Keeping tabs on your chain’s life can make riding a much more pleasant and less expensive experience.  Your chain wears much quicker than all of your other drivetrain components, which is why you need to be mindful of its lifecycle.  Here are a couple things you should know about your chain that could save you a lot of frustration and money:

  • Over stretched chains will eat your cassette and chain rings for lunch!  When you get a new chain, it should measure at a .25 on the Park Tool Chain Checker, which happens to be our preferred tool for measurement.  Once you start to approach the .75 mark, it is time for a new chain.  Going beyond this measurement will cause premature wear on your cassette cogs and chain rings.  This is bad for both your riding experience and wallet!  A new chain will set you back about $40-$100+ while a new cassette and chain rings can cost you as much as $300 and up.  The dollars definitely make sense here!
  • The chain becomes noisy, and nobody likes a noisy bike!  You also need to keep your chain clean and lubed to get optimal performance and life out of your drivetrain.
  • Your bike’s performance will begin to suffer as you start to experience ghost shifting, chain drops and chain suck.  Many times, these issues can lead to further damage to your bike and even put you in harms way. Additionally, if you are racing, this time lost can be the difference between a podium finish and bringing up the rear.  This is all easily avoidable!

There are many factors that weigh in when it comes to how quickly your chain will wear.  Variables include how much you weigh, the amount of climbing you do, how much power you put into the bike, what kind of weather you ride in, the volume of riding you are doing and how well you take care of your drivetrain.  As you can see, there are many items to take into consideration, so everyone’s chain life will differ.

If you are unsure of where your chain is at in its lifecycle or if you would simply like to have it measured, feel free to bring your bike by Dialed Cycling Lab for a free measurement.  If you are in need of a new chain, we would be happy to help you there too!

Happy riding!

Park Tool Chain Checker – Also available at DIALED CYCLING LAB

Park Chain Checker