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Old 06-26-10, 08:40 PM   #1
Lenkearney
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How long does a bike chain last?

and how do you know when you should replace it?

My chain has been on my bike over ten years and my bike computer says over 5K miles.

Len
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Old 06-26-10, 09:21 PM   #2
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Yo probably need more than a chain by now. Chain, cassette and possibly chainrings.

Wear is measured by the amount of stretch in the chain. Park Tool makes an inexpensive gauge.

I'll bet @ 5k and that age if you try to put just a chain on it, it'll skip on the rear sprocket.
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Old 06-26-10, 11:24 PM   #3
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+1 to CCrew

I have the inexpensive Park tool and have had a 8 speed chain on a road bike go well over 2,000 miles before showing wear. I also have a cyclocross bike I use as my wet weather commuter. It's showing 1,500 miles and is on its third! chain. Long way of saying the conditions it's subjected to and the care it receives makes a huge difference in how many miles it will last.
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Old 06-27-10, 10:38 AM   #4
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The Park chain checker is a piece of junk. Use a 12" rule to measure chain elongation. It's quite likely that a new chain will skip on one or more of the most-used cogs, but the chainrings are probably just fine.

Do a search on chain life. This subject has many threads an hundreds of posts.
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Old 06-27-10, 11:49 AM   #5
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As long as the bike parts didn't rust on you the age itself doesn't matter. Only the mileage. Measure with a ruler as mentioned. With the start end of the ruler on a pin lined up exactly pull the chain along the ruler and look at where the pin at the 12 inch end lines up. If the pin is past the end of the ruler by 1/16 or more then it's way dead. If it's between 1/32 and 1/16 too long then it's on it's last legs and if you replace it now the rear gearing will likely be OK. If it's between a perfect match and 1/32 longer then it's fine.

If it's really greasy then you may need to clean it in solvent or degreaser before you can measure it accurately.
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Old 06-27-10, 08:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Do a search on chain life. This subject has many threads an hundreds of posts.
+1 This has been discussed many many times. Use a good steel ruler.
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