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This is also a good time to check the chain for wear—riding with a too-worn chain can erode the teeth on the gears, and replacing gears is a lot more expensive than replacing a chain.
How often should you clean and lube your chain? A good rule of thumb is once a week if you ride daily, and it’s a must after you ride in the rain or anywhere that’s very muddy. And if you hear what sounds like your bike chirping at you as you ride, that’s your chain crying out for attention!
Source: The NY Times
Keyword: How to Clean and Lube Your Bike Chain