Your e-bike’s chain is responsible for transferring the power from your pedals and hub-driven motors to your rear wheel to propel you forward. Having the right chain for your bike is important for smooth shifting, reducing the wear and tear on your drivetrain components, and getting the most efficiency out of your e-bike.
Replacing Your Chain
The chain is one of the few components of traditional bikes and e-bikes alike that is designed to wear out over time. Bike chains will stretch over time and running a worn-down chain can actually damage the teeth on your rear cassette or chainring – leading to more expensive repairs. As a rule of thumb, you should plan to replace your e-bike chain every 1,200-2,400 miles. You can use a chain measuring tool to monitor your chain wear so you know exactly when it’s time for a replacement.
Choosing an E-bike Chain
E-bike Chains vs. Standard Bike Chains
The idea that e-bikes require a special type of bike chain compared to traditional, non-motorised bikes is a myth. The forces on the chain are the same whether your bike has a motor or not, so you can use any standard bike chain for your e-bike. Similarly, there’s no difference between road and mountain bike chains. A chain marketed for mountain bikes will perform just as well on a road bike and vice versa, although you must ensure that the chain is suitable for your bikes drivetrain and number of gears.
Number of Gears
One of the important things to consider when choosing an e-bike chain is how many gears or speeds your bike has. The spacing between gears on an 11-speed bike will be narrower than the spacing on a 9-speed bike, for example, so chains designed for 11-speed bikes will be narrower as well. If you have a singlespeed or BMX bike, look for chains designed specifically for those drivetrains.
Master Link vs. Rivet
Bike chains need to be broken in order to put them on and take them off your bike. There are two main mechanisms that chains use to allow you to break them open. Master links are individual chain links that are designed to come off the chain easily. Typically, these can be attached and detached from the chain with pliers. However, they can get stuck after hundreds or thousands of miles. Connection rivets are used to hold one chain link in place. Unlike the rest of the rivets in the chain, connection rivets can be popped out or pushed back into place. You’ll need a specialised chain tool to do this, though.
Sizing Your Chain
E-bike chains come longer than you need, so you have to shorten them to fit your bike. There are several ways to accomplish this. The easiest method is simply to line up the new chain to your old chain. Assuming your old chain was sized correctly and nothing has changed on your bike’s drivetrain, the new chain will need to be shortened to the same number of links. You can also size the chain by wrapping it around the largest cog and largest chainring on your e-bike, passing the chain through the derailleurs as you go. Hold the chain so that the two ends overlap. Your cut point will be two rivets past the first rivet where the two ends could possibly be connected.
E-bike Chains at bikester.co.uk
The best way to find a new chain for your e-bike is to shop our wide selection at bikester.co.uk. We carry chains for every drivetrain and make it easy to filter so you only see chains that will work for your e-bike.