Should you worry about chainline efficiency?

Does the angle of your chain really matter, or are modern bikes built well enough to ensure it never sits harmfully askew?

First things first: it helps to understand what chainline is and why it’s important. The term itself seems relatively self-explanatory: the line in which your chain runs in any given gear. However, there are two definitions of chainline.

Firstly there’s the chainline dictated by component manufacturers. Imagine running a line down the centre of your bike from front to back, running through the tread of your front tyre, along the top tube and straight along the rear tyre. The first idea of chainline — we’ll call it ‘prescribed chainline’ — is the ideal distance to position the chain from this central line through the bike.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1