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  1. #1
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
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    Primary consumables: chain and tires

    I'd like to make this a poll, but don't know of a way of doing so.

    Anyhow, we regularly get questions about chains and tires. No - this is not the winter riding forum, I'm talking about drive chains. So, here are the questions:

    Drive Chains:
    Speeds (7, 8, 9, ... )
    Brand/model preference
    Typical mileage (metric or miles OK)
    Road or off-road use

    Tires
    700c or 26" (yes, I'm leaving out all the other sizes)
    Primary function - racing, casual local rides, touring, loaded touring, off-road
    Team + bike weight bracket - light (<290 lb, 130kg), med ( 290-360 lb, 165kg ), heavy (>360lb, 165kg) [do not include gear, as that is factored into "Primary function".]
    Typical mileage
    Brand/model preference/width
    Last edited by WebsterBikeMan; 10-02-09 at 12:37 PM. Reason: clarification

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Speaking only to tandems, as it's far different once you include the rest of the bikes in our stable....

    Drive Chains:
    Speeds: 9 & 10
    Brand/model preference: Shimano XT / XTR of late, various different SRAM
    Typical mileage (metric or miles OK): Varies quite a bit depending on terrain. Let's say 2k for road, a few hundred for off-road noting that I usually change when wear approaches 75% on a Park CC: I much rather chuck off $25 chains vs. $100 cassettes & $20 - $45 chain rings.
    Road or off-road use See above.

    Tires
    700c or 26": 700 = road, 26" = off-road
    Primary function: Recreational road & off-road
    Team + bike weight bracket: Light
    Typical mileage: Tandem-only, 3,500 yr is probably a good guess.
    Brand/model preference/width: 700 = Vredestein Fortezza @ 23mm, 26" varies with terrain / soil conditions.

    Good luck trying to analyze the data. Frankly, it's analogous to figuring out why men prefer... (and what a list that would be).

  3. #3
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    Calfee Tandem, Custom CAAD9 BB30, 90 Santana Arriva Tandem, 02 CAAD4 errand bike, 87 Cannondale "Black Lightning"
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    Drive Chains:
    Speeds: 10
    Brand/model preference: In limbo. After breaking the 9-spd Dura-Ace drive chain on the Santana (which performed well, and lasted a while), we switched to the SRAM one thinking it might be stronger. It made more noise in the granny ring under heavy load, but never broke. Shifting seemed the same. On the Calfee, we are running SRAM 1090-R on both timing and drive chain. We broke the drive chain on the first long ride. Fixed it, and the thing is making a clicking noise under heavy load. We just bought a KMC X10 SL that I am installing before this weekend's ride. Hoping the noise will go away. I will update if I like the KMC.
    Typical mileage (metric or miles OK): Around 2500 miles (or 2x per year), but don't really have a regular interval established for the tandem, since I have replaced them either at failure, or building a new bike
    Road or off-road use Road.

    Tires
    700c or 26": 700c
    Primary function: Recreational road, long distance riding, lots of climbing and descending. Some racing too (mostly TT's or hill climbs).... EDIT: ADDING THIS HERE... Tandem-only mileage, around 3,500 miles yr... at my current distance/climbing ratio, that would be 335,000 feet of climbing.
    Team + bike weight bracket: Medium. (300lb team plus low 30's for the bike)
    Typical mileage out of the tires: Not sure yet, but on the Gatorskins (700x28) the rear was completely gone at around 2000 miles, front still had 50% life left. On the GP4000 the rear is already looking worn after less than 1000 miles, but it's getting more abuse with the disc brake (more rear brake bias).
    Brand/model preference/width: Continental Grand Prix 4000, 700x25
    Last edited by uspspro; 10-02-09 at 06:39 PM.

  4. #4
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    Drive Chains:
    Speeds: 10
    Brand/model preference: Dura-Ace 7800 10sp for both
    Typical mileage (metric or miles OK): Around 1500 miles for drive chain
    Road or off-road use Road

    Tires
    700c or 26": 700c
    Primary function: Recreational road
    Team + bike weight bracket: Medium
    Typical mileage: 1500 miles for rear tire (GP 4000s are lasting much longer than Vredestein Fortezza Tri-Comps. The Fortezzas attracted large screws and pieces of glass. They lasted between 72 and 700 miles.)
    Brand/model preference/width: Continental Grand Prix 4000, 700x25
    Last edited by rmac; 10-02-09 at 04:56 PM.

