Everything that transmits your pedal force to your rear wheel is made of metal. Chain takes the beating most: over 200 rollers in your chain fight against elongation, friction, crossing between cogs and chainrings, and worse of all, dust and sand. Of course, nut just that: Cross chaining. Hits. Water. In the past, when we were happily riding our 3×6 groupsets, things were simpler. Cross chaining was taboo, chains were big and bulky, there was no internet to make comparisons or baseless assumptions, and everything was slow. Unless you ride a high-end road bike, you didn’t pedal fast. In fact, you couldn’t; bikes were heavy, tires were not good enough to stick anything other than tarmac. Now we have up to 11 cogs at the rear, with the same thickness as 6-speed freehubs. (Well; standard 7-speed freehubs are just half… Continue Reading All about bike chainsContinue reading
When and why to replace your bike chain?
Chains are generally the cheapest and the weakest part of the drivetrain, yet can do a lot of damage to your cassettes, chainrings, and derailleur pulleys if not maintained properly. They are exposed to all weather and terrain conditions, like water ingress, dust or mud, etc. You’re not driving a car: if you’re traveling long and remote distances, especially alone, you have to take care of your bike, and learn to maintain and repair it. Chains are fragile. At least, you have to know how to clean, lube and remove / install them. The most obvious sign the chain is giving up is elongation. Contrary to popular belief, chains doesn’t elongate because plates get stretched out: they get a bit longer, because rollers and bushings get worn. Personally, I lost few good chains to corrosion,too! I was shocked to see… Continue Reading When and why to replace your bike chain?Continue reading
Guide to bike chain cleaning
Sand, mud, dirt causes premature wear in drivetrain, especially chain, and of course, wasted precious effort. There are millions of methods to clean a chain, ranging from cleaning each roller with a cotton swab to dubious ones like jetting water. Funnily, most of the time, its the lube, or lack of it, that makes cleaning a pain. I’m an advocate of waxing chains, but also lazy enough to lube (some) chains. If you wax your chain periodically, a wipe with a soft, damp cloth is almost always adequate. Dry lubes that is meant to be used in dry weather does not make a huge mess, while wet lubes and other nasty stuff people use, like used motor oil (don’t!) can make your chain super hard to clean. Depending on condition, I use either “Quick” or “Deep” cleaning procedures: Quick bike… Continue Reading Guide to bike chain cleaningContinue reading