Chain wear, categorised as chain stretch, becomes an issue with intensive cycling. The use is removal of material from the bushings and pins (or half-bushings, in the Sedis style, also, called “bushing-less”, where the bushing is section of the inner plate) rather than elongation of the sideplates.[8] The tension produced by pedaling is insufficient to cause the latter. As the spacing from link to link on a put on chain is longer than the 1⁄2 in . (12.7 mm) specification, those links will not precisely fit the areas between teeth on the sprockets, leading to increased wear upon the sprockets and perhaps chain skip on derailleur drive trains, where 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 engaging in the links, the lifetime of a chain depends mostly on how well it is cleaned (and lubricated) and does not depend on the mechanical load.[6] Therefore, well-groomed chains of heavily used racing bicycles will most likely 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 use, or all-weather make use of), 3,000 to 5,000 km (2,000 to 3,000 mi) for well-managed derailleur chains, or more than 6,000 kilometres (4,000 mi) for perfectly groomed high-quality chains, single-gear, or hub-equipment chains (ideally with a full cover chain guard).[9][10]

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

Chain wear rates are highly variable, Stainless Steel Chain Therefore alternative by calendar is probable premature or 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 is with a chain wear device, which typically includes a “tooth” of about the same size found on a sprocket. They are simply positioned on a chain under light load and record a “go/no-move” result-if the tooth drops in every just how, the chain should be replaced.

Twenty half-links in a new chain measure 10 ins (254 mm), and replacement is recommended prior to the old chain steps 10 1⁄16 ins (256 mm) (0.7% wear).[5] A safer period to displace a chain is when 24 half-links in the older chain measure 12 1⁄16 inches (306 mm) (0.5% wear). If the chain offers worn beyond this limit, the trunk sprockets are also more likely to put on, in acute cases followed by leading chainrings. In this instance, the ‘skipping’ mentioned previously is liable to continue even following the chain is changed, as one’s teeth of the sprockets will have become unevenly put on (in extreme cases, hook-shaped). Replacing worn sprocket cassettes and chainrings after lacking the chain alternative window is a lot more expensive than simply replacing a put on chain.