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Thread: chain stretch

  1. #1
    Senior Member acoustophile's Avatar
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    chain stretch

    My chain stretched to the point where it skipped off of the cog while riding last night. Being away from home and it being too late to hit up my nearest LBS, I used my chain tool and removed a link and then tensioned it up.

    I realise that this is bad for my cog and chainring, but is there any risk of the chain snapping or breaking off?

  2. #2
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    are you sure your wheel isn't slipping?

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    Riding Engineer Tomo_Ishi's Avatar
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    It's gonna be bad for your cog/chainring, but that's if you ride that for days and months on it.

    I don't think chain is going to break if properly done and done on a link you have never "touched" before. I would get straight home not doing any sprints and hard-climbing. Then have the chain replaced tomorrow.

    I would have moved back my rear axle back on the track ends. You ought to buy a chain length checker. It's geeky, but it's convenient. Most of LBS people seem to eye-ball this type of stuff unless you specifically ask for it.

  4. #4
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Removing a link is not going to have any affect on the chain skipping or anything else caused by wear (what you are incorrectly calling "chain stretch"). It's not that the chain is too long overall, it's that there is too much distance between each link - more distance than there is between each tooth on the sprockets. A chain that is too long will just be saggy; a worn chain is what cause it to climb off the sprockets.

    You probably need a new chain. Measure the amount of stretch and report.

    No, don't buy a chain checker. They are all inaccurate and will have you replacing your chains too often. All you need is a 12" steel ruler and knowing how to use it.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF View Post
    Removing a link is not going to have any affect on the chain skipping or anything else caused by wear (what you are incorrectly calling "chain stretch"). It's not that the chain is too long overall, it's that there is too much distance between each link - more distance than there is between each tooth on the sprockets. A chain that is too long will just be saggy; a worn chain is what cause it to climb off the sprockets.

    You probably need a new chain. Measure the amount of stretch and report.

    No, don't buy a chain checker. They are all inaccurate and will have you replacing your chains too often. All you need is a 12" steel ruler and knowing how to use it.
    Chains shouldn't stretch if they are tensioned properly. Is this a conversion that doesn't have track ends?

  6. #6
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Huh? Chains can't "stretch" at all. They are made of metal (or at least mine are).

    What y'all are calling "chain stretch" is accumulated wear. Tension adjustment has no effect on wear.



    FYI, each full link is 1" long. To check wear, measure 12 links of the tensioned chain, pin center to pin center. Up to 12 1/16" (1/16" of "stretch") is okay. 1/8" is sketchy. Over that and you should start thinking about replacing the small sprocket. There is some controversy about how much wear you should allow. Check the Bicycle Mechanics forum for more info.
    Last edited by DMF; 11-19-09 at 05:34 PM.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  7. #7
    Senior Member NickDavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF View Post
    Huh? Chains can't "stretch" at all. They are made of metal (or at least mine are).

    What y'all are calling "chain stretch" is accumulated wear. Tension adjustment has no effect on wear.
    Thank you for this intelligent post. You'd be surprised how many people think that chains actually stretch.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    There is no way that your chain has worn so much that you can remove a link.

  9. #9
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickDavid View Post
    Thank you for this intelligent post. You'd be surprised how many people think that chains actually stretch.
    Heh. Thanks. I normally don't visit here, but I saw this one scroll by on the ISpy page and couldn't help replying. ISpy is pretty cool. If it's a feature of the new forum software then the change-over is a net gain.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtdrop View Post
    There is no way that your chain has worn so much that you can remove a link.
    lolwut?
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member acoustophile's Avatar
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    I knew that the chain was on it's last legs. It was super saggy and I was just too lazy to do anything about it until it jumped off the cog. It's a conversion and I had the chain tensioned all the way to the back of the dropouts. After falling off and removing a link, I moved the wheel a little bit forward and tensioned from there.

  12. #12
    Senior Member preston811's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF View Post
    Heh. Thanks. I normally don't visit here, but I saw this one scroll by on the ISpy page and couldn't help replying. ISpy is pretty cool. If it's a feature of the new forum software then the change-over is a net gain.
    pretty sure it was there before.

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