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Chewing up chains within 500 miles

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Chewing up chains within 500 miles

Old 09-07-15, 09:34 PM
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Sirrus Rider
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Chewing up chains within 500 miles

Hi fellas,

Bike in Question is an '07 Sirrus Drop bar conversion running Sora 3 X 8 brifters, IRC Alpina Front derailur, Sora Rear derailur, and an SRAM rear cassette and an SRAM 870 Chain. I've run the original lube than comes with the chain, Prolink, and even Chainsaw bar lube and I'm still chewing up chains within 500 miles. Last chain replacement I replaced the rear cassette as well, but with the same result. Chain goes from .5 on the Park Tool Gauge to .75 with 500 miles.

Front chainwheels look good and have no more than an 1/8th inch gap.. Any ideas or suggestions??
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Old 09-07-15, 09:40 PM
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Have you checked the chain on the gauge when new? Could be getting a bad reading.

That's incredibly short life. I don't think your cleaning/lubing method even matters at that point. Unless you ride exclusively in sand. How dirty does your chain get?
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Old 09-08-15, 01:46 AM
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Are you worried about the absolute values or the change?
If your chain measures 0.5 as new I'd suspect your gauge or your method is off.
So you're probably not looking at 0.75 after 500 miles, but rather 0.25
Better, but still sounds like a lot.
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Old 09-08-15, 04:10 AM
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Ditch the chain checker and get a steel ruler to do your measurements.

I've related this story before, but bear with me. A friend bought a chainchecker into work and offered to measure my chain wear for me. He very proudly popped up from the measurement and said my chain was worn out and needed replacing.

Trouble is, I had had it on the bike for only 100km as a brand new chain (IIRC, it was a KMC chain and was on a 3x9 drive train)). It went on to do several thousand kilometres of randonneuring and commuting.

The issue with these chain checkers is that they don't actually just measure the pitch of the chain -- rivet to rivet as you would with a ruler -- but rather include the slack between the rollers and the pins; some chains are manufactured with more slack than others, depending on cost-versus-tolerances, I suppose. I could almost guarantee that if you took apart a link in your chain and examined the rivet, you wouldn't have any wear to worry about.

I've gone past the point of worrying much about cleanliness of my chains and their "stretch". I aim for around 6000 miles these days, lube when they start making a whoosh noise, and if I have to replace a cogset as well as a chainring at the same time, so be it. (I accept that MTB chains that get really muddy naturally have a shorter lifespan).

Sirrus Rider, frankly, I would just ride and see if you can get 2000 miles as a minimum out of this chain. But do use the ruler only at every 500 mile interval to check and record "stretch". I also have to say that 8sp chains have a reputation for being more durable than chains for 9, 10 and 11 speed, and you could possibly get 6000 miles or more out one.
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Old 09-08-15, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
I've gone past the point of worrying much about cleanliness of my chains and their "stretch". I aim for around 6000 miles these days, lube when they start making a whoosh noise, and if I have to replace a cogset as well as a chainring at the same time, so be it. (I accept that MTB chains that get really muddy naturally have a shorter lifespan).
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Same here. Bike OCD is long gone.
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Old 09-08-15, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
Hi fellas,

Bike in Question is an '07 Sirrus Drop bar conversion running Sora 3 X 8 brifters, IRC Alpina Front derailur, Sora Rear derailur, and an SRAM rear cassette and an SRAM 870 Chain. I've run the original lube than comes with the chain, Prolink, and even Chainsaw bar lube and I'm still chewing up chains within 500 miles. Last chain replacement I replaced the rear cassette as well, but with the same result. Chain goes from .5 on the Park Tool Gauge to .75 with 500 miles.

Front chainwheels look good and have no more than an 1/8th inch gap.. Any ideas or suggestions??
Chain checker tool: you should replace the chain when it shows 1% wear, not 0.75% wear.
Who told you to replace the chain at 0.75%? Some chains show that wear when almost new.

Also, do you cross chain a lot?
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Old 09-08-15, 08:15 AM
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Connex chain wear indicator - Connex by Wippermann The Park tool doesn't work. This one is better. 12" rule is best.
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Old 09-08-15, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
Chain checker tool: you should replace the chain when it shows 1% wear, not 0.75% wear.
Who told you to replace the chain at 0.75%? Some chains show that wear when almost new.

Also, do you cross chain a lot?
Those numbers are not percentages,but milimeters. The chain sould be replaced at .5% hich is 1/16"wear
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Old 09-08-15, 04:47 PM
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Read and learn grasshopper. Chain care, wear and skipping by Jobst Brandt
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Old 09-08-15, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
Those numbers are not percentages,but milimeters. The chain sould be replaced at .5% hich is 1/16"wear
1/16" is 1.6 milimetre. So I believe your statement to be incorrect.
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Old 09-08-15, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
1/16" is 1.6 milimetre. So I believe your statement to be incorrect.
The distamce they give you is in mm's and only includes the length of the tool.
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Old 09-09-15, 08:20 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
The distamce they give you is in mm's and only includes the length of the tool.
Very well. Thanks for the correction. Anyway, once the tool shows 1, not 0.75, it is time for a new chain. Used that way, the tool is good.
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Old 09-09-15, 08:23 AM
  #13  
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I have the opposite experience to most of the people here. The park chain tools I've used have alway been "precise." On my commuter I was noticing a weird feeling when pedaling. After eliminating everything else, I figured it must be the chain that has worn out. I checked it with a park tool chain checker and low and behold, it measured .75. Now, some chains' spec is to replace at .75, other's it's 1.0. You just have to know which yours is.

