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    Bike Chain Replacement

    Hello everyone (my apologies for not being active more. However I enjoy reading other's post.)

    I ended up buying a R model ebike from Electric Bike Company (EBC) with a few upgrades...total cost was a tad over $3000. The look and quality of the bike is great. Where it fails is the battery as after upgrading to a 14Ah so as it could get up to 70 miles on a single charge. However a month after purchasing on a mostly flat bike trail with some but not an excessive amount of hills and being 5'9" 190lbs, it has never achieved more than 20 miles on a full charge. To me this is unacceptable! As we know the battery is the most expensive part of an ebike. I would not recommend Electric Bike Company (EBC).

    Okay, my question...the chain fell off and EBC informed me that it was a 57½ inch length. Can I please get help on where the best place to get a replacement (online or shop)? I was thinking of buying online (Amazon's prices seem low) and having it replaced at a shop. Can I get some advice on the best way to approach this? Thanks in advance

    #2
    Chain fell off? Just once? Or it keeps falling off now? We may want to dig a little deeper into that. How many miles on it? And were those miles mostly clean(ish) or was there some rain or worse yet salty winter conditions involved?


    Hmm..... reading their specs I don't believe even half of em and it sounds like that has been your experience too. Also looking at the price it seems like they are possibly double what the actual specs/performance is. I don't know that much about hub motors but in the pictures/renderings those don't look big enough to be 1250 watts. Their ranges would maybe be possible for 250 watts but I can't see anyone getting that from a motor that can draw 1250 watts especially on a hub motor where you don't have gears to shift though to keep the motor running at its most efficient speed. Looks like its also got to be quite a beast to pedal. Says its a 56t up front and 13 in the back. With 26" wheels? Dang, that is more the combo you would see with 20" wheels.

    Chain they don't say anything about other than 'stainless steel'. This means we are not sure if its a 'single speed' chain or maybe a mulit speed. Can you take a picture of it fairly up close and post it? Single speed chains tend to be made up of very flat plates. They are basically totally flat figure 8's pinned together. Single speed chains don't have any side to side flex and don't intend to have to change gears. Multi speed chains which in 5-7 speed style often will work on single speed cogs will allow for some flex side to side and are able to deal with slight miss alignments. They also tend to have more complex plate designs with angles and bends to them to allow for gear changing.

    To 'cut' a chain off the bike if it doesn't have a master link or re size a new chain you need a chain tool. The Park one I linked below is a nice quality tool that is compact enough to carry on your bike for emergency roadside repairs but is strong enough for semi regular use. Its under $20 too so likely cheaper than a shop would charge you do to the job. Basically its a little press that presses the pins out that hold the chain together. It can also press them back in if its the type of chain where that is the recommended practice or the type where you can buy replacement pins. Many cases these days people just use master links often called quick links.

    The master links depend on the chain type and have to match the chain type. A single speed uses the type with the clips. A multi speed uses the types where there are just 2 parts that snap together. All I have been running on my E bikes is quick links. I think Quick Link may be Shimano's brand name. I'm actually running KMC missing links. Those just snap in no tools needed for install. Sometimes getting them apart needs a tool but it can be improvised if you don't have one of the proper tools.

    If you get us a pic of your existing chain we can likely help you pick out a proper replacement and the proper link for that style of chain.

    Park Mini Chain Tool:
    https://www.parktool.com/product/min...category=Chain

    KMC master links:
    https://www.kmcchain.com/en/series/c...r-single-speed

    Comment


      #3
      A hub motor bike shouldn't be too hard on the chain. A quality stainless steel chain from Wippermann is a very expensive part. I think a nickel plated chain from a good brand, KMC,SRAM might be a better choice. KMC is strong and affordable in case you need to buy a new chainring and or sprocket also.

      For chain maintenance I would add Squirt wax based dry lube. It stays where you put it better than grease types, and doesn't pick up as much sand.
      https://www.squirtcyclingproducts.co...uirtchainlube/

      And a chain checker. A worn chain can wear the cogs also. If the new chain doesn't sit all the way down in the sprockets then they need to be replaced also.
      https://www.parktool.com/product/cha...category=Chain

      I would suggest learning to do this yourself, and keep a spare chain around. Lube often and replace the chain before it wears out other parts.

