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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).

41
votes
4answers
324k 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 ...
37
votes
10answers
66k 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
33k 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 ...
33
votes
5answers
31k 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 ...
31
votes
11answers
32k 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 ...
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 ...
29
votes
8answers
11k 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 ...
27
votes
8answers
20k 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
27
votes
10answers
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 ...
27
votes
1answer
20k views

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

What is a narrow wide chain and what are it's benefits and drawbacks? Also, is a specific chainring or cassette required?
23
votes
11answers
5k 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 ...
23
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 ...
22
votes
5answers
27k 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?
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 ...
20
votes
4answers
63k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
20
votes
8answers
21k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
15k 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" ...
18
votes
3answers
31k 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
2answers
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 ...
17
votes
5answers
20k 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 (...
16
votes
4answers
1k 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....
16
votes
9answers
22k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
78k 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
28k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
23k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
14k 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, ...
13
votes
4answers
11k 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 didn'...
13
votes
1answer
692 views

Can’t attach master link [duplicate]

I’m trying to install a chain with a snap on master link, but I can’t figure out how. I’ve tried twisting the chain as suggested by other questions to get it into place, but that doesn’t help. How do ...
13
votes
4answers
93k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
46k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
70k views

What is the easiest way to fix a loose chain?

Are there adjustments that can be made instead of replacing it?
13
votes
2answers
774 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 ...
13
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

Should I Oil A Single Speed Chain?

My question is simple. Do I need to oil a chain on a single speed bike?
12
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

I rode a children's bike, now the chain is sagging - is it ok to shorten it?

I know that I shouldn't have, but I had a go on my son's bike (https://www.giant-bicycles.com/au/xtc-street-20-2012). I think that I stretched the chain. It's sagging now with about 3" of vertical ...
11
votes
11answers
64k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
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. ...