All is takes is some spare change to replace the chain on your bike, something you should do several times a summer.
It never fails, as soon as my bike starts making noises that I cannot fix with half a turn of the derailleur barrel adjusters, it is the chain. Sometimes under power, my chain will go over the 53 tooth chain ring making a dangerous situation….again, the chain. When my rear derailleur feels sticky, or is excessively noisy, it is the chain. Rarely does it have to do with cleanliness or lube. 9/10 times it is stretched, and needs replacing.
The thing is, we as racers should be a much more meticulous bunch. The bike is a variable that is easily eliminated from the list of things that can prevent success. If you take care of your bike and body, a win comes down to racing, the way it should be. We hear even the smallest squeak and tear the whole bike a part. The risks are greater when you are putting out 1000watt attacks and a chain is cheap insurance.
I liken it an oil change in a car. It is cheap to do and prevents unwanted major repairs in the future. It guarantees top performance and is easy to do.
Here are the Benefits.
- Smooth Shifting
- Prevents excessive wear on other drive train parts
- Less likely to break, less likely for you to loose teeth
- Makes your cassette(s) and front chain rings last longer
- Keeps your bike looking professional and shiny
Here are the Costs
- Spare Change – a good chain should only cost you about $40.00 from your local retailer.Onion River Sports in Montpelier, VT carries both KMC and SRAM Chains. I am a big fan of the KMC X10.93 10-Speed Chain
New Cassettes cost upwards of $200. New Chain Rings can set you back even more. If you follow the plan laid out below, you can prevent replacement of both of these components and ride with more piece of mind.
- Replace your chain every 1.5 months or 1500 miles or…..
- Keep two chains on hand and rotate them every two weeks. Keep the second one clean and lubed and ready to be changed frequently.
- Us a ProGold Chain Gauge and replace the chain when it reads 7. This also gives you an idea at your rate of stretch.
- Clean your chain every couple of rides. Road sand/salt instantly attaches to a clean and lubed chain. You can’t avoid it. Clean it and lube it often. It takes 5 minutes, just do it.