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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-14-09, 07:33 PM   #1
yusuke343
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chain life

I know it is here somewhere, but I cannot find it.

How long is a chain good for without brakes?


thanks
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Old 06-14-09, 07:36 PM   #2
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Brakes or not does not affect a chain's longevity.

It's good until it stretches 1/16th of an inch

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html
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Old 06-14-09, 08:45 PM   #3
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About 116 links....
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Old 06-14-09, 10:53 PM   #4
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Two riders putting in the same mileage in the same weather, one without brakes and one with at least one brake: the rider who only uses back pressure and skipping/skidding to stop is going to need to replace his or her chain more often.

Doing 100-150 miles a week brakeless in NYC, I am apparently supposed to replace my chain about every six months and I'm riding the KMC Kool Ultra-light chain. Better than messengers here, some of whom apparently replace their chains every month. Probably because they ride 40 to 100 miles a day.

Park sells a handy tool that makes it really easy to know if you are one-quarter/half/three-quarters through the life of your chain. Or just plain in need of replacing it.
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Old 06-14-09, 10:56 PM   #5
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Two riders putting in the same mileage in the same weather, one without brakes and one with at least one brake: the rider who only uses back pressure and skipping/skidding to stop is going to need to replace his or her chain more often.
Chains do not stretch from pedalling force. Chains get longer because they wear out and the holes in the sideplates for the rollers get enlarged from friction and dirt. It doesn't matter if you skid, skip or have legs like the incredible hulk.
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Old 06-14-09, 11:04 PM   #6
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Doing 100-150 miles a week brakeless in NYC, I am apparently supposed to replace my chain about every six months and I'm riding the KMC Kool Ultra-light chain. Better than messengers here, some of whom apparently replace their chains every month. Probably because they ride 40 to 100 miles a day.
Wow... With all due respect, this seems impossible. I think that chains are meant to last alot longer than that. No?
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Old 06-15-09, 07:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by elTwitcho View Post
Chains do not stretch from pedalling force. Chains get longer because they wear out and the holes in the sideplates for the rollers get enlarged from friction and dirt. It doesn't matter if you skid, skip or have legs like the incredible hulk.
This is the proper answer, you're more likely to break a chain skipping and skidding and riding brakeless but stretch is a result of wear on the rollers as twitcho said.
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Old 06-15-09, 12:38 PM   #8
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The fact that the chain on a fixed gear bike is in constant rotation causes the chain to wear quicker than on geared bikes. Increased friction from riding brakeless only exasberates the wear.

The statement regarding some nyc messengers replacing chains on a monthly basis is based on a shop owner having customers come to replace their chains on a near monthly basis.
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Old 06-15-09, 04:49 PM   #9
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Whatever messengers are going through their chains that fast have their chain tension way to high. Which greatly accelerates the wearing process. I like to change my chain every 3-4 months, putting in at least 60 miles a days at work.

A little slack in the chain, with give your chain and drive train a lot of extra miles.
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Old 06-15-09, 06:53 PM   #10
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With apologies for the minor thread drift.... all other things being equal, should an 1/8" chain have a longer life than 3/32"? Gracias.
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Old 06-15-09, 08:42 PM   #11
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With apologies for the minor thread drift.... all other things being equal, should an 1/8" chain have a longer life than 3/32"? Gracias.
No, that metric refers to the width of the chain.
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