A clean, well-maintained bicycle chain runs smoothly, shifts quickly and can last thousands of miles.
More than any other part of the bicycle, the chain is exposed to abrasives such as dirt and sand as well
as water, which wash away protective lubricants. Chains wear out due to twisting in the course of
shifting and from dirt contamination. Chains also wear out due to stretching from pedaling forces and
twisting from shifting forces as well. Cassettes and chainrings wear at a slower rate than chains.
Periodic chain replacement may help extend cassette and chainring life.
The bicycle chain is constructed of alternating wide
and narrow side plates, or links. A hollow bushing
surrounded by a roller bearing seperates the inner
plates. A pin runs inside the bushing connecting the
two outer plates and the inner plates together.
If your chain falls off while riding, it may be that
your limit screws on your front derailleur are not
set properly (see derailleur section).
Try to shift your front derailleur back to the center, from right to left of the bike, while pedaling to
guide the chain back on the chainring.
If this does not work, or your chain fell off for a separate reason, signal your stop on the side of the the
road. Lift the chain (you can use a rag or towel, if available) with your fingers and place on a few
teeth of a front chainring. Lift up the back of your
(you can use a rag or towel, if available) with your fingers and place on a few teeth of a front chainring.
Lift up the back of your bike with one hand and pedal the cranks forward with the other hand to guide
the chain back on track.
- Chain checker or wear indicator
- Chain tool
- Master link pliers
- Dry chain lube