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Bike Chains

Among the most important of all cycling components, bike chains transform your pedaling power into forward movement down the road or trail. Suffer a broken chain and you better be able to fix it, lest you will be walking home.

And while you might think they are simple and that any old one will do the job, bike chains are actually quite complex, possessing more moving parts than any other component on your bike. Standard bike chains have up to 116 links, though you will likely need to cut yours down depending on drivetrain configuration. They also come in varying thicknesses, again depending on the type of drivetrain.

That means when making a buying decision you need to choose the right “speed,” which corresponds to the number of cogs your cassette has, and in some cases the right brand, with options such as Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo. If you don’t know which chain you need for your bike, pick up the phone and call the Gear Advisors at

Once you have the right bike chain installed, you can make it last longer by keeping it clean. A good practice is to wipe it down with a clean rag after every ride, and occasionally give it a deeper cleaning with a nylon brush, hot water, and soap. When bath time is done, dry off your bike chain and apply lube.

Also, remember that replacing your chain at appropriate intervals will increase the life of your drivetrain. The standard rule of thumb is to replace bike chains every 2000-3000 miles. But the best way to determine if you need a new chain is by using a chain checker tool, which measures how much your chain has stretched. If it falls out of a certain range, it’s time for a new one. If you have any questions at all, hop on a call or a chat with one of our expert Gear Advisors today at 951-234-7554 so that we can help you find that perfect item.