      My advice for a 1500W BBSHD mid drive would be quite a bit different.

      Comment


        #4
        The chain fell off while riding. On the way to the shop it slipped out of the back basket and I have no idea where. It's a single speed. A search for 57½ inches and converting to ⅛ inches that didn't help. Seems most chains are based on number of links and when I did the math for ⅛ inches (search showed this is majority measurement of links) from 57½ inches, the number was off. Math isn't something that I'm good at even with Google. I just want to buy a quality chain and have the shop install it. The local shop will overcharge for the chain without a doubt.

        I hope this helps. What if I get the longest single speed chain, could the shop resize? However it will probably alert them it isn't the original. Should I care?

        Comment


        • Mike_V
          Mike_V commented
          Editing a comment
          From what you've written: Stop, you're not mechanically or electrically skilled.
          EBC builds an excellent eBike and battery pack, why diss them here ?
          1) Why don't you charge up your battery ?
          2) Pay for your chain replacement and proper installation & bee happier.

        #5
        Not all shops will install parts you bring in so you may want to check with them before you buy one and bring it in. Price wise for name brand stuff shops are going to be pretty close to online prices. The bigger brands have pretty strict policies when it comes to pricing on current parts. You do sometimes find someplace that has open box or closeout stuff cheaper than maybe a shops price that bought the part when it was current but in general pricing is going to be pretty close. I'm not sure what the current crazy shipping costs have done to that puzzle, its possible that recently received product will be more expensive because shipping costs have gone nuts.

        That pricing control thing is why you see so many stores that sell bicycles and bicycle stuff having some sort of membership club where you get a rebate or discounts, that is a way around or allowed by the manufacturers. May be worth asking if your local shop or store has a membership deal like that, mine does. It cost like $35 to join and I get 10% off all the time and 20% off one item per month. When I joined I was buying a $350 pair of boots so it was a nobrainer to join. The discount on those more than covered the membership cost.

        Comment


          #6
          Originally posted by clubkid96 View Post
          The chain fell off while riding. On the way to the shop it slipped out of the back basket and I have no idea where. It's a single speed. A search for 57½ inches and converting to ⅛ inches that didn't help. Seems most chains are based on number of links and when I did the math for ⅛ inches (search showed this is majority measurement of links) from 57½ inches, the number was off. Math isn't something that I'm good at even with Google. I just want to buy a quality chain and have the shop install it. The local shop will overcharge for the chain without a doubt.

          I hope this helps. What if I get the longest single speed chain, could the shop resize? However it will probably alert them it isn't the original. Should I care?
          The links you are talking about are 1/8" wide but 1/2" long so 57.5" = 115 links (+ connecting link)

          Frankly chains at the shop are going to be silly inexpensive (<$20) so I'd just buy it from the LBS

          I just went through this with a friend that desperately needed a new chain (the old was going to come off) and she bugged me about what to order online and I just told her to go to the LBS and tell them what you need and I'll put it on for you... she left with a $12 chain... five minutes for me to install...

          It's typical to get a chain that's longer than what you need, it takes about 5-10seconds to shorten with the proper tool - OTOH 116link (including connecting) is a very common size sold

          Comment


            #7
            Originally posted by clubkid96 View Post
            ...Where it fails is the battery as after upgrading to a 14Ah so as it could get up to 70 miles on a single charge. However a month after purchasing on a mostly flat bike trail with some but not an excessive amount of hills and being 5'9" 190lbs, it has never achieved more than 20 miles on a full charge. To me this is unacceptable! As we know the battery is the most expensive part of an ebike. I would not recommend Electric Bike Company (EBC)....
            FWIW

            On my own bike if I go 20+mph and don't put a lot of pedaling effort in, 20mi is going to take close to that 14Ah and you don't really get the max capacity of the battery regardless since they'll generally shutoff before getting all the way down so they last a lot longer - running them to zero is hard on them and will reduce their overall life

            OTOH I can pedal my bike at close to 10-12mph with the power turned off and will essentially get infinite miles on a charge like that - I do this when riding with friends on their non-electric bikes

            Having said that to get 70mi on a 14Ah at much more than 10-12mph will require a mix of pedaling hard or not going fast... I pedal pretty hard most of the time and will typically get 40-50mi on 14Ah if I keep it around 15-17mph... but like mentioned speed will really run them down if I'm running 20+mph and still pedaling hard I might only get 20-25mi although that's uncommon for me since I'm not usually going that fast all the time

            Comment


            • huffnpuff
              huffnpuff commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm familiar with the shutoff effect from my 18V rechargeable tools. When the current drain is high the voltage drops below the shutoff threshold, but if I wait a minute, the voltage comes back up and the tool will restart. Is this the case here, we can restart but use say a lower power setting to get more Ah out of the battery?

