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New chain = Happy biking

Installed a new chain tonight. This isn’t really front page news, except I wanted to remind people about the benefits of installing a new chain, and ways to tell when you need to do so.

Installing a new chain has a few important benefits. Normal riding causes chains to stretch, which wears your gears out faster (leading to ‘shark’s fin’ shaped gears on your chainrings and cogs. Eventually your chain will slip or ‘kerchunk’ when you pedal hard. This is dangerous and uncool. At this point you’re looking at spending real $$ for a new chainring set, cassette, and chain.

1. Replacing your chain before it stretches too far makes the rest of your drivetrain last much longer. If you do the math, installing new chains saves you money because it means you don’t have to change cassettes and chainrings as often. (They will probably wear 2-3 times faster if you don’t replace your chain.) A new chain is a $10-20 part at a bike shop. Rock the bike customers, in a couple weeks you’ll be able to order a new chain through our ecommerce section.

2. It makes your bike feel new again. A new chain is silent and has that ‘sweet spot’ feeling. It’s also more efficient; you’ll be going about 1% faster, or something.

3. It’s not a hard repair. You’ll feel manly, or womanly. Replacing a chain is greasy, but not hard. If you have a decent chain tool , the whole thing can take less than 15 minutes.

So when do you need a new chain? A chain will start to squeak more when it’s worn. It will also make a high pitched shimmery “crrrrooooiiinnnk” noise when you pedal hard. The noise sounds like a bunch of coins spinning on a metal table and coming to rest. If you suspect yours is worn, it’s worth measuring it with a chain wear indicator (buy one?) or a ruler .

I replace my chain about once a year. Not a big deal. Just thought you’d enjoy hearing about one way to make your bike last longer and funner.