How Long Does a Bike Chain Last?

How Long Does a Bike Chain Last?

Bikes are an astounding choice of vehicles. They’re solid and lightweight. Therefore, you can ride across the street as quickly as you want. When it comes to purchasing a bike chain, there are plenty of things you need to know.

When it comes to maintaining a bike’s chain, the most common query is, “How long will a bike chain last?” Well, don’t look any further as that’s why we’ve prepared this article.

In this article, we’ll look at a full overview of bicycle chains. We’ll tell you everything that surrounds them. Therefore, let’s jump right in! Shall we?

What’s a Bike Chain?

So, let’s look at what bike chains are. Sometimes even seasoned riders don’t know the real purpose of this crucial bike component. That’s why we’ve covered this.

It’s a roller chain that propels the wheels of your bicycle while pedaling. It makes your bike surmount the friction of the streets and move forward.  If your bike has no chain,it implies that you would have to pedal more, and this isn’t convenient. Is it?

Therefore, a bicycle chain is a crucial bike component.

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Chain Types

Bike chains are available in two types:

  • Alloy steel
  • Carbon steel

Other materials may be used. However, they’re only meant to make the bike appear more appealing. The base material is still between the two types.

The type of chain depends on your cycling style. Therefore, be cautious when selecting a chain for your bike. Believe it or not, it makes a big difference and, therefore, tread cautiously when searching for chains.

So, What’s the Lifespan of a Bike Chain?

A bike chain’s lifespan differs depending on various factors comprising how frequently you ride, the riding type you do, and how you maintain your chain. If you don’t ride your bike frequently but carry out proper care and maintenance on the bike chain, it’ll last for a couple of years before it lastly gives in.

On the other hand, if you’re an active and aggressive biker, for instance, a passionate mountain biker, and don’t take care of your bike chain, its lifespan will be shorter.

Generally, you only have to replace your bike chain every 2000 to 3000 miles with proper maintenance. However, some bikers may have to replace their bike chain every 500 miles.

Let’s now look at how you can extend the lifespan of your bike chain. Keep reading!

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How Do You Extend the Life of your Bike Chain?

General Care and Maintenance

If you want to extend your bicycle chain’s lifespan, you have to carry out general maintenance. If you want to do it correctly, there are two things you have to do:

  • Lubricate the chain
  • Clean the chain frequently

Your bike operates well when riding if you keep the bike’s chain lubricated. The chain not only makes cycling easier but also ensures that it’s safe from getting too desiccated.

A desiccated bike chain tends to get inflexible. It makes it more prone to breakage. It’s suggested that you clean the bike chain frequently.

Also, make sure that you don’t leave the lubricant on the chain for too long. We understand that you lubricated the chain well, and now, after some time, you have to take it off. The lubricant may get somewhat thick and tacky after some time.

It implies that it’ll be tricky when it comes to pedaling the bike, and you’ll have to apply more pressure on the chain. To ensure that your bike chain lasts long, wipe out all the old lubrication once a fortnight. Besides, it’ll appear more appealing if freshly lubricated.

The Style of Riding

As stated earlier, the style of riding your bike plays a crucial role in the lifespan of your chain. Not only does it apply to the cycling type you do (road or mountain biking) but also to the cadence at which you cycle the bike at.

Cadence is the number of rotations made by the crank (the bike component which propels the chain and is attached to the pedals) every minute. If you ride the bike at a high cadence, or in a lower gear, it exerts less strain on the chain as compared to riding at a low cadence or a higher gear.

Using a higher gear lengthens the chain out and strains it more, lessening its lifespan. Therefore, next time you want to slack off a bit on your ride and pedal-less, consider how cadence and gears influence your chain’s lifespan.

When Should you Replace the Bicycle’s Chain?

If about 50% or so of your bike chain is worn out, it needs to be replaced. If you want to keep cycling constantly, ensure you replace it. It’s because if the chain breaks in the middle of the ride, it can be a total disappointment.

If you play your cards well, your bicycle’s chain can last between 5 and 6 years in the best-case scenario. Nonetheless, the best time to replace your bike’s chain is 4 to 5 years after attaching it. However, if you ride your bike every day, you’ll need to replace the chain earlier.

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Although some chains are more durable than others, there are numerous ways to prolong your bike’s chain. This way, you’ll get the most out of it, and at the same time, relish the time you spend on your bike.

Knowing the best chain for your cycling style and taking care of that chain well are ways you can make yourself more intelligent on how to enhance the longevity of your chain. You’ll also ride it for long without requiring a new one.

There’s so much to consider and learn. Therefore, go out there and have fun riding. That’s everything we had to answer on “What’s the lifespan of a bike chain?” We’ve tried to give you as much data as we could get. This way, you don’t need to go somewhere else to get it.

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