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  1. #1
    Stv
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    What is a range for life expectancy of a "relatively" well maintained chain? (or.... What am I doing wrong?)

    I noticed today that the chain rollers had excessive movement, play and slack around the rivet pins and will have to be replaced.

    My ride is a new, 2005 Specialized Roubaix with 105 Shimano components incl. the chain. Since March 2005 to date, I have logged just over a meagre 4,500 kms. (2,812 miles)

    Weekly, I clean the chain on the bike with WD40 as a flush only, hose rinse and wipe dry. For lube I used an industrial rated EP oil from Lubriplate, Chain&Cable Aerosol Spray almost daily till the 3,000km. mark. I was told that I was "over" lubricating the chain in this period.
    For the next 1,500 kms. I am now using Finish Line KryTech Wax & Cross Country Syn.Oil.

    The chain was not skipping and no abnormal wear is noticeable on any gear teeth. Is this the normal life mileage for a Shimano chain? Good, Bad or just about Right?

    I consider myself to be a Newbie(52), after a twenty year hiatus from road cycling.
    Thanx, Stv
    TODAYS OBJECTIVE: Avoid road splatter; my own, preferably.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Try soaking in Simple Green or orange cleaner, hose off, and apply a quality chain lube (or homebrew 3-parts paint thinner, 1 part motor oil)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger

    From above link...

    Measuring Chain Wear

    The standard way to measure chain wear is with a ruler or steel tape measure. This can be done without removing the chain from the bicycle. The normal technique is to measure a one-foot length, placing an inch mark of the ruler exactly in the middle of one rivet, then looking at the corresponding rivet 12 complete links away. On a new, unworn chain, this rivet will also line up exactly with an inch mark. With a worn chain, the rivet will be past the inch mark.

    This gives a direct measurement of the wear to the chain, and an indirect measurement of the wear to the sprockets:

    * If the rivet is less than 1/16" past the mark, all is well.

    * If the rivet is 1/16" past the mark, you should replace the chain, but the sprockets are probably undamaged.

    * If the rivet is 1/8" past the mark, you have left it too long, and the sprockets (at least the favorite ones) will be too badly worn. If you replace a chain at the 1/8" point, without replacing the sprockets, it may run OK and not skip, but the worn sprockets will cause the new chain to wear much faster than it should, until it catches up with the wear state of the sprockets.

    * If the rivet is past the 1/8" mark, a new chain will almost certainly skip on the worn sprockets, especially the smaller ones.

  5. #5
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    Bike chains are very flexible. They have to be to allow the sideways deflection required for derailleur shifting. Are you sure what you are seeing isn't normal? The elongation measurement of 1/16" or less over 12" (12 complete links or 24 pins) is a good guideline for replacement.

    I agree you are over-lubing the chain. Unless you routinely ride in rain or on dirt roads, it doesn't need that level of attention.

    As to chain life, that depends not only on maintenance but on rider size, strength and terrain. A very strong, heavy rider in hilly country will wear out a chain a lot faster than a light, relatively weak rider in flat country.

  6. #6
    cab horn
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    Don't forget it also depends on if you're using 7/9/10 speed chain.

  7. #7
    Senior Member spinerguy's Avatar
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    ~~ Back to your original question, it is recommended to replace chain about every 1K miles, so I'd say it's a bit due.

  8. #8
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinerguy
    ~~ Back to your original question, it is recommended to replace chain about every 1K miles, so I'd say it's a bit due.
    Huh?

    Chain replacement is indicated (as quoted by Nessism) when measuring shows >= 1/16th inch wear (sometimes called "stretch"). There are far too many variables to simply tie a mileage figure to this. I routinely get well over 5,000 miles out of a chain. YMMV.

  9. #9
    Stv
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    Gents,

    Thank you for your input.

    I dropped into my LBS and compared my old chain to a new one. My chain is definitely SHOT as the rollers were floppy loose in comparison to new and stretched some.

