Proper maintenance of your bike will go a long way in ensuring you continue to enjoy your investment for the foreseeable future. One of the best ways to keep your bike running in tip-top shape is by staying on top of chain life. If we are being cautious of how the chain on our bike is wearing we can actually keep from having to replace the rest of the drivetrain as often. Typically if we are staying up on replacing the chain prior to it wearing too excessively we can get about 3 chains to every 1 time we would have to replace the chainring and cassette. Purchasing a chain checking tool is a great add-on for any bike owner looking to upgrade their tool belt. This simple tool will allow us to measure the growth of the chain, so we know when to replace things ensuring the best ride quality possible. Here is a great instructional video on doing so.
Chain wear gauge
How does a rear derailleur work:
One of the most common complaints of any cyclist is a derailleur that has found its way out of alignment. This can be caused by a multitude of reasons and can be confusing for some riders to address without the help of a professional mechanic. Here is a list of some of the more common answers and solutions to these issues.
1. Bent derailleur hanger
The derailleur hanger is a inch or so long metal bracket that is used to connect the derailleur to the frame itself. It is made out of a more malleable material than that of the frame and derailleur and is actually designed to absorb impact and bend taking the load off both derailleur and frame. These can sometimes be straightened out using a specialty tool known as a derailleur alignment guide or “DAG” for short. Keep in mind that once a metal has been bent once it loses a large majority of structural integrity so the best fix would be to replace this component. Luckily this is also designed to be the most affordable part of the system to be replaced, and can be sourced directly through M2S if necessary.
2.Improper cable tension
It is quite common to notice a slight drop in performance from the shifting as you start to log some initial miles on your new bike. No need to worry as this is a normal thing to have occurred. What you’re experiencing is the cable that actuates the derailleur is stretching out from use and is not giving the same amount of input into the derailleur as it once did. This is a simple fix and can be done by locating the “Barrel adjuster” and turning it a quarter rotation at a time.
If for some reason we have tried these two adjustments and still feel we are having troubles or that we were uncomfortable with doing so in the first place we always recommend referring to your local bike shop for their assistance. Not only will their paid professionals be able to get your bike back up and riding like new, but they may also be willing to help educate you in the process of doing so yourself for future reference!