Checking Chain Stretch

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Checking Chain Stretch

Postby Rob74 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:16 pm

Checking Chain Stretch...what method do you use?
* Sheldon says hang it up
* Some say side by side with a new chain

=>> Chain Stretch Tools
There are a few different ones available..from what I can see the following appear to be better than others
Progold-Chain-Gauge
or
Park Tools CC-2

Discussion on Chain Wear & Tools

Anyone using a chain stretch measuring tool?
* Which one and have you found it accurate?
* Do you load the chain by pressing on the pedals when making the stretch measurement?

Thoughts/experiences?

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by BNA » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:54 pm

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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby jacks1071 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:54 pm

The shimano tool seems to be regarded as one of the best.
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby 3DKiwi » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:02 am

Park tool CC 3.2 for me. I replace my chains every 12 months regardless of whether they are stretched or not. I buy them on-line as they're much cheaper than the shops.

Shimano Ultegra chains don't seem to stretch much on my road bike but whatever I use on my mountain bike seems to stretch despite much lower mileage.
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby trailgumby » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:50 am

No idea where to get the Shimano one - no longer seems to be made. :(

The others, including Park are misleading, as detailed by Sheldon and Jobst Brandt.

So I do the next best thing and use a 12" imperial ruler.
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Checking Chain Stretch

Postby cyclotaur » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:03 am

Rob74 wrote:Checking Chain Stretch...what method do you use?
* Sheldon says hang it up
* Some say side by side with a new chain

Either of these. I always install new chains with a quick link and have a spare new chain handy so it's easy to check.


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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby Roub » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:14 am

3DKiwi wrote:Park tool CC 3.2 for me. I replace my chains every 12 months regardless of whether they are stretched or not. I buy them on-line as they're much cheaper than the shops.

Shimano Ultegra chains don't seem to stretch much on my road bike but whatever I use on my mountain bike seems to stretch despite much lower mileage.



This is because the chains don't stretch - its a misnomer

The pins that hold the rollers wear which creates slop and allows the chain to appear longer. Sideplates don't stretch. MTB's are worse for it due to the harsher environments. I change my road chains every 2500-3000kms and the MTB I cycle 2-3 chains through every cassette and cycle them every 600-800kms or so (cassette then lasts 2000kms on the MTB)
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby ball bearing » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:18 pm

trailgumby wrote:No idea where to get the Shimano one - no longer seems to be made. :(

The others, including Park are misleading, as detailed by Sheldon and Jobst Brandt.

So I do the next best thing and use a 12" imperial ruler.

They are available, but costly. I think it's money well spent.

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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby biker jk » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:38 pm

I have the Shimano chain checker. It's expensive but will save you money versus other chain checkers. The Shimano tool accounts for roller wear while the other models don't and have you changing the chain too early.
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby familyguy » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:08 pm

3DKiwi wrote:Park tool CC 3.2 for me. I replace my chains every 12 months regardless of whether they are stretched or not. I buy them on-line as they're much cheaper than the shops.

Shimano Ultegra chains don't seem to stretch much on my road bike but whatever I use on my mountain bike seems to stretch despite much lower mileage.


Can I have some of your old roadie chains? I reckon I could get another good year out of one. :)

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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby high_tea » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:12 pm

trailgumby wrote:No idea where to get the Shimano one - no longer seems to be made. :(

The others, including Park are misleading, as detailed by Sheldon and Jobst Brandt.

So I do the next best thing and use a 12" imperial ruler.


Same here. Well, it's more like 16" or something, which makes it easier for me to see when the chain's elongated to 12 1/8". Being as I was born after metrication, I'm not rightly sure what 1/8" looks like.

/pointless pedantry

But yeah, ruler good.
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby mitzikatzi » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:17 pm

high_tea wrote:...snip..., I'm not rightly sure what 1/8" looks like.
...snip....


It is about the diameter of one of the chains joining pins.
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby Duck! » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:25 pm

high_tea wrote:.... I'm not rightly sure what 1/8" looks like.

