How Much Does A Bike Chain Cost?

A chain is an essential drivetrain component. When it breaks or wears out, you have to replace it, lest the drivetrain will fail to work optimally. But, how much does a bike chain cost?

 A decent bike chain cost between $15-$30 depending on chain brand, type, and quality. However, a few high-quality options for premium road bikes cost as much as $60-$100.

It’s essential, however, that you get the most suitable bike chain. That means it has to be the right size and type.

I’ll share with you a quick chain buying guide and a sizing chart for the same. I’ll also explain how to change a bike chain.

Hopefully, the information will help you find your ideal replacement chain.

But before that, let’s discuss the different chains and their cost.

how much does a bike chain cost

Different Types of Bike Chains and Their Costs

Essentially, we’ve two types of bike chains: one-speed bike chain and derailleur bike chain.

1. One-Speed Bike Chain

One-speed bike chains are intended for bicycles with two sprockets, one on the crankset and the other on the bike wheel.  Generally, these bike chains are for single-speed bikes.

Their width is usually 1/8 inch, and they are about 9mm long. There are, however, a few others that are 3/16 inches wide.

Two of the best one-speed bike chains under $15 on Amazon are:

a) KMC Z410 Bicycle Chain

KMC Z410 Bicycle Chain measures 1/2 X 1/8 inch and features 112 links. It has a smooth-riding but hard finish and comes nickel-plated to resist rust.

Overall, this bike chain’s heavy-duty construction resists grinding and easy wear.

b) Zonkie Single-Speed Bike Chain

The Zonkie Single-Speed Bike Chain comes with 116 links and generally suits all single-speed bikes.

It’s easy to install and disassemble, hassle-free to clean, and super-strong. The bike chain is also easy to lubricate.

What’s more, it has rust-resistance properties and enjoys a polished look.

2. Derailleur Bike Chains

Unlike single-speed chains, derailleur chains are compatible with multiple sprockets. They are, therefore, an ideal choice for multi-geared bikes.

Their sizes vary from 5.3mm to 7.0mm, depending on the type.

Two of the best derailleur bike chains under $20 are:

a) Zonkie 6/7/8-Speed Bike Chain

If you have a 6-speed, 7-speed, or 8-speed bike, you cannot go wrong with the Zonkie 6/7/8-Speed Bike Chain. The bike chain cost is a bargain considering its exceptional qualities.

The chain is easy to install on a bike, rust-resistant, durable, and easy to clean. So, it promises not only better service but also longer mileage.

The bike chain features 126 links and measures 1/2 X 3/32 inches.

b) Bibike 6/7/8/9/10/11-Speed Bike Chain

The Bibike 6/7/8/9/10/11-Speed Bike Chain is perfect for bikes with 6-11 speeds. So, this is the ultimate choice for MTBs and commuter bikes.

It comes in silver and golden choices and has 116 links.

The chain is generally lightweight, wear-resistant, and rigid. Therefore, it’s a suitable replacement that comes at a bargain.

How to Choose the Best Bike Chain

How Much Does A Bike Chain Cost? Expert vs. DIY Replacement

Generally, you have two options when it comes to replacing a bike chain. You can do it yourself or take your bike to a repair expert.

Let’s compare the cost implications of both options.

Expert Chain Replacement Cost

Taking a bike to a repair expert to replace its chain means you have to incur both the chain cost and the labor charges.

With the labor cost averaging $10-$20 in most places, the cost of replacing a bike chain at an expert bike shop is around $35-$50.

That includes the bike chain price, which averages $15-$30.

The advantage of this approach over the DIY (discussed below) is that you don’t have to buy the chain tool.

DIY Chain Replacement Cost

If you choose to replace the bike chain yourself, you first have to consider if you have the tools or not. The essential tool is the chain tool which costs $30 in most cases.

After factoring in the chain tool and the chain’s cost, the bike chain replacement cost will be around $45-$60.

You can check out this universal chain tool that works on a 1-12 speed bike chain if you need a good budget chain tool.

But if you have the chain tool or some quality pliers at home, you can save on the chain tool cost. So, you’ll only spend on the bike chain, which, as I mentioned, will cost you $15-$30.


