Bike drivetrains are a big part of a smooth running part. It transfers the energy from the rider to the road or trail. Bike drivetrains are made up of multiple parts including the chain, cassette, crankset, chain ring, derailleur, bottom bracket, and shifter. While each and every component is important, it is really the total package that makes up a smooth running bike.
Many companies offer drivetrain parts for you bike, but the industry is largely dominate by Shimano drivetrains and SRAM drivetrains. There are some notable alternative drivetrains from Microshift and Box Components as well. However, a bulk of our customers will find their needs are filled by SRAM and Shimano.
Bike drivetrains are a high wear and tear item, so it is recommended that you keep up on regular maintenance and adjustment as well are the replacement of worn out parts. A worn our bike drivetrain can cause massive shifting issues and snowball into bigger problems down the line. Your bikes chain, cassette, and chainring are going to be the most common replacement items. Many avid riders replace these items on a yearly basis so it is important to track your miles/rides to have a good idea of your bike drivetrains use.
Over the years, the number of chainrings on your bikes drivetrain has likely changed. While 3 chainrings used to be a common sight, many bikes are now down to two. For Gravel Bikes and Mountain Bikes, that number has dropped to one with the emergence of 1X drivetrains. SRAM has pioneered the 1X drivetrain market while Shimano now has 1X offerings, they also still have a strong focus on 2X drivetrains as well.
Bike drivetrain components work best keeping brand integration (i.e. SRAM chain with SRAM cassette) in tact, but it is possible to have a good working drivetrain mixing and matching brands. It is important to ensure all of your components are adjusted properly and have the correct capabilities (i.e. A derailleurs Max tooth capacity).
Northwest Bicycle offers bike drivetrain components from every major brand on the market. If you have any questions regarding fitment or compatibility, please contact a member of our team for help.