eBent Recumbent Cycling

A Bent Look at Self Contained Touring

Checking the Chain

with 5 comments


Park CC-2 Chain Checker

Recumbents have big expensive chains. The Slipstream has one of the biggest chains on any bike. Chains tend to stretch (wear) over time and need to be checked.

If you don’t replace a chain before it wears too much you will be replacing not just the chain but the chainrings and rear cogs. That can be expensive.

Luckily chains don’t have to be checked very often if you ride on the road and they are easy to check if you have an inexpensive tool.

How to check your chain video.

CC- 2 Instructions

As the video shows, measuring chain wear is easy. When the stretch measured start to approach 1.0″ it is time to replace your change. Measurement from 0.25″ to 0.5″ are typical of chains in good shape, new chains often have that much stretch. Those numbers are on the side of the Park CC-2 so you don’t have to worry about remembering them.

Take away: Check your chain every month if you are riding a lot, less if you aren’t putting many miles on.  Do replace the chain before it gets to 1.0″ of stretch.


Written by Roland

April 26, 2009 at 9:31 pm

5 Responses

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  1. This is one of those things that sneaks up on you. I was just thinking of checking my chain over the weekend and seem to have lost my tool. (It will undoubtedly show up 30 minutes after the new tool arrives)
    When I commuted daily, one of my usual winter maintenance items was to replace the chain along with the brake/shift cables, tires and tubes, computer battery, brake pads, and patch kit. It always amazed me how much better everything worked after that, even though I had been careful about maintenance throughout the year. Things had worn at a slow enough rate that I really didn’t notice it.
    As you note, a worn chain can cause hooked teeth on the cogs and chain rings along with frustrating shifting. Then the whole drive train will require replacement.
    Thanks for the timely reminder.


    April 27, 2009 at 10:38 am

  2. Charles, I am glad that reminder was helpful.

    I have debated with myself if it is easier/cheaper to just let the chain wear until you can’t shift very well and change everything or to watch the chain carefully. With current part prices I have to say watching the chain is cheaper.

    But for some reason, I am always going to check the chain next time.


    April 28, 2009 at 9:21 am

  3. I also have a long wheel base recumbent. Are all brands of chains created equal?

    Jason B

    April 29, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    • I have used Shimano and SCRAM chains and they are both excellent. I suspect Campy chains are also excellent but have my doubts about chains like Wipperman. I haven’t used. Wipperman but I see lots of bad comments about them elsewhere.

      Personally I prefer SCRAM chains because I like the breakable master link. Shimano chains do not use a master link. I don’t like replacing chains pins on the road. It isn’t hard but why play with it when SCRAM makes a fine chain with a master link.


      April 30, 2009 at 12:57 am

  4. I’ve heard similar comments elsewhere. My LWB recumbent is due for a new chain and will probably go with the SRAM.

    Jason B

    May 2, 2009 at 7:53 am

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