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  1. #1
    Senior Member tntyz's Avatar
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    New chain amazes

    Just got a new chain for my Madone 4.5. It's my first road bike and this is the first time I've ever replaced a chain.

    Holy cow! What a difference. Almost feels like a different bike. Drive train is silent and shifting is really sharp. I found that I had built up bad riding habits to get around certain shifts; all my riding ended up pretty much in the middle ring. Not any more!

    The only downside was that I only got 2,000 miles on the original chain.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    I did the same thing a week ago. Was reading threads in here about chains and I went and measured mine and yep..stretched.
    Like yours it shifts great now! I am going to take better care of this one. I had about 2500 miles on mine.

  3. #3
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I think most 9 or 10 speed chains are good for 2,000 miles or less.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    I just replaced my chain after 9000 miles. I had measured it a few times and never found it to be stretched (perhaps due to my extremely weak pedaling), so I never replaced it. When I did, I also had the cassette replaced and the LBS misaligned things, resulting in the derailluer breaking off during the second ride. So now have a new chain, cassette, rear derailuer, and I got a new bottom bracket for good measure. It feels like a whole new bike.

  5. #5
    Roadkill byte_speed's Avatar
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    I've got 9800 miles on my chain and it still shifts perfectly, but I bought replacement cogs and a chain recently, figuring it was getting about time.

    The secret to long chain life is lubrication and cleanliness.

    If you replace the chain before it needs it, you can avoid replacing the cogs, but I haven't bothered with that before, probably will next time.

  6. #6
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    You are getting 10,000 miles on a 10 speed chain?

    WOW!!

    I've never heard of that.

    Yes, for a 6 or possibly 7 speed.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  7. #7
    rck
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    Chains are replaceable?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    You are getting 10,000 miles on a 10 speed chain?

    WOW!!

    I've never heard of that.

    Yes, for a 6 or possibly 7 speed.
    I've got around 7,000 miles on my current 10 speed chain. Last time I measured it with a Park Tool Chain tool it dropped into the .75 tooth but not the 1.0 tooth. I'll probably use the chain through the fall. I generally clean the chain with Simple Green every 3 to 5 rides and re-lube with dry Teflon.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  9. #9
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byte_speed View Post
    I've got 9800 miles on my chain and it still shifts perfectly, but I bought replacement cogs and a chain recently, figuring it was getting about time.

    The secret to long chain life is lubrication and cleanliness.

    If you replace the chain before it needs it, you can avoid replacing the cogs, but I haven't bothered with that before, probably will next time.
    I thought the secret to long chain life is to prevent stretching. And to prevent stretching, the rider must not stress the chain by sprinting and by avoiding hill climbing. Both of these I do somewhat.

    Other stress to chain may be riding with the wrong configuration between the front rings and rear cogs. Still another is the error by mechanic in the number of links on the chain during an installation.
    Last edited by Garfield Cat; 08-12-09 at 08:35 AM.

  10. #10
    Bicycle n00B
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    Had the same experience when I replaced my chain last month. So quiet. Now my responsibility is to keep it and the sprockets cleaned and well-lubed so it lasts a while.
    I reserve the right to be wrong at any time. :D

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  11. #11
    Senior Curmudgeon Halfast's Avatar
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    I have a Ultegra 10 speed with 6500 miles that shows very lettle wear as measured with a good metal ruler. The .75 chain checker is not near dropping in. I think I will get 10,000 out of it. I clean and oil each week, an average of 160 miles. I rarely ride in rain, and oil with the Mobile1 10/30 mineral spirits mix (1 to 3) I got off this forum.

    My other bike with the same chain has 5000 miles with the same results, as in very little wear.

    Both bikes shift flawlessly and are very quiet.
    "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

  12. #12
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Like others I've had long wear (I thought it was normal) for 9 and 10 sp chains-they probably average at least 6000 miles. I usually get Dura Ace but don't know if that makes any difference.

    I'm just hoping this Campy 11 sp chain lasts a long time. My goodness those things are $$$$$.......and I'm not paying $300 for the tool for the pins either!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    I thought both 10 speed chains on my 2 newer road bikes might might need replacing but a thorough cleaning sure can improve things - neither have stretched to the point where a change is necessary. I guess I'm not as meticulous as some of you about drivetrain cleanliness.

  14. #14
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    I've got around 7,000 miles on my current 10 speed chain. Last time I measured it with a Park Tool Chain tool it dropped into the .75 tooth but not the 1.0 tooth. I'll probably use the chain through the fall. I generally clean the chain with Simple Green every 3 to 5 rides and re-lube with dry Teflon.
    I also clean my chain with simple green and a clamp on chain cleaner. I also oil with try teflon. I reclean/lube every two weeks which on this bike is about 150 miles. I would say I got 2K mile on the chain when it started to measure 0.75, I went ahead and replaced it but I am sure I might have gotten another season out of it.
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  15. #15
    Pat
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    You can get a chain wear tool at most LBS. They are cheap and accurate.

    The cleaner you keep your drive train, the longer your chain will last. If you change chains before they have much wear, your rear cluster will last longer. If you run a chain until it gives problems, you will have trashed your rear cluster too. Since the cluster costs several chains, I change chains pretty frequently.

  16. #16
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    I get about 1800 miles from a chain, regardless of how often I clean and lube, regardless of what brand of chain I use, and regardless of the lube I use. I replace the chain when it gets to .75 on the Park chain tool (I let it go to 1.0 once and had to replace the cassette). I am jealous of those who get so much mileage.

