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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23
votes
5answers
11k views

How often should I lube my chain?

I ride less than 200 miles a week, and I'm at about the 200 mile mark on my new road bike. Most of my riding is done on the road in an urban city, so there is a lot of odd, unnatural debris. My LBS ...
21
votes
2answers
4k views

How to know when to change a chain?

A bike shop employee used a tool he said would check the wear on the chain, and said that it should be changed. He said it took a measurement that meant the chain had expanded, but it is still hard ...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

Does the chain direction make a difference?

Recently, I helped a friend install a new chain on her road bike, and for the first time read the instructions for installing one. It seems to claim that there's a forward direction, and that it ...
20
votes
7answers
5k views

How to achieve an always clean chain

My chain and cogs always look very dirty as the oil attracts dirt. It is a constant problem as you can't fully avoid stains on your trousers and hands. Also, that looks ugly and I believe it wears the ...
19
votes
4answers
96k views

How can I tell which size chain my bike uses?

After learning how to break a chain and reattach it, and also how to add and remove a master link, I find that I can now do much more in the way of maintenance at home. I'll no longer need to bring my ...
18
votes
5answers
6k views

How do I reduce slack in the chain of a single-speed bicycle?

I have a single speed bicycle that has some slack in the chain and threatens to come off. How can I reduce this slack?
16
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I lubricate my chain?

I know I should lubricate my chain regularly. I got some lube at my LBS; how should I apply it? Do I just drip some on one spot, and turn the pedals around a few times to spread it out? Drip it all ...
15
votes
7answers
12k views

What to use to clean your chain (and cogs)?

I've just tried cleaning my chain and cogs with some really hot water and washing-up liquid. I also used a toothbrush, j-cloth and a non-scratch scourer. After over an hour of some serious elbow ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

Is it possible to fit a chain guard to a bike with derailleur gears?

I've been slowly going through the process of converting my old hardtail mountain bike into a commuting bike. One of the things that I'd like to do is to fit a chain guard so that I can ride the bike ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

New chain is pre-lubricated, should I clean it?

My new chain is totally coated in lube. I would never ride a bike with a chain like this normally. All that goop is just going to collect flotsam from the road and wear out the chain. Should I clean ...
13
votes
3answers
416 views

Will regular removal, cleaning and re-placing of my chain weaken or damage it?

When I'm cleaning my bike, the quickest way to degrease my chain is to remove it and degrease it in a small tub. Will constant removal / re-adding to the bike cause damage? I don't have a quick ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the easiest way to fix a loose chain?

Are there adjustments that can be made instead of replacing it?
13
votes
8answers
8k views

How can I clean sand off my bike chain?

Recently went for a ride in the forest, there were sections of sand and I can clearly see sand on my bike chain now. How can I clean this off effectively? There are chain cleaning "machines", but ...
12
votes
4answers
702 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
13k views

Help Me Understand My Bicycle's Gears

I've recently started commuting with a bicycle (Giant hybrid bicycle). I've been trying to learn a little about bicycling to make my commute easier and my time on the bicycle more enjoyable. Please ...
11
votes
7answers
29k views

How tight should a fixie's chain be?

I ride an SE Lager fixed. How tight should the chain be and what is the best way of measure it? I have a chain tug so I can be pretty accurate in dialling in the right amount of tension. I don't ...
11
votes
1answer
924 views

Do I need to change my cassette if I can't see any wear?

I bought a new road bike with Campag Athena 11 speed in March last year. To the end of Jan it had covered 9000km. In all that time I hadn't changed the chain because I don't have the Campag tool, and ...
11
votes
2answers
498 views

How do you evaluate and choose chain lubricants?

Terms such as wet/dry/xyz/winter/summer/autumn lubricants are not well defined. I find it very hard to determine which bottle is worth buying, spray, bottled, wax, parafin, purple, green, Y (other ...
11
votes
1answer
838 views

How bad is cross chaining?

Accepted wisdom is that 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 and see that I'm ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

isn't a fixie without a full chain guard a safety hazard?

Yes, I know it would totally ruin the clean lines and the uncluttered, (well maybe just a discreet front brake), looks, but I've never seen this question asked, much less answered. A chain guard ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

What type of chain lube is best for winter riding?

I've read a lot about wet vs dry chain lube and there doesn't seem a definitive answer on whether to use wet or dry chain lube in the winter. Some forums are full of people saying they only use dry ...
10
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is my chain so noisy after cleaning and lubricating?

I have recently gotten into commuting to work with a road bike. Once a month or so I will degrease, clean, and lubricate the chain. I change through all the gears to distribute the lubricant and ...
9
votes
5answers
866 views

Do I need a new chain after 1300 miles?

I have a Boardman Airpro and probably need a new chain having done about 1,300 miles with it. The bike is used for leisure and commuting and therefore goes through all weathers. I also keep the ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I tell if a chain has a master link?

