Bicycle Mechanics - Are all 10spd shimano chains equally durable?
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07-25-09, 10:34 AM
My bike is setup almost entirely with a shimano 105 10spd group. This bike is used mainly in fair weather - I can count the times I've road it when raining.
I'm finding I can only get 2000-3000 miles from an Ultegra 10 speed chain (CN-6600?) before it "stretches". My commuter bike has an 8 spd SRAM chain and I can ride through wet Seattle winters and the filthy thing seems to last 5000 before it "stretches".
Ignoring the weight penalty, is there any thought that a 105 chain would be more durable than the ultegra? Or perhaps is the Dura Ace both lighter and stronger?
In the past I've experimented with non-shimano chains, but with shimano rings keeping it all the same does appear smoother - at least quieter.
My new Madone road bike came with Ultegra everthing, except it had a 105 chain and cassette. (I hate it when manufacturers cheap-out on the parts that don't bear a model name on it). At 2700 miles, I decided to check stretch. Imagine my surprise when the Park chain check tool showed 1% stretch and more! When the gauged dropped thru the chain link, so did my jaw. I checked with a 12" ruler and confirmed the chain was stretched to the point the cassette was probably damaged too.
Living in Southern CA, I never ridden it in the rain and I lube with Prolink just about after each ride (probably 75 miles between applications). I was surprised to find it stretched so much. I wish I had measured it every few months to monitor it.
I replaced the cassette and chain and with SRAM PG1070 cassette and PC 1090 chain, and hope I get more longevity. I'll be measuring more frequently.
I don't have enough data points yet to know if Shimano chains are susceptible to more stretch or perhaps it's the nature of thinner material used in 10spd chains.
07-25-09, 03:47 PM
Welcome to the "Shimano-Chains Bite Club." I say SRAM - or bust (literally)!
Of course, now I've opened the floodgates for a couple of Shimano yes-men to make an appearance. I'm going back to my bunker new....
07-25-09, 11:12 PM
kmc chains for me...but cleaning the chains really well with a chain cleaner helps any chain last longer
07-26-09, 08:54 AM
My understanding is that the various Shimano chains are all roughly equal in terms of durability, rust excluded. I concur with removing the chain and washing it to remove all grit as the ultimate in maintenance. BTW, 2500 miles seems pretty good to me in terms of durability.
07-26-09, 09:02 AM
The 7900 chain lasts a lot longer
07-26-09, 09:07 AM
Readings from a Park chain checker are worthless. Double check with a precision 12" rule.
Campy 10 chains will last longer than any other brand I've ever tested. Properly lubed, you'll never reach .5% elongation when the roller wear and side clearance have both become excessive. I let the roller spacing increase by about .040 inch before retiring a chain.
Don't toss a cassette until you've installed a new chain and actually get chain skip on one of more cogs.
If you want the ultimate in chain and cassette life, alternate the use of several chains, changing each one before it's half worn. As long as you get the last chain in the rotation on the cassette without encountering chain skip, you'll never get any chain skip in the future and can use each chain for until it elongated by at least .5%.
07-26-09, 09:08 AM
The 7900 chain lasts a lot longer
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