If you are handy and want to save on both the bike chain and the chain tool, it will be economical to get the PIKAMAO Multi-Function Bike Mechanic Repair Kit.

The repair kit costs under $20 and comes with everything you need to fix your chain. The provisions include:

  • 8/7/8-speed chain links
  • Chain checker
  • Chain breaker
  • Three pairs of missing links
Bike Chain Size Chart

How to Choose the Best Bike Chain

Generally, these tips are essential in buying a suitable bike chain.

  • Know your gears

You cannot get it wrong here, as that’ll mean wasting your hard-earned cash.

If your bike has a single-speed drivetrain, then you’ve to get a single-speed chain. If it has six gears, then get a 6-speed bike chain and so on.

  • Keep your bike in mind

Though we’ve some chains that fit several bikes, there is nothing like a standard bike chain. So, you have to confirm that the bike chain suits your bicycle.

  • Pick the right chain length

You’ve to get a chain that fits. So, please pay attention to its length.

There are two aspects worth noting here – the pitch (or link length) and the total chain length.

The link length is the distance between the chain pins’ centers, usually ½ inch (12.7mm).

You can get your total chain length by multiplying the pitch with the total number of links.

So, if the links are 100, then the chain’s total length will be 100 X ½ inch or 12.7mm, which equals 50 inches (or 1.27m).

  • Determine the chain’s internal and external width

Though the internal and external widths don’t influence the cost to replace bicycle chain, the measurements determine if you’ll buy the right chain or not.

Bike chains have four different internal widths as follows:

  • 2mm (1/8″) – Suits a bike with one sprocket
  • 4mm (3/32″) – Suits a bike with 5-8 rear sprockets
  • 2mm (11/128″) – Suits a bike with 9-12 rear sprockets
  • 0mm (5/32″) – Suits tricycles and freight bicycles

Now, here is a chain chart you can use to determine your ideal bike chain.

Bike Chain Size Chart

Bike SpeedChain Length (mm)Internal Width (inches)External Width (inches)
106.2mm11/128”¼” -9/32”

When Should I Replace A Bike Chain?

So, when do you know that you need a new bicycle chain? Well, consider these red flags:

  • Chain Stretch

When the chain is worn out, the pins that hold the links together weaken, resulting in the chain extending its length, what we call a chain stretch.

You can check for the level of chain stretch, sometimes known as chain wear, using a bike chain wear checker like the Chain Checker Plus II.

  • Chain Snap

Though a chain can snap out of its place even when it’s new, the occurrence shouldn’t be too frequent. If your chain breaks so often, it’s time you replace it.

  • Expired Mileage

You probably don’t know it, but bike chains expire over time. The average bike chain lasts 2,000 miles.

With proper maintenance, however, it could go for a longer time. But instead of taking a gamble, replace your chain once you reach 2,000 miles.

  • Rust

If your chain is rusty, you should replace it. Rust eats away the links, making the chain brittle.

If the rust is superficial, you can scrub it off and then lubricate your chain. A chain lube like the Finish Line 1-Step Chain Lube is a fantastic chain lubricant and cleaner.

How Many Miles Should A Bike Chain Last

How Long Does A Bike Chain Last? (How Many Miles Should A Bike Chain Last?)

As I mentioned, bike chains expire with time.

The average mileage (lifespan) is 2,000 miles, but you can go longer with better chain maintenance.

Some bike chains go for 4,000-6,000 miles with regular cleaning and lubrication. But still, some rarely exceed 1,000 miles, especially when you are an aggressive or regular cyclist.

How to Replace Bike Chain (Changing Your Bike Chain)

Follow these steps to change a bike chain:

  • Remove your old chain from the chainring
  • Clean up the chainring with a degreaser and ensure its straight
  • Determine the length of your new chain to ensure it fits. If not, cut it to size.
  • Join the chain ends with the accompanying joining pin
  • Push the pin in place
  • Re-route the new chain on the chainring front
  • Lock the rear brake and backpedal to position the master link on the top
  • Now push the pedal down to reposition the master link, and that’s it


Closing Thought:

So, how much does a bike chain cost? As seen, it takes roughly $15-$30 to buy a chain, but it may cost you more if you have to factor in labor the chain tool.

Hopefully, this guide will help you find your ideal bike chain.