6 things you might not know about your bicycle chains
Use these clever tricks to make the most of your driveline middleman
The bicycle chain is one of the most important parts of a bicycle, but it is often overlooked. When it’s working, you don’t even realize its existence-but when it doesn’t exist, it may be the only thing you consider.
We have compiled six things you might not know about bicycle chains to help you make the most of this key drivetrain component and celebrate how impressive your metal chain link is.
The earliest bicycles did not have chains (some still do not).
Most of us are somewhat familiar with the Victorian penny bikes. If you look closely, you will find that they have no chains. To move forward, cyclists turn pedals directly connected to the front wheels, and can only increase their speed by stepping on faster or gaining a larger front wheel. These bikes may seem fun to ride (at least a bit), but falling off the bike will definitely hurt-especially in the age without helmets.
Some bicycles still abandon the chain and switch to a Gates Carbon belt drive (which looks a bit like a tank track), or the less common shaft drive system.
The chain is more complicated than you think.
There are up to 116 links in a standard bicycle chain, and it has more moving parts than any other bicycle part. Of course, you need to delete some links, depending on whether you are using a 9-speed, 10-speed or 11-speed transmission; your chain should be long enough so that it can move to the largest front chainring and the largest gear on the flywheel It won’t get stuck, but it can’t be so long that there is too much slack in the smallest sprockets and gears. The quickest and easiest way to determine the proper length of a bicycle is to use an old chain as a guide.
It can be used as a weapon.
In 1954, a Scotsman was sentenced to three years in prison for using a bicycle chain to attack the manager of the Glasgow cinema. On the Internet, you can find accounts of bicycle chains used as de facto whips or weapons. So, if your bike breaks down in the zombie apocalypse, and you have a bicycle chain tool in your saddle bag, then you have at least one chance to fight.
The way you ride will affect the life of the chain.
Riding at a high pace is usually not only more efficient, but also more cost-effective. Stepping on a stronger gear will put more pressure on the chain, which will significantly shorten its life. In addition, if you don’t want to stretch the chain, avoid crossing the chain-the practice of using small sprockets and small gears at the rear, or the practice of using large sprockets and large gears at the rear.
Regular replacement of the chain can extend the service life of the transmission system.
Most mechanics agree that you should change the chain every 2,000 to 3,000 miles, depending on your riding style. During the three-week race, many Tour de France riders wore two or even three chains on their main bikes.
The easiest way to determine if you need a new chain is to use a chain checker, which can measure the current stretch of the chain. Although a properly maintained chain can technically last nearly 8,000 miles, as it wears and stretches, its efficiency will be greatly reduced, losing 2 watts of power for every 1% stretch.
More importantly, the sandy garbage sticking to the chain lubricant will act as an abrasive paste, causing the pins and rollers to wear. According to Smith, this increases the center distance of the chain, and this kind of chain stretching can prematurely wear your gears. Therefore, instead of paying $50 for the new chain, you end up paying $300 or more for the new chain, links, and cassettes.
You must clean your chain.
In order to keep the chain in its best shape, you need to clean bicycle chain frequently. Every professional and amateur wrench has their favorite method. Some people use the chain help every time they clean, which is filled with degreaser. Experts suggest that you only need to wipe the chain with a clean cotton cloth after every ride. When the chain is finally submerged by contamination, use a nylon brush to scrub it with hot water and liquid soap. If it is really dirty, and you don’t know how to clean bicycle chain very well,please take your bike to your local store for ultrasonic cleaning, or remove the chain and degrease Shake in the Gatorade bottle of the agent.
After the chain is cleaned, be sure to wipe it dry and lubricate, and wipe off the excess.
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