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Thread: Chain Wear

  1. #1
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    Chain Wear

    Does anybody here flip the direction of thier chain to get more life out of it?

    Wouldn't this be a prudent thing to do?

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    Somehow I don't think it really works that way. Wear/stretch is the same in both directions.Take a worn out chain that has stretched to the 12 1/8" max limit. measure it from one end,then the other.Same result? Don't think I have ever heard of it as a viable means of stretching chain life.

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    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    But say the chain wear is not excessive. The pins or bushings wear on one side. If it's rotated, won't the pressure bear on the other side of the pin which has no wear?

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    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    Maybe (and I mean just maybe) one could spread out the wear by turning the chain inside out, so that the outer face runs on the inside. This would mean that the rollers run on the other side of the pins. Of course, it won't stop the rollers wearing...
    It would take a bit of research to find out if this made any difference at all in practice. My gut feeling is that it probably would not.

    Cheers,

    Ed


    Edit: Of course, noting would change the "elongation" as a chain wears - this is wear of the inside side plate:- see http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html
    for very good info and pictures about chains
    Last edited by Ed Holland; 01-24-03 at 09:12 AM.
    Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.

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    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    Check out the photos on Sheldon's site. It looks like the other side of the rivet or pin is left with no wear.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/chains.html

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    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    Hi again,

    Its true that the bushing (or the sideplate shoulder in a bushing-less chain) wears on one side where the roller makes contact, but the elongation is wear due to the side-plates rubbing on the pins. This could be reduced slightly if you took out all the pins and put them in the other way round, but you'd have to be very, very bored to try it.

    P.S. Just rushed out to check the wear on my 2 year old chain (about 7000 miles on it). To my horror it is about 1/4" longer than the supposed 12" And Sheldon says to replace if it is 1/8" over. Oh the shame of it
    Another trip to the bike shop this weekend.

    Ed
    Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ed Holland
    This could be reduced slightly if you took out all the pins and put them in the other way round, but you'd have to be very, very bored to try it.
    You would effectively be doing this if you changed the direction of the chain.

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    Originally posted by Greg
    Does anybody here flip the direction of thier chain to get more life out of it?

    Wouldn't this be a prudent thing to do?
    I don't think it would make a difference. Let's say you wear off 'x' mm off a bushing (or is it a pin?) in 1 year, so in an attempt to 'rotate your links' you flip the chain for a year and wear off an additional 'x' mm off the other side.

    So, if you left things alone for 2 years on the chain, you'd wear off '2x' mm. All wear being on one side.

    But if you flip the chain, you wear off 'x' mm on one side and an additional 'x' mm on the other which is the same as '2x' = x + x. In the case, you have wear on both sides.

    I'd think the total stretch you'd get after 2 years would be the same no matter what you did. Yes, you'd get more even wear, but the end result would be the same. Unlike tires, I think for a chain it is the cumulative wear that is important rather than the location of the wear.

    -- R. Chan
    Last edited by rchan; 01-24-03 at 01:50 PM.

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    Originally posted by Ed Holland
    Hi again,

    P.S. Just rushed out to check the wear on my 2 year old chain (about 7000 miles on it). To my horror it is about 1/4" longer than the supposed 12" And Sheldon says to replace if it is 1/8" over. Oh the shame of it
    Another trip to the bike shop this weekend.

    Ed
    Double check the wear on your cogs and chainrings. There is a possibility the gears have 'mated' with your worn chain, so if you buy a new chain, excessive wear in the drivetrain will result due to the misaligment between worn gears and a new chain.

    -- R. Chan

  10. #10
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    Originally posted by rchan
    Double check the wear on your cogs and chainrings. There is a possibility the gears have 'mated' with your worn chain, so if you buy a new chain, excessive wear in the drivetrain will result due to the misaligment between worn gears and a new chain.-- R. Chan
    1/4"! Without a doubt, a new chain, rings and cogs are in order.

  11. #11
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    The pins wear on the "pulling" side. Turning the chain around won't change that, a pull is a bi-directional force.

    Turning the chain around to face the other way won't make any difference.

    The wear on the pin is not exactly in line with the chain. If you picture a horizontal run of chain, the wear isn't exactly centered at 3:00 and 9:00, because the chain only bends in one direction under load as it wraps/unwraps from the sprockets. Thus, the wear is centered at, perhaps, 3:30 and 8:30 (or 2:30 and 9:30, depending how you look at it.)

    Turning the chain inside out would possibly make a very slight difference, but I think this is pretty much cancelled out by the fact that the standard wear actually enlarges the contact area of the loaded parts, while flipping it over would create a slight mismatch in curvature.

    As a practical matter, I don't believe it makes any difference unless you wait WAY too late to change your worn-out chain.

    The photo at http://sheldonbrown.com/chains.html show grossly worn chain, chosen to make the damage easier to see. If you replace the chain in a timely fashion, the wear is much less marked.

    Sheldon "Former Chain Smoker" Brown
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to reply Sheldon.

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    Originally posted by Ed Holland
    Hi again,


    P.S. Just rushed out to check the wear on my 2 year old chain (about 7000 miles on it). To my horror it is about 1/4" longer than the supposed 12" And Sheldon says to replace if it is 1/8" over. Oh the shame of it
    Another trip to the bike shop this weekend.

    Ed
    well,it pays to pay more attention,and it should have been replaced at 1/16".waiting till 1/8' often trashes the cassette too.

  14. #14
    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    I had the chain and casette replaced over the weekend and everything is running sweetly now. I have definitely learned my lesson though, and will be cleaning and checking for chain wear on a more regular basis. If I pay as much attention to the chain as to my pet bike obsession, wheel bearings, everything will be alright.

    Incidentally, whilst I generally do not advocate ignoring maintainance, the repairs to my bike, including labour, cost 40 (about $60 US). Over the two years it took to wear those parts, riding to work in all weathers that works out at about 38p per week (about 57c). Include all the other genuine maintenance expenditure, (tires and tubes etc, not just upgrades :-)) and nothing comes close to cycling as a cheap form of transport.

    Cheers to you all and thanks for the advice,

    Ed
    Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ed Holland
    If I pay as much attention to the chain as to my pet bike obsession, wheel bearings, everything will be alright.Ed
    Dude, if you hava a pet bike named Wheel Bearings then you have bigger problems than chain wear. Get help.

  16. #16
    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Greg
    Dude, if you hava a pet bike named Wheel Bearings then you have bigger problems than chain wear. Get help.

    Hey Greg! Thats an idea

    Actually the bike was named Diana by my wife. The wheel bearings became an obsession because they are practically open to the elements, and self destruct on a regular basis. I have an ongoing experiment to find a way to seal the muck & water out and help them live longer. Maybe I should get out more
    Cheers,

    Ed
    Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.

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