One of the most frequent repair items we see in the Jax stores are worn bicycle chains. Many times, we find that our clients are not aware that their chain stretches and can adversely effect shifting.
So here is a quick run through on chain replacement.
The easiest way to check your chain’s condition is by measuring it with a ruler. Rest the ruler alongside the bottom length of chain (beneath the frame) and see if you can measure exactly 12 inches between 2 pins.
If the chain is still in good shape, you’ll be able to do this. If you try this and the measurement is 12 1/8 inches or more, it means your chain is worn out and should be replaced.
Worn chains shift poorly and will wear your cogs and chainrings out faster. By replacing the chain when you notice significant wear, you’ll ensure you get maximum mileage out of your other drivetrain components (which will save you money in the long run).
While some modern chains are installed with a special connecting link that comes with the chain, most models require a special bicycle tool not surprisingly called a “chain tool,” for removal and installation. We know how all the special links work and are equipped with the right chain tools for every type of chain so you may want to bring your bike in for us to replace the chain. It’s a quick job for us in most cases.
If you prefer to do the work, please bring the old chain into the shop for us to find an exact match. If you can’t do that, the following information will help us provide you with the right model:
- Brand, model and type of the old chain, such as Shimano (brand) Ultegra (model) 9-speed (type).
- Chain length. For this, simply count the number of links on the chain.
- Type of bicycle, such as road, mountain, hybrid, etc. While this information isn’t critical, it can help if there’s any confusion on what you need.
- If you can’t tell what brand and model your old chain is, count the number of cogs on the rear wheel. Most modern bikes have 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11 cogs, however older models could have 5 or 6. Also, you might have a beach cruiser or city bike with only 1 cog.
If you have any questions at all, just ask and we’ll be happy to help!