothing and using a decent cleaner like Morgan Blue (when required) makes light work of it.


#12

Been waxing for a year. Chains usually last between 450 and 600 miles. That’s with doing the entire process each time (2 x mineral spirits baths, 2 x alcohol baths, sonic cleaning with simple green, then wax).


#13

icecube…2x mineral bath, 2x alcohol bath, sonic cleaning, then hot dip wax.

Ha-ha! OMG! That’s too much. Heh-heh. My gosh. Stop doing all that. I’ll send you some data. You’re gaining milliwatts for all that.


#14

Hmm, hours…I can push about 60-80 hours of indoor training (6-8 weeks) if I had a nice, deep soak that was not pulled out when the wax was super hot. 40 hours if I pulled the chain out when it was too hot and the wax just runs right off the chain while curing.

I mentioned though, you’ll have some flaking. It isn’t uncommon for people to have some kind of yoga pad to dampen vibration. It is wise to have a cheap towel down to catch those flakes. I use the Molten Wax product and it does smear like pencil stains marks because of the graphite additive.

As for cleaning, there can be some caking on the jockey wheels and I feel there is a subtle improvement if I clean off the build-up. I never do that whole process of deep cleaning the indoor chain after it has been waxed once. It does not get dirty enough. Now, if you have your bike in a garage or in a room that a cat or dog can highly contaminate the wax, then the full strip might be needed now and then, as YMMV.

There are a couple great threads that get into waxing chains if you need more information there.


#15

@Brennus not doing it for the watts. And I have read all the studies just out of curiosity. A clean chain lasts longer than a not so clean chain after being waxed. In those tight spaces dirt doesn’t block the wax if it’s really clean. As I mentioned in another post, if I want to get faster I need to do more TrainerRoad work.


#16

Ah! icecube, one thing is for sure: if you like the aesthetic of a clean looking chain waxing has no equal!

For sure it seems like a waxed chain maintains that metallic gleam no matter what.


#17

At least once per year.


#18

For me it’s so easy to do, I just do it every other week to ensure that not too much sweat builds up on it. Pretty cheap way to hopefully extend the life of the chain and hope I don’t break one mid-workout.