When to change the bike chain

How to replace a chain on a bicycle?

The chain is the key element of the bike‘s transmission assembly. Sequentially passing through the teeth of the drive sprockets, it transmits torque to the rear wheel, thanks to which the bike rides. In the process of movement, the chain mechanism is subjected to dynamic loads, which over time leads to its wear.

On singlespeeds, as a rule, the chain is designed for the entire life of its operation: when moving along the stars, it walks smoothly and straight, without deviations. Chains are more complicated on multi-speed bicycles: there is no right angle between the front and rear sprockets, which is why it is always at an angle relative to the frame. The stresses on the chain mechanism increase several times compared to parallel transmission, which leads to periodic wear. To avoid damage to the entire transmission unit caused by wear of the chain, it must be replaced in time.

Not only do the “speed” chains need to be removed, they are often removed from single-speed bikes for periodic repairs or cleaning. How to remove the chain from the bike and put it back, we will tell you in this article.

Opening the lock and squeezing the link axis

It is quite simple to open the lock: use a screwdriver or other object (for example, a knitting needle) to pry on the pincer clamp. The main thing here is not to damage it, or even better. not to lose it, otherwise it will not be possible to fix the chain later. Next, we decouple the entire link. That’s it, you can remove the chain and do whatever you want with it: clean it, throw it away or shorten it. However, we’ll talk about this a little later.

It is possible to separate a continuous chain only with a special tool. a squeeze. With its help, it will be possible to easily disassemble the link without damage. The procedure is simple, but you shouldn’t rush:

  • First, select the link for disassembly.
  • We insert the chain into the position of pressing out and pressing in the pin (link axis).
  • Use the handle to tighten the screw and take out the axle. Extrusion direction. towards the squeeze screw, that is, towards yourself.

You should not completely extract the pin, since it will not be easy to return it to its place later.

The squeeze will loosen the axle a little, so a different link should be selected when re-disengaging. Pressing the axle into the link is carried out in the opposite order: connect the adjacent links together and press in the pin with the screw.

At the crossroads of two technologies: methods of replacing a worn chain on a bicycle at speeds

The main purpose of the procedure is to disengage the old chain and connect the new one together. Before doing anything, check how the chain is engaged now. It either represents a single whole, or has a detachable link (lock) in its design. This is important, since the type of fastening determines the list of required tools and, in fact, the maintenance method.

Forcing and chain wear indicator

There is a wide variety of pomace of different sizes from different manufacturers. It is worth noting that this tool is definitely a must for those who want to change the chain themselves. Chain wear can be determined using a standard ruler. But for constant monitoring, it is better to purchase a special tool. a chain wear indicator.

Lock and solid chain

The locking chain is equipped with a special clamping device. It is not difficult to unhook and put on it. you just need to disconnect the lock. To find it, we carefully examine the chain on both sides and find a detachable link. In principle, it will not be difficult to find it on a clean chain: a tick is put on top, which fixes the link and does not allow it to move apart. Also, the manufacturer’s inscription is usually embossed on the key link. If you cannot find the lock for a long time, then either the chain is dirty, or it is lockless, or solid.

A bicycle chain without a lock simply cannot be disconnected: all the links on it look the same, however, and are hooked together too. This is a big inconvenience when cleaning, for example, it is necessary to carry out a “general cleaning” in a solvent. In the case of the keylock, everything is simple. I stole it and put it in kerosene. Solid bike chain, even taken off the stars, will remain hanging on the frame.

In terms of removal, a chain with a lock is, of course, more convenient than its counterpart. However, for some reason, the fastening may loosen: the tick fly off, and the link itself can be disengaged. There are no such weak points on bicycle chains without locks, and if it is torn, then the point is solely in its quality.

change, bike, chain

How to replace a chain on a bicycle with your own hands

The need to remove / install a bicycle chain arises for various reasons. Someone regularly boils it in paraffin or wax, someone decided to carry out a comprehensive cleaning in a can of gasoline, and someone came to such a state that the bicycle chain slips under load and needs to be changed. How to do this is intuitively clear, but for whom the operation is new, it is difficult to do without explanations and answers to exciting questions.

