11.15.2007 | 9:18 am

I don’t like to think about my bike chain. It’s just too unsettling. While the rest of my bike is made of big, solid pieces (except my spokes, which I also don’t like to think about), the chain — the part of the bike that is responsible for transferring all the power from my (massive and well-defined) quads to the dirt — is made of plenty-six thousand teeny tiny pieces. You’ve got the figure-8 pieces, the cylinders that go between, and a teeny tiny pin — thinner in diameter than a human hair — that holds each link together.

When you consider the near-infinite number of moving parts in a given bike chain (plenty-six thousand, as I’ve already made clear), it’s not surprising that this is the part of the bike that requires the most maintenance and is the second-most-likely part of your bike to fail. What’s surprising, really, is that the bike chain works at all. Ever.

Oh, and since I know you’re going to ask: the part of the bike that is most likely to fail is the tire. Which is not much of a surprise when you consider that a bike tire is a piece of soft, easily punctured rubber containing pressurized air that constantly rolls over sharp rocks, broken glass, porcupine quills, and razor blades.

Seriously, it’s amazing we ever get out of the driveway on these things.

Anyway, back to chains.

Chains are Evil
By and large, I am able to successfully avoid thinking about the physics of the bike chain. I just pedal, and the bike goes forward. End of story.

I think the chain resents this taken-for-granted status. So, from time to time, the chain will break.

Here’s the thing about the way chains break, though: they never do it at a good time. They never break while you’re coasting downhill, or riding along, seated, on the flats.


Chains always break while you are climbing — most likely in a tricky, technical move or in a bunch sprint – cranking as hard as you possibly can. And you are standing. With your face over the front wheel, chest over the stem, and crotch over the top tube.

That is when the chain decides it’s had enough.

With an almost inaudible “ping,” one of the pins lets go. At which point all of the following happen simultaneously:

  • Your chest gets core-sampled by your bike stem
  • You get crotch-filleted by your top tube
  • One of your knees crashes into stem or handlebar
  • One of your calves gets gored by your pedals
  • Your face gets a tire burn
  • Your chain gets sucked into your drivetrain

Oh, and if you happen to be lucky enough to stay on your bike when this happens, it will be because the bike has sensed you are on a 40% incline or are in the middle of a ledge move, and now have no way to go forward. At which point, gravity is more than happy to show that it’s not such a “weak force” after all.

Chains are Psychic
Do you want to know the very best way to ensure your chain will never break? No, it’s not to clean and lube your chain at regular intervals. No, it’s not to replace the chain before it stretches beyond a certain point.

The best way to ensure your chain won’t break is to carry a chain tool and an extra link or two when you ride.

I have never, in my whole riding career, ever had a chain break when I was carrying the stuff I needed to repair a chain. I have, however, had chains break seven times (that I can remember) when I wasn’t carrying a tool.

The only possible cause? Chains are psychic, in addition to evil.

For those of you getting ready to comment with stories about how you’ve had chains break while you were carrying a tool, I have the following to say: they do this to maintain plausible deniability. Have you never watched X-Files? Sheesh.

Chains are a Psychological Mess
Answer this set of questions, if you please:

  1. Which part of your bike requires the most frequent maintenance (cleaning, lubing)?
  2. Which part of your bike is most likely to damage another part of the bike (e.g., score your chainstay)?
  3. What is the part of your bike is never regarded as beautiful or elegant?

The answer to all three questions is, of course, the chain. And it knows it. I think the chain has an inferiority complex (it’s ugly and gets dirty), compounded with a superiority complex (it knows it’s the part that makes the bike go), compounded with good old-fashioned insecurity (it’s always demanding more attention, and complains loudly and incessantly if you don’t give it that attention).

And they leave a gross-looking mark on your calves.

PS: Unholy Roleur seems to be having problems with chains, too and has an excellent post about trying to buy a new one.


  1. Comment by Dave | 11.15.2007 | 9:29 am

    Recently found your blog via bikeradar, brilliant as ever, I hope Susan is well

  2. Comment by Anonymous | 11.15.2007 | 9:41 am

    “Your chest gets core-sampled by your bike stem” ahahaha! that’s funny because that’s exactly what it feels like!

    in the middle of a 27.4 mile mtn bike race this weekend (www.iceman.com) i was “just riding along” and boom! my rear der decided to imbed itself in my spokes.

    i thought i just had a stick stuck or something but nope. the hanger had snapped off the frame and i had the opportunity to end my ride at 14 miles and carry the bike 2 miles until reached a road and a good samaritan drove me to the finish line. first major mechanical in years. i’m guessing it had something to do with an earlier crash.

    knock on wood but i’ve never snapped a chain. maybe because i’m always careful not to shift while torquing hard on the pedals.

