Chain drive maintenance

All heated flame wars on other threads about chain vs belt, etc. aside, I want a bit more serious answers - How hard is it to maintaina chain drive? Obviously it’s metal and rusts in wet conditions (Which pretty much describes Denmark) so it needs to be cleaned and oiled once in a while, what’s so hard here? Pretty much main disadvantage told in other threads is maintanability, but for me it seems to be simple, had a bicycle for quite a while here and all it needed was from time to time clean it and oil it up…

Any other dangers of using it?

I know it can break, but belts snap too after big wear.

Another thing told that it’s expensive to replace it, but as much as I checked - not so much, there are chain kits (2 sprockets and a chain) for 10 GBP…

I’m running chain drive for a while now. Haven’t had any issues so far.

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me not like chain.

1.oil will got dirty, and dirt will attached on…

  1. metal friction will cost heat, especially when in long rang running.

  2. kind of danger, like if child put finger on a running chain…or woman’s long hair got suck in…

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It poses no more risk than a bike chain would. Just maintain it well, because it is closer to ground, it will get dirtier.

Yes, I know. just feels kind of danger , actually is not.

chain will do better on convey force. I suppose it will too industrialize, than using belt drive. as electric skateboards are more consider as a toy…

Just my opinion…

Honestly im in the process of building a chain drive frankenstein board, im planning on 3d printing a cover and bolting it on. In most cases unlike a bike or motorcycle the motor is very close to the driven gear, meaning a covering plate isn;t to hard to fashion and stick on.

bla bla bla dirth bla bla bla oil you will tops loose 5% wich is nothing I have a bike and didnt clean its chain for 6months or oiled it in any way i live in croatia 10m from the sea a load of salt and a really humid air the chain ia a bit brown (rusty) and I do not see any diffrence in it except its realllly little quieter

and its 20min to clean it 10min of it in gasoline and min to spray it with oil

Ive hear of people using wax instead of oil, @darkkevind maybe? My issue with chain drive is that its loud as hell. BLDC is bad enough without adding the chain noise to it as well.

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Chains and sprockets are very cheap in the UK, not sure about anywhere else. I use an O4B size chain. I much prefer this to a belt for a number of reasons;

  1. Chains are much stronger than belts.
  2. Chains don’t jump teeth under acceleration or braking.
  3. You would probably (unless it’s on an AT board) never have to replace your chain in your board’s lifetime.
  4. Chains are easier to line up… pinion, sprocket, mount etc.
  5. It’s easier and cheaper to add or remove a link or two to make your chain fit your setup, than to have to buy a new or another belt at a different length.

I probably clean and re lubricate my chain once per month, and I ride at least 4 times per week. I don’t need to do it that often, I just like to. Cleaning is easy, I just use an old tooth brush to remove any dirt/debris and a rag, then either some chain wax or this new silicon lubricant I’m trying out, both sprays.

The only down side to a chain drive is that it IS in fact a fair amount noisier than a belt drive, and obviously quite a lot more noisier than a hub motor…


Having raced bikes for years, I like my chain spotless. If it it is covered in black crud it needs to be cleaned. I don’t like oils or silicone based products. They attract lots of crap. High performance wax’s are a much better choice and are self cleaning to a certain extent.

In the velodrome I used to like Rock and Roll Gold for example, but there are many similar products out there.

I also used to use a yamaha chain wax on my sportbike…

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maintenance isn’t bad at all on mine. every once in a while I’ll clean the chains with WD40 and then oil them will 3in1 oil. I don’t have experience with a belt drive in order to compare maintenance, but I’ve never had to replace a chain.

Today i went for a ride. The road was smooth and i was cruising along at a relatively slow pace when suddenly i heard a thud. * insert scary music here *

Seconds after that i started to slow down and noticed i had lost all power! Preparing for the worst i turned my board upside down and noticed my chain had come loose.

Fortunately i was well prepared and had all my tools with me. After a quick inspection making sure nothing else broke i put the chain back on and continued riding. First issue so far. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again lol.

Props to you, none of my friends with esk-8’s bring toolkits, but i always have mine. You never know whats going to happen when you go out riding.

You wouldn’t believe how many tools i carry with me even if i told you it’s a lot lol

My friends always give me shit for how heavy my backpack is.

I have a chain drive and it’s okay but I think belts will last longer than my chain drive. I have number 25 chain and whenever I ride over really rocky patches they chain gets beat up. I always have to keep an extra chain with me. Other than the chain not being very durable I would say they are just as good as belts.

This has never happened to me in two years of riding… Your chain is too loose.

@jrpwit if your chain is getting beaten up, either your sprocket is too big, or your wheels are too small. You should have at least 20mm clearance between your belt and the ground, otherwise you will run the risk of small rocks/pebbles bashing up your chain!

Fyi, apart from them being slightly louder, chains are much better than belts. :wink:

Yeah my sprocket is definitely too big for 83mm wheels. 90mm is a lot better. Its a 36 tooth sprocket.

I started off with standard 70mm wheels on the same size sprocket I’m now using for 105mm wheels! Lol The chain got a little beat up for a while there! :confused:

You could be right about that…

On a sidenote: I’m using 70mm wheels and everything fits. I’ve got just enough ground clearance on flats.

Maybe it’s time to improve some things…