  5. #5
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Drive Chains:
    Speeds (7, 8, 9, ... ) 8 - but will probably go to 9 for next season.
    Brand/model preference Nashbar 8 because it's about the cheapest, but KMC is good.
    Typical mileage (metric or miles OK) Replace chain after 3000 km.
    Road or off-road use Exclusively road.

    Tires
    700c or 26"
    700x23C
    Primary function - Unloaded sport touring
    Team + bike weight bracket - medium: crew weight 320 lbs, bike weight 44 lbs.
    Typical mileage 3,000 to 4,000 km per year. Tires typically last about 1,500 km on the rear, variable on the front but usually expect at least 3,000 km.
    Brand/model preference/width Vredestein makes the most consistent and durable tires. I've tried Continental (GP and Gatorskin), but their sidewalls are questionable and they do not age well, tending to "dry out." The Gatorskins are more durable than the GP's, and the folding Gatorskins appear to be more durable than the wired-on. / Fortezza SE or Tri-Comp / 23mm

    Luis

  6. #6
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
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    Drive Chains:
    Speeds: 9
    Brand/model preference: SRAM PC971 - so far, but open to suggestions
    Typical mileage (metric or miles OK): 2500 km

    Tires
    700c or 26": 26"
    Primary function: Spec'd for loaded touring; 80% of mileage has been local.
    Team + bike weight bracket: Medium
    Typical mileage: Estimating 6000 km (first set)
    Brand/model preference/width: Continental Travel Contact 26x1.75 - good for loaded touring, but overkill for local rides.

  7. #7
    Senior Member VaultGuru's Avatar
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    Bike: Calfee Tandem
    Drive: FSA SL cranks. The rest is all Campagnolo components
    Speeds: 10
    Brand/model preference: Record 10
    Typical mileage: Around 2500 miles - Yr. Clean chain and cassette every 300 miles. Replace chain about 3500-4000 miles
    Road or off-road use: Road only

    Wheels: Rolf Vigor
    Tires: 700x25 Michelin Krylion
    Primary function: Recreational road, long distance
    Rider + bike weight bracket: 305
    Typical mileage: on average, 1800 miles for rear tire
    Brand/model preference/width: Michelin Krylion 700x25 front & rear. Michelin Pro Race 700/25 for centuries/double centuries
    Last edited by VaultGuru; 10-04-09 at 12:38 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Speaking only to tandems, as it's far different once you include the rest of the bikes in our stable....
    Absolutely, which is why I even posed the question here.
    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Good luck trying to analyze the data. Frankly, it's analogous to figuring out why men prefer... (and what a list that would be).
    I'm hoping to be able to say something of the form "If you're a <light/med/heavy> team who plans to <race/credit card tour...> and has a bike with <700c/26 inch> wheels, the recommendations seem to be coming in in favour of ..."

    Good chance there will be holes in the matrix. But when people ask for tire recommendations, informed responses require knowledge of the sort of use, team weight, and wheel size. Some of the listed uses will never be mine, but I figure to make it generally useful, I should try to be reasonably comprehensive. No doubt I've missed something. I think there may be more hope for chains than tires, as the matrix is basically two dimensional - speeds and on road/off. If chain quality is totally unrelated to anything like price, then it might come out looking like "why men prefer...", but with tires, I've found that many of the recommendations that have appeared on the forum come in a small number of specific sizes. If I'm looking for a durable 26x1.25" tire I can go to all the tire manufacturer's sites and find perhaps a dozen choices, probably fewer. And some of these sites tell me about tires not sold in all markets. At that point it gets to be a bit of a needle-in-a-haystack job to find reviews/recommendations on those from tandem owners. So I'm suspecting, that when you control for size and primary use, there will only be a small number of recommendations in any category, with the possible exception of 700x25c or so.

