How can I tell if my derailleur pulleys need servicing?

Periodically check the bearings in your pulley wheels, especially after wet or muddy rides. Remove the dust covers, wipe away any dirt or contaminated grease and see if the bearings spin freely.

The bearing will fall somewhere between these three conditions::

  1. Clean - feels like it’s spinning effortlessly in fresh grease
  2. Dirty - feels like it’s spinning with some grit in the grease
  3. Dry - feels like it’s spinning effortlessly, but it’s making more noise than usual

If they feel gritty, here is a link to the best practice in pulley service.

A good habit to develop is cleaning your pulleys each time you clean your chain. While you are cleaning your chain, use the same degreaser and a rag or cotton swabs to clean off your pulleys; and hit the chain rings while you’re at it.

Remember: a clean bike is fast bike.