archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Messy Chain Solution

TA reader Glen Aldridge has submitted the following solution regarding chain lubricant attaching itself to his pant leg. Here is his report:


I had this problem with my chain tubes being too short & frequently getting chain oil on my pant legs, socks & shoes. I know you can get Velcro ankle straps but life being what it is, I could never remember where I took them off & left them. I needed a simple solution. As I never adjust my Boom Length it wasn’t necessary for me to have the shorter chain tubes. The Boom is set for me & that’s where it is staying so I came up with this very simple solution. As to it’s longevity only time will tell but for $2.00 I can always spring for another Cerlox coil.

Picture no.1 shows the extent of the exposed chain:

Picture no. 2 shows the Cerlox Binding Coil. Available at almost any Copy Shop. I used 3/4″ size:

Picture no. 3 shows the approximate cutting point on the Cerlox Coil – Leave about 2 inches to cover over your chain tube:

Picture no.4 shows the Cerlox Coil Zip Tied into place over the chain tube. Use Black Zip Ties:

To install, you place the coil beside your chain & pop out the plastic fingers to circle your chain & tube. As the Chain Tube has a larger diameter than the Cerlox Coil a small positioning adjustment will keep the coil from rubbing on your chain.

Editor’s note: Glen Aldridge lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.


5 responses

  1. armadillozack

    As I am still waiting for my new ride to be delivered, I have not run into this problem as of yet..! But I most certainly will keep this info should I need it in the future… So thank you for submitting this hack, for a problem I remember as a kid, when I have gotten my pants leg stuck within the sprocket and chain a few times one on the way down a hill going very fast and sure enough I landed in some neighbors hedges…

    October 13, 2015 at 6:52 am

  2. Jerry Forster

    I have used White Lighting chain lube for years and have had no messy chain. Give it a try.

    October 13, 2015 at 9:45 am

  3. Alonzo L Savage (Trike rebel)

    Glen, you’ve stared again. What a neat idea and only costing pennies. Having used one of ICE’s chain adjusting gadgets in the past my chain tubes are a bit on the short side. Although the lube I use is not messy I will give this idea a try.

    October 13, 2015 at 10:54 am

  4. Love it! Simple, low cost solutions are always the best.

    October 13, 2015 at 11:29 am

  5. daytriker

    Just a follow up – I have maybe 80kms with the coils in place & no problems at all. Ridden over smooth, rough, potholes, tree roots & in the rain. I was expecting the coils might shift & rub on the chain but as long as the zip ties are pulled very tight this doesn’t seem to be the case.

    October 13, 2015 at 1:51 pm