    I guess at 4,500+km's., this chain doesn't owe me a thing. My bike "mentor" picked me up and installed a new upgraded DuraAce 9 speed replacement chain this A.M. for me. Thx.Rudy!

    BTW, chain cleaning was weekly to bi-weekly due to the fine roadside sand that was constantly thrown onto the chain by the front wheel. My terrain is mainly flat road with moderate hills and rises. I don't consider myself to be a powerful rider, but my weight is 175 lbs. FYI.

    Now my Free Hub Body is shot and needs to be replaced. Hope the cassette holds up to the new chain.

    PS.FootNote; I never once considered for a moment last March, the possibility of wearing out a relatively expensive bike (for me) in just one season !

    Thanx again........ ;>)"
    TODAYS OBJECTIVE: Avoid road splatter; my own, preferably.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinerguy
    ~~ Back to your original question, it is recommended to replace chain about every 1K miles, so I'd say it's a bit due.
    Not unless you are a 2 ton gorilla. Mileage has little to do with chain life. Measuring is the only way to know when to replace.
    I usually get 5 to 6 thousand miles on a good chain, have gotten as much as 8000 miles (D-A 9-speed).
    Al

  11. #11
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    Every 1000 miles? You must get them free. I also get a year or 5000 - 6000 miles on a chain but I change the chain and cassette together. I've never seen the value of spending $80 or $100 on chains to protect a $35 cassette.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    Every 1000 miles? You must get them free. I also get a year or 5000 - 6000 miles on a chain but I change the chain and cassette together. I've never seen the value of spending $80 or $100 on chains to protect a $35 cassette.
    for me, 9sp chains last about 2k. I live in san fran at about 600 feet elevation. a flat ride means about 1,500 feet of climbing. I use to get 3 to 4k out of 8 sp chains. but 35 bucks for a cassette, and another 50 bucks for chainrings, it could add up.

    I think a 10sp chain will only last 1K and they cost about 40bucks a chain. I can hardly wait til they have 12 speed cassettes when a chain will last 600 miles.
    fogriderlooking for sun

  13. #13
    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    Measurement is the only way to evaluate wear. The economics of parts replacement are up to the individual.

    Surely I'm not alone in wishing that there was a reference subsection in the forum covering this issue - or at least a "sticky" thread. A few of the other "old chestnuts" could be dealt with this way.

    Ed
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  14. #14
    Senior Member spinerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil0502
    Huh?

    Chain replacement is indicated (as quoted by Nessism) when measuring shows >= 1/16th inch wear (sometimes called "stretch"). There are far too many variables to simply tie a mileage figure to this. I routinely get well over 5,000 miles out of a chain. YMMV.

    Allow me to quote Jim Langleyís Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and repair:


    Usually chains and cogs wear at the same rate. And by the time a chain is worn out, the most used cogs have also worn out and will need to be replaced at the same time as the chain. You canít see cog wear. The teeth actually take on a slight hook shape but itís difficult to see even if you could compare a worn cog with a brand new one side by side. So, unfortunately the best test for worn cogs is test riding the bike in the cog you think is worn out and pedaling hard to see if the chain skips in that gear. But pedal carefully because the skipping can cause loss of control.

    As a stopgap if you are in a tight budget or canít go the shop right away, itís often possible to install a new cassette cog or chainring and continue to use the old chain. It may not even skip. We donít recommend this however, because the worn chain will rapidly wear the chainrings and cogs. In fact one way to get the cogs and chainrings to last as long as possible is to replace the chain regularly, say at the first time of wear or every 1,000 miles. Doing this prevents the chain from ever having a chance to wear the cogs past a certain point. Just when is starting to wear and cut into the cogs and cassettes, a new chain is installed, which eliminates the wear because the new rollers and links are in perfect condition.

    When you wear a cog or a chainring out, the chain links no longer settle down snugly over the teeth and you usually experience chain skip. Itís even more likely to occur when you replace and old chain but keep the old cassette (if the cassette is worn).

