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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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 ...
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48 votes
17 answers
48k 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 ...
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45 votes
1 answer
42k views

What is a narrow wide chainring and what are its benefits and drawbacks?

What is a narrow wide chainring and what are it's benefits and drawbacks? Also, is a specific chain or cassette required?
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  • 1,761
43 votes
12 answers
110k 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 ...
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  • 1,093
42 votes
10 answers
50k 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 ...
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  • 581
39 votes
11 answers
74k views

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

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 ...
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38 votes
5 answers
53k 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 ...
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  • 2,346
37 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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33 votes
11 answers
72k 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
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  • 99.2k
28 votes
14 answers
78k 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 ...
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  • 2,181
25 votes
11 answers
8k views

Are there real-life alternatives to the chain+derailleur combo?

I was reading an article about the CeramicSpeed’s Driven concept and, while not interested in the efficiency part, the chainless system reminded me of something I was wondering for some time: are ...
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  • 1,007
25 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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24 votes
4 answers
72k 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 ...
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  • 1,223
24 votes
8 answers
31k 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 ...
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  • 2,893
23 votes
8 answers
51k views

Putting pin(s) back into chain

While trying to put a new chain on a bike, I rather stupidly removed the "wrong" link in the chain, and it's already very short, so I can't simply remove yet another link in order to get the "correct" ...
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22 votes
5 answers
36k 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?
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22 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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21 votes
7 answers
37k 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.
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  • 1,056
21 votes
3 answers
49k 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 ...
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  • 1,645
21 votes
4 answers
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 ...
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  • 4,713
20 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the deal with the new weird Gazelle chain case design?

I was about to buy this bike (a Gazelle Arroyo c7): http://www.gazelle-fietsen.be/assortiment/arroyo-c7 when I realized the chaincase is seemingly deliberately designed so that the chain constantly ...
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19 votes
10 answers
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 ...
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  • 10.9k
19 votes
10 answers
3k views

How does one wipe clean and oil the chain? (maintenance details)

This may sound like a dumb question -- I know how to oil a bike chain, but apparently not how to do it correctly. I have a relatively new gravel bike, a Giant Revolt, which I ride (on tarmac) about 25 ...
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  • 497
19 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why should one clean a chain?

I do understand that this may sound like a troll question but please bear with me. I've always been a maniac about drive train cleanliness until I got a 11 speed bike and realized I didn't want to ...
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18 votes
5 answers
45k 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 (...
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  • 28.5k
18 votes
4 answers
2k 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 suck....
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18 votes
1 answer
27k views

How to mount SRAM snaplock?

I am trying to join PC-1 SRAM chain, it has such snaplock: And the problem is, the distance between holes is slightly less (IMHO) than distance between the pins. Every hole on its own fits any pin, ...
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  • 1,520
17 votes
2 answers
7k views

Can riding without a chain damage a bike?

I've been really struggling learning to ride fakie (backwards) on my BMX. Tonight, an idea occurred to me. If I remove the chain from my bike, it'll be a "free coaster," and I won't have to pedal ...
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  • 305
17 votes
8 answers
7k 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 ...
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17 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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  • 435
17 votes
7 answers
99k 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 ...
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  • 8,916
16 votes
4 answers
5k views

New to Bikes: My chain fell off and I put it back on. How can I know if it's on the right cog?

I am new to bikes not ridden one since I was 11 I am now 63! I have a mountain bike and never used gears before they are mind boggling. I went out and rode it no problem but trying gear changes I don'...
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  • 163
16 votes
3 answers
9k views

What's the point of removing the excess oil after lubing the chain?

There is a very strong point in bike-mechanics culture, which I've seen in very competent answers here, too, to apply one drop of lube in every single roller of a clean chain, and then (!very ...
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16 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
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  • 2,181
16 votes
2 answers
9k 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 ...
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16 votes
2 answers
47k 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 ...
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16 votes
9 answers
32k 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 ...
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  • 11.7k
16 votes
6 answers
13k views

Chain vs chainless options

Could someone provide a comparison between having a bike with a chain, with a shaft drive and with a belt drive like the Gates Carbon Drive? It could be good to know who fares better in terms of low ...
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  • 261
15 votes
5 answers
13k 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 ...
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  • 2,323
15 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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  • 3,905
15 votes
2 answers
893 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 ...
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14 votes
6 answers
6k views

What explains 9 speed cassettes price differences?

I have a pretty heavy bike I use to travel long distances with a lot of luggage. It has a mix of XT, deore and other Shimano equipment. I bought it second hand so I don't really know the details. I ...
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  • 143
14 votes
4 answers
3k views

What caused all my chain links to become stiff after a month in a tent despite having been cleaned and lubed beforehand?

I've left my winter road bike outside in a bike tent for about a month (winter, UK). I noticed that pretty much all links are stiff and the chain is slightly rusted, making it impossible to use. Some ...
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14 votes
6 answers
6k views

Mechanic says not to use top three/bottom two gears or the chain will throw

I just bought a BTwin Fit 5, all stock, fresh from the distributor, Decathlon. Took it for light pacing at the store and things seemed OK. About 100 metres out the door, I shift up to the top end of ...
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14 votes
6 answers
13k 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 ...
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  • 2,181
14 votes
6 answers
32k 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 ...
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14 votes
2 answers
8k views

How efficient is string bike? Is this really a revolutionary bike?

Bicycles are getting evolved with good technologies or methodologies as the period changes. Now, this one bike, so called string bike has been introduced, which doesn't have chain, derailleur but ...
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  • 306
14 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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13 votes
10 answers
91k 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 ...
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13 votes
6 answers
2k views

Best drivechain for beach, seaside, coastal, winter, generally salty environment?

I live by the beach. Although I guess this is a similar problem to those who ride on salt-laden winter roads... It does take a while but, as evidenced by the endless bikes abandoned around the ...
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