Bike Chains to Keep Your Drivetrain Running Smoothly
The chain is one of the most simple parts of the bike, but also one of the most important. Whether you’re riding a road, mountain, or urban bike, the chain is responsible for transferring the power of your pedalling to your wheel to propelyou forward.Getting the right chain for your bike is extremely important. It ensures that yourdrivetrain will run smoothly and efficiently, and that you’re not inadvertentlywearing down components of your bike like your cassette.
How to Choose a Bike Chain
Picking out a chain for your bike is relatively straightforward. But, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Road vs. Urban vs. Mountain Bike Chains
Technically speaking, you could use a chain designed for a road bike on a mountain bike or vice versa. While chains are typically designed for one type of bike over another, the differences are minimal. Still, there are some minor alterations in theprofile of road, urban, and mountain bike chains, so you’ll experience smoothershifting if you get the right style of chain for your bike.
Number of Speeds
The number of sprockets on your rear cassette – that is, the number of “speeds”your bike has – is crucial to getting the right chain. That’s because the widthbetween sprockets varies according to how many there are. An 8-speed cassettewill have more space between sprockets than a 10-speed cassette, so an 8-speed chain will be wider than a 10-speed chain.
Ideally, you should match the manufacturer of your chain with the manufacturer of your cassette and chainring. SRAM and Shimano chains typically work well for either company’s cassettes, but Campagnolo cassettes require Campagnolo chains or else you’ll end up with problematic shifting.
Sizing Your Bike Chain
When you buy a new bike chain, it’s probably longer than it needs to be to fit your drivetrain. You’ll need to figure out how long you need it to be, and then shorten it appropriately.The easiest way to go about this is to lay the new chain out next to the old chain – it should be shortened to the same length as long as your old chain was sized correctly for your bike. Alternatively, wrap the new chain through the front (butnot rear) derailleur and over the largest cog and largest chainring. From the pointwhere the chain doubles onto itself as you wrap around, count an additional two rivets. That’s where you’ll cut the chain.
Chain Tools, Master Links, and Rivets
Depending on what type of chain you had, it may have been closed with either a master link or a rivet. Master links are nice because you don’t need a specialised tool to attach them and close your chain. Instead, you can simply push the two opposing sides of themaster link together and it will pop out of the chain.Riveted chains take more work and a special chain tool. A chain tool allows you to put direct force on the rivet that holds your chain together in order to break it.When you’re cutting a new chain down to size, you’ll need to use a chain tool to break the chain at the point you identified above. Then, you can either use your chain tool to put that rivet back in at the break point to close the chain or install a master link.
Bike Chains at bikester.co.uk
When it’s time to replace your bike chain, bikester.co.uk has hundreds of optionsto choose from. We carry chains for every style of bike and every cassette, as well as the accessories that you need to make installing your new chain easier.