You’re getting your bike ready for the new season and you spot one of the most important moving parts of your bike – a chain. It might be rusty, in a bad shape, or just needs a replacement. But how much is a bike chain?
If you’re looking to find out how much a new bike chain is going to cost you, how to replace it, and even find out how to replace it yourself, you’re in the right place!
Down below, I’ll show you how to find a quality yet affordable bike chain, how to decide on the sizing, and even how to replace your bike chain all by yourself – so keep on reading!
How Much is a Bike Chain?
If you already browsed for bike chains, you might have come across a variety of bike chains. Not only chains come in a wide range of options to choose from, but it also comes in a wide pricing range too.
But how much is a bike chain?
You can spend anywhere between $15 to $70+ on a new bike chain. Of course, you don’t need to break the bank and go for the most expensive chain.
However, I don’t recommend settling down for the cheapest bike chains out there either. Therefore, I believe you’ll have to spend around $30-$40 for a decent bike chain that will last for a long time and will stay reliable.
Chains are one of the components that wear out after use. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in a quality chain as quality chains can improve the shift quality and you’ll really notice it.
Also, more expensive chains can be a pricier investment, but they’re most likely going to last for longer and in combination with better shift quality, saving on a bike chain doesn’t seem like a great solution!
What Size Chain Do You Need for Your Bike?
Now that you’ve settled on a price for your new chain, how do you know what size chain do you need for your bike?
Not all bikes are the same and not all same-type bikes come with the same chain sizing. It can be difficult to understand, but believe me, shopping for a new bike chain isn’t as hard as everyone believes it is.
To find a size chain you need, all you need to do is find out how is your bike equipped. Here’s what to follow:
- Bikes with a derailleur – 3/32″ or 11/128″ chain size
- Single-speed bikes – 1/8″ or 3/32″
However, keep in mind that getting a longer chain is not a big of a problem as much as getting a shorter chain would be.
With a proper tool, you can easily take the chain off your bike, compare it to the new chain, and size it so it fits your bike.
However, keep in mind that chains can extend during their use and that’s why it’s best to take off your old chain and start installing the new chain. This will give you the most accurate information on how long your chain needs to be.
When you know your reference rivet, add 2 links and this will be a perfect fit for your chain.
Note: If all of this sounds confusing, keep on reading as I’ll post a video with instructions on how to replace your chain on your own.
When is the Best Time to Buy a New Bike Chain?
As I’ve mentioned earlier, bike chains get worn out throughout the use. A rule of thumb is to replace your bike chain every 2,000 miles.
However, as much as the rule of thumb is liked, it’s also disliked for one reason. Not everyone rides their bike the same way.
Therefore, here’s a better way to determine if your bike needs a new bike chain.
A very simple way to determine if you need a new bike chain is to have a look at the bottom jockey wheel of the rear derailleur. If it moves, it’s time to change your chain. It’s simple as that!
If you try to measure 12 links of a chain and the measure is 12 and 1/8″ (or less) you’ll need a new chain. You can get a chain measuring tool to help you out with this, but you can also use any ruler you have available too.
Keep in mind that if you don’t change your chain when it requires a change, you might have added wear on other components such as cassette and even rings.
Can You Replace Your Bike Chain by Yourself?
Now that you know how much is a bike chain and how to choose a new chain for your bike – it’s time to fit it on your bike.
Yes, you can replace the bike chain by yourself and the process is very simple!
Some chain types (quick link) can be easily taken off your bike with a hand. However, other bike chain types will require a tool to remove the link from the chain.
As long as you have the tool to help you out, you won’t have an issue following the video and replacing your bike chain.
It’s a relatively quick process and all it takes is removing your existing chain, measuring the new chain, running it through the derailleurs and your sprocket, and installing it in place.
The first time might take you a bit longer but once you get a hang of it, you’ll be able to do it in less than 10 minutes.
I hope this article taught you everything from how much is a bike chain but also to how to choose a new chain for your bike and even install it for yourself!
It’s better to replace a chain on time so your other components don’t have any added wear over time. When you finish replacing your bike chain, don’t forget to lube it using the correct lube for the season!
Also, if you’re not comfortable changing your chain yourself, there’s nothing that can go wrong and if you follow DIYBikeRepair’s step-by-step video maintenance training, you will learn everything you need to do!
How often do you usually change your bike chain? Do you do it yourself or do you take it to a bike shop?