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  1. #1
    Spawn of Satan
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    How long does a track chain last?

    I busted my first chain on my fixed gear. This chain was about three to four years old. I heard these last a long time, but I guess not that long. I have been riding fixed gear for about five years now, so once in five years isn't that bad. I wish I could say the same thing for my mountain bike!

    I endoed and bruised my thigh bad, and broke a coulple of fingers becasue holding on to the cowhorn bars. Nothing major.

    Any recommendations on chains?? I have been using the Sachs PC1 BMX/Track chain.

  2. #2
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    Get the special extra wide read cog and a moped chain. That's what I use. Not really for breakage issues as much as stretching issues with the chain. It's just a tad bit more heavy duty than the BMX chains.

    -Andy

  3. #3
    The Female Enduro velo's Avatar
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    My track chains last about 2 years each. I do ride on it a lot, and I don't ride it until it's absolutely nessesary to replace (until the loose spot becomes too great), so I'm sure you could get a little more out of them. Your 5 year track chain sounds like you're pushing it, though, unless you don't ride that bike very much.
    "....You have to have faith that if you're doing the work now,you'll get there sometime."
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  4. #4
    Spawn of Satan
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    What is a "moped" chain?

  5. #5
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    A moped chain is the chain used on a moped. Like a scooter (Vespa) in power but generally smaller and slower and more motorcycle shaped.

  6. #6
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    umm......Vespas are a bit different than mopeds......
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

  7. #7
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    I believe that he said that they were like them in power, and more motorcycle shaped.

  8. #8
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    Thanks Phatman


    Oh also, because the stretching on a chain is not even, try "rotating" the chain once and a while to put the stretch in another spot and you might eke out a little more life in the chain without one of the links breaking (as one also must do with that skid spot on the back tire

    -Andy

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    Oh also, because the stretching on a chain is not even, try "rotating" the chain once and a while to put the stretch in another spot and you might eke out a little more life in the chain without one of the links breaking (as one also must do with that skid spot on the back tire
    ?????

    What on earth are you talking about? Don't you know that a chain rotates on it's own?? And what on earth are you talking about when you say that chains don't stretch evenly?? Chains don't stretch-pins wear and the bearing surfaces elongate. And that remark about the tyre, well, that's just plain dumb.
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

  10. #10
    MaNiC! NZLcyclist's Avatar
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    the idea is to not get flat spots on the tyre

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  11. #11
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    Originally posted by D*Alex
    ?????

    What on earth are you talking about? Don't you know that a chain rotates on it's own?? And what on earth are you talking about when you say that chains don't stretch evenly?? Chains don't stretch-pins wear and the bearing surfaces elongate. And that remark about the tyre, well, that's just plain dumb.
    The chain does not stretch evenly.

    Rotating the chain and rear tire on a fixed gear single speed is highly recommeneded the same way rotating your tires (not spining, ///rotating///, on a car is highly reccommened.

    The chain (unless you are using an odd front to rear ratio - many or most people use even ratios like 3:1 or 4:1) will always have the same links and pins in the same place in it's cycle unless you shift which links and pins are where by rotating it (which if you get enough flats you will probably do by accident anyhow). The tension is not evenly spaced along the chain because the front and back cogs on most bicycles will not be perfectly aligned so some parts of the chain get pulled on more than others. The stress on the chain is very high as the optimal tension for the chain should be sooooo high that if the rear axel is one tenth of a millimiter further back on the rear stays and the chain will be too tight to let the back wheel turn readily.

    The rear wheel/tire on a fixed gear bicycle tends to always stop on leg locking on the same spots. This is because when you leg lock to stop most people have a favored foot position for this so the same spot(s) on the tire wear down quicker unless the rear wheel is shifted by a couple of gear teeth to alter what those same spots are or unless you are one of those weirdos with odd gear ratios like 5:2

    Mind you this applies mostly (but hardly exclusively) to people riding fixed gear bicycles with normal gear ratios on the street(which if you are not one of those people you will not understand my statements and call them dumb because you are do not use your bicylce the same way as me and not comprehend the wear it puts on your bicycle)

    When you ride a fixed gear bicycle 30-40 miles a day in high speed sprints through urban traffic you will notice far different tire and chain wear than someone who uses the same bike to ride in circles on a track and slows to a stop instead of leaving lines of smoking rubber on the pavement.

    -Andy
    Last edited by akochan; 04-17-03 at 04:36 PM.

  12. #12
    Spawn of Satan
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    So I could put a mark on one chain link and note it's position, note the position of the crank arms and put another mark on the tire and note it's position.

