When it comes to having a bicycle ready for whatever adventure you’re signing yourself up for, you should consider a few things. The right components are essential to riding long distances and going up steep slopes. Here, you will find the bicycle chain that works well for you.
Bikechain is an online marketplace to purchase new bike chains and chain parts. They have a wide range of products that will suit your needs and are made of high-quality material to ensure durability and longevity.
What Is a Bicycle Chain?
Bicycle chains are extremely important. Without them, bicycles won’t be able to move. These chains also get a lot of wear and tear because they are constantly moving. Unlike other bicycle parts, chains usually do not break, but they may bend or be too worn to function properly.
What Are the Different Kinds of Bicycle Chains?
There are four main types of bicycle chains: fixed-gear, freewheel, derailleur, and single-speed. Each type functions slightly differently and is compatible with different kinds of bicycles.
Single-Speed Bicycle Chains
Single-speed chains are usually cheaper than multi-speed ones because they have fewer moving parts and don’t need much maintenance.
Fixed-gear chains are used on track bicycles. They are typically made from hollow pins and plates to reduce weight for racing. A fixed-gear has no freewheel mechanism, so the pedals move, making it impossible to coast.
A freewheel chain has a sprocket attached to its outer plates, which is used to propel the bicycle forward. It lets you coast or pedal backward without resistance from the gears and pedals. Most modern bicycles have freewheel mechanisms built into them.
Derailleur chains come in 10-speed, 9-speed, and 8-speed versions. This kind of chain is designed to work with a derailleur, a mechanism that moves the chain from one gear to another. The gears and the derailleur’s front are located near the pedals.
How to Find the Best Bicycle Chain?
If you have a new or used bike, you may be wondering how to find the best bicycle chain. Here are things to consider before buying your next bike chain.
When buying a chain to replace a worn one, make sure it’s the same length. Chains come in different lengths to fit different wheel sizes and adjust for differences in frame geometry. A bike shop can measure your current chain for you or advise on the length of your wheel size.
When buying a bicycle chain, consider the speed. If your bike is an old 10-speed and you are replacing the chain, you should buy a new chain with 10 speeds. If your bike is a 21-speed bike and you are replacing the chain, you will want to buy a 21-speed chain.
3. Chain type
There are two bicycle chains; the more expensive “hollow pin” chains and cheaper “solid pin” chains. Hollow pins provide a lighter weight chain and allow easier removal of debris that may become embedded in links during use. Also, they are more easily damaged during installation.
Meanwhile, “solid pin” chains are also durable if you are fine with sacrificing a few grams and always keep your chain properly lubricated.
4. Chain Length
The number of teeth on the cassette (rear gear cluster) will determine the proper chain length needed. Fortunately, many chains come with a “connecting link” that allows you to remove a link or two to shorten the chain if needed when installed on your bike.
Some chains require special tools for installation that may not be available to everyone (such as Shimano’s increasingly popular 11-speed chains). If you don’t have the proper tools, ensure you get a compatible model that does not require any special tools for installation or removal.
6. Number of Gears
Different widths of chains work better with different numbers on the back wheel (the “cassette” or “freewheel”). The number of gears on your cassette is written somewhere (usually on the highest gear). A standard cassette has 8, 9, 10, or 11 teeth.
Why Don’t Bicycle Chains Last?
Bike chains wear out because of frequent use and poor maintenance habits. A good rule of thumb is that if you ride your bicycle in all types of weather, your chain will last about 1,000 miles.
If you clean and lubricate the chain often, it could last 2,000 miles. Here are some factors that cause rapid wear on a bicycle chain:
- Riding in wet conditions without cleaning or lubricating the chain afterward
- Shifting under load (i.e., standing up while pedaling or shifting gears)
- Riding in high gears (i.e., a big cog in front; a small cog in back)
- Skidding tires (causes excessive friction on the drivetrain)
Choose the Right Chain for Your Bike
It is important to choose the chain that best fits your bike and riding needs. All chains are not created equal, but they all serve their purpose.
Many riders are more than happy with a basic, one-speed chain and others prefer the benefits of a high-quality derailleur chain. If you have special needs or concerns, consult with an expert to make the right choice.