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Bike chains

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    Choosing the right bike chain

    One of the most important moving parts on your bike is your chain. It connects the pedals to the wheels allowing you to get from point A to point B. A common misconception is thinking that a bike chain is “one size fits all.” Your bike chain size is determined by the width and the number of speeds your bike has. To calculate your bike's speed (For your bike chain), count the number of cogs on the rear cassette.

    Single speed bikes are only compatible with single speed chains.

    Bikes that are 5,6,7, or 8 speed all have the same width in-between cogs on the rear cassette so you can purchase a 5,6,7 or 8 speed chain and it will be compatible with your drivetrain.

    If your bike is 9 to 13 speeds, you must get the compatible chain for your drivetrain. So, for example if your bike is 11 speed you must get the 11-speed chain, if your bike is 12 speed you must get the 12-speed chain and so on. The width between the gears changes as you go up speeds and if you were to put the wrong chain on, it would either skip or fall off the front derailleur while shifting.

    Practicing proper chain maintenance will help extend the lifespan of your chain, making sure it’s clean and lubed regularly will make your rides much smoother.

    Once you buy the correct bike chain, make sure you also have the proper tools to install it. The tools you would need are master link pliers and a chain breaker. If you need any help with installation visit your local MEC bike shop and we’ll take care of you.