Cyclo Chain Wear Indicator
Keeping the chain on your bike in good condition is essential to keeping everything running smoothly. Over time, the chain on your bike will stretch slightly and this can cause wear in the drivetrain and can be a precursor to an annoying breakage out on the trail. A typical chain only needs to stretch as little as 0.75% in order to start causing problems, so it's pretty much impossible to know the condition just by looking at it. That's where a chain wear tool comes in. It's a precision-made measuring device which allows you to quickly and easily assess the condition of your chain, taking the guesswork out of when to replace it.
With an RRP of £5.99, it's not an expensive bit of kit and it's the sort of thing that everyone should keep in their tool kit. The money that can be saved with a bit of preventative maintenance can run into hundreds of pounds. Carrying the 'Cyclo' brand, you'd expect this to be well made, and it is. It's small and light enough not to be a hassle to use, even on 'busy' bike frames, and still has a good, solid feel to it. The tool comes in a fairly typical retail package bearing the Cyclo branding. It's a shame that there's no recycling information on the plastic as some local authorities are very strict on the types of plastic they will take, but that's a small criticism.
Using the tool is very straightforward, with the instructions only confirming what is (hopefully) fairly obvious; Rest the u-shape on one of the chain rollers and lower the 'spiked' end onto the chain. If the tool drops right into the chain, then it's time to think about replacing it.
One thing that I particularly like about the shape of the tool is the curved ends. With some chain tools, the end that drops into the chain is squared off; this means that it's very much a 'yes' or 'no' result. The Cyclo tool will give you a more progressive result, allowing you to monitor any increase in wear over time, maximising the life of your chain.
What's great: At under £6, it can save you a fortune by preventing drivetrain wear - Gives you progressive measurements of your chain wear - Small, light and tough - All your mates will want to borrow it, and you'll look like a cool bike mechanic - You don't need to be a cool bike mechanic to use it, it's a simple tool for any bike owner
Could do better: Be clearer about the package recycling.