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This morning I put into practice some basic chain maintenance. I wiped down my chain. Too many rides through wet and grimy roads and then a few miles on crushed limestone path this past weekend had left too much grit accumulating on my chain.

Per Mike Kaelon’s advice in “Lube it or Lose it,” I followed the advice to “first wipe the chain down, and get it as clean as possible just using a rag.” I know I need to do better in my daily – post-ride – maintenance of my bikes. Unfortunately I usually allow too much time to pass between such maintenance and my chains often end up gunky and worn out more quickly than they should be.

I’m currently using SpinPower Superior Chain Lube and have yet to test the White Lightning “The Trigger” Clean Streak Chain Cleaner. We’ll see how ambitious I feel in pursuing my in-home mechanical skills or if my bikes just end up in the shop.

All the grit that came off my chain just from wiping it down this morning:
chain grit

A bit cleaner:
chain-cleaner?

I still think my whole drivetrain could benefit from a thorough cleaning:
rear derailleur
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Grit still in the cassette:
cassette

Last week I took my commuter to the shop to get looked at since I couldn’t shift. The rear derailleur was so gunked up — just from my lack of regular wipe downs:
toro-drivetrain

It’s time to get tuned up for summer riding! (hopefully this season will be less messy all around)