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The Economical Commuter - Get the most out of your bicycle's drivetrain.

June 12, 2024 2 min read

On your beautiful bike - regular or electric, we use the term drivetrain to refer to the collection of components that allow you to pedal forward and change between gears. As with any moving part, the drivetrain will wear out over time. Here are some handy tips and tricks to help you get more range out of your drivetrain and bike.

Riding exclusively in heavy gears? Share the load.

When bikes come into the workshop there is one very common costly repair that catches a lot of people out – the drivetrain. As with any moving part it will wear out over time however, we are finding bikes coming in with drivetrains needing replacing earlier than expected. The common culprit seems to be the two hardest gears being chewed up but the rest looking brand spanking new. Why is this? Well with the power of electric bikes it makes it very easy to ride exclusively in these hardest gears – even from a stop start. Taking off from a traffic light in a hard gear puts unnecessary stress on your drivetrain – it would be like trying to start a car in 3rd, repeatedly – prematurely wearing down the clutch. So next time you’re slowing down for traffic lights, shift down into easier gear in anticipation for when you need to kick off again.

Cadence tips. What gear should I be in?

Next time you’re commuting into town take note of how fast you might be pedalling. General rule of thumb is about 60-80rpm (revolutions per minute). If you feel like your pedalling cadence is slower than a walk or, you feel the need to stand up, shift to an easier gear. Doing so will put less strain on you and your drivetrain. Your bike and your body will love this, in return you'll get more range out of you components. 

Shifting under load.

Shifting under load can put a lot of strain on your chain, cassette and derailleur - causing them to wear out prematurely and in a worse case scenario, snap or drop your chain while riding. Fortunately, there is a solution. Try to unweight or slow your pedaling when changing gears. Ease off until you feel or hear the gear has changed. Challenge yourself – how quietly can you shift your gears, this is especially tricky on e-bikes. Good luck!

The most important step. Look after your chain.

We get it. You're using your bike to commute to and from work and most of the time you just want to grab and go. None of this extra admin of lubing your chain. But like you have to take the rubbish out each week, you should also lube your chain on the regular. But habit building is hard, so why not link those two tasks together. Take the rubbish out, and lube your chain. 

Still want more range out of you drivetrain?

We offer a range of upgrades which can significantly improve the longevity of your drivetrain. From the new Shimano Linkglide to an internal hub drive from Rohloff, Shimano or Enviolo. Get in touch today!


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