As you can see in the 2nd pic, it appears as though I do have some room in between that gear and the frame. However, the 1st picture shows some sort of wear.
I like to stay in 21st gear as much as I can, so there's quite a bit of torque to be dealing with there. I can see, based on looking at how the chain stays centered in between my front derailleur, that when I crank hard on the right side, my 3rd gear on the crank tends to sway a little bit. Not much, but just enough, I suppose. But it only does it when I'm in that 3rd gear... I guess because the 3rd gear is farthest away from the bracket, so it is under more pressure when I pedal with a decent amount of torque.
I guess in reality there's nothing I can do here. It's not like it's a brand new bike... it's a 2004 Giant Boulder SE. Fantastic bike, for me, but at the same time maybe when I get rich and famous I'd like to get on a G Fisher Mullet, or something of that sort.
Anyway, what do you guys think?