  15. #15
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    I just recently replaced my chain (9sp) at about 2,500 miles. I was also surprised that it didn't last longer. I thought I was pretty good about cleaning it, but I'll see how the next one holds up...

  16. #16
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinerguy
    Allow me to quote Jim Langleyís Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and repair:


    Usually chains and cogs wear at the same rate. And by the time a chain is worn out, the most used cogs have also worn out and will need to be replaced at the same time as the chain. You canít see cog wear. The teeth actually take on a slight hook shape but itís difficult to see even if you could compare a worn cog with a brand new one side by side. So, unfortunately the best test for worn cogs is test riding the bike in the cog you think is worn out and pedaling hard to see if the chain skips in that gear. But pedal carefully because the skipping can cause loss of control.

    As a stopgap if you are in a tight budget or canít go the shop right away, itís often possible to install a new cassette cog or chainring and continue to use the old chain. It may not even skip. We donít recommend this however, because the worn chain will rapidly wear the chainrings and cogs. In fact one way to get the cogs and chainrings to last as long as possible is to replace the chain regularly, say at the first time of wear or every 1,000 miles. Doing this prevents the chain from ever having a chance to wear the cogs past a certain point. Just when is starting to wear and cut into the cogs and cassettes, a new chain is installed, which eliminates the wear because the new rollers and links are in perfect condition.

    When you wear a cog or a chainring out, the chain links no longer settle down snugly over the teeth and you usually experience chain skip. Itís even more likely to occur when you replace and old chain but keep the old cassette (if the cassette is worn).
    Replacing a chain solely on the basis that it has accrued 1,000 miles--without regard to measurable wear--has no downside . . . other than time and money, neither of which I have in abundance .

    It seems fairly well settled that "stretch" of more than 1/16 inch will likely begin to degrade cog performance, but that staying ahead of that (by replacing a chain at the 1/16 point) will ensure cassette performance (in my experience: for about three chains).

    As always, YMMV....

    http://www.execulink.com/~dtierney/w...m#Chain%20wear

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html

  17. #17
    pedal, paddle and plod
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    I just replaced my chain and cassette after getting over 9,000 miles on both. I weigh around 160 and mostly do not ride in the rain or bad road conditions. I rarely clean my chain other than fresh lube on a regular basis. I waited until the chain began to act up (skip and not seat well on the chainrings). I almost waited too long as the teeth on my large chainring have been worn down a bit but not enough that the new chain had problems.

    Bottom line with your situation, if the chain isn't skipping and is seating well on the chainrings, why worry?


    tommy

  18. #18
    Ouch!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinerguy
    Allow me to quote Jim Langley
    Who??!!!

    Every 1000 miles???? He must be head of Sachs/SRAM's chain division. Cha-ching $$$$$$$$$$$$
    "Do, or do not - there is no 'try'."
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  19. #19
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinerguy
    ~~ Back to your original question, it is recommended to replace chain about every 1K miles, so I'd say it's a bit due.
    Yeah it is recommended for people who have no idea what they're doing.

    Measure.
    The.
    Chain.

  20. #20
    Stv
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    Now, now boys, play nice and let's move on.

    I got all the chain info I need for now.

    The message is to measure, I got it.

    Thanx !

    FYI : Changed out the cassette today before the chain seated and to an upgrade Ultegra cassette from the OEM Tiagra.
    TODAYS OBJECTIVE: Avoid road splatter; my own, preferably.

  21. #21
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    I would think that chain life has a lot to do with your riding style. If you are spinning the crank at a high cadence you are putting a lot less strain on the chain than if you were were mashing the crank in a low gear with a very low cadence.

  22. #22
    Can't touch this! FireTeamCharlie's Avatar
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    Stop being a sissbag, and run your chain 'til it breaks.

  23. #23
    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    I am ready to replace my chain and saw PG970 with superlink, since I have not been cycling as long as many in this forum, do you use the masterlinks?

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