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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).

27
votes
11answers
66k 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 ...
31
votes
2answers
12k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
16k 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. ...
43
votes
4answers
331k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
24
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
11
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
36k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
62k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
20
votes
8answers
22k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
79k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
20k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
47k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
3k 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
36k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
21k 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 (...
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
1answer
1k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
94k 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
65k 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 ...
37
votes
10answers
68k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
29k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
37k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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, ...
33
votes
5answers
32k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
33k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
11answers
65k 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
9answers
55k views

Chain slipping on newish bike

I've looked at most of the answers for related questions and they all speak about replacing parts that are old. I just bought a new bike from a friend who rode the bike for about a month before ...
9
votes
2answers
14k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Do chains on single-speed last longer than those on geared bikes?

I have a Jamis Beatnik (love) and ride on the single-speed side of my hub. I'm wondering - derailleurs seem to me like they might 'stress' the chain (even if only slightly) more than single-speed in ...
4
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Shorten or replace bicycle chain?

The chain on my internally geared hub bicycle is now too long even when the rear wheel is entirely pulled back. How do I tell whether it's sufficient to shorten the chain by removing some links, or if ...
11
votes
5answers
6k 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
7answers
938 views

why would my chain slip on the road, but not when the bike is on a stand?

The chain on my bike has started to slip a lot -- every couple of seconds when riding. It happens, as far as I can tell, in every gear, and is unrelated to shifting. The precise nature of the problem ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Are single-speed bikes better equipped to handle cog/chain wear?

I need to decide between a single-speed and multiple-speed bike. I usually ride multiple-speed mountain/city bikes in the highest gear anyway (around town). They're not intended for that, and doing ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is it important to wipe excess lubricant off your chain?

This question about chain maintenance during touring raised this question. This tip sounds unintuitive, of course, I know that the extra lube will attract dust (not good to chain) but I have paid for ...
6
votes
1answer
975 views

Are all 9 speed chains compatible with all 9 speed systems?

My current chain is x9, but it's expensive in eBay. Can I use any 9 speed chain like on this page?
5
votes
3answers
386 views

Rear hub freewheel and casette

I am having some issues with my drive trainsystem. I have changed my chain after quite a while (shame on me) with a new one, that i sized exactly on the same number of links as the old one. When ...
5
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...