The thread on compact cranks started to diverge into a discussion about chains so I though it best to start a new more specific thread on the subject.
When I started regular club riding on my Campy 10sp Chorus equipped single, I usually rode about 5,000 miles between chain / cassette changes without any problems. My first mechanic was a racer and recommended changing more often but he certainly stressed his equipment much more than I did and had a lot more riding on potential failure. I didn’t do any of the mechanicals when I first started riding, just figured I got enough miles on that set, drop it off Monday, pick it up mid-week.
I didn’t consider any major differences in chain stress and wear when we started riding tandem until we broke the timing chain on a ride a few months ago . Fortunately, we were not at the very back of the group and a couple of riders stopped and helped us with on-road repairs that I wouldn’t have known how to do. We took links off the right side and spliced them into the left side.
Once home, a phone conversation with my new tandem mechanic / consultant sent me to the bike shop with a shopping list of parts and tools to replace both chains and the cassette and instructions on how to complete the repairs myself.
As a result, I learned a few valuable lessons about chain replacement and repair;
• How to use a chain tool
• Add and remove links
• Borrow from the right side to fix the left side
• Chain replacement
• Cassette replacement
• Loosening a “stuck link”
• Using a chain wear tool
When I took off the old chain I found two other links that looked like this;
Obviously, we were lucky to make it home without additional repairs or a call for a SAG wagon. I'll be making visual inspections more often and will start using the chain wear tool regularly. I need to order a couple of PowerLinks that I can put into an emergency repair splice so I don't have to cannabalize one side to fix the other.
I am trying to become more self-reliant, step-by-step, to do more of my own maintainence and repairs. What other chain insights do the almighty internets advise?