All bikes use a drivetrain system through a metal chain joining the pedals with the rear wheel, the driving wheel which transfers the movement to make the bike spin. The cyclist provides energy, which through the pedals and cranks mounted on toothed chainrings, drives a chain that transfers power to the cassette to make the rear wheel move.
There currently exists a wide range of brands, models and qualities of chains, which creates confusion when choosing the most appropriate to replace your existing one. Modern drivetrains are of 8, 9, 10 and up to 11 speeds. In these cases, the most suitable chains are usually of 7-8, 9, 10 and 11 speeds, respectively. The length of a chain will depend on the number of speeds, which will also affect the type of derailleur hanger that will be needed. The width is also variable factor in chains depending on their number of speeds. The more speeds, the narrower the chain will be to shorten the space between sprockets.
It is important before buying a chain to check that it is compatible with the bicycle's chainrings and sprockets, since the chains are different depending on the number of speeds.
In order to keep your chain in top condition it is very important to use lubricating liquids so that the friction of the chain with the teeth of the chainrings and sprockets does not end up damaging the material. If these components are not greased regularly they will end up wearing out and their life will be much shorter.
The best way to grease a chain is to apply the liquid to each link while moving the pedals so that the chain rotates on the chainrings , because if we apply the grease directly to the sprockets, the rear brakes (if they are disc) can be damaged and become totally useless.
The main problem for chains , after dirt, is chain stretch, which occurs faster in chains where the gears are changed and the more misaligned the chain works. The fact that the chain is subjected to lateral stresses since it is not aligned with the chainring and the sprocket causes greater strain on the pins and the rollers of the chain, increasing wear. Because an old chain is longer than necessary, the links do not fit properly between the teeth of the sprocket , which means that, for power purposes, only one hub (the first) performs the transmission of the effort of the chainring to the chain and this causes jumps in the teeth, so a change of chain is required.
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