- Chain Wear – how often do you change yours?
Bought one of those x tools chain checkers. Just checked the chains on both bikes. I’ve had one since July and one since August, and probably done 50 and 30 hrs respectively on them. Apparently both chains need changed already???
Seems a bit early to be changing them, especially given I do regular maintenance.
🙁Posted 6 years agoJunkyardMember
what crikey said
I used to run a chain at about 1.5 stretch possibly more it was 7 speed.
it took a brand new 9 speed crank without issue.
Every one seems to say this rule but every time this comes up no one can post up any credible evidence of anything
i think we get told if you dont it will trash everything – they used to use chains in engines for timing without issue though it was noisy so I lean towards it being BS tbh.Posted 6 years ago
my road bike is on original everything and that has done over 10 thousand miles by now and all is fine still.mr plowMember
Same experiences ideas above and don’t know what is best in the long term. I have run chain, cassette and rings for 4 years until the rollers on the chain finally fell off then replaced the lot. One thing that was noticeable was the efficiency of the new parts over the worn stuff. If I had replaced my chain regularly and reduced cassette and rings wear then the efficiency my have been better for longer? Depends what your priority is.Posted 6 years agoHerman ShakeMember
So if you put a new chain on the cassette that had a .75 stretched chain on it won’t skip? How many times before the cassette outwears the chains?
I currently go by shifting and tooth appearance as an indicator. I’ve considered a checker but a ruler was the closest I’ve come to one.Posted 6 years agoSuperficialMember
I have my doubts about the accuracy of the X-tools checker. By the time mine reads 75% worn, if I change the chain the new one skips all over the place – I’m assuming that my checker is underestimating the amount of wear.
I’ve tried the chain rotation thing but I was never organised enough to keep on top of things. So far I’m in the replace-it-when-it-all-wears-out camp. Who knows whether it’s cheaper, it’s certainly easier.Posted 6 years agocooganMember
I run all mine for as long as I can out of them. Currently mech, chain rings, cassette and chain on both bikes are about 4 years old. Mech if a tad wobbly side to side on one of them, but it all works fine, no slipping gears. Nowt. Just see how much longer it all lasts as usual. I never measure the ‘stretch’ either. Someone did a few years back and said that needs changed. I never did and it’s still going a-okay.Posted 6 years agoaracerSubscriber
I use a ruler, not a chain checker. Change the chain when 11 links are 11 1/16″ long, which is just over 0.5% (the original Sheldon advice is to measure 12 links, but my normal rulers won’t measure 12 1/16″). The thing is with chain wear, modern chains have a hard coating on them – once you’ve got 0.5% wear, that hard coating has already gone and the chain will wear a lot faster than when new. You get a lot less life from 0.5% to 1% than from 0 to 0.5% wear.
Given the relative price of chains, cassettes and chainrings, I’m convinced it’s better this way than running the whole lot into the ground. If you wait until 1% wear, you’re going to have to change the lot, and past that drivetrain performance suffers – given how much we spend on other aspects of our sport, why have a poorly performing gear train due to scrimping?Posted 6 years agobristolbikeprojectMember
I would say dont run it into the ground. A newish chain will be more responsive and the gear changes crisper. Change at .75% and you can keep the same cassette. Let go to 1% and you’ll start wearing our expensive parts like chain rings.
Running it until it slips is a very false economy.Posted 6 years agoperthmtbMember
I don’thave an issue with replacing worn chains to get better life out of more expensive components like cassette and chainwheels, but I don’t trust the chain wear checker gizmos anymore.
I used a park CC2 for a while, but started to get suspicious when I was replacing chains what seemed far too often. Sure enough, when I compared an accurate measurement with a ruler to what the chain wear checker was telling me, I found out it was out by 100%, i.e. it was saying a 0.5% stretched chain was 1%.
And I don’t think I’d just got a badly calibrated one, aparrently its an inherent issue with the way these guages measure stretch, by including the natural slack between the rollers and bushings – Sheldon Brown’s web page used to have a good explanation of this issue, but it seems to have disappeared!
So, my advice is to still replace at 0.75% wear, but use a ruler to measure this!Posted 6 years agoIHNMember
I keep the chain pretty well cleaned and lubed, but I just run it all into the ground and replace the chain, cassette and middle ring at the same time. In time, monetary and palaver costs it’s got to be the same as messing with multiple chains.
I did once compare the old chain to the new one. Over the same number of links, the old chain was half an inch longer…Posted 6 years agomessiahMember
I’ve used one of these for 12+ years since I worked in a shop which had one – I think it’s brilliant.
I change on the ‘A’ side as if you leave it to the ‘S’ some damage is done and the next chain wears quicker.
I’d like to try running two or more chains etc but even I am not that organised/anal.
What I have found is that the first 4/5/6 chains run sweet and last a long time… but there comes a time when the new chain wears really quickly. When this happens it’s time to run it into the ground, change the lot and start again. Problem I have with doing this is when your worn chain snaps in the back-end-of-nowhere and you end up with multiple bodged repairs to get home… as mentioned above the mechanical efficiency deteriorates and your drivetrain sounds like a commuter bike special.