  3. Comment by cheapie | 11.15.2007 | 9:42 am

    aaarrgh. that was me. i always forget to put my name in after i’ve cleared my cache

  4. Comment by Anonymous | 11.15.2007 | 9:58 am

    ask Dug about his chain breaking during an uphill sprint to the Alpine Loop summit. I’m pretty sure all of the above points were well represented (chest core sample, pedal in back of leg etc..)

  5. Comment by TIMK | 11.15.2007 | 10:04 am

    Chains are also capable of communicating with other parts of the bike and recruiting them into the game of ruin the ride.
    Years ago on my first road ride with my wife, my chain broke when we were plenty six miles from home. Of course, no tool and no links were in my seat bag. So I said you ride on and get the car, I will walk and coast on the down hills.
    I was looking forward to the downhills because it was hot and I was wearing road shoes (I wear MTB shoes all the time now). As I am walking towards the top of the first hill I will get to descend, my back tire goes “PSHHHH”
    I go to change the flat and remember that my wife has the pump in her Camelbak. Fortunately she passed another cyclist on her way back and I was back in business about half an hour later.

  6. Comment by Charles | 11.15.2007 | 10:07 am

    Dead on post! I cut my teeth in a repair shop – grease was everywhere. Perhaps that’s why today I absolutely HATE even touching the bike chain because it always leaves its mark on my hands and/or clothes and shoes no matter how hard I attempt to keep my distance.

  7. Comment by mark | 11.15.2007 | 10:26 am

    I’m doing exactly what you told me not to, but here are my two solutions:

    1) Never use shimano chain pins. Always use a KMC or SRAM missing link. Chain pins can never be relied upon.*

    2) Replace chain when it gets >1/16 inch of stretch. This is important not only to keep your chain from breaking, but because it also increases the longevity of your rings and cogs.**

    Incidentally, chain stretch is a misnomer. The steel in the chain does not actually stretch, but rather the parts wear down changing the alignment between links and pins.

    I have broken two chains. One was due to crappy shimano chain pin. Other was when I had neither missing link nor chain tool with me (both of which are part of my standard kit supposed to be carried at all times).

    *This rule has no guarantee of preventing a broken chain or decreasing maintenance woes or need for hike a bike and/or good samaritan rides back to point of origin. It simply makes me feel more confident that said things are less likely to happen.

    **See previous disclaimer, along with fatty’s veritable assertion that chains do indeed have minds of their own and are as psychologically scarred and unstable as inanimate objects can be.

  8. Comment by Marrock | 11.15.2007 | 10:45 am

    Never broken a chain but I’ve snapped off my fair share of pedal cranks…

    Not sure what that means but I figured I’d just throw it out there.

  9. Comment by Sk8rAl | 11.15.2007 | 11:18 am

    I broke my chain for the first time this summer. I wasn’t doing some cool mtn bike move, but I was in the middle of a busy intersection in downtown Milwaukee on my old hybrid. It had never even crossed my mind that such a malfuction was possible, let alone something to be prepared for with tools, etc.

    Thankfully, this hasn’t happened to me, but since I started racing at the track last year, I’ve been witness to riders being reminded by their chains of the chain’s superiority (any fixie freak would know about this too). If you’re lucky enough to be seated when your chain breaks, you won’t necessarily crash, but you had better be aware/lucky enough to find/have somewhere to run out because stopping by choice is not an option.

    I have also seen unlucky ones who break their chain while jumping to sprint on the track. In this situation, you can add “get run over by other riders” to your list of effects.

  10. Comment by Maggi | 11.15.2007 | 11:42 am

    It’s neither the psychosis or the pure evil of the chain that you really have to worry about …

    It’s the hive mind. I’m serious, they’re all connected to each other– Borg chain, instead of Borg cube. When seven riders out of a group of 10 experience chain breaks within 100 feet of each other, you bloody well know there’s a Conspiracy of Chains.

