Bicycle Mechanics - When is it time to replace your chain?
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01-18-06, 11:45 AM
How long should a reasonably priced ($40 in Canada) chain last?
I have gone 1600 KM (thats's approx 1000 miles) and the chain is just at the .75 % wear mark on the park measuring tool.
I've only been getting around 700 on my mountain bikes. My road bike made it to around 2000 last time. There are tons of threads on this subject. Do a search. Also, don't be suprised if you switch your chain and your cassette skips. Any time mine has hit the .75 mark on the Park tool, it has been too late for the cassette.
01-18-06, 12:37 PM
There are two schools of thought. One says change the chain often, every 1000 miles or so, to protect the cassette from excessive wear. The second says run the chain until the "stretch" is over 1% (1/8" in 12"), then replace the chain and cassette together.
If you are using Dura Ace or Record Ti cassettes at $200 or more each, than changing a $40 chain very often makes sense. If you are using a 105 or Veloce cassette, then spending $160 on chains to protect a $50 cassette makes no sense.
01-18-06, 12:53 PM
I've wondered about this, too. I've currently got 2600 mi on a chain (road bike) and the Park tool still shows only about .6, and this is typical for me. At what point is it most prudent to replace it? And why do I get so many miles from a chain? Is it 'cause I'm a weakling and I rarely ride in foul weather?
01-18-06, 01:58 PM
And why do I get so many miles from a chain? Is it 'cause I'm a weakling and I rarely ride in foul weather?
I guess I am too. I've got 6500 miles on a Shimano HG73 9-speed chain and it's still usable, if not for much longer. I do clean and lube it frequently and the bike it's on usually avoids rain. In the past I typically got 6000-7000 miles on Shimano IG90 8-speed chains too so this isn't unuisual for me. As you might expect, the current cassette will get changed when I replace the chain.
Things that will affect chain life:
1. cheap chains
2. Dirty chains
3. New chain, old cassettes or chainrings
4. Too much riding on large rear/large front ring, or small rear, small front rings.
5. not oiling or cleaning enough.
6. Mis adjusted deraileur
7. riding in wet, salt.
I have 3000 km on a thin Campy 10-speed chain, little chain wear.
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