After tire punctures, the unhooking of the bicycle chain is probably the most common and the most unnerving problem cyclists face. This breakdown is especially awkward, as it usually occurs at the most inopportune times.
The installation of elements into the two-wheeled vehicle is just as important as the maintenance. This means that it is important to perform both fairly often. Among all the elements that might need maintenance, the chain seems to take priority. This is because the chain is delicate and often the common culprit of bicycle incidents.
There are several theories about when is the best time to change the chain of the bicycle. Internet forums seem to have many answers, and most advise that you should do it sometime between 3,000km if you are super cautious, but don’t let it go longer than 10,000km.
There isn’t really a specific mileage that indicates it is time to change the bicycle. The appropriate time should be based on other factors including the type of bicycle you have and the activity of the cyclist. A bicycle chain does not deteriorate in the same way. You could put 5,000km on the bike, but the chain will be in better shape for the biker who primarily rides on flat surfaces vs the biker who spends his or her time on steep surfaces, or on mountainous rides.
The simplest way to determine if it is time to change your bicycle chain is by utilizing a chain meter. These devices are typically found at bicycle shops and where common tools are sold.
This simple device is able to offer us the most reliable information about the status of our chain, without the need to install an imaginary odometer in our head that measures the distance we travel. A chain meter has two measurements at its two extremes, one corresponding to 0.75 and the other to 1.0.
A bicycle chain should be put in the hole that is between two links of it. If you mark 0.75, it means that it is stretched to 75% of its capacity, while its brand 1.0, it will be 100%. How should you interpret this data? Very easy.
There is a broad consensus among manufacturers that, when the stretch of the chain exceeds 75%, it is time to start thinking about changing this component. The reason is because its probability of breaking or getting off its axis is quite high. What happens if it exceeds 100 percent? This means the need to replace it is essentially as high as possible. At that time, it is essential for you to make the change for your safety.
When should you perform this check? The first thing to say is that it never hurts to spend the small amount of money on this tool so you can always have it on hand. It is a small outlay that is highly recommended to ensure the complete set-up of your two-wheeled vehicle.
Once you acquire the tool, it is recommended that you use it every so often (twice a year may be enough) to verify that its tips do not yet enter the gaps between the links. This will help ensure that the lifespan of your chain has not yet been exhausted.