Bicycle Mechanics - Chain and Rearset Replacement
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12-21-01, 10:48 AM
Well folks I've clocked over 1,850 miles on the commuter bike. Time for the chain to be replaced, and the rearset with it. What are some good rules of thumb for replacing the chain, and the rearset? My wrench says average need is every 500 miles for the chain! Really!?! :eek:
I have probably averaged a monthlly chain cleaning (probably not enough). I'm gonna go buy a chain measure tool NOW! and replace whenever the chain is out of tolerance.
It's about time Zoom!Zoom! got a little Christmas treat anyway! :D
Change the chain every 500 miles? If bikes required that much maintanance, it wouldn't be practical to ride them. Most dedicated commuters would need a new chain at least every month.
Some bike mechanics are as bad auto mechanics. A female friend of mine went to a local bike shop because her tire was flat. She was told she needed a whole new wheel which he tried to sell her!!! She consulted with me and I got her fixed up with a new $3.00 tube. There was nothing wrong with the wheel, sprocket, or even the tire.
Even changing you chain at 1,850 miles might not really be needed. Check your chain and see how much stretch you have. The quicky check is to grab the chain at the front of the chainring (front sprocket). "rolf" the chain (as in a rolf massage) from the chainring and see how much of a gap you have. Well, I'm sure you know this test, so I won't bore you.
Anyway, a lot is written about chain stretch/wear and the damage it can do to your sprockets. While the risk of damage is great, I suggest you don't over-react. Maintain your bike and know why you are changing/replacing parts.
I used to worry about how frequently to change the chain, but now I simply follow Sheldon's 0.5 percent elongation rule: if 24 half-links measure more than 12-1/16", it's time for a new chain. You can usually get several chain changes per cogset change if you follow this guidance and use the smallest cogs only for high-speed cruising.
12-22-01, 12:04 PM
I just recently changed my first chain and cassette at about 3500 miles and a chainring a little later. I measure the chain every few hundred miles and just eyeball the cassette. When the teeth on my most frequently used cogs seem about half as wide as the little used teeth I figured it was time. A few hundred miles later I was hearing distinct chain noise and realized the middle chainring needed replacing, too.
12-26-01, 06:20 PM
You could need to change your chain every 500 miles, but it is improbable. Get a measuring gauge, Park Tools make a good one, and keep an "eye on it". I change mine anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 miles, some bikes I ride harder, some I ride dirtier.
Keep your drivetrain clean- your parts will last longer and shifting will be faster and more accurate.
The guy who tells you that a chain needs to be replaced every 500 miles is a thief. I've managed to get more than 6000 miles out of a chain (with regular and proper cleaning).
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