Replacement strategies and their effects

Cyclists use three element replacement strategies:

  • Riding until completely worn out. The easiest way from the existing ones. Its convenience lies in the fact that there is no need to regularly check the status of the drive. In the event of a breakdown, the chain and cassette are immediately changed. Perhaps 1-2 stars of the system will be affected. This method is optimal when using budget stars and an expensive chain.
  • Driving in three chains (circular change). A pair of spare chains is purchased here and after every 500. 1000 km they replace each other to ensure an even degree of wear. The uniformity is determined by the measuring instruments, not the mileage traveled. In the absence of tools, all chains are located in a horizontal position and the length of each is visually revealed. Circular replacement significantly extends the life of the stars, keeping the chain life at the same level as with the first replacement option.
  • Regular replacement of chains. If the bike is equipped with an expensive cassette and a system with aluminum sprockets that are prone to quick grinding, this is the way to go. Every 1000-2000 km, a new element is installed, and the old one is thrown away. It is important to regularly monitor the condition of the chain and avoid critical wear. Regular replacement involves the greatest financial costs, but they are offset by the long life of the cassette.
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Allowable distance between links

The wear rate is assessed in three ranges:

change, bike, chain
  • From 119.7 to 120.6 mm. If an indicator is found in this limit, there is no reason for concern and you can safely continue to ride.
  • 120.6 to 120.9 mm. This value indicates the beginning of the process. The chain is eating up the cassette stars of the cassette, and it is time to replace it.
  • than 120.9. In this case, the chain stretched out more than the permissible level and here it will not be limited to changing only the chain, a new cassette will be required.

Do not take the chain to an extreme state, this is fraught with more serious consequences.

When to change the chain

  • pin (axes);
  • outer and inner plate;
  • sleeve;
  • roller.

The wear of a bicycle chain is considered to be its lengthening as a result of boring by the axles of their own landing niches. Over time, the inner diameter of the pin bushings increases slightly. A fraction of a millimeter is marked on each link. However, the star profile is grinded in accordance with the new landing dimension of the link. The result is a distorted chain, which already does not fit well on the cassette stars, scrolls or breaks. This is the primary element wear affecting popular cassette stars. middle gears.

Reference. Another type of wear is called squelching. It is difficult to detect, but this jumping of the chain from side to side leads to a gradual and unstable transition of the links long before any axle wear is detected.

How to determine bike chain wear, when to change it, and effective replacement strategies to extend drivetrain life

A bicycle chain is an element designed to transfer torque from the drive sprocket to the driven sprocket. As the operation progresses, it tends to wear out and, so that the transmission does not fail, the chain changes from time to time. We tell you about the service life and replacement strategies, as well as the secrets of extending the period of use of the chain.

What will happen if you do not change the chain

A stretched bicycle chain does not mean immediate damage to the transmission. In case of significant wear, troubles are allowed, but if the main driving time is on an asphalt surface, then it is quite possible to continue to ride. However, it is not recommended to postpone the replacement of the element for a long time pending a break in the circuit or serious damage. Gradually, the chain continues to stretch and kills adjacent elements of the system.

Attention! Bringing the transmission to the maximum wear condition entails additional financial costs and the allocation of more time for replacing components.

Average chain resource

The estimated stock of chains from well-known brands such as Sram or Shimano ranges from 1,000 to 1,500 km before stretching, which can damage the cassette. The stars of the system are more resistant to the influence of the stretched chain than the cassette ones. However, the degree of wear cannot be accurately determined by the mileage, since each cyclist has different operating conditions. In this regard, the approach to the issue of wear is individual.

A special gauge can be purchased for measuring wear. Its accuracy is not 100%, but quite acceptable. A more thorough measurement is carried out using a caliper. The device is fitted with 119 mm and jaws are inserted to determine the internal dimension between the links. After that, the bar is stretched to the stop and the result is recorded.

What is timing chain

As mentioned above, the timing chain is part of the engine. It is similar to a bicycle chain and serves to synchronize the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft.

This helps the intake and exhaust valves open and close at the same time at the same intervals during each engine revolution.

If the timing chain does not work as it should, it will lead to engine malfunction. And in the future. to expensive repairs. Not to mention, it poses a danger to your health and life.

When the timing chain is changed

Any car owner should worry about the technical condition of his vehicle. Therefore, if something wears out, it needs to be replaced. After all, your safety also depends on the serviceability of the car.

ICTV facts reveal how to replace one of the key engine parts. the timing chain.

When to replace the timing chain

Sooner or later, the timing chain can wear out and stretch. Therefore, at this moment you need to replace it. But how do you know if the circuit might be faulty? You should pay attention to the following signs:

  • When the car is driving, you hear an uncharacteristic loud rumble in the engine;
  • You observe a rough and not smooth operation of the engine when it starts;
  • The P0355 error is constantly on on the control panel;
  • Chain tensioner rod extended. To check this, you will need to remove the front engine cover. If the tensioner moves 8-10 mm, then the chain is stretched.

Also, one of the most reliable ways to determine a timing chain malfunction is computer diagnostics carried out by specialists at a service station.