  11. Comment by eclecticdeb | 11.15.2007 | 11:47 am

    “You get crotch-filleted by your top tube”
    Har! Coffee came spurting out of my nose.

  12. Comment by aussie kev | 11.15.2007 | 11:53 am

    crotch-filleted , awesome my phrase of the day, i have set myself the challenge to use it ten times today !!!


  13. Comment by Kris | 11.15.2007 | 12:07 pm

    Yes, chains have an attitude. But go read Sheldon Brown’s treatise on chains and marvel that they even work at all (and he starts off with a religious question!):


    I’m on pretty good terms with the chain (same psychological issues?), the fear that nags at me is the front tire of my road bike.Coming to road biking (2 years ago) from mountain biking, that skinny, thin tire at plenty-hundred psi hitting the multitude of puncturious (yes, I made up that word) objects you mentioned just doesn’t instill confidence. The best time for these thoughts of doubt and fear are when your hurtling downhill at plenty-six mph and into your brain pops: “If that front tire blows, will I be able to keep the bike upright?” As my brain tries to compute the probabilities and possible outcomes, I almost drive off the road which snaps my mind back to more immediate concerns. I should worry about the rear tire too, but it’s back there behind me – out of sight, out of mind – and it’s easier to delude myself that all I need is a front wheel and I can steer out of any mechanical catastrophe (like the rear wheel falling off). But as I’ve seen those skinny tires hit all manner of objects, I’m growing more confident in their toughness. Still, that little bit of (mostly) irrational doubt remains.

  14. Comment by Kris | 11.15.2007 | 12:08 pm

    My comment didn’t post. Glitch? Blacklisted? :-(

  15. Comment by Mike Roadie | 11.15.2007 | 12:14 pm

    Echoing Mark…..my “new” bike has less than 500 miles on it. I bring it in for a tune up after traveling with it a few times this fall (Live Strong Austin, for example) and using the chain measuring tool, I see it is at 75% wear……already. Better to pay $40 for a new D/A chain than $200 for a chain AND Cassette!

    To expound on your “Chains are Evil”……I was coaching one of my groups when the chain snapped on a 250 lb. guy who was almost at the top of a bridge (we don’t have hills in South Flori-duh). He walked to the top and coasted down, but I had to push him the 2.5 miles back to the cars!!!!

  16. Comment by Pete | 11.15.2007 | 12:14 pm

    I’ve broken four or five chains in recent years.

    I like to blame it on my MASSIVE power output, not the fact that I try to hammer to big a gear up the “hills” in Indiana.

  17. Comment by Kris | 11.15.2007 | 12:14 pm

    Try again:

    Yes, chains have an attitude. But go read Sheldon Brown’s treatise on chains and marvel that they even work at all (and he starts off with a religious question!) – sheldonbrown.com/chains.html

    I’m on pretty good terms with the chain (same psychological issues?), the fear that nags at me is the front tire of my road bike.Coming to road biking (2 years ago) from mountain biking, that skinny, thin tire at plenty-hundred psi hitting the multitude of puncturious (yes, I made up that word) objects Fatty mentioned just doesn’t instill confidence. The best time for these thoughts of doubt and fear are when your hurtling downhill at plenty-six mph and into your brain pops: “If that front tire blows, will I be able to keep the bike upright?” As my brain tries to compute the probabilities and possible outcomes, I almost drive off the road which snaps my mind back to more immediate concerns. I should worry about the rear tire too, but it’s back there behind me – out of sight, out of mind – and it’s easier to delude myself that all I need is a front wheel and I can steer out of any mechanical catastrophe (like the rear wheel falling off). But as I’ve seen those skinny tires hit all manner of objects, I’m growing more confident in their toughness. Still, that little bit of (mostly) irrational doubt remains.

  18. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 11.15.2007 | 12:26 pm

    Once upon a time I went on a bike ride with my friend, and I remember her turning to me and smiling said, “I have a tool to fix everything except a chain, we should be fine.”

    We followed an old railroad path (sans tracks) out to the river, crossed over the river on the old bridge, scaled the framing (with bike on my shoulder) where they had removed the ties to prevent people from crossing river on the old bridge, and followed a nice, rutted, dirt trail for a couple miles to the nearest road. We were in heaven.