Whether it’s cost effective or not I don’t know… but I like this way of doing things as I know my gears are good for long rides, and I have an excellent idea of how long things are likely to last so I can plan the timing for the purchase of spares.Posted 6 years agocompositeSubscriber
Just changed my “chain” as it started slipping, it was roughly 4000 miles old. Regularly cleaned and lubed.
The job turned into a new cassette, jockey wheels and middle chain ring. Convinced this was because I was running it into the ground, the chain was “stretched” well beyond 1/8 inch.
Going to keep an eye on it now and when its up to 1/16 as Sheldon suggests, I’m going to change it. Pretty sure I’ll get a lot more miles out of the rest of the drive chain that way.
The only bonus was that I only had a 36 to replace the 32 that I took off the cranks and I think I can drop the 44 now. Wouldn’t have bothered trying it if I hadn’t been “forced” to.Posted 6 years agoallmountainventureMember
I used to run into the ground using cheapish sprockets, it works out cheaper over a year or two (depends on mileage of course) because even the cheapest chain is about 20 quid.
Then I had a worn chain that broke, no biggie because I always carry split links but I almost fell of the trail as a result, 8 feet into a bone smashing boulder field…. so what I’m saying is that if you ride anywhere critical its an extra risk you don’t have to take.
This is a good read http://sheldonbrown.com/chains.htmlPosted 6 years ago
Bit at the bottom “measuring chain wear” answers the question. All you need is a ruler.compositeSubscriber
Some bargains on sram chains here: http://www.actionsports.de/index.php?language=gb&cat=39&filter_id=51&cPath=7_39Posted 6 years agob rMember
2 choices – change chains regularly when 0.75% stretch is reached and cassettes and chanrings last a long time.
Run it into the ground and the whole lot needs to be changed when it wears out
I don’t know which is cheaper long term
I use the first method.
SRAM 951 chains are £14, and I use about four a year (two/three MTB rides per week). With this I get a year out of an XTR cassette/jockey wheels and middle Middleburn ring (the granny/outer manage two years). And, more importantly, always have dependable ‘drive’.Posted 6 years agomickyMember
I measure my chains with a tape measure. Measure 12″ and this will be rivit to rivit centre to centre on a new chain. When the chains extend (chains don’t technically stretch, the pins wear on each link)to 1/16th of an inch over 12″ its time to change. This for me is about a year or so. I have never understood people running things into the ground when it is so simple and quick to check. I have never had replace sprockets but I only keep bikes for 4 years or so. I have done Mountain Mayhem solo for the last 2 years and have done a lot of milage training up to the events.Posted 6 years agochriswilkMember
I change chains from a new block / rings when the checker says to do so (0.75)Posted 6 years ago
Save the chains, then when I’ve got 4 used chains, start using them again. Use them till 1.0 and swap out again.
Put first chain on again and use for a few months, then next chain, etc.
When they have all been on 3 times, use them until they are completely knackered.
This way I get several years out of a block, rings and 4 chains.njee20Subscriber
I’ve done both, but now cassettes are so expensive I’m in the chain changing camp.
Saying that I didn’t get around to changing mine quickly enough on the MTB (fitted in July, at the most one MTB ride a week, often less) and it’s now skipping a good ‘un, so the old chain’s back on to annihilate the cassette, probably get a second season out of it.Posted 6 years agomessiahMember
Good point Scamper – since going HammerSchmidt and 1*9 I’m seeing less chain wear than when I ran a front mech.Posted 6 years agobobloMember
I’ve worn a new cassette to knackered slippage whilst changing chains at 0.75. I put a brand new XTR 8 speed cassette on the tandem then rode 4000m on it changing the drive chain 3 times when 0.75 was indicated. During the life of the last chain, it started to skip on the most used sprockets. So that’s with good chains and a good cassette.
Shame you can’t change sprokets anymore, I could have easily got 8000 miles out of the rest as it wasn’t really worn.Posted 6 years agobikewhispererMember
Park CC-2s are a bit rubbish in my humble opinion. The solid plate chain checkers don’t have anything to go wrong, sloppy or bent like the cc-2 has.
I run cheap chains and will swap 3 or 4 over so they wear together. That way, if one gets mangled, then there’s still a couple of spares which will match to the cassette. When the chainrings start sucking it’s time to start thinking about replacing the whole lot together. Sometimes just switching to one chain and running it to death will stop the cahinsuck too..
It’s no drama to swish the chain in the sink, stick it on the radiator and chuck the next one on the bike when it’s dry. It’s a no-brainer when it comes to cost IMO. SRAM 951s can be had for about 6 or 7 quid each.. A 990 or xt cassette plus a couple of decent chainrings is going to be at least a ton.
This may be one of those myths, but I’ve heard there’s about a 5% efficiency difference between new and worn drivetrains, so doing this means you’re spending much more time on a newish chain.Posted 6 years ago
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