3.2mm, give or take a few stray microns. :-)
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby wombatK » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:49 pm

I hang it up, side-by-side with a new chain. Trying to measure with 1% accuracy over short distances (even over 12 inches) is difficult, moreso if the
chain is still under tension on bike. Have tried simple tools like the Park Tools CC-3, and measuring over 6 inches with vernier calipers. But can't
neither gives the same accurate answers as the hanging method (the CC-3 overstates wear).
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby il padrone » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:38 pm

Just about to swap on the third of three chains being used in rotation for its final time. Should get to a total of about 23,000kms I reckon, so almost 8,000kms per chain is not too bad to my way of thinking.

12" steel ruler is always the go I reckon (I actually use a 1m ruler with imperial measures as well, to measure >12")
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby warthog1 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:21 pm

I use the park tools chain checker that supposedly has you changing chains too early. I still get >5k out of a chain so its a good enough guide for me. For the price of an ultegra chain I couldn't give a rats if I'm changing it 1 or 2k too early. My chain rings and cassettes are lasting well and they are the more expensive consumables in the drive train.
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby Dr_Mutley » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:57 pm

warthog1 wrote:I use the park tools chain checker that supposedly has you changing chains too early. I still get >5k out of a chain so its a good enough guide for me. For the price of an ultegra chain I couldn't give a rats if I'm changing it 1 or 2k too early. My chain rings and cassettes are lasting well and they are the more expensive consumables in the drive train.


+1

Exactly.... Beats wanking around over an 1/8 of an inch here or there..,
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby slidetaker » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:16 pm

I use a stainless steel ruler (any good quality ruler will do)

straighten chain, measure pin to pin, over 25.4cm, should be 10 links.

New chain = 25.4cm

Chain needs to be changed at = 25.6cm

Chain left too long excessive wear drive train = 25.7cm
Last edited by slidetaker on Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby anttismo » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:18 pm

I do quite a few kms (~25K per year) so go through quite a few chains. Depending on bike and chain type, say 5000km would be average, so every few months at least.

Anyway, I find the tool like this is good, although mine has 0.75% on one side and 1% on the other.

http://www.parktool.com/product/chain-w ... tor-CC-3-2

I change 9/10 sp chains at 0.75% (usally about 5000kms, as much as 8K or as little as 3K)and it will be pretty reliable the cassette will handle up to 3 chains. Let them go to 1% and they'll do the casette. Having said that, I once let one go to about 2% (measured with ruler) to see what happened. Nothing really really, just become harder to shift. Obviously the casette and rings were cactus, but it is amazing how long they will keep functioning if you let them go.

I did also start rotating through chains together - i.e. rotating through 2 or 3 at 1000km change intervals. But given 1000kms is sometimes one week I soon got tired of it. And as it turns out, they don't go much longer and net result on casette is the same - one casette to every 2 or 3 chains. rings go for a long time, at least 2 cassettes.
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby Dr_Mutley » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:24 pm

anttismo wrote:I do quite a few kms (~25K per year) so go through quite a few chains. Depending on bike and chain type, say 5000km would be average, so every few months at least.

Anyway, I find the tool like this is good, although mine has 0.75% on one side and 1% on the other.

http://www.parktool.com/product/chain-w ... tor-CC-3-2

I change 9/10 sp chains at 0.75% (usally about 5000kms, as much as 8K or as little as 3K)and it will be pretty reliable the cassette will handle up to 3 chains. Let them go to 1% and they'll do the casette. Having said that, I once let one go to about 2% (measured with ruler) to see what happened. Nothing really really, just become harder to shift. Obviously the casette and rings were cactus, but it is amazing how long they will keep functioning if you let them go.

I did also start rotating through chains together - i.e. rotating through 2 or 3 at 1000km change intervals. But given 1000kms is sometimes one week I soon got tired of it. And as it turns out, they don't go much longer and net result on casette is the same - one casette to every 2 or 3 chains. rings go for a long time, at least 2 cassettes.


This is the tool that was earlier suggested to overcall chain wear... I use it personally myself... I'm not overly fussed if I'm changing chains a little earlier than need be, as less risk of breakage, and less drivetrain wear is ok by me...
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby Aushiker » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:53 pm

Rob74 wrote:Discussion on Chain Wear & Tools

Anyone using a chain stretch measuring tool?
* Which one and have you found it accurate?
* Do you load the chain by pressing on the pedals when making the stretch measurement?


As per the Pardo.net analysis I have the Shimano TL-CN41 and have found I that I am using my chains a lot longer before replacing them. I have got 13,044 km out of a KMC 10L and 9,606 km out of a Shimano CN-6600 before I needed to replace them. Before that I was replacing them a lot earlier.