    About halfway up a hill my chain snapped, I didn’t know what had happened at first, I just remember my feet starting to spin quickly as I lost speed. We found the pin, but wasn’t able to make the pin stay in the chain, even with the handy dandy rock hammer we’d scrounged around for…(hey we were improvising).

    Seven miles away from home, we decided to continue on to a friends house about a mile away hoping he could give us a ride back to town. I hiked my bike to the top of the hill, where we found a piece of tattered rope off in the middle of a turn-off, we had the brilliant idea that she could tow me. FYI, that doesn’t work so well. I ended up lowering my seat-post as low as it could go, and pushed myself along with my feet the rest of the way.

    Yeah, chains suck. And yes, their psychic.

  19. Comment by bikemike | 11.15.2007 | 12:30 pm

    sram chains, keep ‘em clean and lube with either prolink or rock-n-roll gold.
    seems to work pretty well on the road. not much experience in extreme dirt conditions. no breaky chainy, donger need food.

    if i were riding in the off road conditions you guys ride in, i’d be in a full hockey uniform. goalie, no less. (see kenny and botched)

  20. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 11.15.2007 | 12:34 pm

    Once upon a time, before the waxing and the mafia, I was crossing a wide street with a median. It was a busy street. It was night. I was going fast, trying to beat traffic. I was not crossing at an intersection.

    Just as I was approaching the median and cranking hard to increase momentum to bunny-hop the median, my chain broke. I’m sure I looked funny hung over my bars like pants on a hanger. I’m sure I looked funny until I hit the median.

    My bike and I both did a front flip and I landed on my back in a lane of traffic. It was night. It was a busy street. I was almost road kill.

  21. Comment by Kerri | 11.15.2007 | 12:36 pm

    Oh, I don’t know about chains never being beautiful. Why else would the Terry catalog feature them as jewelry?

  22. Comment by dug | 11.15.2007 | 12:44 pm

    two weeks before lotoja last year sunderlage and i were doing some final training rides up AF canyon, and, like always, we were sprinting the final quarter mile to the summit. just as we got up to speed, my chain snapped, and everything on your list happened, and THEN SOME. after i ran through the six options on YOUR list, i started a NEW list and flipped over the bars and down onto the pavement, cracking my helmet in two, grinding my right elbow and hip and knee, and breaking two ribs.

    at least you can coast down from there, 11 miles and 3000 feet.

  23. Comment by DOM | 11.15.2007 | 12:46 pm

    I’m with Kerri. My wife bought me a bike chain bracelet that I wear to pay homage to the beautiful, complex, wonderful chain. That should keep me safe from crotch filleting for a month or two.

  24. Comment by Al Maviva | 11.15.2007 | 1:10 pm

    Look on the positive side of breaking a chain. Even though it fileted your crotch and left your teeth scattered on the trail, a busted chain is still really handy if you happen to get in a fight with The Hell’s Angels on your way back to the trailhead.

  25. Comment by Tim D | 11.15.2007 | 1:22 pm

    I’ve snapped a chain twice. Once was the timing chain on our tandem while we were slogging up a 1 in 4 in the Cotswolds. I impaled myself on the stem while Jayne’s calves exploded when she suddenly had to take on all the effort of shoving a loaded tandem up a hill so steep two of us could barely manage it. The other time was this summer at Cwm Carn. Only the chain didn’t break fully, it just spread the link sufficiently to jam the derailier. This was dragged round so that it sat above the drop out in almost the same plane as it should have sat below. Of course this meant that the dropout was completely twisted, the cage of the derailier was now S shaped and several of the teath of both jockey wheels were missing. It took me about 10 minutes to bodge a solution. My friend Dean still talks in awed tones about how I managed to get my bike working again.

  26. Comment by Tim D | 11.15.2007 | 1:28 pm

    Chain maintainance routine:

    1. Whack a load of 3 in 1 on it.
    2. Ride until the chain starts binding
    3. Whack a load of 3 in 1 on it.

    Repeat until the chainrings are completely smooth and round

  27. Comment by LanterneRouge | 11.15.2007 | 1:37 pm

    Clean your driveway, fatty.

  28. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 11.15.2007 | 1:37 pm

    a busted chain is still really handy if you happen to get in a fight with The Hell’s Angels on your way back to the trailhead.