    What could I be doing wrong? Maybe I shift more than others? Maybe I'm running the chain crossed more than others? Maybe my components are of lower quality? Maybe my route has more chain damaging dirt/sand? Maybe I run in easier gears than others? Any ideas?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPMacG View Post
    I get about 1800 miles from a chain, regardless of how often I clean and lube, regardless of what brand of chain I use, and regardless of the lube I use. I replace the chain when it gets to .75 on the Park chain tool (I let it go to 1.0 once and had to replace the cassette). I am jealous of those who get so much mileage.

    What could I be doing wrong? Maybe I shift more than others? Maybe I'm running the chain crossed more than others? Maybe my components are of lower quality? Maybe my route has more chain damaging dirt/sand? Maybe I run in easier gears than others? Any ideas?
    Some causal factors:

    Stronger riders will get fewer miles on a chain.

    Mashing (riding in a higher gear for the same speed) will get fewer miles.

    Cross-chaining.

    Riding in the rain and dirt and then not re-lubing.

    Less expensive chains will wear faster.

    10 spd chains wear faster.

    Poorly adjusted derailleurs.

  18. #18
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPMacG View Post
    I get about 1800 miles from a chain, regardless of how often I clean and lube, regardless of what brand of chain I use, and regardless of the lube I use. I replace the chain when it gets to .75 on the Park chain tool (I let it go to 1.0 once and had to replace the cassette). I am jealous of those who get so much mileage.

    What could I be doing wrong? Maybe I shift more than others? Maybe I'm running the chain crossed more than others? Maybe my components are of lower quality? Maybe my route has more chain damaging dirt/sand? Maybe I run in easier gears than others? Any ideas?
    You have waaaaayyyyyyy too much power.
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  19. #19
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    If you change chains before they have much wear, your rear cluster will last longer. If you run a chain until it gives problems, you will have trashed your rear cluster too. Since the cluster costs several chains, I change chains pretty frequently.
    +1
    Chains are much cheaper than cassettes, so I'd rather change chains more often than necessary than wait too long and change cassettes more often.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  20. #20
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    I replace my chain within 2000 miles - 10 speed D/A. Even if the "measurement" tool indicates it is fine. Once the chain shows any wear, it begins to wear the chain rings and the rear cassette. It is all bad from there - noise, replacement of cassette or chainrings, poorer shifting or the worst: skipping. At 109 pounds, my wife does not wear out chains or tires. I change them routinely anyway.
    Last edited by Hermes; 08-17-09 at 12:58 PM.

  21. #21
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPMacG View Post
    I get about 1800 miles from a chain, regardless of how often I clean and lube, regardless of what brand of chain I use, and regardless of the lube I use. I replace the chain when it gets to .75 on the Park chain tool (I let it go to 1.0 once and had to replace the cassette). I am jealous of those who get so much mileage.

    What could I be doing wrong? Maybe I shift more than others? Maybe I'm running the chain crossed more than others? Maybe my components are of lower quality? Maybe my route has more chain damaging dirt/sand? Maybe I run in easier gears than others? Any ideas?
    I clean my chains on all my bikes before riding them. For lubing, I use http://www.buzzillions.com/reviews/d...n-lube-reviews It is the best stuff I have found and attracts the least dirt. How much do you weigh? IMHO, drive train life is directly proportional to rider weight, exposure to dirt and cleanliness for the same amount of miles.
    Last edited by Hermes; 08-17-09 at 12:59 PM.

  22. #22
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    . How much do you weigh? IMHO, drive train life is directly proportional to rider weight, exposure to dirt and cleanliness for the same amount of miles.

    I don't get many miles to a chain.
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  23. #23
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    I fail to understand how cleaning and lubrication prevents a chain from stretching, but I'm willing to be enlightened.

  24. #24
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zowie View Post
    I fail to understand how cleaning and lubrication prevents a chain from stretching, but I'm willing to be enlightened.
    It does not stretch per se, it wears. As it wears due to both corrosion and abrasion, it stretches. Each year my racing club has a senior mechanic give a presentation on winterizing and riding your bike in wet conditions. According to him, the chains are incredibly strong and hard. However, road dirt and "bad actor" chemicals from the roads cause the internal pins to wear which lengthens the chain. Once it is longer, it wears the chainrings and the cassette.

    Their recommendation was that if you ride in the rain, to hose down the drive train with water and relube. BTW, that is not high pressure water, just water out of a hose with no pressure. I know that there are videos of pro bike mechanics pressure hosing bikes. However, according to my guys, high pressure water can make its way into the sealed bearing.

    We have not had any rain since April. But for you guys who inevitably ride in the rain, I suspect hosing down your drive train and relubing is a good idea.

    An interesting point...at the presentation, many guys were ready to fight about chain lubes - my lube is better than your lube. It was almost religious. I am going with the senior mechanic from a pro bike shop with years of experience versus the guy who wants to argue that WD 40 mixed with motor oil is the best chain lube.

    More reading...http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html
    Last edited by Hermes; 08-17-09 at 02:13 PM.

  25. #25
    just over the next hill cruzMOKS's Avatar
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    6651 miles less than 1/64th long (10 links measured) Bianchi Volpe 9 speed

    I keep my chain lubed often. This past week was the first time I heard some squeaking from my derailleur in a long time. Have been busy and neglected cleaning my bike. Cleaned chain and works and it ran like a kitten yesterday.

    Weight 190 and I climb a lot of hills.

    Does shifting gears under strong peddling cause wear? I always pedal lightly when shifting.
    Enjoy the ride.
    Bianchi Volpe 2006; Fuji Tahoe 1990

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