Question: Do bike chains stretch?

Do bicycle chains really stretch? The short answer is no, however they do wear in such a way as to cause their maximum length to increase. Mechanics usually refer to this as chain “stretch.” It is the sign of a worn out chain that should be replaced. Illustration of extreme wear on a chain pin.

How do you know if your bike chain is stretched?

Another ballpark method for checking chain wear is by measuring it with a ruler. Pick a rivet and line it up at the zero mark. Count 24 more rivets and your last rivet should be at the 12″ mark of your ruler. If it is off by more than 1/16″ your chain is stretched to the point of replacement.

How much do bike chains stretch?

The number most commonly agreed on for a worn chain is one percent elongation between links. In reality though, you want to replace the chain before this point. So therefore anything past 12, 1/16 inches (0.5 percent) would be the time to replace a chain.

Should a bike chain be tight?

The chain should be tight enough that it only allows you to move it up and down about half an inch. … If there is no slack in the chain then it is too tight. And if there is too much slack then you need to tighten that chain.

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Can chains stretch?

How to Prevent Chain Stretch. The most important factor in preventing chain stretch is lubrication. If roller chains are poorly lubricated, stretching will take place very quickly. When a chain has elongated 3% of its original length, it must be replaced.

How often should I change my bike chain?

To avoid this accelerated wear of your cassette and chainrings, a general rule of thumb is to replace your bike’s chain every 2,000 miles. Mind you, this is just a starting point.

How do I know my bike chain size?

Begin by counting the number of teeth on the largest front sprocket and largest rear. These numbers are often printed right on the sprockets and cogs. Next, measure the distance between the middle of the crank bolt to the rear axle. This is also the chain stay length.

How long do bike chains last?

A chain can last anywhere from about 500 miles to 5000, depending on the quality of the chain, the sprockets, how the bike is ridden, and the maintenance.

How many miles does a bike chain last?

Replacing your chain regularly can prolong the life of your drivetrain. Most mechanics agree that you should replace your chain about every 2,000 to 3,000 miles, depending on your riding style. Many Tour De France riders wear out two or even three chains on their primary bike over the course of the three-week race.

Why does my bike chain slip when I pedal hard?

Most of the time, a skipping chain is caused by cable stretch. In the first half dozen rides on a new bike your shift cables stretch the most. … To fix a skip in the rear derailleur, shift your chain into the smallest ring on your rear cassette (the hardest gear) and the middle or larger ring on your front derailleur.

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What happens if bike chain is loose?

When it’s loose, the rate of power transfer drops, and you aren’t able to propel the bike forward. A bike chain can fall off completely, but oftentimes it only becomes loose. If it isn’t too loose, you can keep cycling until your destination and then tighten it.

How do you fix a stiff bike chain?

Loosen with a Chain Tool

Place the stiff link into the chain tool, on the slots closest to the turning handle. Now thread the chain tool’s pin gently against the chain pin about 1/8th of a turn, or just enough to slightly loosen the chain plates. That should loosen it enough.

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