    Al Mavia, you make me laugh!! You too Tim D :) Thanks!

  29. Comment by Walt Roscello | 11.15.2007 | 1:48 pm

    Kris got the wrong link to the Sheldon Brown chain cleaning instructions. If you follow this advice your chain should last forever :-) :


    You should consider picking up a Real MAN Saddle when ordering the chain cleaning supplies! (Especially the fixed gear guys.)

  30. Comment by MTB W | 11.15.2007 | 1:55 pm

    Maintenance? What’s that? I thought you just rode and until it something broke and then got a new bike.

    BTW, it looks like Unholy Rouleur liked your use of the word trebuchet – you’ve got to see his video!

  31. Comment by WIllie Nelson | 11.15.2007 | 1:58 pm

    Chains suck. (Sorry, couldn’t resist…)

  32. Comment by Kris | 11.15.2007 | 2:00 pm

    bikemike: I’m also a big fan of SRAM chains and Rock-n-Roll Gold. I run this setup on both my road and mountain bikes.

    Walt: hehe, I’ve read those before – good stuff from Mr. Brown. I guess I just don’t have that kind of dedication to my bikes. I’m the typical disposable mentality American – easier to burn through a chain and just buy a new one. :-)

  33. Comment by AMG in Texas | 11.15.2007 | 2:02 pm

    You forgot the sprocket imbedding itself into your calf effect. I was at a funeral and I saw this lady in a dress and noticed her circular scar on her right calf in the shape of a sprocket. Very interesting…

    Go Biker Girls!!! (why did I just think of that???)

  34. Comment by dinno | 11.15.2007 | 2:09 pm

    I am also going to argue that they are the most expensive part tof the bike to break. Cause when you break the chain and go face to pavement. You get stuck with a $4000 medical bill.

  35. Comment by El Animal | 11.15.2007 | 2:36 pm

    You know what Fatty? I love chains. Chains are mechanical marvels that were invented a lot of time ago and still we have not found another thing to replace them. Chains are strong enough to transmit power in an efficient, flexible and very light way. Chains are the workhorse of a bike, not the wheels, not the frame, not the tiny weenie saddles. There are not evil chains, there are poorly maintained bikes.

  36. Comment by gwadzilla | 11.15.2007 | 2:51 pm

    the notion of 9 and 10 speed piss me off

    get the world back to 8 speed
    the thickness of the chain gives me a little more secutity

    who needs all those gears

    at least
    make every bike under 700 bucks 8speed
    to have a three hundred dollar bike have to replace a drive train every year or so
    come on

    our disposable economy sucks!


    on my single speeds
    I never use the MASTER LINK
    I go old school when connecting things
    and I use a super fat chain!

  37. Comment by eclecticdeb | 11.15.2007 | 2:51 pm

    When I get home, I’m going to immediately take out my bike and start whispering “sweet nothings” to the chain, while caressing it gently with a soft cloth and some lube. No sense in poking the gorilla.

  38. Comment by System6 | 11.15.2007 | 3:43 pm

    Upside? A broken chain and no links/tools is a GREAT way to find out who your friends really are!

    Mountain biking in Germany about two burgs from home, my chain popped. [Fortunately, no bodily damage was done.]

    For the next hour my riding partner pulled me up each hill and so I could coast down the other side. Lacking alternatives, my sweatpants became the “tow rope.”

    Arriving back home being with your riding buddy pulling you along holding the opposite leg of the sweats you’ve doffed sacrifices the dignity of everybody involved, and that’s how you know you’ve got a TRUE FRIEND.

  39. Comment by Travis | 11.15.2007 | 4:45 pm

    loved it, were you cycling behind me that one time fatty? I still have a scar to the right of my knee from hitting the bar ends up that climb, and I still don’t carry a chain tool! sigh…. I will never learn

  40. Comment by Craigaroonie | 11.15.2007 | 5:09 pm

    Keep your voices down!!!
    They’re listening!!!!!

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  42. Comment by cyclingphun.blogspot.com | 11.15.2007 | 6:11 pm

    Its still no Assos, but its damn funny… AND TRUE! How goes the weight loss?

  43. Comment by Born4Lycra | 11.15.2007 | 6:45 pm

    I’m starting to look forward to eclecticdeb’s postings as much as FC’s work and Al M’s responses.

