Find The Right Bicycle Chain and Related Accessories Online
The bicycle chain enables the transfer of power from the pedals to the rear wheel. Most chains are made of either steel or carbon. Some are chrome plated or made of stainless steel to prevent rusting or slow its development. A chain can last anything from two to ten thousand miles, as per the quality maintenance and nature of use.
When you buy a new bicycle, it comes with a preinstalled chain, but what if you are out on a long bicycle trip, or just concerned about your chain breaking down without any warning? In any case, it might be helpful to have a spare chain and keep it for emergency purposes. Lets get some tips about buying and maintaining this important component.
How to buy the right bike chain?
It is recommended that you opt for professional help when it comes choosing the right chain for your bike. This is because it is necessary for the chain to properly fit your bicycle as well as the chain rings, cassette and derailleurs. Installation should also be done by a professional. On the other hand, you can look to fixing the chain yourself if you have the necessary skills and tools and save the cost of hiring a specialist to do the work.
Getting to learn some do-it-yourself skills on fixing the bicycle chain will come in handy especially in fixing any issues when cruising in back trails. The following factors play a role in helping you choose the best bicycle chain for you to use.
Bike Chain Width
Bicycle chains come in two different varieties when looking at the width; a larger 3.175 mm and a smaller 2.38 mm chain. The narrower variety is referred to as a derailleur chain as it is the standard used on most multi-speed bicycles today. The wider variety is common in single speed bikes and three speed bikes that use simple transmission mechanisms.
The right chain length is essential to provide a safe and comfortable cycling experience. A shorter chain will have problems going down to lower gears that use the larger cogs. This means that it can get stretched tightly and break while cycling which can be quite dangerous. Alternatively, a longer bicycle chain tends to be heavier and will have problems maintaining its position on higher gears which require contact with the smaller cogs on the rear gear cassette. A sagging chain can slip on the gears easily and lead to poor transmission of force from the pedals to the rear wheel.
Although all sprockets on the bicycle gears are the same for the front and tear gears, there is a difference in the teeth shape especially for derailleur chains. Caution should be taken when chain sprockets to avoid any problems with the fit.
The performance delivered by a bicycle chain is dependent on its durability and resistance to regular wear and tear. It is recommended that you only buy chains that have coated components for rust resistance.
Different chains come with different connection designs and hence differ in the replacement procedures. The different connection components include:
- Special connecting links: These connections are usually referred to as master links. They rely on the use of two outer plates which are held in place by protruding pins installed on chain rollers.
- Special Replacement Pin: These chains rely on the use of a special pin. Shimano and Campagnolo are among the brands that make use of this design.
- Using a standart pin: this design is used in traditional bicycle chains which feature different kinds of pins used to connect the chain on both ends.
Remember to Check the Catalog: since manufacturers offer a variety of chins for different bicycles and riding styles, you can look through their catalogs for a better view of the entire stock and hence choose the right option.
Latest Design Trends
Bicycle chain designs usually move with technological advances in a bid to offer better value and riding experience for cyclists. The latest trends include:
- Weather Resistance
- Low noise production
- Reduced or non-staining
- Attractive appearance
Bicycle Chain Maintenance
Most bicycle parts will do just well with minimal maintenance and care, this is however not the case when it comes to the bicycle chain.
Tip: Check your bike chain for stretch
It is important to note that, chain stretch is a serious cause for concern as it wears down the bicycle gears. This is because the larger spaces on the chain no longer match with the teeth spacing on gears.
Chain wear is indicated by worn out chain links which become thinner with wear and therefore elongate the spaces between them. A stretched chain should be replaced.
This is one of the single most important parts that regularly move and keeping it clean and lubricated means that it will work better and last longer.
The fact that this part comes in contact with dirt, sand, mud among other debris means that it is in danger of becoming rigid and damaged if not carefully looked after.
The main loss when it comes to riding with a rarely cleaned bicycle chain is the fact that you risk damaging the rear cassette as well as the derailleurs which are very costly to repair. Conversely, maintaining the chain or overhauling it is two inexpensive options that can be sued to extend the life of the bicycle chain. When carrying out bicycle chain maintenance you will find that it is also possible to measure chain stretch in a bid to know when you need to have it replaced.
Cleaning the Bicycle Chain
The frequency of cleaning your bicycle chain should be determined by the level of dirt and debris on the chain from time to time. Sometimes a simple wipe and lubrication is enough while the above procedure should be followed when the dirt seems excessive.
Cleaning your bicycle chain follows a simple procedure and only takes a short while. You don’t even have to remove the chain from the bike as some people may think. For this task you will need:
- Degreasing agent or hot water and soap
- Gloves if you do not want any direct contact with the oily chain
- A coarse scrubber
Use a scrubber to scrub off the debris on the chain and then rinse it off with water. You can then use a dry rag to wipe away excess water and dry the chain off; once this is done you can then reapply the lubricant. Take a look at these suample chain cleaners:
Just like skinning a cat, you will find a variety of ways different people use to lubricate bicycles. The chain should be lubricated every few weeks or every time the chain is cleaned. When lubricating your bike remember that using excess lubricant will result in accumulation of dirt and other particles. It is recommended that you only use a drop per link and then run the chain around for a few cycles before letting it settle.
- Make sure that excess lubricant is wiped off
- Never lubricate a dirty bicycle chain
There is a wide variety of bicycle lubricants available today. From greases to dry lubricants, the list goes on and is enough to drive you mad. How do you choose the right lubricant? Consider your riding conditions. Teflon based dry lubricants are best suited for use on bicycles that are regularly used in dry riding conditions. The lubricant repels dirt and particles avoiding their dirtying and damaging effect. A great product here is the Finish Line Ceramic Wax I use. Wet lubricants, on the other hand, stay wet and are great in repelling water and avoiding its damaging effects. Take a look at these suample chain lubricants:
Where to Buy a Bicycle Chain?
If you are interested in buying a bicycle chain you are invited to visit these trusted online stores:
More Information on Bicycle Chain
If you are still looking for more information on bicycle chains please visit the following pages: