How To Put A Chain On A Speed Bike

Pinkbike Poll: Does your bike have a chain guide?

It is rare to see a full length chain guide (left) on mid travel bikes these days, but many riders opt for the light top guide (right).

But back to cross-country, trail, all-mountain and enduro. On THESE bikes, derailleurs and chainrings with a clutch designed to prevent chain rebound have made guide rails an option rather than a necessity for many (but not all) riders. In fact, of the eight test bikes with a 1x drivetrain that I currently have in my workshop, only three came with a top rail out of the box. I was also lucky without a guide; NOT counting the little hiccups when a stick got caught between the ring and the chain a while ago, I can’t even remember the last time I had a problem. This does not mean that there will be no problems in me or, of course, there is still no point in installing a 40-gram security element.

So where are you when it comes to chain guides. If your bike has a 1x drivetrain, it has a chain guide, or you’re fine without it?

Cross chain

Cross chain. This is the term for being in one of the following gear combinations:

LARGE / LARGE: Largest cassette tooth (lightest gear) and largest star ring (hardest gear))

SMALL / SMALL: Smallest tooth in the cassette (hardest gear) and smallest chain link (lightest gear)

In THESE positions, the chain stretches at an angle, which can damage the transmission over time and may cause the chain to slip or cause the front derailleur to make noise and malfunction.

How To Put A Chain On A Speed Bike

What does all this mean ?!

Terminology. One of the hardest things to learn to change is Low / High, Large / Small, Light / Hard, Fast / Slow, Front / Rear, One by One, Twice, Three sec. If your head is already spinning, you can brush up on the following vocabulary words:

Low gear = Easy = Suitable for climbing “low” gear on your bike. This is the smallest chain ring at the front and the largest gear on your cassette (reverse gears). In this position, pedaling is easiest and you will be able to pedal uphill with minimal resistance. Getting into this position is called “downshifting”.

High Gear = Hard = Good for Descending: High gear on your bike. This is the largest chain ring at the front and the smallest gear on your cassette (reverse gears). In this position, pedaling will be the hardest, and you will be able to accelerate when going downhill. To get into this position, it is called “upshifting”.

_- Speed ​​Bike: When you were a kid, you probably bragged to your friends about the number of “speeds” on your bike. Whether it’s 7, 18, 21-speed, etc., that’s what you had in mind. This is the number of gears on your bike. You can determine this number by multiplying the number of teeth in the cassette (rear gears) by the number of chain links (front gears) on your bike. For example, if your bike has two chain rings and 11 teeth in a cassette, then you have a 21-speed bike. However, in today’s cycling industry, expensive adult bikes are rarely referred to in this way because, in fact, bigger doesn’t always mean better. More on this below!

One, Two, Three-Po: The number of chain links (front gears) on your bike determines whether your drivetrain (gear system) will be referred to as “alternating”, “two” or “three-deck.” The current trend in the bicycle industry. Strive to produce the same gear range with fewer chain links. The result is a larger cassette (rear gears) that has more teeth and often more teeth on the largest gear train in the cassette. What for? Because, as a rule, fewer chain rings make the bike more efficient, lighter, and easier to operate and adjust. For this reason, you will often see single drivetrains on high-end mountain bikes and dual drivetrains on high-end road bikes.

How to shift gears: the basics

So now that you have a basic understanding of what these gears are called, how do you shift? Depending on the type of bike, your shifters may differ slightly; on road bikes (or any bike with a folding handlebar), your derailleurs. These are the same levers that you use to apply the brakes. To operate the switches, push the lever to the side until you hear a click. On most flat handlebar mountain and hybrid bikes, you shift gears with your thumb paddles. Some bicycles operate with “grip switches” or a dial, which is located inside where you place your hands. In THESE systems, you change gears by turning the dial back and forth.

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Your shifters are connected to a cable enclosed in a protective cover. When you click on the gears, the cable tightens and looses, applying more or less force to the derailleurs, which moves your chain up and down the cassette or chain ring. Below we explain what each lever does:

Left hand: Controls the gears / front derailleur in front of them. Move the chain up and down the chain ring. These levers cause large jumps, gears when changing terrain.

Right hand: Controls the reverse gear / rear derailleur. Move the chain up and down the cassette. These levers are designed for small adjustments, transmission and use in minor terrain changes.

Large lever: the larger of the two gear levers moves the chain to the larger rings. So big = big. Switching to large rings with the RIGHT hand will make pedaling easier. Shifting into higher gears with your left hand will make it HEAVY.

Small lever: The smaller of the two gear levers moves the chain into smaller rings. So small = small. Shifting to smaller rings with the RIGHT hand will make the pedal press harder. Shifting down the gear with your left hand will make pedaling easier.

No more / little leverage? You may have a SRAM road drivetrain that uses a “double-push” system. This means that there is a smaller lever hidden behind the larger brake lever and you can only move it in one direction. A long press (with two clicks) will move the chain to a larger and lighter gear at the rear (right hand) and a larger and harder gear. in front (left hand). A short press (with one click) will move the chain to a smaller, stiffer gear at the rear (right) and a smaller and lighter gear at the front (left).

You may also have a handle shift. This means you have a dial where you turn back and forth to change gears. Turning the dial forward will shift the chain to a smaller and harder gear in the back (right hand) and a smaller and lighter gear in the front (left hand). Turning the disc back will move the chain to a larger and lighter gear in the back (right hand) and a larger and lighter gear. harder gear in front (left hand).

How to replace the chain on a bike with speeds. instructions

How to replace the chain on a bike with speeds. instructions

Any vehicle needs maintenance. Bicycles are NOT excluded. Their key element in the transmission unit is the chain. High-speed bicycles are inherent in a great “finicky” for normal functioning. The frequency of chain replacement or maintenance is largely determined by the riding style. For example, riders do this while riding. When and how to change the chain on a speed bike?

What you need to know about the types of bicycle chains?

Bicycle chains come in two types: lock and solid. Disconnecting the lock variation is NOT difficult. It is convenient to do this with a regular thread (wire), threading it into adjacent links (before and in front of the lock) and tightening the loop. The main thing is to avoid damaging the lock and DO NOT lose it.

Opening a continuous chain is possible only if there is a special squeeze, although the procedure itself also cannot be classified as complex tasks:

  • You will need to install the chain in the position of pressing-pressing the wasp.
  • Tightening the pin pull-out screw.

Axial pressing is inherent in the opposite sequence: connecting the links and pressing the pin by means of a screw.

Note. The use of the pomace is accompanied by the loosening of the wasp, therefore, the repetition of uncoupling is the destiny of another link.

What tools are important to have to replace the chain:

  • The key with which the rear wheel is removed.
  • Pliers to hold segments and pins.
  • Squeeze. As noted above, this device is used to press out and press in the pins.

Chain removal procedure in standard variation. step by step instructions

Cyclists, and those who do not have sufficient experience in such matters, are advised to memorize the general scheme, reflecting the location of the chain on the system, cassette, switches. Then the procedure for its subsequent adjustment will not cause difficulties.

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As soon as all the nuances are fixed in memory (or on paper), you can proceed to further steps:

  • Cleaning links from dirt accumulations. If this is not done, dirt will be a significant obstacle to the next steps.
  • Removing the rear wheel. The absence of this detail simplifies all actions, although experienced craftsmen safely skip this stage. In fact, it does not apply to mandatory measures.
  • Extrusion of the pin present in all links (the metal cylinder that closes the link). This is where the pomace applies.
  • Separation of one link.
  • Withdrawing extreme links from the switch system.

At this point, the removal of the chain (worn out or requiring cleaning) can be considered complete. The procedure itself is quite easy if you have a tool and basic knowledge. Accuracy of execution and the absence of forceful actions during the pressing process are very important.

Step-by-step process for installing a bicycle chain in the form of instructions

With bicycles that have one gear (singlespeeds), everything is limited to a chain canopy on a star-shaped part and a latching snap-in or pressing in a pin. The design of high-speed bikes suggests some difficulties in this issue.

They can be designated by the following points:

  • Locking derailleurs on small transmission stars.
  • Next, a chain is put on the teeth of the stars. In this case, it is important to take into account the location of the rollers involved in its tension.
  • Then the chain links are aligned.
  • The chain is clamped and pressed in or the lock closes.

At the final stage, the move is checked. For this purpose, the pedals are rotated. Incorrect installation is characterized by sagging of the installed element and difficult twisting. If this is not observed, the installation of the chain is done according to all the rules.

In what cases, besides wear, the chain is removed:

  • For deep cleaning when it is necessary to remove lubricant and accumulated abrasive.
  • To replace damaged links.

How is chain wear determined??

A failed chain stretches, its links shift, harming the sprocket, which negatively affects the switch. It is difficult to visually determine the degree of wear.

Therefore, they use a simple measurement, that is, you need to measure twenty-four links, or rather their total length:

  • With a size of 30.5 cm, we can talk about the normal state of the chain.
  • An indicator of 30.65-30.75 cm indicates the need for replacement.

Note. A wear value of 30.75 cm indicates a damaged sprocket set. If the length of the measured links reaches 30.8 cm, then the transmission is damaged.

By the way, cutting the stretched chain does NOT solve the problem. Stretching is inherent in uniform distribution. In this case, damage to the stars cannot be avoided. As you know, “star” parts cannot be repaired. It is cheaper to change the chain than to replace more expensive components.

The plot will tell you how to replace the chain on a bicycle

Gear Shifting 101: How and When to Use Gears

Along with the brakes, gear shifting is one of the basic mechanical functions of your bike. Learning how to shift gears may sound basic, but practice gear shifting and shifting effectively. This is something that even experienced riders can work on. Correct gearing will not only improve your speed, but also make the ride more comfortable and increase your endurance on long journeys.

How to put a chain on a speed bike photo

Effective and efficient gear shifting techniques

Ok, here’s the most important thing to remember when riding any bike there is NO perfect gear! Shift!

Too often we see people putting too much energy into their pedals when they climb a steep incline in a large chain ring, or swing their legs when they are spinning in a gear that is too light for the descent they are riding. ride. Maintain as constant cadence as possible (the rate at which your pedals complete a full revolution)! This requires one of two things: shifting gears or increasing power output. The problem with power output is that if you’re not Wonder Woman, you have a limited supply of power. We recommend changing gears frequently to improve efficiency while riding.

Lil’s Tip: Start shifting into lighter gears with your right hand early to maintain a steady cadence. Remember, your right hand is for small terrain changes. If you find that your pedaling speed is slowing down dramatically, you may need to use the front derailleur (left hand) to facilitate shifting for the big climb ahead. But if you’re already uphill and putting out a lot of power to the pedals, you might notice that your front derailleur does NOT want to work! You will move, hear the grinding, but nothing will happen and you will most likely stop in the middle of the hill.

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Instead of grinding these gears, you will need to apply a little more power to the pedal travel right before shifting, and then ease the pedal travel when shifting. With less pressure on your chain, it will be easier for your derailleur to remove your chain from a larger ring to a smaller one.!

4 conclusions from the CyclingTips Ultimate Chain test

Of course, chains are much more important to road bikers, where every watt lost can mean a big loss over the long ride, but we mountain bikers have a lot to learn from this too, especially since some mountain bike chains have been supplied. Through the wringer together with road chains.

We’d recommend reading the entire best bike chain test, but if you just want to figure it out, here are four key takeaways.

There are clear differences between chain brands

Chain. Is it just a chain? Apparently there is, according to this investigation. Cyclingtips found a power difference of up to 4 watts between the most (11-speed Shimano) and least efficient (SRAM Eagle X01) chain. Keep in mind that this is only one part of the drivetrain and SRAM says performance testing is only valid if it is done for the entire drivetrain and they believe their drivetrains generally perform comparable to the competition. Tue This is a pretty significant drawback, especially if your ultimate goal. Efficiency.

There was also a huge difference in the strength of the chains tested. Cyclingtips believes you can use thousands of miles more using the Strongest (SRAM XX1) than the Least Reliable (KMC X11E). According to Adam Crane, “SRAM claims to be the longest chain in the world since their XX1 and they are NOT kidding. Both X01 and XX1 chains outpaced any other chain in net elongation so much that I had to repeat the test and the results were mostly identical. Their longevity is phenomenal. “.

More teeth = more strength

Tests have shown that the more teeth a chain is designed to work, the stronger it is. This may contradict the conventional wisdom that older 8-, 9- and even 10-speed systems offer wider barb widths, which increases chain surface area and should make them stronger. However, here everything was the other way around.

The reason for this is less clear, but some materials have been improved, manufacturing processes have been improved and new low friction coatings have been added. Similarly, the chain design itself has changed, and where in 8- and even 9-speed chains, the inner links turn. exclusively on connecting pins, in newer chains these forces are usually distributed between the pins and specially stamped plates.

Your lubrication is as important as your chain

The chains were tested using a specially formulated grit lubricant to accelerate chain wear during the test. This showed that no matter how strong the chain is, the lubricant you use will play the most important role in the longevity of the drivetrain. Kerin apparently lined up an infinite number of sprockets and cassettes with any chain that crossed the 2500 km mark, effectively destroying the rest of the drivetrain before it crashed. As always, use good lubricant and keep the transmission clean. Here’s the real way to get the most out of your drivetrain components.

Most brands offer good options.

One of the main findings of the study is that there is probably nothing wrong with having stock in stock; Shimano chains seem to be the most efficient on the market, but still have decent durability. SRAM’s chains haven’t proven to be effective for centuries in this test, but their durability scores high and should help them survive mountain biking all year round, even in the worst conditions. If you currently have a stock network, don’t rush to change it, it probably does its job well.

However, it makes sense to spend more on big brand chains. For example, the Eagle XO1 and XX1 were noticeably stronger than the NX and GX chains, and if you race, the XTR is more efficient than the XT.

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