            • AZguy
              AZguy commented
              Editing a comment
              Did exactly that yesterday... had a battery that was about 80% down, trying to ride in a silly hard headwind and was in a hurry... started kissing just above the LVCO at 750W load so backed it down to 500W which slowed me down but not enough to give me grief... then when I rode home it started kissing LVCO at 500W so backed it down to 350W and got home... then rode around a few miles at 250W nearby...

            #8
            Thank you to those that have helped. Especially AZguy! My original post was stating the fact of my experience. I did have a bit of knowledge from having the trike built as I had to rewire and solder with an upgrade. Never needed to petal the trike as the petal assist couldn't be installed since the pre-assembled frame was unable to remove where the sensors went.

            The reason for purchasing online is because I want to get either red or black chain.

            Comment


              #9
              You never know what a shop may have in stock and depending on their location some shops get daily shipments from suppliers. Weekly for sure. I think colored chains are popular with BMX which is single speed so there is a decent chance of them having stock. I don't think BMX had as big a boom as the rest of the market so even better chance of finding stock.

              Comment


                #10
                Originally posted by Retrorockit View Post

                My advice for a 1500W BBSHD mid drive would be quite a bit different.
                I run a 750W bafang with a lekkie 36 narrow wide ring, and SRAM cluster at the back. I have little experience with chains and generally just buy what's recommended across the counter or order what's written on the chain link. What would you buy as a replacement for my setup? Is a quick release link chain ok? I ride an MTB that's geared low and only on the hardtop. Thanks.

                Comment


                • 73Eldo
                  73Eldo commented
                  Editing a comment
                  A reason not to buy the identical chain may be that it didn't last for you or maybe you can't find one in stock anywhere. For a derailleur bike you need to get a chain compatible with your rear cluster. I think up to a 10 speed in the rear the brand isn't picky so you just have to match the speeds or speed range. I think its 5-6, 7-8, 9, & 10. 11 and 12 speed I think you have to stay with the brand or who the brand is compatible with. Its also possible that 9 and 10 are that way too, it may only be 5 through 8 that were all standard. So if you have a Sram 11 speed you need a Sram 11 speed chain or one like say a KMC that is listed as compatible with Sram 11 speed. A Shimano 11 speed chain may not work.

                • huffnpuff
                  huffnpuff commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks 73E

                #11
                Originally posted by huffnpuff View Post

                I run a 750W bafang with a lekkie 36 narrow wide ring, and SRAM cluster at the back. I have little experience with chains and generally just buy what's recommended across the counter or order what's written on the chain link. What would you buy as a replacement for my setup? Is a quick release link chain ok? I ride an MTB that's geared low and only on the hardtop. Thanks.
                My bike and use are not typical. My gearing (50tx11T high) makes me cross chained in the lower gears, I use the full 1500W to get across intersections. The tool less links are not as strong as the chain. They loosen up and break. If you buy spares and replace them often that might be OK. I think it's the side load that does them in. I buy expensive chains, and the expensive tool to rivet them. But that's probably not for everyone. Lube often, and buy a Park CC2 chain checker to keep chain stretch within limits. AZ and I both use cheap Sunrace casettes ($20) and replace them with each chain swap. Having a spare chain, casette, and links available at all times is a good idea. That way there's no temptation to run things until you're facing a long walk home. I wipe the chain and lube it about every 40 miles. When a chain stretches it puts all the load on 1 or 2 teeth of the cogs. In high gears at the rear there aren't very many teeth to start with. That's why the casette gets swapped also.
                To change the casette you need a couple tools. A chain whip to hold the casette still, and a special socket to reach the internal splines of the casette nut.
                Last edited by Retrorockit; 10-28-2021, 11:40 AM.

