Chain wear, categorised as chain stretch, becomes an issue with considerable cycling. The wear is removal of materials from the bushings and pins (or half-bushings, in the Sedis design, also, called “bushing-much less”, where the bushing is area of the internal plate) instead of elongation of the sideplates.[8] The strain produced by pedaling is insufficient to trigger the latter. As the spacing from connect to hyperlink on a worn chain is longer than the 1⁄2 ” (12.7 mm) specification, those links won’t precisely fit the spaces between teeth upon the sprockets, leading to increased wear on the sprockets and perhaps chain skip upon derailleur drive trains, in which pedaling tension causes the chain to slide up over the tops of the sprocket teeth and skip to the next alignment, that reduces power transfer and makes pedaling uncomfortable.

Since chain wear is strongly frustrated by dirt getting into the links, the lifetime of a chain depends mostly about how well it really is cleaned (and lubricated) and does not depend on the mechanical load.[6] Therefore, well-groomed chains of heavily used racing bicycles will often last longer when compared to a chain on a lightly used city bike that is cleaned less. Based on use and cleaning, a chain can last only one 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) (e.g. in cross-country make use of, or all-weather make use of), 3,000 to 5,000 km (2,000 to 3,000 mi) for well-taken care of derailleur chains, or more than 6,000 kilometres (4,000 mi) for properly groomed high-quality chains, single-gear, or hub-equipment chains (preferably with a complete cover chain guard).[9][10]

Nickel-plated chain also confers a way of measuring self-lubrication to its shifting parts as nickel is definitely a relatively non-galling metal.[dubious – discuss]

Chain wear rates are highly variable, therefore substitute by calendar is likely premature or agricultural Chain continued usage of a worn chain, damaging to rear sprockets. One method to measure wear is with a ruler or machinist’s guideline.[11] Another has been a chain wear device, which typically has a “tooth” of about the same size entirely on a sprocket. They are simply just placed on a chain under light load and survey a “go/no-move” result-if the tooth drops in all the way, the chain should be replaced.

Twenty half-links in a fresh chain measure 10 ins (254 mm), and replacement is recommended before the old chain measures 10 1⁄16 in . (256 mm) (0.7% wear).[5] A safer time to displace a chain is when 24 half-links in the old chain measure 12 1⁄16 in . (306 mm) (0.5% wear). If the chain provides worn beyond this limit, the rear sprockets are also likely to use, in acute cases followed by leading chainrings. In cases like this, the ‘skipping’ mentioned previously is liable to keep even after the chain is changed, as the teeth of the sprockets could have become unevenly worn (in acute cases, hook-shaped). Replacing put on sprocket cassettes and chainrings after lacking the chain alternative window is much more expensive than replacing a worn chain.