Repairing, maintaining, or replacing the chain on your bike that connects the front of the drivetrain (cranks, chainrings) to the back (cogs, cassette).

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10
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6answers
4k views

Best chain lubricant for commuter/utility bikes?

What's the best chain lubricant for a bike used for riding in normal(ish) clothes, year-round? I've been using Tri-Flow, but that tends to leave black greasy/dirty stains on pants, shoes, etc. I've ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

Are there any disadvantages to running a stainless steel bike chain?

We are currently using KMC Z51RB rust resistant chains on our bikes, a competitor has started to use stainless steel chains. Does anyone know the advantages and disadvantages of using stainless steel ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

How do I tell if a loose chain is because of the chain or the ring wearing?

My chain looks as though it's 'stretched' - by the time it's fed around the large front chainring it appears to be 'longer' than when on the other chainrings. Therefore I'm trying to work out whether ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How bad is cross chaining?

Accepted wisdom is that cross chaining is bad and that we should never do it. However, most of us set up our bikes so that we can run any gear combination. Invariably, I'll occasionally look down ...
14
votes
4answers
998 views

Minimal effort chain cleaning

One of the main reasons I eventually give up my bicycle commute in winter is that keeping my bike -mainly the drivetrain- clean despite all the rain/dirt/salt/hail/snow becomes too much of a time ...
9
votes
8answers
9k views

How to prevent my chain from breaking?

After my chain has broken what should I know about buying and maintaining a new chain (apart from lubing it and replacing when it 'stretches')? Do you keep a spare chain, or a spare link? I have a ...
8
votes
3answers
732 views

What am I supposed to do when my chain falls off?

It happened when I "stepped on it" (on an empty residential street). It left the chain on the road. What tool(s) and parts should I have had with me, to fix it? It was replaced (new) two months ago, ...
8
votes
3answers
930 views

Should a chain be replaced even if it's not stretched?

This question suggests using a tool or ruler to assess chain stretch to determine when to replace a chain. I have one such tool (Park Tool CC-3), and it tells me that my chain is not stretched even to ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

If the chain/cog no longer drives the wheel, can this be fixed?

Suddenly (without anything sounding like it was broken) the chain no longer turns the back wheel. The cogged part of the wheel is turned by the chain but this doesn't turn the wheel. Is this ...
7
votes
1answer
9k views

Upgrading wheels on a vintage Peugeot Frame

OK so I have a Peugeot Galibier bike that consists of a Reynolds 301 steel frame. A while back the original derailer gave up the ghost while riding, bending the rear-wheel spokes in the process. I ...
7
votes
2answers
222 views

What considerations are important when purchasing a new chain?

Are there any special types out there or are they pretty much all the same?
6
votes
3answers
462 views

Chain lube that won't repaint my legs?

Because I have sometimes spent a lot of time digging around for bike parts and only discovering the existence of something awesome after many hours of browsing, I'm wondering whether there could exist ...
6
votes
3answers
532 views

Is the durability of more expensive chains better than cheaper ones?

Do expensive chains last longer? I get 300-400 miles using Wally World's $10 8 speed chains while riding off road or dirt. I monitor and replace the chain at close to 1 percent stretch. Would a ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

How to Sight a Chain Line

I just finished building a single speed bike and I think my chain line might be a little off. Is there a tool or trick to sighting the chain line?
6
votes
2answers
398 views

Chain loses tension on straight drop out

I have single speed bicycle with a straight dropout. The problem I'm having is that over the course of a week, the chain loses tension until eventually, if I do not re-position the back wheel again, ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Are lighter chains worth the cost?

I'm replacing chains on a number of bicycles, and trying to decide what chains to purchase. I'm a fan of Sram's master links, so I'm comparing the Sram PC-971 to the PC-991. The PC-991 is ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it possible to put a chain on without removing the rear wheel?

I have a bike with a single chainring up front and an internal hub and a coaster brake in the rear. (For those unfamiliar with this setup, it's essentially like having a single-speed bike in that the ...
6
votes
4answers
8k views

How much distance can I put on drivetrain components?

I figure the jockey wheels on my derailer will last nearly forever, but what about the rest: cassette, chainrings, and chain? How many miles, kilometers, or furlongs do they normally last? I know ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Chain drop under load

I have a problem. Today I was riding (flat-out) up hill, and went to shift up a gear on the rear, which caused the chain to drop off the front chain-ring (was in the big-ring, so dropped to the ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does my chain keep jumping off the front chainring on my 1x9?