  44. Comment by axel | 11.15.2007 | 8:17 pm

    and y’all thought your chain stories were bad:

    anyone remember the story of a mountain biker that was killed by a mountain lion while hunched over his bike fixing his broken chain in January 2004 in Orange county. (http://www.bikemag.com/news/mntlion/)

  45. Comment by Weean | 11.16.2007 | 12:15 am

    I’ve never *touch wood* had a chain snap on me yet. It’s probably because I throw them away after something like 1,000 miles (hey, for me that’s two full years riding).

    I have a tendancy to just buy the cheapest chains & recycle them quickly. I’m currently running a Campy 9-speed ‘cos it was on special, but that’ll need replaced at the turn of the year. I do try & keep it lubed, though.

    I’m just telling you all this so you don’t think it’s my absolute lack of power that keeps me from breaking my chain…

  46. Comment by TheLurker | 11.16.2007 | 12:36 am

    What is it with chains this month? Seems the world & his/her sibling/spouse/significant other is posting* summat about them. Everyone** northside gloomy due to the onset of winter and rotten riding conditions? Don’t you know that chains _never_ break if you use bikes where the Sainted Kirkpatrick McM intended bikes to be used? On the road. Course it helps if you’ve only got leg muscles like knotted string. :)

    * http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,2202699,00.html

    **Well I am.

  47. Comment by dpcowboy | 11.16.2007 | 9:42 am

    You are an old school wanna-be. I never have had one chain break when riding old steel racing bikes with 6 or seven, or even ( a long time ago) five speed clusters. For a gazillion years, it seemed like. The chains were wider then, beefier, stronger. In fact, the current status of two roadbikes and one Mountain Bike (capitalized in respect to you) still have Regina or Sedis or ‘whatever works’ in STANDARD chains. They don’t ever break. However, the new, cutesy poo DA 10 bike and its immediate predecessors (there have been a few) always have chains breaking. “Wull, yup…” Joe Wrench at LBS says, “They break, especially with someone pretty strong…yup, yup.” I went back to the 7 speed steel road and mountain bikes…more, uh…what’s the word…”dependable”.

  48. Comment by KT | 11.16.2007 | 10:59 am

    Chains are not evil. They don’t suck.

    They are marvels of engineering.

    We love our bicycle chains.

    (y’all are talking too loudly in a negative fashion about your bike chains. Stop it. They’re like Santa Claus, in that they know if you’ve been bad or good (to them, about them, etc)… but they’re like a Bad Santa in that they love the whole revenge thing. Silence, fellow riders!)

  49. Comment by Lowrydr | 11.16.2007 | 12:31 pm

    My bike chain broke and ate my rear derailleur. It was mad at me for not hitting it with enough lube, I’m sure of it.

  50. Comment by poweredbywaffles | 11.16.2007 | 12:50 pm

    im positive the answer to all three of those questions is “me”.

    & oh goodie i hope i win DFL comment award. i hate that.

  51. Comment by joliver3 | 11.16.2007 | 5:40 pm

    poweredbywaffles, don’t worry about being DFL, I’ll gladly be the lanterne rouge on this topic (not to be confused with the frequent commenter who goes by that name).

    I can’t believe no one has posted a link to this info yet:
    http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=tech/2007/news/08-28. It’s a polyurethane & carbon fiber drive belt. No lube, no pins, no moving parts. So far good for singlespeed applications only, and it requires a special rear dropout to allow installation & removal, but it’s a start.

  52. Comment by Charlie Brown | 11.17.2007 | 2:47 pm

    I’ve had exactly one chain break in all my years of riding… of course it was at an absolutely fantastic time – about a quarter way up the Powerline Climb at Leadville the year before last – right in the middle of a downpour. I did have a spare quicklink – but in my dazed and confused condition, threaded the chain perfectly through the rear derailleur, hooked up the quick link, only to find out that I missed the front derailleur. Did you know quick links are not quick to unlink when coated with grit and it’s cold and rainy and you’re seeing spots?

  53. Comment by Walt Roscello | 11.18.2007 | 6:07 am

    Kris – but if you re-read the article, Sheldon points out why even new chains need to be lubed his way – no free lunch from spending money on new chains (that seems like a pretty mangled metaphor).

    AMG – mind wandering? I hope the funeral itself wasn’t bike-related.

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