A quality drivetrain for a smooth ride
The drivetrain is the part of the bike that keeps everything moving forward. It transfers power from your feet to the wheels – more or less smoothly depending on the quality of its various parts.
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Tips for bike chains
A drivetrain is made up of
- The pedals, where you apply your own power
- The cranks and chainrings (sometimes collectively called the “chainset”), which convert the power applied to the pedals into rotational motion
- The bike chain, which applies this rotational motion to the rear wheel
- The cassette and derailleur, which allow you to change gears
As the part of the bike that’s responsible for transferring power from the pedals to the wheels, the bike chain comes under constant and significant strain while you ride. To ensure your chain lasts as long as possible, it’s important to ensure it’s the right size, keep it clean, and tighten the chain to the right level of tension.
What size of bike chain do you need? A good way to find out when buying a new one is by counting the links on your old chain. The new chain should have the same number of links. It’s also important to ensure that the chain properly fits the gears of your bike.
As for when to replace the chain: A chain usually lasts about 5,000 km (+/– 3,000 miles) or 2,000 km (+/– 1,200 miles) in the case of e-bikes, whose chains are exposed to greater strain.
Other drivetrain parts
Sometimes you don’t need to replace the whole chain, just individual chain links. You might also be interested in buying chainrings or cranks – just make sure they’re compatible with your drivetrain.
Remember, a drivetrain is exposed to a lot of wear, but as long as you keep a close eye on its condition and replace individual parts as needed, you shouldn’t need to replace the whole thing at once!