Hot answers tagged

67 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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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.
52 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 ...
  • 1,165
48 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 ...
  • 1,165
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 ...
38 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 ...
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34 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 ...
  • 30k
31 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 103k
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 ...
  • 2,089
30 votes

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 ...
  • 17.8k
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 ...
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27 votes
Accepted

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 ...
26 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 ...
26 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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25 votes
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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 ...
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24 votes
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What is the deal with the new weird Gazelle chain case design?

Found an English Language site that explains it. From http://www.cycle-heaven.co.uk/bikes/brands/gazelle/gazelle-chamonix-c7-women-s-2015/ All Chamonixs feature Gazelle's innovative transmission ...
24 votes
Accepted

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%.
23 votes
Accepted

belt vs chain for what matters performance only

First things first: A belt is probably slightly less efficient than a properly installed clean chain. The test you link already indicates that. Probably with the tension Gates requires you'll loose a ...
22 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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 ...
  • 103k
20 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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19 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 45.6k
19 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. ...
  • 30k
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 ...
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18 votes
Accepted

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 ...
17 votes

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

You have a double front, right? The usual advice is to not shift into the highest 3 gears in the rear cassette when in front the chain is on the large chainring, and to not shift into the smallest 3 ...
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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....
  • 28.6k
17 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 ...
17 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 ...
  • 47.9k
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 ...
  • 103k

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