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I'm considering getting a chain case to completely enclose the chain and protect it from dirt and dust. Does anyone here use one of these? Is it possible to get an aftermarket chaincase, or do they generally only come already built onto a bike? Would it have to be specific to the frame and gear ratio?

I have a dusty trail right next to my house, and I don't like the idea of cleaning my chain every time I go for a leisurely ride. I would rather spend more time biking than doing bike maintenance.

Are there disadvantages besides a little extra weight?
 

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If you use a chain lube that dries to the touch you shouldn't have to clean the chain that often. I live in northern california and it gets very dusty here in the summer. I use a Teflon spray lube (remove chain from bike before spraying it!) that is dry after ~30min. Even during my peak riding schedule in the dustiest part of last summer, when I was getting ~50 miles a week on my geared bike, I would only do a full clean and re-lube about once a week, and even that was mostly preventative maintenance because I wanted to clean it before shifting was affected. One thing you can do to help this is to do a quick, light cleaning after a ride or two. Just turn the cranks by hand and run the chain through a rag to pick up dust and dirt from the outside. Save a full re-lube for an easy time on Sat or Sun morning or whenever you have more time
 

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Its dusty as hell here in vegas, probably moreso that most places not in africa. :D

I probably clean/lube my chain once a month if that. I hate maintenance. I've only broken one chain ever and I was abusing the hell out of it at the time, standing and hammering in too low a gear because the seat was broken.

In short, chains are cheap, durable and don't weigh a lot. Enclosing a chain...... I don't see why.
 
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