My chain has a tendency to frequently jump off the front chainring. I have a 1x9 so it's not a front derailleur issue. It generally happens when I hit something like the lip of a driveway or sidewalk ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

What would be the “definitive” formula to calculate chainstay length from sprocket size, chainring size and number of chain links?

Before I started to write this answer, I thoroughly read this question, its answers and comments: How do I calculate the diameter of a chainring from the number of teeth? So, my question tries to ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

SRAM chain with Shimano cassette and crankset?

When new my bike had all Shimano components. When it was time to replace the chain, the LBS installed an SRAM chain. Was that a mistake on their part (if so, was it a bad mistake)? I had a problem ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Eliminating chainslap on a 90's Stumpjumper

I have a mountain bike - a Stumpjumper hardtail frame with a Shimano drivetrain - where I'm getting a good amount of chainslap. Before I start fiddling with stuff, I'd like to understand the problem ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Properties with Belt-driven Chains?

This reply about belt-driven belt got my interest here. It does not need lubrication at all according to the replier. What are other properties with belt-drive chain? Where does the idea come from? ...
3
votes
3answers
175 views

How good or bad would chainsaw bar lubricant be as a bicycle chain lube?

A former cow orker asked me this today - and I don't have a good answer. He has access to plentiful quantities of chainsaw bar lubricant, the stuff that helps a chainsaw's chain move around the metal ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

Campagnolo Record C9 / Shimano CS-HG200-9 incompatibility

I drive cheap Shimano cassettes together with Campagnolo Record C9 chains. Yesterday I installed a new C9 and a CS-HG200-9. But the chain sort of slips over the sprockets, not unlike really worn ...
3
votes
2answers
421 views

What kind of master link is most convenient for IGH / fixie / ss setups?

Here's a question related to this and this -- I've got a IGH bike and want to keep the drivetrain clean. I prefer to remove the chain for regular maintenance, but don't want to have to remove the ...
3
votes
3answers
9k views

Why is my drivetrain so noisy after replacing the chain?

I ride an SE Lager fixed. On the 30th of May this year I did a bit of an overhaul, replacing the rear cog, chain, wheels, tyres and brake pads. I measured the chain last weekend and discovered that ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Are chain-drive gears 'ridiculously' efficient even when dry of oil?

Allegedly chain-drive gears are something like 99% efficient when well oiled and something like 98% efficient when without oil. Personally I do not like the noise a dry chain makes, this has a 'I ...
2
votes
1answer
497 views

Do I really need a magic link or can I just replace the pin on my chain?

To install a new chain I need a chain tool to shorten it to the proper length. Why not just use that same tool to replace the pin and not deal with a magic link? Seems to me the pin would be ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

Question about chain re-attaching

I have a question about chain "closing" (not sure of the english word, but you get it, right?). I know how to open a chain with a chain tool, and I know I must not "go too far" as to remove the rivet ...
1
vote
3answers
351 views

I just replaced my cassette, do I need replace the 2 month old chain?

I replaced both my cassette and chain in July (2.5 months ago). For some reason my chain started skipping when I was in the smallest cog in back. I took it to a shop, they could not find anything ...
1
vote
2answers
971 views

Upgrade my Rear Cassette from 12/25t to 11/28t

I have a Specialized Secteur 8-speed road bike with a Shimano HG850 12/25t rear cassette running on a KMX Z type narrow chain my crankset is a 52/42/30, I have done about 2,000 miles so it's probably ...
1
vote
1answer
9k views

What Are the Widths of Shimano 8, 9, and 10 Speed Cassettes?

I was hoping that someone could provide me with the precise Shimano road-bike 8, 9, and 10 speed sizes for the following: Cassette Spacer Width Cog/Tooth Width Maximum Chain Width
1
vote
2answers
249 views

What could be the reason for chain skipping

My chain is skipping only on the smallest sprocket, and it skips with every crank turn. The chain is not stretched. Also, chainrings are almost new. Could this freewheel be the reason, it doesn't seem ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

10-speed chain too short, can I add links?

I purchased a new KMC DX10SC 10-speed 114 link chain to replace my worn out chain. I'm running a mountain triple and it seems that The chain is slightly too short at it's full length. I can't get in ...