Are Bicycle Chains directional?

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The life span of the chain of a bicycle isn’t easy. It is necessary to replace your bicycle chain regularly due to the strain it is exposed to.

There is no need to pay for a mechanic each replacement. Instead you can replace your chain yourself with some tools. Are bicycle chains directed? This is one of the most frequently-asked questions about replacing the chain on a bicycle.

Certain bicycle chains are directed. SRAM chains do not have the directional feature, but Shimano chains have them. However the engravings on chains should be oriented away from the bicycle.

How do you know if your chain is directional

SRAM and Shimano are two of the top makers of bicycle parts and chains. But how do you determine if your bicycle chain is in the right direction?

It is simple to determine whether logos are just located on one side of the chain. If the logos are just on only one side of the chain, they should be facing away from the bike. Be sure to read the instructions and the packaging that comes with the new chain.

It will inform you whether there are any specific issues that could hinder the use of this specific bicycle chain.

Recommended Gear

  • SRAM XX1 Eagle 12-Speed Chain
  • SRAM PC850 Powerlink 8 Speed Chain
  • Shimano M7100 SLX 12-Speed Chain

What happens if it’s not properly put on?

If you happen to placed your chain wrong, it won’t impact the performance of brand new chains. It could have a small effect on the efficiency and longevity of premium chainsets however for the majority of cyclists there isn’t any noticeable loss in performance or speed.

To cleanse a chain that is already in use take it off the end of it and put it back to.

Inability to repair the chain in the same way as before could cause the chain and gears to slide.

Other Reading

  • Bicycle disc Brakes Vs Rim Brakes Which is better Which is Better?
  • This is the time to change gears on your bike
  • What is the bicycle clutch?


There aren’t many chains that can be directed. But, it’s not an issue that is common to all chains.

Check these steps to find out whether your bike is directional. Be sure to put it in the correct way. This will ensure that your bike is running at its peak.



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