Join Date: Jul 2000
Bikes: 1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
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I do not replace any chainring until the chain runs noisily or skips on it. To maximize chainring and cog longevity, replace your chain as soon as it has elongated by 0.5%, i.e., 1/16" per 24 half-links [sheldonbrown.com].
Some manufacturers specify different 52/53T chainrings for use with a 39T or a 42T inner/middle, but I really don't think it makes much difference. In fact, unless you shift under power, pinning and ramping really don't make much difference, anyway. In the good old days, cyclists did just fine without ramps, pins, or indexing, provided that they eased up on the pedal load while shifting, which is still good advice with today's equipment.
"Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069