    Then if I spin the crank arm 30 times and end up in the exact same crank arm position, will the chain mark and the tire mark be in the same position as the start? Or, will it eventually be in the same position due to some cycle?


    ???? Is this correct ?????

    But this only works for even ratios. What is an even ratio???

    :confused:

  13. #13
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    An even ratio is something that can be reduced to smaller numbers like 48:16 to 3:1 or 56:14 to 4:1 as opposed to something like 52:17 which can't be reduced at all.

    And if you had say a 3:1 ratio and spun your crank 30 times the back wheel would spin 90 times (provided it's a fixed gear) and at the end of those 30 crank spins or 90 wheel spins the same spot of the tire that was on the ground to begin with would be right back there.

    Thus if you have 3:1 and always leg lock to a skidding stop with your feet in the same position (which nearly everyone does) the spot of the tire you slide on would always be the same.

    The nicest thing about this is you can figure out your exact speed or distance traveled without a fancy bike computer all by doing simple math in your head while riding.

    -Andy

  14. #14
    Spawn of Satan
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    It seems to me that you would have three wear spots on your rear tire if you use a 3:1 ratio and 4 if you use a 4:1. You complete a "cycle" every three or four complete rotations of the crank arms.

    It would seem to me that using even ratios would be a disadvantage in this aspect. What are the advantages to using even ratios? I have searched the site and can find no info on even ratios.

    I have been riding a converted road bike to a fixed gear for about 4 years. I use it mostly as a training tool and fun, most of my miles are from a conventional road bike. I use a 42x16 ratio because that is what I had lying around. I have never heard of or tried a leg lock, I just coast to a stop. I definately want to give this a try though!!!

    Don't you go through alot of tires???

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by captsven
    Don't you go through alot of tires???

    Yep,like 1 every 3-4wks on rear...about 800miles,if that.Im using armadillos.Track chains last about 3000miles or so,by then they are stretched enough that I dont trust em,broken one before and I will never let that happen again.

  16. #16
    ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by captsven View Post
    I endoed and bruised my thigh bad, and broke a coulple of fingers becasue holding on to the cowhorn bars. Nothing major.
    Nothing major? Breaking a couple of fingers is no big deal for you? Damn.

  17. #17
    Spawn of Satan
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    WOW, five years.

    I barely remember that. I still don't use those chains!

  18. #18
    FNG Jabba Degrassi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D*Alex View Post
    umm......Vespas are a bit different than mopeds......
    Not really.
    velospace: Angus | Exile | Jake The Snake

  19. #19
    Senior Member shecky's Avatar
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    If you ride a lot, replace the chain often. Vigorous cleaning rituals, rotating, etc. are a waste when good chains are less than a decent tire.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by akochan View Post
    Thanks Phatman


    Oh also, because the stretching on a chain is not even, try "rotating" the chain once and a while to put the stretch in another spot and you might eke out a little more life in the chain without one of the links breaking (as one also must do with that skid spot on the back tire

    -Andy
    Actually, according to sheldon brown you should do the inverse of that. If you make sure your chain is always installed in the exact same position, each link will strech the same, so your chain will last longer.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by akochan View Post
    And if you had say a 3:1 ratio and spun your crank 30 times the back wheel would spin 90 times (provided it's a fixed gear) and at the end of those 30 crank spins or 90 wheel spins the same spot of the tire that was on the ground to begin with would be right back there.


    -Andy
    3:1= 30 rotations of crank, 10 of wheel
    1:3=30 rotations of crank, 90 rotations of wheel.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by akochan View Post
    A moped chain is the chain used on a moped. Like a scooter (Vespa) in power but generally smaller and slower and more motorcycle shaped.
    Except for the ones that are mopeds. Most states define moped to be a scooter with an engine smaller than 50cc (49.9 counts). EX: Vespa LX50 (49.0cc).
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  23. #23
    Senior Member TheSodaJerk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clink83 View Post
    3:1= 30 rotations of crank, 10 of wheel
    1:3=30 rotations of crank, 90 rotations of wheel.
    Semantics, i think everyone knew what he meant.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by clink83 View Post
    3:1= 30 rotations of crank, 10 of wheel
    1:3=30 rotations of crank, 90 rotations of wheel.
    Actually, no. Either one is a perfectly valid ratio. You must define what both numbers mean before you can start telling people they are wrong.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by akochan View Post
    The stress on the chain is very high as the optimal tension for the chain should be sooooo high that if the rear axel is one tenth of a millimiter further back on the rear stays and the chain will be too tight to let the back wheel turn readily.
    this is completely and utterly WRONG. where the hell did you hear this BS?

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