Can a bicycle chain stretch?

Do bicycle chains really stretch? The short answer is no, however they do wear in such a way as to cause their maximum length to increase. Mechanics usually refer to this as chain “stretch.” It is the sign of a worn out chain that should be replaced.

How much can a bike chain stretch?

The number most commonly agreed on for a worn chain is one percent elongation between links. In reality though, you want to replace the chain before this point. So therefore anything past 12, 1/16 inches (0.5 percent) would be the time to replace a chain.

How do you fix a stretched bike chain?

How to Tighten a Bike Chain (Updated 2022)

  1. Step 1: Put your bike in the correct position.
  2. Step 2: Loosen the rear axle.
  3. Step 3: Pull back on the rear tire.
  4. Step 4: Make sure that you have the right chain tension.
  5. Step 5: Tighten the rear tire back into place.
  6. Step 6: Test the chain and the tire.

What causes bicycle chains to stretch?

Another highly significant factor in chain stretch is the accumulation of dirt particles between parts of a chain. These particles form a paste with existing petrochemical lubricants, and they will cause pins, rollers, and bushings to lose material rapidly, again resulting in an overall elongation of the whole chain.

Do chains stretch over time?

Did you know that drive chain does not actually ‘stretch’? Its elongation is caused when material is removed from the pins and bushings. … As material is worn away from these surfaces, the chain will gradually elongate.

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How do you know if your bike chain has stretched?

Another ballpark method for checking chain wear is by measuring it with a ruler. Pick a rivet and line it up at the zero mark. Count 24 more rivets and your last rivet should be at the 12″ mark of your ruler. If it is off by more than 1/16″ your chain is stretched to the point of replacement.