E-bike chain Vs normal bike chain

kingsknight

Pedelecer
Aug 28, 2018
115
73
36
So I've been buying a bunch of spares for my Ebike and I've come to the chain. A replacement E-bike change costs around about £20 but a stand chain costs £8. I've got a lot of conflicted reports from the internet saying there is no point getting a E-bike drive chain over a standard bicycle chain.

What do you guys think?
 

kingsknight

Pedelecer
Aug 28, 2018
115
73
36
How many miles would you expect to get out of mid priced chain? I've just hit 1200 on my chain and it still looks like it is in good shape.
 

Gubbins

Esteemed Pedelecer
How many miles would you expect to get out of mid priced chain? I've just hit 1200 on my chain and it still looks like it is in good shape.
Depends on terain and maintenance . I get around 1000 on a road ebike and change it when it hits the first measurement on a park chain measuring tool. But some who ride in mucky gritty conditions dont get anything near that.
 

kingsknight

Pedelecer
Aug 28, 2018
115
73
36
You only get 1000 miles from a drive chain??? wow! im a large (105kg) rider who rides 95% on the road and ive not hit the first measurement on my chain measuring tool yet! You must ride really hard lol
 

Artstu

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 2, 2009
2,304
865
You only get 1000 miles from a drive chain??? wow! im a large (105kg) rider who rides 95% on the road and ive not hit the first measurement on my chain measuring tool yet! You must ride really hard lol
I take it your bike is crank drive? Hills are the killer and Gubbins rides up lots of hills.
 

Andy-Mat

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 26, 2018
387
83
72
So I've been buying a bunch of spares for my Ebike and I've come to the chain. A replacement E-bike change costs around about £20 but a stand chain costs £8. I've got a lot of conflicted reports from the internet saying there is no point getting a E-bike drive chain over a standard bicycle chain.

What do you guys think?
My take is to ask, where is your motor?
If it is in either the front or rear wheel, then a good cheap chain is fine as only your own "Pedal Power" goes via it to the rear wheel. It will be far less stressed than when on a normal bike,as the motor "assists".
But if you have a central motor, around the cranks, then the electric power goes via that chain as well in the ones I have seen! Then you might want to buy the better one, assuming it really is better.
Or invest in a chain with roller bearings (assuming they are still available for bikes!).
I myself buy good cheap chains on ebay, I keep them clean and lubricated and I have never had a problem. They last several years. Though I have found that Shimano sprockets need replacing at the same time with new, every 2 - 3 years from memory.
But I don't have bikes with a central motor either, as I find them engineering wise, only from friends experiences, as expensive, parts wear out quickly and they become unreliable, and they do not do even 10% of my average yearly distance.....
Some (Bosch is one) have plastic gears in them, well I ask you........?????
Your final choice of course.
Andy
 

KirstinS

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 5, 2011
2,675
675
Brighton
I buy mid range chain on a deal. On my mid drive mtb I am on my second chain at 3500miles on the odo. But it needs changing again really
 

Andy-Mat

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 26, 2018
387
83
72
Other than direct drive ones, so do most hub motors.
.
I believe you completely, its one of the things I really dislike about them, and having Scottish blood, the prices are also unappealing too!!
Also, I see on German e-bike web sites that many have had problems with these plastic gears in Bosch units, and sometimes the repair "quality" leaves a lot to be desired......(I am fluent in German by the way).
As an engineer of many years standing, such designs cause the hair on my neck to rise!!
I prefer to buy cheap, but new, and simply with some of the money saved, replace any bits that do not come up to the standard, eg. break in the first few years!!
This has stood me in good stead over many years of bikes and almost 10 years of (2) e-bikes!!
Regards
Andy
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,600
18,370
I believe you completely, its one of the things I really dislike about them
The big advantage of nylon gears is the relative silence. The occasional wheel hub motor using steel gears has been very noisy.

Panasonic's original series one crank unit used three stage helical steel gears which were quiet, but of course expensive to produce

But helical cut gears are difficult to apply for hub motor epicyclics with the restricted available width making it difficult to deal adequately with their lateral thrust.
.
 
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Charliefox

Pedelecer
Feb 11, 2015
208
49
74
Culloden Moor Inverness
My take is to ask, where is your motor?
If it is in either the front or rear wheel, then a good cheap chain is fine as only your own "Pedal Power" goes via it to the rear wheel. It will be far less stressed than when on a normal bike,as the motor "assists".
But if you have a central motor, around the cranks, then the electric power goes via that chain as well in the ones I have seen! Then you might want to buy the better one, assuming it really is better.
Or invest in a chain with roller bearings (assuming they are still available for bikes!).
I myself buy good cheap chains on ebay, I keep them clean and lubricated and I have never had a problem. They last several years. Though I have found that Shimano sprockets need replacing at the same time with new, every 2 - 3 years from memory.
But I don't have bikes with a central motor either, as I find them engineering wise, only from friends experiences, as expensive, parts wear out quickly and they become unreliable, and they do not do even 10% of my average yearly distance.....
Some (Bosch is one) have plastic gears in them, well I ask you........?????
Your final choice of course.
Andy
Geared hub motors have 'plastic' (actually Nylon) gears too. 3 of them in fact but at least they are cheap! I do see your point though even as I have added a central motored MTB (Yamaha Motor) to my collection. I had to try it before I die!
 

nemesis

Esteemed Pedelecer
Mar 14, 2011
514
339
KMC chains have always been the first choice for strength and durability in independent tests,i won`t use anything else on the Bafang BBSHD and it is ridden on high performance.
In the past i did use the KMC e-bike chain but after using the standard ones for over two years i have found no difference.
 
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egroover

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 12, 2016
363
197
52
UK
I only buy kmc chains now, they last well and are cheap. Plus the 'missing link' system is a doddle to fit and remove
 

Deno

Pedelecer
Jan 24, 2018
63
36
38
Dublin
Bike was fitter originally with a KMC x10 'normal bike' chain. I Used a couple of those, usually lasting about 1900mls each. Saw a deal with the KMC ebike rated chain and bout a couple and saw no difference in chain life - if anything they didn't go to 1900mls but it was mid winter when I used them. Since bought YBN ebike chain and am on the first one but its not great, doesn't shift well and has skipped from new (new cassette and chainring fitted at the same time).

Upshot, I will be buying normal KMC chains in future.
 

Deno

Pedelecer
Jan 24, 2018
63
36
38
Dublin
Since bought YBN ebike chain and am on the first one but its not great, doesn't shift well and has skipped from new (new cassette and chainring fitted at the same time).

Upshot, I will be buying normal KMC chains in future.
I wanted to correct myself here. The YBN chain was not responsible for the skipping. My freewheel was gunked up and I think it was 'driving' the chain forward and causing it to skip, since fitted a new freewheel (new wheel actually), cleaned the chain and its been fine. I will update on how long it lasts, its done ~800mls to date.