  9. #9
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    Bike: Kuwahara Tandem
    Drive:Campy Record 10
    Drive and timing chain: Campy Record
    Mileage: 1500 miles
    Wheels:700c
    Primary Function: Fast Recreation Road
    Weight:400lbs +35 for the tandem
    Tires:Continental 4000 25 and at times 4000s 23

    Bike: S-Works Tarmac
    Drive: Campy SR 11
    Chain: Record 11
    Mileage: Too soon to tell
    Wheels: 700c
    Primary Function: Ego boosting for a mid age crisis
    Weight: 175lbs +14.5 for the bike
    Tires: Continental 4000s 23

  10. #10
    sch
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    Chain: 10spd, various brands, getting about 2.5k/chain. DA was first, KMC second and now SRAM.
    Haven't noted a whole lot of difference. Cost per mile varies from $0.02 to 0.008

    Tires: Michelin Pro 2 25mm 700C, was stock on the bike. Very nice tire but gets about 1300mi each.

    After going through 6 of these at $40 or so each (yeah Probikit or Nashbar once) ($0.03/mile)
    we switched to Conti Gran Prix 4000 or Ultragator Skins. Mileage to be determined. Price in the
    $30 or so range. Team weight upper limits of acceptable at 380 including bike.

  11. #11
    Live Everyday
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    Drive Chains:
    Speeds: 9 on two different tandems
    Brand/model preference: Shimano XTR 7701 on one and Sram ? on one
    Typical mileage (metric or miles OK): change all of them once a year..regardless of miles
    Road or off-road use Road for both
    Tires
    700c or 26": 700 28C...Conti 4 Season GP's on one and Bontrager 28c Hard case(soon to change to Conti's on the other
    Primary function: Recreational road
    Team + bike weight bracket: Medium
    Typical mileage- usually 3000 to 4000 per year but this year closer to 5000 (combined)

    Bill J.
    Last edited by specbill; 10-03-09 at 09:10 AM. Reason: Typo

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Now running Shimano 10 Speed (was SRAM before yesterday) chain.
    Continental 4 Season 700 - 25 tires.

  13. #13
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    ]Drive Chains:
    Speeds: 9
    Brand/model preference: Shimano XT
    Typical mileage (metric or miles OK): 1,000miles
    Tires
    700c or 26": 26"
    Primary function: Full off road on chalk trails with plenty of Flints
    Team + bike weight bracket: 400lbs
    Typical mileage: 400 miles
    Brand/model preference/width: Panaracer Fire XC's in 2.1 sizing. Problem is the flints. Rear tyre will have the tread cut to ribbons and the front is not worth putting on the back due to cuts. Tyre will not be worn- but grip detiorates as the tread rips up.

    Have tried other tyres but milage is no better and this is the Tyre that works on our soil conditions for grip. And the Fire XC's are noted as having better protection against "snakebites" due to the sidewall construction. Don't know if it's true but I don't get snakebites- which has occured with other makes..
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  14. #14
    Banned.
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    DA chain shifts so much better than the original off the Co-Motion, which broke at 800 miles. The shifting was immediately noticeable and it is quiet.
    Continental GP 4-Season, 25C

  15. #15
    PMK
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    Road Tandem
    Drive Chains:
    Speeds: 9 Speed drive / 8 Speed timing
    Brand/model preference: SRAM PC 991 / PC 870
    Typical mileage (metric or miles OK): About 2500 at present, typically I replace the entire drivetrain when worn. I will check the main drive chain for wear, and visual the cassette, if it needs a chain but nothing else it will get replaced. The timing chain and rings should go a lot longer. This bike has always seen Finishline Wet lube, and has the chains, cranks and cassette removed every couple hundred miles and cleaned in the parts washer, then relubed. Chains get a final rinse in solvent, so prior to lube they are absolutely clean and dry.


