Chain

Noun

A series of metal links connected together that transmits power from the pedals to the rear wheel.

Example usage: I need to check the links on my chain to make sure it is not too worn.

Most used in: Cycling communities worldwide.

Most used by: Cyclists, mechanics, and bike enthusiasts.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 1/10

Also see: Chainring, Chainwheel, Drivetrain, Cogset,

What is a Cycling Chain?

A cycling chain is a crucial component of a bicycle that helps transfer power from the rider to the wheels. It consists of a series of connected metal links that move around the cassette and chainrings. The chain is kept tight by the rear derailleur, which is a device that moves the chain from one sprocket to the next.

Without a properly functioning chain, a cyclist will not be able to ride efficiently or effectively. Chains come in various sizes and materials, including steel, aluminum, and titanium. The choice of a chain depends on the type of bicycle and the rider's preferences. The most common chain length for a road bike is 116 links, while a mountain bike chain is typically longer, with up to 126 links.

The average chain will last anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 miles, depending on the quality of the chain and the rider's habits. Keeping the chain clean and lubricated will help it last longer. It is also important to replace the chain when it begins to stretch, as this can cause damage to the other components of the bike.

Overall, the cycling chain is an essential component of any bicycle. Without it, riders would not be able to efficiently transfer power from their legs to the wheels. As such, it is important for cyclists to maintain their chains in order to ensure they are able to ride safely and effectively.

.

The Origin of the Term 'Chain' in Cycling

The origin of the term 'chain' in cycling dates back to the late 19th century in France, when the first chain-driven bicycles were being developed. Prior to this, bicycles had been using a belt drive system, which was considered to be very inefficient and unreliable. The chain drive system was seen as a much better solution, and soon became the standard for bicycles.

The term 'chain' was first used in the context of cycling in 1879, when the French inventor E. Girardin patented a bicycle chain drive system. The term was used to describe the mechanism that connected the pedals to the rear wheel, and it quickly became the accepted term for this type of drive system.

Since then, the term 'chain' has been used to refer to all types of bicycle drive systems, including derailleur chains, fixed-gear chains, and single-speed chains. It is also used to describe other types of machine components, such as the chain that drives the sprocket on a motorbike.

The term 'chain' has become synonymous with the connection between the pedals and the rear wheel of a bicycle, and is now an integral part of the cycling lexicon.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3

EXCLUSIVE OFFERS AND THE LATEST UPDATES BY EMAIL

FOLLOW THE NEWSLETTER