I need to remove the chain on my internal-hub cruiser to clean it (i.e., no rear or front deraileur), and I'd rather not remove my back wheel if I can avoid that. What do I look for to find the master ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Problem with chain `skipping` (but not trying to shift)

I have two bicycles that suffer this problem, both pretty heavy frames (one a ladies, Hollander bike, and the other a man's commuter) - both have correctly adjusted Derailleurs which don't produce any ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What harm results from riding with a stretched chain?

Due to sheer laziness, my maintenance amounts to an annual trip to the LBS. After moving, my new LBS suggested that I replace my chain immediately, before it destroys the drive train. What they ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

What cleaner and oil should I use on my bike chain

Hope everyone is well. I need to clean and oil my chain as its getting a little clunky when I’m changing gears. I have no idea what I should be cleaning it with and then what I should oil with. Any ...
8
votes
2answers
907 views

Should a link opened/closed by a chain-breaker be stiff afterwards?

I disassembled my bike's drivetrain to degrease and regrease all the components. I used a chain-breaker for the first time (previous bikes had a master link) to open a chain link and remove the chain. ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

Mysterious case: chain falling off large chainring, how to fix?

On my commuter bike I decided to rid myself of the small inner chain ring (which is almost never used) and front dérailleur (now redundant). However, I have come across an unusual problem. Whilst ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

how do I paint a bicycle chain?

I've seen chains with so many colours, white, red, you name it. I would like to give it a try (this paint job is intended for visual styling of the bike, nothing related to protecting it), but I have ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

How to fix new chain that switches gears when pedaling backwards

I just recently replaced a chain that got incredibly beat up in the winter (it was rusted, and practically stiff when I removed it.) I removed links from the new chain to match the length of the ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

Chain slipping off derailleur jockey (need suggestions ASAP)

Last week, I had to abandon a training ride due to my chain slipping off my rear derailleur jockey. This would only happen when shifting, and most often when either shifting chainrings or shifting ...
8
votes
1answer
531 views

Chain clicks when the back wheel is in highest and lowest gears

When I have my back wheel gears in either the lowest gear or highest gear, my chain clicks as I peddle. How do I fix this?
8
votes
1answer
590 views

Setting chain length

My chain broke and in a moment of silliness (I was cold wet and slightly annoyed) I threw the broken one away before thinking about measuring the new one. Is there a guide to getting the chain ...
8
votes
3answers
802 views

How tight should my chain be?

I recently put new tires on my bike, and in so doing, removed and replaced the wheels. It seems that now my chain has more slack in it than before, and if I pedal backwards while in the smaller cog ...
7
votes
5answers
260 views

I live in a place where it frequently floods. How can I keep my chain from rusting?

My poor bike's chain lasted all of three months before it gave in to the winter floods where I live. Storing it indoors is not an option, and despite my maintenance efforts, the knee-deep floods that ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

Do cassettes and chains need to be replaced at the same time?

Someone recently told me that if I replace my cassette I need to replace my chain (and vice versa) so that they wear evenly. Is this true? And, can anyone elaborate on the reasoning for this a bit ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I Oil A Single Speed Chain?

My question is simple. Do I need to oil a chain on a single speed bike?
7
votes
6answers
6k views

While pedaling standing up, bike crank gives in as if shifting, what is causing this?

While standing up and pedaling, the cranks give in as if shifting. It seams like I am shifting down, but my hands are off the shifter, almost like the chain is skipping a link. I took it to a bike ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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
2answers
975 views

Why did the chain on my kid's bike slack after I changed his tire?

I changed the rear wheel on my child's bicycle today. Once I was done and put it back together, the chain is inexplicably longer; there is a lot of slack. How did this happen and how do I resolve ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

if I replace chainset and chain should I replace back cassette as well?

I am replacing my chainset and chain, as its totaly worn and causing the chain to jump off when I pedal. The cassette is fairly worn too, but is not causing any problems. If I buy a new chain and ...
7
votes
2answers
190 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?
7
votes
3answers
8k views

Is my chain too long?

I'm in the process of setting up a new drive train. When using the smaller chainring and smallest sprocket (hence least amount of utilized chain), the chain brushes up against the bottom of the ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to maintain chains during touring?

I think requirements are reusable, simple, small-size and things-to-easily-to-carry. There are exotic answers with chain clearers and other things that do not qualify to me simple. Perhaps, the ...
6
votes
6answers
419 views

Are there brands that sell weather-resistant chains?

I have to bike in bad weather and especially at work i have no way to store my bike in a dry place, this means that my bike chain picks up rust like nothing else, forcing me to clean it a lot. Now i'm ...
6
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Will using dry lube and wet lube together give you better protection/performance than from using just one of them?

I think the only way to use them together is to put on dry lube first and then wet lube. Will the wet lube hold? Will applying both give you the best that each has to offer? Update Just found this ...
6
votes
5answers
2k 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?