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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby Aushiker » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:58 pm

trailgumby wrote:No idea where to get the Shimano one - no longer seems to be made. :(


I got mine from http://bike24.net . It seems that they only stock the Shimano TL-CN42 now. That said Pardo.net do give it a tick.

The Bicycle Store has the Tl-CN41.

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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby biker jk » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:44 pm

Dr_Mutley wrote:
anttismo wrote:I do quite a few kms (~25K per year) so go through quite a few chains. Depending on bike and chain type, say 5000km would be average, so every few months at least.

Anyway, I find the tool like this is good, although mine has 0.75% on one side and 1% on the other.

http://www.parktool.com/product/chain-w ... tor-CC-3-2

I change 9/10 sp chains at 0.75% (usally about 5000kms, as much as 8K or as little as 3K)and it will be pretty reliable the cassette will handle up to 3 chains. Let them go to 1% and they'll do the casette. Having said that, I once let one go to about 2% (measured with ruler) to see what happened. Nothing really really, just become harder to shift. Obviously the casette and rings were cactus, but it is amazing how long they will keep functioning if you let them go.

I did also start rotating through chains together - i.e. rotating through 2 or 3 at 1000km change intervals. But given 1000kms is sometimes one week I soon got tired of it. And as it turns out, they don't go much longer and net result on casette is the same - one casette to every 2 or 3 chains. rings go for a long time, at least 2 cassettes.



This is the tool that was earlier suggested to overcall chain wear... I use it personally myself... I'm not overly fussed if I'm changing chains a little earlier than need be, as less risk of breakage, and less drivetrain wear is ok by me...


The point is that it's not "a little earlier". I had the Park tool and it would suggest changing the chain 2,000km earlier than the Shimano tool.
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby warthog1 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:04 pm

biker jk wrote:

The point is that it's not "a little earlier". I had the Park tool and it would suggest changing the chain 2,000km earlier than the Shimano tool.


Fair chance that by changing chains a little earlier the more expensive components may last a little longer.
I'll stick with my park tools goer. It's easy and it's working well when my overall drivetrain service life is taken into acct IME.
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby Dr_Mutley » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:30 am

biker jk wrote:
Dr_Mutley wrote:
anttismo wrote:I do quite a few kms (~25K per year) so go through quite a few chains. Depending on bike and chain type, say 5000km would be average, so every few months at least.

Anyway, I find the tool like this is good, although mine has 0.75% on one side and 1% on the other.

http://www.parktool.com/product/chain-w ... tor-CC-3-2

I change 9/10 sp chains at 0.75% (usally about 5000kms, as much as 8K or as little as 3K)and it will be pretty reliable the cassette will handle up to 3 chains. Let them go to 1% and they'll do the casette. Having said that, I once let one go to about 2% (measured with ruler) to see what happened. Nothing really really, just become harder to shift. Obviously the casette and rings were cactus, but it is amazing how long they will keep functioning if you let them go.

I did also start rotating through chains together - i.e. rotating through 2 or 3 at 1000km change intervals. But given 1000kms is sometimes one week I soon got tired of it. And as it turns out, they don't go much longer and net result on casette is the same - one casette to every 2 or 3 chains. rings go for a long time, at least 2 cassettes.



This is the tool that was earlier suggested to overcall chain wear... I use it personally myself... I'm not overly fussed if I'm changing chains a little earlier than need be, as less risk of breakage, and less drivetrain wear is ok by me...


The point is that it's not "a little earlier". I had the Park tool and it would suggest changing the chain 2,000km earlier than the Shimano tool.


Point taken [THUMBS UP SIGN]
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Re: Checking Chain Stretch

Postby il padrone » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:04 am

My son had his chain off for cleaning (finally, after many hints) and he wanted to check his chain. I gave him the steel ruler and told him "12 1/16" is worn, 12 1/8" the cassette will be worn"

He asked me to help show him how to measure stretch so we laid the chain out.... and I was perplexed - it seemed to line up spot on 12" ?? Not possible as he has had the chain on for ages and little maintenance. Then I counted out the links. Yep, 12 1/2". :shock: :shock:

Told him that drivetrain was toast so we won't bother to swap a new chain on :lol:
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