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34

There's lots of good info here, let me summarize my cleaning routine which combines many of the approaches already mentioned, and keeps the chain in good condition and appearance. This focuses on getting the chain totally clean and dry (no water, degreaser, or lube) before re-oiling it; and then on removing as much excess oil as possible. The end goal is a ...


19

You can measure the stretch of a chain with a chain gauge (or just a ruler) Alternately - the chain links are 1 inch long, so measure 12 of them with a ruler, if they are more than 1/8inch longer than this then they are worn. You need to do this before it wears the rear cogs - it will cause the teeth to wear into sharp pointed spikes = need a new ...


19

If you are using a bike with a derailleur the number of cogs on the rear hub will determine the chain size you will need. They are always 3/32" chains. You can get a 5/6/7-speed, 8-speed, 9-speed, or 10-speed chains. If you can't find a chain that matches your cluster pick a chain for a larger number, for example if you have an eight-cog cluster you can ...


18

Lubricate when needed. I don't think it's possible to put a mile marker on when to lube. I think most people add chain lube too often. Too much can cause debris to build up on the chain. Too little can cause unnecessary friction but you'll know pretty quickly by the looks (and possibly sound) of it if you have too little Hints: wipe your chain off ...


18

A degreaser, whether aerosol or not, is an excellent way to remove grease from the chain. http://www.finishlineusa.com/products/citrus-cleaner.htm http://www.finishlineusa.com/products/speed-clean.htm The degreaser will reduce the amount of elbow grease required but be careful and use a set of nitrile gloves to protect your hands. My simple chain ...


18

The coating is generally a form of wax, which is an excellent chain lube, and less apt to attract dirt than most chain oils. All you really should do is wipe off (with a dry cloth) any excess. If the wax seems excessively heavy you can add a little solvent to the cloth, to just wipe off the outer coating. You want to leave the lube on the inside of the ...


16

Don't overthink it. Since you've got a triple, you're probably right to be in your middle ring most of the time That's normal. In the middle ring you should have access to the whole cassette/freewheel in the back, though you might get a little extra noise as you approach the extreme gears in either direction. You'll use the big chainring when you're going ...


15

When you clean and then lube your chain ALWAYS take a towel and wipe off the excess lube. Just hold the towel on the chain and spin the crank backwards. And as mentioned above use a strap around you pants leg. A large rubber band works. A timing chip strap worn in triathlons work... those velcro watch bands work... lots of ways here. Your hands will ...


14

Yes. You should follow the normal guidelines for oiling your chain. If it is squeaking, you know you've left it too long. Do the following every two or three weeks: Thoroughly clean the chain with some degreaser. Let it dry off. If the new lube comes into contact with degreaser, they won't be happy with one another, and the lubrication will not be as good. ...


14

As a general rule you get about 2000 miles out of a chain, but this depends on the chain, it's maintenance, and the use and storage conditions. It's not out of line for certain brands of chains to need replacement in 1300 miles, since some are either cheaper (and hence more poorly constructed) or more expensive (and hence lighter, with less "meat"). And ...


13

Clean the chain first - see this question or this question. If the chain has a master link I like to start there just so I can keep track of which links I have lubed easier. Usually you should shake up the lube, especially if it is a 'dry' or 'wax' formula. Then drip 1 or 2 drops on the rollers of each link. Lube on the outside of the chain is basically ...


13

This is always a controversial topic, with some people arguing on both sides, but in my opinion you should replace your chain when it reaches the official "worn" state (as indicated by a chain stretch gauge). If you let the chain go the sprockets develop a "hook" and will begin "sucking" the chain. In addition, shifting performance will suffer. If a chain ...


13

Sheldon Brown says no (http://sheldonbrown.com/chains.html): This factory lube is superior to any lube that you can apply after the fact. Some people make the bad mistake of deliberately removing this superior lubricant. Don't do this!


13

You have a double front, right? The usual advice is to not shift into the highest 3 gears in the rear cassette when in front the chain is on the large chainring, and to not shift into the smallest 3 cogs, when the chain in front is on the small chainring. This prevents 'cross-chaining', which wears the chain fast, produces noise and difficult shifting. ...


13

The chain is stuck because of its short length and cross-chaining - the chain links are severely bent. Also with the chain not clean it will not turn nicely in such a scenario: Also your chain is short, making your derailleur stretch forward (marked blue) which makes the cross-chaining even more severe (marked red). On such a stretched derailleur there ...


