Sometimes you need professional help for projects and other times you make a go of it on your own. The Bicycle Tutor, run by Alex Ramon who resides in Vancouver, B.C., is a web site aimed at helping you do basic repairs and maintenance on your own. One of the most important and simple steps you can take to keep your bike in good condition is to lubricate parts appropriately.
Without a doubt the most important part on any bike that needs to be maintained is the chain. How many of you out there have heard a squeak and immediately reached for the bottle of WD-40? Well, as the Bicycle Tutor explains, this is not a good idea. Text below in italics credited to the Bicycle Tutor:
WD-40 was developed by the military in the 50s as a rust preventative solvent and de-greaser to protect missile parts. It quickly became a household item when people discovered it had thousands of other uses as a cleaner, rust-prevention agent, squeak-stopper and more. It also works wonders as a light lubricant on small items like hinges, locks, and toys.
Bicycle chains, on the other hand, are far too heavy and fast-moving for the lubricating power of WD-40 to have any effect at all. As a matter of fact, WD-40 will actually strip away any existing lubricant and leave your drive-train dry – metal on metal. Basically, spraying this stuff on your chain is worse than using no lubricant at all!
Alex runs a great site and has all sorts of very helpful videos. A basic subscription to his site will likely save you hundreds of dollars in bike shop repairs and there is a helpful forum as well.