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  1. #1
    Spin it off, Snack Fairy! Alasdair's Avatar
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    Prestretched Chain

    I was told that Shimano "prestretches" new 10 speed chains. Can someone explain the hows and whys of this?
    Experience is that thing you get just after you needed it.

  2. #2
    Charles cpb406's Avatar
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    Who told you this?

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    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Chains don't stretch, they wear. If Shimano's marketing a pre-stretched chain, then I'm sitting on a gold mine of pre-enjoyed units.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  4. #4
    Spin it off, Snack Fairy! Alasdair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpb406
    Who told you this?
    I was told by a young kid at a bike shop in the next county over. A friend of mine also said that when he bought his new Specialized Allez, that the LBS "prestretched" his chain along with the cables.
    Experience is that thing you get just after you needed it.

  5. #5
    Commuter hits the trail.
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    So... They went for a test ride and then slammed on all the brakes? Then adjusted it again?

  6. #6
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Sounds fishy at best. Chain strech occurs when the holes at the pin/plate junctions elongate due to normal wear. I imagine that one could suspend hundreds if not thousands of pounds of static weight from a bicycle chain and it would not stretch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  7. #7
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alasdair
    I was told by a young kid at a bike shop in the next county over. A friend of mine also said that when he bought his new Specialized Allez, that the LBS "prestretched" his chain along with the cables.
    Sounds like they're repeating something they thought they heard someone else say. Or have been "hung" by the other more experienced guys. Sort of like sending a new wrench-in-training to the hardware store for elliptical ball bearings that go in worn out hubs. Or to look in the QBP catalog for transparent seatpost clamps or whatever.

    Cables don't stretch, either, but housings compress, giving the illusion the cable got longer. Don't believe it? On a bike with well used housings, take a brand new derailleur cable and run it through the old housing and adjust the derailleur. Now go ride and note how it stays adjusted! The housings were already fully compressed. All major brands of cables are prestretched in a controlled fashion at the factory. No need in the shop. But we always compress the housings!

  8. #8
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Uh, what possible function would pre-stretching a chain accomplish?

  9. #9
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Uh, what possible function would pre-stretching a chain accomplish?
    Maybe it keeps the chain from shrinking and compressing the cogs and chain rings, causing deformation in those parts?



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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Would using a pre-stretched chain require you have matching pre-stretched cogs & chainrings?

  11. #11
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    When I worked for a LBS, we had a nifty device that stretched cables for you. That helps avoid the normal 1 week tune-up when everything settles in. As for a chain, I've never heard of such a thing. And if there is, I have a chain just about prestretched for Campy to start marketing.

  12. #12
    Senior Member fixed.rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1
    to look in the QBP catalog for transparent seatpost clamps


    Had not heard that before. Funny!

  13. #13
    cab horn
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    This is complete bullcrap anyways. First of all the term is wrong, "stretch". Second what really amounts to stretch is chain wear.

    So in effect what they're saying is, they'll "strecth" the chain for you which means they'll give you an old chain. What a load of crap.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  14. #14
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1
    Sounds like they're repeating something they thought they heard someone else say. Or have been "hung" by the other more experienced guys. Sort of like sending a new wrench-in-training to the hardware store for elliptical ball bearings that go in worn out hubs. Or to look in the QBP catalog for transparent seatpost clamps or whatever.
    When I worked at a hardware store, this frequent customer would come in, pick out the newbies, and ask for a left-handed monkey wrench or elbow grease. Most of them just asked me if we carry them (to which I just laugh) but a few people actually looked up their little store guide and pointed the guy in the direction of tools or lubricants!

  15. #15
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    Sounds like my auto parts/tools shopping list...

    Head stud stretcher
    Cross-drilled brake lines
    Blinker fluid
    Heavy-duty tire beads
    Left-handed screwdriver
    Muffler bearings
    Elbow Grease
    ax0n: Geeky and bikey
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  16. #16
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Whats next, pre worn tires?
    Al

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1
    Cables don't stretch, either, but housings compress, giving the illusion the cable got longer. Don't believe it? On a bike with well used housings, take a brand new derailleur cable and run it through the old housing and adjust the derailleur. Now go ride and note how it stays adjusted! The housings were already fully compressed. All major brands of cables are prestretched in a controlled fashion at the factory. No need in the shop. But we always compress the housings!
    This is not quite right either. In fact what happens is that the cable wears its path into the liner inside the housing. On a new bike, the cable wears a groove into the metal that it runs over. Grabbing the brake levers hard after installing new cables take up the slack that may exist in the run from lever to brake, and permits the cable to "slot" into the old wear pattens.

