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Bike Chains Buying Guide

Bike Chains are an essential part of any bike, whether that’s a road bikegravel bikemountain bikeelectric bike or commuter bike. Chains are metal links which are secured together with pins, as you cycle - the power of your cycling is transferred through the chain to the cassette and gearing on the bike, moving you forwards. Bicycle chains are normally made from an alloy of steel, which is tough enough to handle the demands placed upon the chain. 

All chains of course, are not created equal - with better chains being fitted to better bikes. Premium chains have a number of features which make them perform better than cheaper bike chains, these include ramps on the chains to assist in gear changes, as well as pins within the chain which ensure that the chain remains lubricated. 

It’s always advised to keep your bike chain clean and lubricated, not only to ensure it continues to function, but also to ensure that gear changes remain smooth. As time goes on, chains can stretch - which can lead to missed gear changes, and in the worst case scenario - a snapped chain which can result in an accident. 

Choosing & Fitting Bike Chain

Although on the surface, the design of bike chains do not seem to have changed too much over the years, it’s essential that you buy the right chain for your bike. Chains are available in different widths, which depend upon the number of sprockets on your bike - a chain which is designed for an 11 speed bike, is thinner than a 9 speed chain. It’s important you choose like-for-like when it comes to the number of speeds on the bike. 

When you choose a bike chain, it will more than likely need to be shortened out of the packet - and you can easily shorten a bike chain with a bike chain tool. Most chains these days have a quick link which means you can fasten the chain without using a tool. 

Most bike chains are also directional to fit, so they need to fit a certain way - so check the manufacturer recommendations and instructions. 

Bike Chain Maintenance

Looking after the chain on your bike is incredibly important, and a good clean and lubrication is about all that is required. Keep your chain clean using chain cleaners and degreasers, with a bike cleaning brush to get rid of dirt and grime. Once clean, apply some chain oil lubricant to keep things moving smoothly. 

Bike Chains Online

At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply an excellent range of upgraded and replacement bike chains which will fit your bike, you can view the complete range here, and get in touch if you have any questions about the collection.