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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lesper4's Avatar
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    Replacing a bike chain

    OK so I am know this topic has probably been beaten to death but bear with me please. I got my bike new in November and have roughly 3,600 miles and 280,000ft on it. I just now remembered to check the chain with my checker tool (.75 / 1.0). The 1.0 fits just fine in the chain so it is obviously time to replace the chain. I hope I haven't gone too far and stretched the cassette? I don't have any big rides coming up now with summer hear so I do have a small break-in period window before my next big ride (Some climbing rides in September and then White Mountain Double).

    My second question is I have SRAM Red and I was wondering what would be a good chain to replace it with? Before when I had Shaimano 105 I usually got Ultegra. With Red it sounds like I should get the 1091R (these are pricy, as are Dura-Ace). Do I really need to go to these chains as they do look lighter and weaker (holes in-between links)? Can I just use an Ultegra chain or maybe a 1071 instead?

    P.S.I try to keep my chain lubed and clean. I am also a big rider at 210lbs and usually do most of my riding in the mountains. Thanks.
    2011 Silver CANNONDALE RZ 120 2 3x - 2013 Charcoal-Race Red CANNONDALE SuperSix Evo Red C - 1995 Blue CAD1 F300 hardtail - 2014 Pearl White Nissan 370Z Sport

  2. #2
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    I have SRAM red and have used PC-1031, PC-1071 and PC-1091 chains. Oh, a KCM chain and an ultegra chain too. I get whatever I can find on sale - Nashbar has some 1091 chains for $30 or so a while back, so I bought two.

    Actually, here's a Force chain for $34 - SRAM PC 1071 Hollow Pin PowerLock 10-Speed 120 Link Chain - Normal Shipping Ground

    The only real differences are weight. I don't think the hollow pins contribute to any shortening of life at all.

    You can visually inspect your cassette to see if the teeth look rounded at all, and after you replace the chain if you experience poor shifting then you may need a new cassette, but it's unlikely you will.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    I'd agree with comment above I have some 1091R chains but look for the best prices replacements I consider chains a consumable so save some cash and get whats on sale.
    PC-1031, PC-1071 and PC-1091 and KCM all work good.
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
    http://www.jtgraphics.net/cyclist_bicycles.htm

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lesper4's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link. I will check my cassette but it has been shifting normally.
    2011 Silver CANNONDALE RZ 120 2 3x - 2013 Charcoal-Race Red CANNONDALE SuperSix Evo Red C - 1995 Blue CAD1 F300 hardtail - 2014 Pearl White Nissan 370Z Sport

  5. #5
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    I have SRAM red too. I've used 6701, 7901, 1071, 1091, and I couldn't tell the difference.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    After putting on a new chain, I find a short, steep hill. A couple efforts up the hill will tell me if my cassette needs replacing, too (if it skips). I've even done some hard efforts on flat roads (not many hills close to home) to get a feel.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
    After putting on a new chain, I find a short, steep hill. A couple efforts up the hill will tell me if my cassette needs replacing, too (if it skips). I've even done some hard efforts on flat roads (not many hills close to home) to get a feel.
    Yes, the test for a worn cassette is whether you get skipping when used with a new chain. Note that some of the cogs may be more worn than others (esp. the smaller ones) so you want to do this test on each of the cogs.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    I would measure the chain for stretch. I think that's more accurate than those go/no-go gauges. If you change it yourself the KMC Missing Links make it really easy. Pick up chains if/when you order tires from the UK shops. I paid $16/ea. for two 5700 chains from Ribble earlier this year (just installed one last week.) My chains last around 4500 miles and I ride in sandy conditions but wipe the chain down after every ride. FWIW, Shimano chains will work fine on SRAM and I find them to be a little bit quieter than KMC and SRAM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member trailangel's Avatar
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    Why order from another country?

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
    Why order from another country?
    Usually cheaper, helps support the businesses and citizens of that country.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lesper4 View Post
    OK so I am know this topic has probably been beaten to death but bear with me please. I got my bike new in November and have roughly 3,600 miles and 280,000ft on it. Thanks.
    Time for a new chain. You should be able to get 3-4 chains of life out of the cassette and rings. That is unless you run the old chain until it completely eats through the rest of the drivetrain. Since an acceptable chain costs about $25 and the rest of the drivetrain cost well north of $200, you should buy cheap chains and replace often.

    Check every cog of the cassette. I serviced a bike last week in which every cog was fine except for one that was seriously worn. Presumably the owner never changed gears.

    On my cassettes, I replace (only) the cogs that wear, in the 16-19 tooth range. I have enough scavenged cassettes with loose cogs to pull this off. I know.... shops will tell you that you will die from Ebola if you do this, but I notice no difference in shifting.

    I have run every chain out there. Shimano chains are quiet and fast shifting. For ease of cleaning, I use a KMC quick-link. When my chain gets gross, I pull it off the bike and give it an overnight soaking with Varsol or paint thinner. An ultrasonic cleaner would be the ultimate solution. BTW: all water-based degreasers are useless, including anything 'green'. Cleaning a chain on the bike may do more harm than good, in that it migrates the nasties (road grid - silicates) to the inside parts, which is where things wear.

    A 105 chain is more than fine. Since the wear that kills chains occurs on the inside (the bushings), expensive coatings, or stainless steel parts make no real difference. And on the very expensive chains, the holes drilled in the bushings or the chain links do nothing but save weight.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
    Why order from another country?
    They cost half as much. And I said to pick up chains if you order tires from the UK (like many of us do.)

    You want to pay twice as much for the same thing from your LBS be my guest.

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