So, Who is Zonker?
If you’ve read some of my earlier posts you know that I personalize my bicycles (and everything else) and give them a name. Zonker is my time trial bicycle’s name. He’s yellow and my daughter named him after a type of candy I bought her when she was a child, Screaming Yellow Zonkers.
Zonker is a great bike and I try and ride him at least once per week. I’m not a top level rider, but I’ve won two bronze medals in state competitions with him.
What is Chain Stretch?
Bicycle chains stretch with use. As they stretch, the links no longer fits nicely onto the chainrings and the cogs in the cassette. If you continue to ride with a stretched chain, you will begin to wear the chainrings and the cogs, which affect shifting and eventually require to replace those components, which you really don’t want to do.
The Easy Way to Check Chain Stretch
I was reading a copy of Bicycle Retailer several months ago and I read an article about Park’s CC-2 Chain Checker, a nifty little tool that let’s you check the health of your chain in just a few seconds.
It’s another toy, so what could I do? I ordered one through Amazon and it arrived a just a few days later. [I rarely order accelerated shipping and my books always seem to arrive within a 2-3 days.]
Using the tool could not be easier. You just set the pivot gauge to ‘0’ and slip the fixed pins within the chain’s outer and inner. Then, just lightly push the pivot gauge until it stops and read the result.
If the reading is between .25% to .50% you have normal play in the chain. No need to do anything. Replace your chain when the reading reaches .75%. Nice and easy.
Record Your Chain Mileage in Your MyBikeInfo App
When you change your chain, simply go to the Drivechain page in your MyBikeInfo Application and record the date and mileage on you bike in the chain field. You can enter text and numeric values in this field. You should check your chain every 800 – 1,000 miles for a new chain, and then every 250 miles thereafter. The rate of stretch, wear, will vary depending on your physical size, how you ride, and the conditions under which your ride.
How to Keep Those Nasty Cycling Shoes Smelling Nice
In my next post, I’ll review a great item I ran across at last year’s Interbike in Las Vegas, called “Stuffits.”
Happy riding! Best regards, the MyBikeInfo Team