When to replace your chain

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When to replace your chain

Postby boss » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:38 am

Hi all,

Just bought a new set of wheels and considering grabbing a cassette and chain.

I bought the bike second hand in October with 4000km on it. At the time of purchase the owner put a new chain on it.

Since then I've put 3300km on the bike and figure it's probably coming close to time to change the chain, so I might aswell do it. And may aswell do the cassette while I'm there - it's the original cassette so has 7300km on it.

Any thoughts or advice?

Thanks all.
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by BNA » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:42 am

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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby ball bearing » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:42 am

Buy one or two more chains when you fix up your bike and swap chains when you clean the cassette and chain. This will greatly extend the life of your drivetrain.
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby boss » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:47 am

ball bearing wrote:Buy one or two more chains when you fix up your bike and swap chains when you clean the cassette and chain. This will greatly extend the life of your drivetrain.


How often does everyone scrub down their chain/cassette/sprockets?

I usually do mine around once a month if it's been dry, or more often if I've been riding in wet/gritty conditions.

I have one of those Park Tools chain cleaner things which makes it fairly easy and mess free.

I lube once or twice a week with a dry lube, ride 3 times a week / 250-300km.
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby ball bearing » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:52 am

boss wrote:
ball bearing wrote:Buy one or two more chains when you fix up your bike and swap chains when you clean the cassette and chain. This will greatly extend the life of your drivetrain.


How often does everyone scrub down their chain/cassette/sprockets?


Whenever I see a build up of crud starting to form on the chainwheels or the chain looks grimy. I use a removable chainlink to make taking off the chain easy and shake the chain in a plastic jar with a bit of diesel.
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby find_bruce » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:35 pm

The simple way to see if you need a new chain and or sprocket is to meausre the chain - see Sheldon Brown - if 12 links = 12 inches + 1/16, replace the chain, if greater than that, replace both chain and cassette.
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby il padrone » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:06 pm

boss wrote:How often does everyone scrub down their chain/cassette/sprockets?

On my latest couple of chains I have not scrubbed them down at all. Just wipe dirt off and re-lube. I am using Purple Extreme and it is a great lube - the wet lube that works like a dry lube. I get about 400-600kms between re-lubing (more if I have not been riding dirt roads). It does not attract much gunk at all and is very persistent as a lubricant.
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby clackers » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:57 pm

boss wrote:Hi all,

Just bought a new set of wheels and considering grabbing a cassette and chain.

I bought the bike second hand in October with 4000km on it. At the time of purchase the owner put a new chain on it.

Since then I've put 3300km on the bike and figure it's probably coming close to time to change the chain, so I might aswell do it. And may aswell do the cassette while I'm there - it's the original cassette so has 7300km on it.

Any thoughts or advice?

Thanks all.


Everyone's different in how hard they pedal, Boss, but if you're looking for something like a car logbook formula, you could do worse than a new chain every 5000km and new cassette every three chains.
Last edited by clackers on Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby Mustang » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:20 pm

il padrone wrote:
boss wrote:How often does everyone scrub down their chain/cassette/sprockets?

On my latest couple of chains I have not scrubbed them down at all. Just wipe dirt off and re-lube. I am using Purple Extreme and it is a great lube - the wet lube that works like a dry lube. I get about 400-600kms between re-lubing (more if I have not been riding dirt roads). It does not attract much gunk at all and is very persistent as a lubricant.

Ditto to above comment, I use Red Rock & Roll & do it weekly, just keep applying & wiping off, my last chain did 10K & was working fine when I changed the cassette. I renewed the cassette & chain together.
If I ride in rain & the chain is really gunky I will clean in kero , dry & relube.
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby warthog1 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:15 am

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Takes all the guess work out of it and cheap :)
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby Aushiker » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:44 am

I track my chain and cassette wear here.

My approach is to "service" my chain every 500 km in winter/spring and every 1,000 km in summer/autumn and I measure my chain wear using a Shimano TL-CN41 chain gauge. Expensive tool but has paid for itself with my not replacing chains to early.

I am happy with my chain life, getting up to 11,000 km now out of some chains.

