Even when you regularly maintain and lubricate your bike chains, they will need to be replaced every 1500 miles. Nonetheless, a mountain bike may need bike chain replacement more often because of mud, dirt, and other debris that speed up wear. Since bike chains are one of the consumable parts cyclists have to deal with, they are more often replaced than other bike parts. Most people don’t know what to spend buying this functional item. Bike chains cost anywhere between $10 to around $100. However, the most expensive bike chain ever produced was an $8,400 chain. The chain was all about efficiency, mainly in how it was lubricated. Lightweight chains cost a lot, and the more gears the bike has, the more expensive the chain is. Moreover, you will also pay more for a gold chain or other colors and patterns.
Cost Of Different Chain Brands
1. Zonkie Chain
ZOnkie is a famous bike chain brand. It is one of the cheap bike chains you should consider if you don’t have much money. Its chain joints are easy to disassemble, clean, and fix back in place. As long as you lubricate it regularly, it will give you a good riding experience.
The chain is made of special forging steel and has a smooth surface polishing. The internal oiling makes it suitable for use right after you install it. You will also love how versatile a zonkie chain is. Although it’s inexpensive, it is a good fit for various drivetrains.
Some of the popular models include:
1. Zonkie 6/7/8 Speed Bike Chain 1/2 x 3/32 Inch 116 Links ($15.88)
2. Zonkie Bike Chain Single-Speed, Bicycle Chain 1 Speed, 1/2 × 1/8 inch,116 Links ($13.88)
1. Inexpensive chain for multiple drivetrains
2. It has robust steel construction for making it solid and durable
3. Resistant to rust and corrosion
1. Not suitable for use in harsh weather
2. KMC Z410 Bicycle Chain
This bike chain is easy to fix, lubricate and has a pretty basic design. The chain is strong enough to endure rough terrains and features a drop buster configuration and an oversized chainplate. The configuration allows smooth grinding and makes it easy to land appropriately. It also has a nickel plating on the anti-drop design, which adds a decent coating for keeping the chain in use for a long time with minimal lubrication. The cover protects the chain from different elements; therefore, you won’t spend much money maintaining it. The chain works well with single-speed bikes, SRAM, Shimano, and Campy. You can find the chain at Amazon. At an affordable price of $13.83
1. Easy installation
2. Resistant to rust
3. Inexpensive and works well for the single-speed bikes
1. Fades after a few months
3. SHIMANO Ultegra CN-6701 Chain
Shimano is a quality bike chain with enhanced power transfer and smooth performance. The chain makes it easy and fun for the rider to ride long hours. The chain has an asymmetric, half-cutout design for the inner and outer plates. The perforated outer plate eliminates chain stuck and lowers the overall weight. Its overhaul enhances the crack and the cassette connection to bring smooth shifting as you carry heavy loads. It also eliminates noise and chain suck, allowing quiet pedaling and fun riding. After fixing the chain on your bike, you will be able to tackle hilly trails and speed like a pro. The chain is available at Amazon at $29.69.
1. Offers the rider better performance
3. Easy to install and use
4. The zinc alloy coating protects against elements
1. Quite expensive
4. SRAM 9-Speed Bicycle Chain
The SRAM 9 is a great budget bike chain. It is a robust and durable chain and is riveted in a two-step process enhancing Push Pin Power. The chain is also hardened with a chrome pin treatment making it as durable as it can be. With this chain, you must occasionally clean and lube it to enhance durability. The process of removing the chain to clean it is easy, and reassembling it is just as easy, all thanks to the PowerLink connector.
Its Power Chain II technology helps with front and load shifting and does not affect its shifting precision. This durable chain sells on Amazon at $17.47.
Factors To Consider When Buying a Bike Chain
Bike chain selection can only be decided according to the speed of the chain because it determines its width. For instance, 11-speed chains are narrower than 9-speed chains, and the sprockets in the 11-speed cassette have narrow spaces between them. Thus, when using an 11-speed transmission, you need an 11-speed chain, etc.
Within every speed category, various chains are available according to the build qualities. For instance, some varieties might be lighter because of slotted links or hollow pins, and others might be cheaper as their manufacturing process is not that complicated.
Whatever bike you ride, you must always do chain maintenance. Chains wear and stretch after some time, and worn-out chains damage the teeth on the chainrings or sprocket. You must always keep your chain clean and lubricated to reduce wear, and you must also check the chain length regularly to replace it when necessary.
You should also note that some chains, including the Shimano, need special rivets for re-joining them after they’ve been split, and those old rivets cannot be reused. SRAM chains have a special Powerlink which you can split and re-join without needing a unique chain tool, thus why they are popular. Before you fit the chain, ensure that it’s the correct length, and if it’s longer, you can have some of the links removed. Installing a bike chain is a straightforward job that can be easily tackled by your mechanic or a professional.
Bike chains cost around $10 to about $100. It’s crucial to ensure that you keep your bike chain clean and well lubricated to make it last longer. If sand and dirt get into the drivetrain, you should wipe it down to avoid damages to your chain. If you ride in a wet environment, oil the chain with wet lube to prevent rusting. Taking good care of your chain will give you more miles to enjoy before it needs replacement.
Last update on 2023-02-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API