How to replace your bike chain and save money by doing it

Bike chain

One of the most importante parts on your bike is the chain. It is the link between the power in your legs and the drivetrain. Therefor it will stretch over time and needs to be changed now and then. Luckily a new chain doesn’t cost a lot, and by changing it frequently you will increase the lifespan of the bikes cassette and the crank.

To figure out when it’s time to change your chain you can use a chain wear indicator. It’s a cheap little metal piece that you attach to your chain. It often has two sides and measures 0.75% and 1% chain stretch. The theory is that if you change your chain before it has a 1% stretch you should be ok by just replacing the chain. If it is more than that 1% your chain will slowly wear the crank and the cassette out, and your gears will end up feeling sloppy and inaccurate. Below you see a chain wear indicator and how to use it. If it slips in it means the stretch is more than the indicated length. If you’re in doubt check this short video.

chain wear indicator

If your measurements show that you should change your chain you will also need a chain breaker to remove your old chain. Another cheap tool that is nice to have in your tool box. Watch the video below and learn about the entire process in changing your chain.

Lastly I’ll list up where you can buy the needed parts for cheap. The x-speed notation means the number of rings on your cassette. If it has 10 rings you need a 10-speed chain. Here’s the list:

ItemAliExpressAmazonChain reaction cycles
Chain wear indicator$5$6£5
Chain breaker$4$5£8
8-speed chain$10$10£5
9-speed chain$11$18£6
10-speed chain$30$24£12
11-speed chain$60$35£12