What causes a bike chain to stretch?

The major cause of chain “stretch” is wearing away of the metal where the link pin rotates inside of the bushing (or the “bushing” part of the inside plate) as the chain links flex and straighten as the chain goes onto and off of the sprockets.

What causes a chain to stretch?

Its elongation is caused when material is removed from the pins and bushings. The individual joints in a roller chain articulate as they enter and leave the sprockets. … This articulation results in wear on the pins and bushings. As material is worn away from these surfaces, the chain will gradually elongate.

Do bike chains stretch over time?

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.

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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.

What happens if bicycle chain is tight?

On a single gear bicycle, you will need to tighten the chain properly. A chain that is too loose may jump off the sprocket when hitting a bump, A chain that is too tight will cause friction, extra wear and excessive force on the components.

How do you prevent chain stretches?

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. No two chains will wear at exactly the same rate because no two riders treat their chains the same.

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.

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How long does a bicycle 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.

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 do I know what bike chain to buy?

If you are using a bike with a derailleur the number of cogs on the rear hub will determine the chain size you will need. They are always 3/32″ chains. You can get a 5/6/7-speed, 8-speed, 9-speed, or 10-speed chains.

Do I need to oil my bike chain?

To get the most life from a chain, you should regularly clean and lubricating your chain. Clean your chain every few rides, or directly after any muddy rides. You should then apply a suitable lubricant and ensure it’s lubed correctly for each ride.

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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How tight should a single speed bike chain be?

Chain Tension

There should be approximately one half inch of movement in the chain up and down at a point half way between the front and rear sprockets. To change the tension loosen one of the axle-nuts and move the wheel forward or backward slightly and snug it up again.

How tight should bike wheels be?

It should be tight enough that it requires some force to get it closed, but not so much that you feel like you’re giving birth. The closed QR lever should come be positioned before or after the fork in the front and between the chain stay and seat stay of the rear triangle, or just below the chain stay.

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