KMC Bicycle Chain Gold

Chain Care Tips

Key tips for maintaining your chain and drivetrain.

Even if you prefer to leave regular maintenance to us, caring for the chain on your ebike can not only improve your ride experience - think quiet cycling and crisp shifting - but will save you money by minimizing wear and tear. 

What does "Drive Train Wear" Mean?  

As you ride your ebike, the pins that hold each link of the chain together come under stress. The stress slowly wears the pins, which makes the distance between each pin elongate over time - what your service writer will call "stretch" or "wear". As time goes on and your chain wears more and more, the other components that your chain interfaces with - derailleur pulleys, rear gears, and front sprocket - also change shapes; they wear in a way that matches your worn chain. The result is that when it comes time to replace your chain, the new chain won't fit nicely with the old components since they have become worn to the previous chain. This misfit manifests itself in poor shifting, skipping - especially under heavy pedaling - and noise. 

Avoiding Drivetrain Wear

There is no way to completely avoid wearing components, but one can slow down the speed at which components wear. Regular chain care and timely chain replacement will help avoid the impacts of a worn chain on other components and increase the miles between full drivetrain services.  

How to maintain the bicycle chain on your electric bike

Clean & Lubricate

The most important step is to lubricate your chain regularly. Set a reminder to do it once a month (or a bit more often if it's rainy). Chain lubrication applied at each chain pin minimizes friction which causes wear. If the chain pins don't wear as quickly, they won't wear out the other drivetrain components as quickly either, prolonging the life of all the components. 

To lubricate your chain, first wipe off your chain, trying to take off all dirt and built-up muck. Evenly apply a drop of lubricant on each link of the chain, and let it sit for a minute or so (to soak in!). Finally, use a clean rag to wipe off all excess lubricant. The goal is to lubricate the internal parts of the chain, not the outside.

Check for Wear

Staying ahead of a worn chain by replacing it before it reaches a critical threshold is another great way to avoid costly repairs. You can measure your chain wear with a tool at home, and we will do this every time you come in for service. For most modern drivetrains, it's a good time to replace a chain when it measures .5% wear with a standard chain checker tool. 

Inspect the chain regularly for signs of wear. You can use a chain checker tool to know when your chain is needing replacement, or let us help you check your chain by making a quick stop at one of our stores. Replacing your chain proactively when it has reached around .5% is a key way to keep your drivetrain in great condition.


By following these maintenance tips, you can prolong the life of your electric bike's chain and ensure a smooth and enjoyable riding experience. Remember, a well-maintained chain improves performance and saves you money. So, make it a habit to give your bicycle chain the attention it deserves!

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