                Comment


                • AZguy
                  AZguy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The CT-5 is really small (https://www.parktool.com/product/min...hain-tool-ct-5)

                  It's super solid - I've had mine for 45 years or so

                  Like mentioned it gets carried 'cus I can just slip it any pocket - I keep a master link tied to it with a bread wrapper type twist tie... it's smaller than most set of keys so no reason not to carry even if used so seldom because if a chain breaks you are pretty shagged except with the tool and master link you can always remove the damaged links and even if you can't use the lowest gears you can get home...

                • Retrorockit
                  Retrorockit commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The problem I have with chain breaks is trying to-
                  A- Figure out where the damned thing went. If you spit the chain during an upshift in a corner on pavement it can go anywhere.Even down a storm drain.Or at night.
                  B- Then you might have to try get it back in rush hour traffic .I've actually had both problems.Caused by tool less links
                  I'm already carrying a spare tube, and a bunch of CO2 cans, patches, tire levers. With a little bigger pouch I can carry a spare KMC chain and link.
                  The chain breaker, and extra links can go in there also. But I might just bring the old dirty chain ( if available) home in a baggy for a sonic bath and some fresh wax.
                  I'm using a monolithic build philosophy. My wheels, headset and suspension seatpost all have a keyed locking nut system. I just carry the coded key. The riveted chain fits in with this. Everything stays with the bike.I haven't heard of it but around here some one could take your chain just to disable the bike. I rarely let it out of my sight. But bikes locked to racks with major parts missing are not uncommon here.Sometimes there is just a bare frame left.
                  Last edited by Retrorockit; 10-30-2021, 09:18 AM.

                • huffnpuff
                  huffnpuff commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I was thinking of carrying a spare chain with the quick link system but I see that is not a practical option. I will carry the tool and master link. I use the split link chains on all my conventional bikes and never had a failure but there is little cross chaining and way lower power involved. Frankly I'm surprised you can put 1500W through a pushbike chain. You'd certainly want to dial up the power and not just slam the throttle full on.

                  It's like tire pressures I suppose, there is always a safety factor built in and the tire might have a max pressure of 65 PSI but it would take 120 to blow it out. I regularly run 70 in such tires just to give me a bit less rolling resistance ( I'm 105 kg ) Road use only.

                #12
                The chain itself is OK. But the sideload of shifting seems to loosen the Quick links up. Don't re use them , and carry a spare is probably a workable solution. The chain runs in an S curve from the casette to the front chainring when it isn't in a straight gear. The quick link focuses all the bend in that one place. I think if you shift right when it's going into the casette tends to break them also.
                I've used them for years on pedal bikes. never had an issue. The first one that broke I had re used 3 times. the next one just broke.

                Comment


                  #13
                  I've had the opposite "luck" with master links... run them and reuse them with never a fail... the couple of chain fails I've had weren't related to the master links and carrying a tool and spare link would address a failed master link 99% of the time if it did. Mine is 11sp FWIW. Chain line is good but not great - a bit skewed towards the higher (smaller) gears like most BBS builds but shifts well regardless

                  Comment


                  • Retrorockit
                    Retrorockit commented
                    Editing a comment
                    OK the Stans arrived and I did it the way AZ said. 4oz per tire. After I got done I realized AZ's tires are about 4x the volume of my street tires. So I should have plenty in there. LOL!

                  • AZguy
                    AZguy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yeah but I often use a pint per tire - never less than 8oz =]

                  • Retrorockit
                    Retrorockit commented
                    Editing a comment
                    So maybe you did the math for me.

                  #14
                  Knowing how to put a chain on a mountain bike will guarantee you a perfect ride. The bicycle chain is important because it transfers energy from the pedals to the wheels. You should initially locate the chain master link and immediately remove it. Using your hands and a chain tool, press the pin to the master link and squeeze the two ends of the master link in an inward direction. Ensure that the pins are being removed from the slot so you can easily detach the chain. Then, prepare the new chain you will use for replacement. Finally, you have to fit the chain into the drivetrain, ensure that you put the chain back on a mountain bike securely, and join the loose ends to ensure that the ends are securely fastened.
                  Last edited by Robert07; 11-27-2021, 01:31 AM.

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