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

Modern chains have inner and outer links. On a conventional chainring, all of the teeth are the same width, and therefore have to be narrow enough to fit into the chain's inner links. This means ...
Will Vousden's user avatar
  • 3,981
65 votes

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

No need for a long answer... Just give the pedals a turn and the chain will find the right "cog" on it's own.
Tom Cumming's user avatar
51 votes
Accepted

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

If this happened over the course of 1 ride, it sounds like the wheel just slipped forward in the dropouts. If you loosen both nuts on the rear wheel axle and pull it backwards evenly, you should be ...
wski's user avatar
  • 1,175
45 votes

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

At our shop, we suggest a new cassette every 2 times you replace your chain, IF you stay on top of your maintenance schedule. With 99% of customers this would mean a new cassette every 1-2 years ...
wski's user avatar
  • 1,175
41 votes

How do I open a master link in a chain?

I use a tool made out of a steel wire clotheshanger to squeeze the two pins together and open the link. Also, that one hanger turned into three tools: the link opener, a tool to hold the ends of an ...
compton's user avatar
  • 2,501
39 votes
Accepted

Can riding without a chain damage a bike?

What harm could it possibly do? The cranks are held firmly in place by the bottom bracket; the back wheel is held firmly in place in the drop-outs. The chain is completely non-structural: all it does ...
David Richerby's user avatar
39 votes
Accepted

Parafin wax vs wet lube for bike chain lubrication?

I have been using paraffin wax this year on my "fast" road bike as a bit of an experiment. This was using the hot wax approach, where paraffin wax was melted (in a slow cooker) and a clean ...
Rider_X's user avatar
  • 30.6k
35 votes
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How do I open a master link in a chain?

When disconnected, a chain master link looks like this: Opening this style requires pressure between the two pins, parallel to the length of the chain. The proper tool is a special pair of pliers ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 124k
31 votes
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Are there real-life alternatives to the chain+derailleur combo?

Belt drive + Internally Geared Hub is a popular combination. Existing systems are based around a gates carbon belt drive. See the Breezer Beltway series bikes. Also Reeb Cycles began offering belt ...
Benzo's user avatar
  • 18.2k
30 votes

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

I think that I stretched the chain. No, you most likely did not. Bicycle chains are very strong (and chains on children's bicycles are usually similar to chains on adult bicycles). Plus, if a chain ...
sleske's user avatar
  • 2,319
29 votes

Lithium grease for bicycle chain?

No, lithium grease or similar grease compounds are in general not suitable for bike chains. Bike chains need lubrication of inner surfaces between rollers. Chain lubes contain solvents to reduce ...
gschenk's user avatar
  • 9,660
27 votes
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Putting pin(s) back into chain

It's safer and way easier just to buy another MissingLink (KMC's name for their master link design) of the same type (pin length) the chain came with, leaving you with an inner link that has one on ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
25 votes

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

No, it shouldn't be necessary to replace a cassette after a month's use. However, unless you've had bad service from this shop in the past, I'd give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that it ...
David Richerby's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

Can’t attach master link

The secret is simple, you need to: place the master link (the part with the pins) with the opening towards you, bend (flex) the chain so the open ends of the pins come closer to each other, put ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 4,341
25 votes
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What explains 9 speed cassettes price differences?

In most cases with bicycle parts, more expensive means lighter. There can be exceptions, especially when you get to the super low end parts where cheaper can also mean cheaper construction. Since you ...
Fingel's user avatar
  • 414
23 votes
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Rule of thumb: how far before changing my chain to prevent cassette wear

Distance depends on how you look after the bike and what your local conditions are. Buy a chain wear gauge (plenty of other brands available) and replace the chain when it's stretched by 0.5%.
David Richerby's user avatar
23 votes
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Chain is loose and rubs the upper part of the chain stay

Proper way of dealing with this If the bike is new, take it back to the shop that sold it to you and ask them to fix it. My thoughts on what is actually wrong with the bike On the picture it looks ...
Art Gertner's user avatar
  • 2,597
22 votes
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Why is an old chain unsafe?

A worn, stretched chain will accelerate wear on sprocket and chainring teeth. There will then be a greater chance that the chain will slip off of and override the sprocket teeth as you apply a power ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
20 votes

ParkTool CC-2 chain checker incorrect readings

Your high CC-2 reading likely relates to how much pressure are applying. The CC-2 device is not particularly solid and its readings are sensitive to how much pressure you apply to the pivoting gauge. ...
Rider_X's user avatar
  • 30.6k
20 votes

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

In my experience - breakage is not directly correlated to wear. I've had bikes with unknown mileage on them, and have chosen to ride the transmission into the ground. Generally the performance slowly ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 124k
20 votes
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What caused all my chain links to become stiff after a month in a tent despite having been cleaned and lubed beforehand?

Even though there may not have been direct contact with water, there is water in the air. In a tent, the constant cycle of heating and cooling through the day and night, and the relative differences ...
Gary.Ray's user avatar
  • 16.4k
19 votes
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The master link that came with my chain won't fit

You need to bend the chain. Look at this link (PDF) for the Connex Snap On which is the same idea. The PDF is reproduced below in case the thing goes down. As an aside, you normally can get an ...
Batman's user avatar
  • 46.2k
19 votes
Accepted

Will a 7-speed chain work on a 2x10 speed drivetrain?

will this new 7-speed chain work on a 10-speed cassette? No. That's based on my experience with a nine-speed chain shipped by mistake on a 10-speed drive train. That didn't work well - shifting was ...
Andrew Henle's user avatar
  • 10.6k
18 votes

How do I open a master link in a chain?

It is possible to open the link without the "special tool" that Criggie's answer uses. The trick is to get the chain loose/slack so you can fold it back on itself such that the master link is at ...
Daniel R Hicks's user avatar
18 votes

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

You have a zero cost solution, which is to keep the front derailleur but remove the cable (and shifter if you like). Then use the FD limit screws to fix it in the right position to act as a chain ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 59k
18 votes
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Should I adjust rear derailleur as my chain seems too close to each other

The chain is too long. Presumably you did not cut it down to size it when you installed it. All chains are sold with excess length and must be sized to the bike. The length required depends on the ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

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

Each set of "inner plates" is a link. Each set of "outer plates" is a "link." In the photo below you can see two whole links. Thus to answer the question, Image A in the question above has 4 links....
RoboKaren's user avatar
  • 29.2k
17 votes

Lithium grease for bicycle chain?

When lubricating a chain, we need to get the slippery stuff "into" the chain. Specifically it needs to get between the rollers and the pins, marked in RED below. This is the area that takes all of ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 124k
17 votes

How do I stop chain from moving and jamming up when I stop pedaling my multi-speed bike?

That means that "drive" is coming in through the rear wheel. Normally there's a one-way escapement in the rear wheel's hub called a freewheel or a freehub, but they do the same job, which is to let ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 124k
17 votes

Can a counterfeit Shimano chain be used on an authentic Shimano drivetrain?

You can normally use chains from other legitimate vendors, be it SRAM or KMC or something else. You do not need to use Shimano™® chains only. But no-one can tell you whether your chain is of ...
Vladimir F Героям слава's user avatar

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