12

If you have horizontal dropouts (the wheel axle slides into the frame from the back of the bike) the dropouts have long slots which will allow you to pull the rear wheel back and take slack from the chain. Be careful to ensure when you torque the wheel nuts down the wheel doesn't slip from being aligned straight, or the chain is running at a slight angle. ...


12

Lube your chain frequently. As in every time it rains if you need to. Depending on the drive-train, you can get Shimano or SRAM chains at places like Nashbar or Performance Bike, but even top-of-the-line, expensive chains will get rusty if they're out in the rain all the time. The same will hold with a Brooks saddle. No matter how awesome it is, if it's ...


12

There are four main possibilities, depending on the quality and age of bike. The most likely scenario is that the wheel is a traditional kid's coaster brake wheel - one gear forward, pedal backwards to brake. In that case it's likely that the clutch is slipping inside the hub. A replacement wheel is probably an easy find, even more so than replacement ...


12

Yeah. A modern double chainring is ramped and pinned, in order to be more easily shifted from one ring to the next. Simply put, the chainring "wants" to pass off the chain to the next cog. Without a derailleur to keep it in place, the lateral pull of the chain shifting across the rear, combined with some road jostling, can make the chain fall off the front. ...


12

You're not exaggerating the risk as far as what would happen to the object that managed to get jammed in to a fixie drivetrain at speed. You are perhaps exaggerating the risk of that happening, though. I don't see many objects managing that feat, without serious planning on someones' part, and unless it's flesh and bone, or something that was hard enough ...


12

Right solution is to use the "tight link removal" position of most chain tools: Just choose the side where the pin is showing most outwards, and pull it in a tiny bit. This is very subtle, and your link will be released. An alternate solution is to grab the chain with both hands (dirty!) and force it as if you were to bend it sideways, in both ...


12

For the casual rider the simplest approach is to go to a bike shop and get a bottle of "chain oil". Apply the chain oil fairly liberally (drizzle it on while cranking the chain backwards, if the bike has a freewheel), then wipe the chain with a rag (while cranking backwards). If the chain is REALLY dirty, repeat. For slightly more aggressive cleaning (on ...


11

Usually when I talk about or hear someone use the term 'Master Link' they mean something like this: They are links that can be seperated without the use of a specialized chain tool to push a pin through the rollers. There are others besides those shown, one of the more common being an SRAM Power Link which looks like this: If you don't have a link like ...


11

This type of problem has 5 likely causes, listed in order of elimination. Bent dérailleur hanger, or Bent derailleur cage. (Your derailleur hanger looks straight, but the cage appears slightly twisted in the upper photo. Could be the angle of the shot, though.) Edit: This turned out to be the correct answer, after all. Bent, twisted, or sticky chain link. ...


11

If you can, with the chain in one of the middle cogs in the back, shift to each of the front chain rings then your front derailleur is likely in proper alignment and adjustment. This question and answer cover how to adjust the derailleur if you want to learn how to do it yourself. What you are describing, shifting to small ring in front and small cog in ...


11

I think these may be what you're looking for. FYI, a lot of this information is available with a little searching. Depending on what exactly you are looking for, you might want to look up a document for a specific cassette as the numbers might be slightly different. Spacer widths (From Shimano tech docs) 8 Spd: 3.00mm 9 Spd: 2.56mm 10 Spd: 2.35mm (1.0mm ...


11

They do. Connex (Wipperman) sells bulk chain, as shown by this link, and these people also buy it by the spool. This is likely what bike manufacturers do, and I've seen it in a bike shop or two. I'm sure you can also get it at some place like McMaster-Carr or Grainger if you ask for ANSI #40 roller chain with the appropriate width (possibly by special ...


11

The cost of replacing worn parts is one part of the issue with excessive chain stretch, safety is another component. Safety This type of problem will take a while to emerge, but if you are going to run the drivetrain into the ground, at some point your safety may be compromised. Excessively worn chains may break, or skip over excessively worn gears. At ...


10

SKS Germany - a company that make great bike products, including the fenders that I put on two of my bikes, make a product called the Chainboard - a chain guard designed to accommodate front derailleurs. I don't have one, but you can google SKS Chainboard and find several reviews.



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