Tech Tip – How to Monitor Your Bike Chain for Wear

A key part of both conventional and electric bicycles is the bike’s chain. One could say that bike chains are the vital link (pun intended) to the smooth operation of your ride.

Bike chains will of course wear and stretch over time with continued use. However, if you proactively monitor the chain and replace it before it is totally worn out, the cost is relatively low to fix ($20-$70 depending on the specific bike/chain).

On the other hand, if the chain goes beyond its intended wear point, then it will cause uneven wear of your front and/or rear sprockets. Instead of a simple chain replacement, the more expensive front and/or rear sprockets may need to be replaced as well. If these are not replaced after significant wear, the bike won’t shift well.


How do you monitor your chain wear?

First option is to drop by our shop (or any bike shop) and let us measure your chain wear in less than a minute. We do this for free, and it’s included as part of our Standard Tune-up.

Second option is to purchase a simple chain wear measurement tool for about $10 to keep an eye on it yourself. This is a good option for the DIYers and tech enthusiasts.




How long do bike chains last?

This will vary greatly depending on the bike/chain, how often the chain is cleaned and lubricated, and in what conditions the bike is ridden and stored. A good quality chain can last anywhere from a few hundred miles to several thousand miles, or longer.

A simple message to sum it all up: look after your chain and your bike will look after you.