    I'm also interested in seeing a "cable stretcher". It must suspend from the ceiling so someone can dangle off the end of the cable... because I can't see a cable ever stretching otherwise. Go figure it -- test the amount of force required to move a derailleur or engage a brake caliper. Then go attach the end of a cable to something immoveable, and try to "stretch" it. Good luck. Now if that poster had said "a tool for taking up the slack in a cable system" then I might believe him.

    Anyone who says a chain or cable used on a bicycle is stretched, is playing with themselves. The key for the OP was "I was told by a young kid at a bike shop".
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  18. #18
    META Severian's Avatar
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    Pre-chewed gum? Re-fried Beans? Pre-stretched Chains? What is this world coming to? What will they sell next? Used panties? Pre-enjoyed Condoms?!?

    gah.

  19. #19
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    This is not quite right either. In fact what happens is that the cable wears its path into the liner inside the housing. On a new bike, the cable wears a groove into the metal that it runs over. Grabbing the brake levers hard after installing new cables take up the slack that may exist in the run from lever to brake, and permits the cable to "slot" into the old wear pattens.
    What metal is having a groove worn into it? I've put on thousands of cables and have never seen these grooves. In any cable run, metal on metal is not good! Once the cable wears into the inner liner, it's time for new housing!

  20. #20
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    I had the LBS pre ride my bike for me. I got in 2500 miles this year and only rode it for 30 minutes!
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  21. #21
    Svr
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    Senior Member Svr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1
    What metal is having a groove worn into it?
    You really have to be old school to remember that cable housing used to be unlined, and allowed metal to metal contact.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1
    What metal is having a groove worn into it? I've put on thousands of cables and have never seen these grooves. In any cable run, metal on metal is not good! Once the cable wears into the inner liner, it's time for new housing!
    I bow to your superior experience.

    But, as I do so, I should point out that I don't think all brake cable outers have a plastic lining. Just a mo, I will go and check on one of the bikes out in the garage... nope, no liner there on the housing. What about canti brakes... no metal to metal contact there? What about where the barrel or mushroom end goes... oh yes, I see that there on my bike, too. There's also a bike out there with ... wait for it... a travel agent with metal-to-metal contact between the cable and the pulley. That's without the straddle fitting for canti brakes where there is... wait for it, metal to metal contact!!

    Just occasionally, if you choose to work on bikes that may not be the current fashion trend, you might find cables running through a tube or two above the BB to the front and rear derailleurs... let me see on the (admittedly old frame up on the wall, a Maruishi)... yes! Metal to metal contact through one of those tubes!

    And, if you look at Sheldon Brown's little tweak for 9 speed shifters converting to 10-speed cogsets, you will see that the cable has the potential to wear a little groove in the adjacent metal as it works.

    And while we are on derailleurs and shifter cables, have you ever noticed how the cable exits from the rear derailleur barrel stop at an angle that might just change as the cage shifts back and forth... and that on some derailleurs, there might just be metal-to-metal contact and an itty-bvitty groove wear its way into tha exit hole? Probably not.

    And even though it's not metal, no-one has mentioned anything about the BB cable guide for both the rear and front derailleurs (front, bottom pull) that can contribute to this cable stretch thing, too.
    Last edited by Rowan; 11-28-06 at 06:25 PM.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    I prestretched a wheel once, but it wobbled up and down too much.,,,,BD

  24. #24
    cab horn
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    Rowan: lol
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  25. #25
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Svr
    You really have to be old school to remember that cable housing used to be unlined, and allowed metal to metal contact.
    Oh, I began riding in 1974! I know the nasty feeling of that steel cable dragging through the unlined steel housing, especially on those fully housed rear brakes like my first Masi....

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