It is almost impossible to determine at what mileage of the car you need to replace the timing chain. Most manufacturers say that this should be done with a mileage of 400 thousand km.

However, it would be wrong to be guided by these numbers. After all, the chain can be demolished earlier. Therefore, you should periodically do diagnostics and take care of the serviceability of the technical parts of the car.

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If you are convinced that the chain is defective, you need to contact a mechanic who will replace it.

In addition to stretching the timing chain, it can also break. In this case, you need to urgently contact the service station and replace the valves, which are guaranteed to be damaged. It is better not to bring the car to such a state. And such a replacement will cost you much more.

Also, on March 17, new fines for violation of traffic rules by drivers began to operate in Ukraine. in particular for drunk driving.

Why replacement is required

It is quite a natural question that many people ask. After all, if the chain is so reliable and durable, and under the condition of correct operation it works as long as the engine, why are they so often interested in replacing the chain?

When and How to Replace your MTB Chain | CRC

Timing operation directly depends on the condition, degree of wear and quality of the chain. When the motor is running, the mechanism also actively works, and under heavy loads. And in such a mode, not a single element can serve forever. The process of gradual wear begins. If even one tooth on the chain breaks, slippage will occur. Even it alone can lead to a series of malfunctions and complete failure of the unit. As practice shows, when the circuit breaks, problems appear with the engine valves, which must eventually be replaced. If it is a diesel engine, then there is a risk of camshaft breakage. In this situation, you need to change not only the chain, but also the camshaft, valve and head gasket.

change, bike, chain

If the chain is changed untimely, the consequences can be extremely serious, and an impressive amount of money will have to be spent on their elimination.

In this regard, it is recommended to carry out diagnostics in a timely manner. If you notice signs of wear, the chain must be changed. By the way, if you buy a used car, be sure to check the condition of the chain drive. The element is not the cheapest, and therefore the cost of putting the car in order will increase significantly.

How to choose the right new part

So, we figured out when the engine needs replacement of the part in question. But, how to choose it correctly, because the chain can be either single-row or double-row. Each option has its own pros and cons:

  • The single-strand chain provides a slight increase in motor power and helps to reduce noise. This is due to the fact that it is easier for the engine to scroll one row than two.
  • Despite the fact that the double-row chain is more noisy, it is endowed with more reliability. It is characterized by a longer service life.

In addition, the chains have a different number of links. Different types of chains can be used depending on the brand of machine and the type of motor. If we consider such cars as the VAZ 2101 and 2102 with a 1.2 and 1.3 liter power unit installed on them, then they are equipped with a part for 114 links. For vehicles with power units of 1.5, 1.6 and 1.7 liters, a chain with 116 links is used, respectively. This applies to models VAZ 2103, 2107 and 21213. When replacing the chain, it is necessary to clarify the information in the corresponding document for the car.

For timing, chains can be single-row and double-row. One or another chain is chosen depending on the car model and engine type

How to choose the right part

Timing chains are single-row and double-row. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages.

  • When installing a single-row version, the engine power increases slightly, the noise level decreases. The fact is that it is easier for the power unit to scroll one row of the chain than two.
  • The double-row chain leads to an increase in the noise level while driving, but it is much more reliable. This product is designed for a long service life.

Chains are subdivided into several types according to the number of links. The choice depends on the make of the car and the characteristics of the engine used in it. So, in VAZ 2101 and 2102 cars and other cars with an engine displacement of 1.2 and 1.3 liters, models with 114 links are used. A 116-link chain will come in handy for the owner of a car with an engine capacity of 1.5, 1.6 and 1.7 liters (these are VAZ 2103, 2107 and “Niva”). It is better to check the exact information on the suitable kit in the documentation for the vehicle.

Timing chain service life

There is practically no information in the manuals about when and at what mileage the timing chain is changed, but based on the experience of car owners, the chain can serve you from 100 to 200 thousand km. mileage. One of the telltale signs of belt problems can be engine sound. When the car starts up “cold” and for a few seconds a metallic “roar” is heard, most likely the moment has come when the timing chain should be changed.

The timing chain is one of the most important components in the operation of the engine. When the engine is running, the chain is necessarily involved in the process. This means that such an important part lends itself to a fairly high degree of stress.

Scheme of operation of the spring-hydraulic chain tensioner

Over time, the chain can stretch due to constant work. In this case, replacing the chain is not entirely necessary, it is enough to acquire a new tensioner, which will eliminate slack and sagging. Also, one or more teeth may fly off in the chain. This will lead to slippage and out-of-sync operation, which entails damage to the valves. The absence of a part of the teeth in the chain requires intervention, because the driver risks damaging the camshaft, and this will lead to the need to replace the shaft itself and the cylinder block gasket.