    Tires
    700c or 26": 700 = road
    Primary function: Recreational road, some runs to supermarket, training, and charity ride events
    Team + bike weight bracket: Heavy
    Typical mileage: Tandem-only, 1000 rear, 1750 (?) front. I've been using Tandemgeeks concept of new front and installing the used front on the rear. Regardless the rear gets worn pretty quick.
    Brand/model preference/width: Continental Ultra Gatorskins 700/28


    MTB Tandem
    Drive Chains:
    Speeds: 8 Speed drive / 8 Speed timing
    Brand/model preference: SRAM PC 870 drive / OEM Shimano timing
    Typical mileage (metric or miles OK): About 500 at present, these things take a beating, not only dirt and stress, but the timing chain has served as a glide plate on a free logovers and bumps / climb peaks.
    Tires
    700c or 26": 26"
    Primary function: Serious tight singletrack locally, no jumps, more open type trails on trips.
    Team + bike weight bracket: Heavy
    Typical mileage: Not many
    Brand/model preference/width: Prefer a Panaracer Smoke kevlar 2.1 on front and a Ritchey Zmax WCS 2.1 running opposite the arrow direction on rear. Honsetly there are a few tires we haven't got comfy with, but most work ok and few last any distance, especially the rears. These tires get hammered and start shedding knobs and quickly will round over losing their edge.


    MTB Tandem #2
    Drive Chains:
    Speeds: 9 Speed drive / 8 Speed timing
    Brand/model preference: OEM Shimano
    Typical mileage (metric or miles OK): Unknown at this time
    Tires
    700c or 26": 26"
    Primary function: Serious tight singletrack locally, no jumps, more open type trails on trips.
    Team + bike weight bracket: Heavy
    Typical mileage: None yet, still building
    Brand/model preference/width: Panaracer Smoke kevlar 2.1 on front, Continental something on rear, it was a closeout tire. 2.3"
    2006 Co-Motion Roadster, flat bars, discs and carbon fibre fork, size 22 / 19
    2006 Ventana ECDM full suspension mountain tandem
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    And most important, someone special that enjoys them with me (except the KTM's)

  16. #16
    Ride it like you stole it WheresWaldo's Avatar
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    Drive Chains:
    Speeds: 10 drive chain, 9 or 10 speed timing chain
    Brand/model preference: KMC
    Typical mileage (metric or miles OK): Around 1500 miles for drive chain, 2500 on timing chain
    Road or off-road use Road

    Tires
    700c or 26": 700c Tubular
    Primary function: Recreational road
    Team + bike weight bracket: Medium
    Typical mileage: 1500 miles for rear tire.
    Brand/model preference/width: Continental or Vitorria 25mm width

    So far it seems I am the only one using tubular tires (without issues), this may make my entry invalid for your purposes.
    "Never use your face as a brake pad" - Jake Watson

  17. #17
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    DA 10 spd (7801?)
    Conti gatorskins 700x28.
    Always carry a chain tool, spare links and pins. (Just like spare tubes tire boot and inflata)

  18. #18
    Senior Member coloroadie's Avatar
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    Chains
    Drive Chain: Dura Ace/XTR 9 speed
    Timing chain: SRAM single speed (cheap & strong)
    Typical mileage: 1500-2000 miles for drive chain; 3500-4000 miles for timing chain
    Road or off-road use: primarily road + occasional short dirt road sections during multi-day tours

    Tires
    700c or 26": 700C
    Primary function: local rides on front range and multi-day supported tours in mountains
    Team + bike weight bracket: medium (320 lbs, including bike)
    Typical mileage: usually replace rear with front ~2000 miles; put new tire on front. Primarily ride on mountain roads and use rear disc with ~80% bias.
    Brand/model preference/width: 28C Conti Gatorskin

  19. #19
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
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    A number of responses appear to be giving annual mileage (which only makes sense if you change components annually whether they need it or not). I was looking for the number of miles you typically get on a chain or tires. Several have specifically indicated Rear tire, which is good - it invariably wears out first, although if you are one who rotates in a new tire on the front when the rear wears out that does complicate it...

  20. #20
    PMK
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    In a few weeks I can check and see total miles for the tires. Best I recall, we got about 1200 miles on a new rear tire in cooler months and 900(?) in hotter months, both installed as new tires. Currently, our front has seen about 1000 since new including summer riding. The current rear tire is at around 1400miles, and was the previous cool weather front, guessing at 1700 miles combined it will be done

    PK
    2006 Co-Motion Roadster, flat bars, discs and carbon fibre fork, size 22 / 19
    2006 Ventana ECDM full suspension mountain tandem
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    And most important, someone special that enjoys them with me (except the KTM's)

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