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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby twizzle » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:46 pm

warthog1 wrote:Image

Takes all the guess work out of it and cheap :)


They be crap - because the rings on the links wear badly on the shimano chains and affect the measurement, but it doesn't affect the chain pitch. I replaced chains far too soon because I trusted one of these tools! Even new chains will sometimes show as 'worn' using it.

Get an ACCURATE ruler - some of the cheap ones are not. I checked mine against a pair of vernier calipers & found one of my steel rulers was useless.

Edit: As per Andrew's post above, the Shimano chain tool excludes the ring wear and is accurate.
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby warthog1 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:35 pm

twizzle wrote:
warthog1 wrote:Image

Takes all the guess work out of it and cheap :)


They be crap - because the rings on the links wear badly on the shimano chains and affect the measurement, but it doesn't affect the chain pitch. I replaced chains far too soon because I trusted one of these tools! Even new chains will sometimes show as 'worn' using it.

Get an ACCURATE ruler - some of the cheap ones are not. I checked mine against a pair of vernier calipers & found one of my steel rulers was useless.

Edit: As per Andrew's post above, the Shimano chain tool excludes the ring wear and is accurate.


? I use shimano chains and one of the park tool chain checkers and haven't found a new chain to measure as worn. I can't picture what you are talking about with the rings wearing prematurely. The tool measures the length over a number of links and should it fit in on the 1.0 side then the chain is worn. I don't see how it will fit otherwise?

Edit;
Image

Do you mean #5 on the diagram above. If so wont the gap between each roller will be longer than the pitch on the chainrings/cluster and result in premature wear of chainrings/cluster?
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby twizzle » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:02 pm

warthog1 wrote:? I use shimano chains and one of the park tool chain checkers and haven't found a new chain to measure as worn. I can't picture what you are talking about with the rings wearing prematurely. The tool measures the length over a number of links and should it fit in on the 1.0 side then the chain is worn. I don't see how it will fit otherwise?


You aren't measuring just the chain pitch, you are measuring the chain pitch plus double the wear of the inside of a ring, which aren't necessarily a good fit to start with. The Shimano tool measures from the same side of the links, so excludes the ring wear/slop.
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby warthog1 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:23 pm

The park tool guage is measuring the overall length between rollers on a segment of chain. The rollers are the part of the chain that contact the chainrings so to the best of my understanding, (I'm no bike mechanic though, see the cervelo forum for details :oops: ) if they have worn then the effective chain pitch has lengthened. It is the left side of both ends of the guage in the park tool photo that contacts the rollers.

Edit; just went out and used the guage on my 6700 ultegra chain on the cervelo. It is the left side of the guage on the left of the photo and the right side on the ride side of the photo. So the guage is spreading the links apart.
This site reckons the park tool guage is dodgy too and to get the shimano one. So it agrees with you Twizzle. FWIW the chain on my cervelo which has done ~4k kms would not fit the .75 side of the guage in when under tension so according to the Park tool guage has plenty of life left in it. :?
Last edited by warthog1 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby bychosis » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:03 pm

Check the chain in a number of sections to be sure, helps eliminate uneven wear (and user error) throwing measruements out.
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby biker jk » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:09 pm

bychosis wrote:Check the chain in a number of sections to be sure, helps eliminate uneven wear (and user error) throwing measruements out.


+1. I recently had a chain do exactly that with the measurement tool saying it was ok except for a section which took me a while to find.
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby il padrone » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:18 pm

Measurement of 12 links with a steel ruler, with the chain under tension, is the best way to go. Less than 12 1/16" and the chain is OK, can be replaced with no skipping; 12 1/16" - 12 1/8" a new chain may skip, cassette will have some wear; over 12 1/8" the cassette sprockets are toast (you can keep running the old chain and cassette for a long time still however).
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby mitzikatzi » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:13 pm

Chain Wear Measuring Tools this explains the problem with chain wear tools.
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Re: When to replace your chain

Postby Aushiker » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:58 pm

mitzikatzi wrote:Chain Wear Measuring Tools this explains the problem with chain wear tools.


It was this page that lead me to purchase the Shimano tool.

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