Questions tagged [chain]

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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15
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
28
votes
14answers
77k 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 ...
37
votes
2answers
14k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
20k views

Moving tfrom Shimano 9- to Shimano 10- speed

I'm thinking of changing the 9-speed Tiagra rear mech on one of my (road) bikes to something, still Shimano, but 10-speed. The obvious replacements I'll need are cassette, right-shifter and chain. ...
50
votes
4answers
495k 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 ...
20
votes
7answers
35k views

Parafin wax vs wet lube for bike chain lubrication?

So im thinking of waxing my chain (with parafin wax) what would the advantages of this be over wet lube (i use muck off). Anybody have any experience with waxed chains? Thanks.
25
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
50k views

How to tell what length of chain to get?

I am replacing the chain on my road bike soon. How do I know how many links to get? Does it have to exactly 114 or 116. Or is it not a big deal? I ordered a 116 link chain. Will I need to shorten ...
13
votes
9answers
4k views

What should I look for when buying chain lube / lubricant?

In the past, I personally have only used WD-40. However, I have occasionally had my bicycle looked over at the locally run, free service sessions and most of the mechanics there use a hand applied ...
12
votes
10answers
90k views

Are there substitutes for chain lubricant?

With long journeys and particularly during winter I have noticed that the salt erodes the chain very quickly, even when I have lubricated the chain beforehand. When you are missing proper chain ...
17
votes
7answers
97k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
65k 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
4answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
25k 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
23
votes
8answers
30k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
8k views

Chain skipping on some gears

I have an old cruising bike with 21 gears. A few months ago I was pedalling back home when my chain broke, and I was only able to get the chain replaced this week. After having it replaced I noticed ...
9
votes
5answers
34k views

New Chain causing skipping on cassette - will this work itself out or is it unsafe?

I just installed a new chain on my 2002 Trek 2200 Road Bike. The old chain was a Shimano 9 speed that I installed 18 months and about 5000 miles ago. It had stretched modestly and was full of winter ...
2
votes
3answers
696 views

Chain skip happening seemingly at random with a new chain

My bike's a 24-gear trail/road hybrid, and I've had it for about three years (although I've been riding it much more lately than in previous years). For a long while, I've had an issue with chain ...
21
votes
2answers
6k 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 and ...
7
votes
3answers
45k views

Heavier Thicker Chains and Gears for Winter due to Salt?

I have two bikes: one having gear-things outside and one with inner-hub. The gear-outside-bike has suffered a lot due to the salt during this winter, the other hilariously looks like a new one. I ...
43
votes
12answers
107k 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 ...
33
votes
11answers
68k views

How do I open a master link in a chain?

How can I undo a chain that is closed with a master link? Inspired by comment from https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/a/39284/19705
16
votes
2answers
8k views

ParkTool CC-2 chain checker incorrect readings

My bike is equipped with Shimano Ultegra CN-HG701-11 chain. After only 600 km I measured it with ParkTool CC-2 and it gives 0.75% wear. ParkTool says For 11 and 12-speed chain, replace at or just ...
24
votes
4answers
71k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
12k 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 ...
40
votes
10answers
46k views

Do I really have to replace the cassette when I replace the chain, or is this a scam?

My chain broke so I brought the bike in and the guy told me "Well you don't have the old chain, so we have to replace the cassette also. They go together. If you don't replace the cassette then the ...
21
votes
4answers
15k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
57k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
40k views

How do you count the number of links in a chain?

I thought this was a simple question but apparently there is some confusion - and it's good to have a basic question to refer people to. How many "links" are in these short bits of chain: Image A (...
13
votes
12answers
96k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
8k views

What causes chain suck?

Specifically when changing gears from middle chain ring to smallest, the chain will sometimes get 'sucked' up between the inner chainring and chain stay. It seems to happen more often in muddy ...
7
votes
7answers
12k views

Converting 3x7 to a 1x7. Is it possible with only existing parts?

I own a 2000 model Specialized Ground Control full suspension. The front derailleur is rusty and temperamental so my solution is to remove it as well as 2 chain rings (they are removable on mine) and ...
11
votes
2answers
3k 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. ...
11
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
10
votes
9answers
17k views

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

A former coworker 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

The master link that came with my chain won't fit

I have this master link that came with my chain (Snap On type). In the first picture it is distinctly the one on the left - not a spring clip. Try as I might - it doesn't seem to be long enough? Do I ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

Why bother changing a chain?

I have heard often that you should replace a worn chain, that a chain lasts somewhere between 800-1200 miles, and that if you don't replace the chain on time, you'll need to replace the cassette when ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Chain really quite stretched, should I change cassette at the same time?

I measured my chain last night - 10 links were 25.8-25.9 cm. So I ordered a new one, tools and spare link pins (Shimano 8-speed HG). I'm thinking this amount of wear might explain why my least ...
46
votes
17answers
47k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
98k views

What cleaner and oil should I use on my bike chain [duplicate]

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 ...
11
votes
9answers
32k views

How long should a well maintained chain last and what can I do to prolong its life?

I commute on a fixie. I'm using KMC Z410 chains. Every evening if it's wet I wipe and re-lube my chain, using ProLink lube. Every weekend I remove the chain, soak it in kero, brush it with a citrus ...
9
votes
7answers
74k views

Problem with chain skipping without trying to shift (even with new chain and gears)

I have a mountain bike where the chain intermittently skips when put under load on the middle (and very rarely on the smallest) chain ring. It is not related to shifting. I've taken several steps to ...
16
votes
2answers
45k views

Chain slipping off derailleur jockey

Last week, I had to abandon a training ride due to my chain slipping off my rear derailleur jockey wheel. This would only happen when shifting, and most often when either shifting chainrings or ...
19
votes
3answers
48k 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 ...
17
votes
9answers
3k views

What would happen if I don’t replace worn drivetrain components?

What would happen if I took a entirely new drivetrain and just never replaced anything? Of course, I’d keep it clean and lubricated. With 11 and 12 speed chains being as expensive as they are, the old ...
16
votes
3answers
12k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

How to properly align the rear wheel to the bike (granny bike, single speed)

I have an old bike in which the rear axle is like you can see in the pictures below. It has pedal-brake. I've been struggling with the wheel alignment with respect to the bike. Each time I put it in, ...
4
votes
7answers
13k views

What are the benefits of nickel-plated chains?

Bicycle chains with higher model numbers (and slightly higher prices) are often nickel-plated or half-nickel-plated. What are the benefits of nickel-plated chains over non-nickel-plated chains? How ...
14
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...