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After the steps taken, you need to check the operation of the engine. Any extraneous noise should be absent. If they remain, then the reason may be a sedative. In this case, check its serviceability and, if necessary, replace it.

How and When to Replace Your Bicycle Chain

Important: when adjusting the chain tension, you need to follow the marks so that the valve timing does not change.

It is important to replace the timing chain in a timely and correct manner. You can do the procedure yourself, following the step-by-step instructions.

When to change the bike chain

How to know when it is time to replace the chain with a new one?

Your bike chain will gradually wear out with use and will need to be replaced from time to time to keep the transmission working. Worn chains do not shift well, wear out the stars and sometimes break.

When to replace the chain?

“We’re not saying you have to change the chain ‘every X km’ because it’s impossible to tell how long it will wear out,” says SRAM. “Chain wear depends on many factors, including maintenance (cleaning / lubrication), operating conditions (water / mud / sand), gear shifting method, and overall transmission condition (cassette / chainring wear).”

Chain misalignment: is it really that bad?

“It is difficult to name the exact number of kilometers due to the fact that all cyclists have different weights and heights, they ride differently, someone switches more often, and someone less often, develop different power, ride on flat or hilly terrain, in different conditions (mud, sand, water), whether the chain is maintained or not all of this creates many variables for assessing wear, ”says Campagnolo’s Joshua Riddle.

“In general, the chain will last from 3000 km to 8000 km, but this figure can fluctuate in one direction or the other.”.

Tayachain TOLV-121 stainless chain (12 sp.)

The chain should be changed when you notice any damage (deformation or crack). The chain should also be checked regularly to make sure it is not worn to the point that it needs to be replaced.

There are several ways to check if you need to replace the chain.

Measuring with a ruler

Wear can be measured with a ruler (Taya recommends this method, approx. Easy2Bike). It is more convenient to use the English measurement system here, because one full chain link is equal to 1 inch.

Start with one link and measure 12 complete links. You need to tighten the chain a little for a more accurate result.

On the new chain, 12 full links will be 12 inches long, but when the chain is worn, the 12 inch mark on the ruler will not be on pin 12 of the link, but before.

If the distance from the 12 ” mark to the link pin is less than 1/16 ”, your chain is fine, if more, it needs to be replaced.

It is easier to measure 10 links when using the metric system.

On a new chain, 10 full links should be 25.4 cm.

If the distance from the pin of the 1st link to the pin of the 10th link remains within the range of up to 25.5 cm, your chain is in order, but with a larger deviation, the chain must be replaced.

A chain wear indicator, sometimes called a chain wear gauge, is an inexpensive instrument that does exactly what its name suggests.

For example, Park Tool’s wear indicator CC-3.2 (link is external). Similar tools are offered by other brands.

You hook the bent end onto the chain, and if the probe tip on the other end fully engages the chain link, the chain is worn to the point that it needs to be replaced (one side shows 0.5% wear, the other side 0.75%).

There is another simple method for checking chain wear.

KMC advises: “If you do not have a chain wear gauge, you can make a rough estimate by sliding the chain over the larger chainring and pulling the chain out from the middle of the chainring. If you manage to lift it more than half a link, then the chain or the star, or the chain and the star at the same time, are probably worn out. “.

The chain in the photo is almost new, so the distance between the star and the chain is minimal.

How to check the timing chain for tension?

Wear can only be determined by opening the valve cover. Opening the cover. look at the chain tensioner. If the chain tensioner is 70% out, the chain is in the trash. See the backlash of the links on the sprockets.

What is the mileage to change the chain?

Each engine model has its own standards for replacing the timing chain. On average, the timing chain needs to be changed every 100 thousand km, but this is a very average value, for some models it may be less, while for others it may be much more. 11 May 2018.

How much does it cost to replace the timing chain 1.4 TSI?

A full range of works on replacing the timing chain: 1.4 TSI. Cost of work: 8,000 rubles. Spare parts cost: 13 195 rubles.

What is the resource of the timing chain?

Despite the fact that, according to the regulations, any timing chain is designed for the entire life of the car, it changes in terms of wear. On average, this figure, taking into account Russian conditions, is 150-170 thousand km. There are engines where the chain cannot withstand even 100 thousand.

When to change the timing chain on a VAZ 2107?

Replacement frequency. every 200 thousand km. When replacing the timing chain with a VAZ 2106/2107, the following questions may arise: Can the ignition go off when stretching the timing chain?

How To Know When To Change Your Chain, Cassette And Chainrings