Anyway, I replaced the chain and that feeling went away, and the bike shifted better as a result. No, the chain wasn't dirty, no I didn't do anything else besides replace the chain. On the previous chain I had started feeling slight vibration upon hard pedaling, like the chain was "falling" into each valley of the cog too late as if it was stretched. That turns out to be exactly what it was.

I like the chain checkers, but your results may vary.
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Old 09-09-15, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
I have the opposite experience to most of the people here. The park chain tools I've used have alway been "precise." On my commuter I was noticing a weird feeling when pedaling. After eliminating everything else, I figured it must be the chain that has worn out. I checked it with a park tool chain checker and low and behold, it measured .75. Now, some chains' spec is to replace at .75, other's it's 1.0. You just have to know which yours is.

Anyway, I replaced the chain and that feeling went away, and the bike shifted better as a result. No, the chain wasn't dirty, no I didn't do anything else besides replace the chain. On the previous chain I had started feeling slight vibration upon hard pedaling, like the chain was "falling" into each valley of the cog too late as if it was stretched. That turns out to be exactly what it was.

I like the chain checkers, but your results may vary.
I replace at .75 on the bike in question because that that point the chain has so much play in it that it won't shift onto the large chainwheel.
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Old 09-09-15, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
Chain checker tool: you should replace the chain when it shows 1% wear, not 0.75% wear.
Who told you to replace the chain at 0.75%? Some chains show that wear when almost new.

Also, do you cross chain a lot?

My park tool chain checker says replace at .75. Plus once the chain hits that point shifting to the large chain wheel becomes problematic because the chain gets gets too flexible.

I try to avoid cross chaining. Most of the time when I'm on my large chainwheel the lowest I'll go up to (Towards the wheel is the 2nd or 3rd sprocket (30-11t) If i have to hit the 30t I'm dropping a chainwheel up front first.

Last edited by Sirrus Rider; 09-09-15 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 09-09-15, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
Very well. Thanks for the correction. Anyway, once the tool shows 1, not 0.75, it is time for a new chain. Used that way, the tool is good.
The tool is just a guide unless you have the expesive shimano one. There is no substitute for a ruller.
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Old 09-09-15, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
The tool is just a guide unless you have the expesive shimano one. There is no substitute for a ruller.
About right. The tool I have shows 1 when the ruler shows time for a change (1/16 " elongation). The .75 was too strict.
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Old 09-10-15, 09:45 AM
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The Park one I have has been pretty consistent with what I can measure with a ruler but I still always use it as a quick check and follow it up with a ruler.

Even then there are two schools of thought for chain replacement.

1. Replace the chain early and often to protect the more expensive cassette and chain rings. I like this route when running spendy drivetrain bits.

2. Just run everything into the ground and do not bother with anything other than lubing the chain until you start getting skipping and chain suck so bad you can not tolerate it. This is the route I take with less expensive drivetrain bits.
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Old 09-10-15, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
Any ideas or suggestions??
The chain on my commuter bike is 43 years old, original drivetrain. Maybe I should get a chain checker...? Nah, I think I will wait a few more years....
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Old 09-10-15, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by chriskmurray View Post
The Park one I have has been pretty consistent with what I can measure with a ruler but I still always use it as a quick check and follow it up with a ruler.

Even then there are two schools of thought for chain replacement.

1. Replace the chain early and often to protect the more expensive cassette and chain rings. I like this route when running spendy drivetrain bits.

2. Just run everything into the ground and do not bother with anything other than lubing the chain until you start getting skipping and chain suck so bad you can not tolerate it. This is the route I take with less expensive drivetrain bits.
So basically #2 with everything except the top tier groupsets. My 11 speed cassettes and chainrings are $30/$65 and a new chain is $18. So #2 for me.
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Old 09-10-15, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Jiggle View Post
So basically #2 with everything except the top tier groupsets. My 11 speed cassettes and chainrings are $30/$65 and a new chain is $18. So #2 for me.
Pretty much. That is why I still run 9spd on my commuter too. I just run everything into the ground and replace it all at once because components are cheap.
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Old 09-10-15, 11:05 PM
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The chain checker I used to use, this one:
BTL-51 - Workshop tools - BBB

It would show 1 wear when chain was 1/16 stretched measuring by ruler. At .75, the chain was still not 1/16 "stretched".

Also, changing chains at 1 (just as they reach it) gave me 2 to 3 chains per cassette. Changing at .75 gave me about 3 to 4 chains per cassette, but almost half the chain life (mileage).
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Old 09-11-15, 02:48 AM
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I hope, Sirrus Rider, that you have kept all those chains (I think most serious bike people are hoarders, even with worn-out stuff that "might come in handy one day"), so you can get full value from them now.
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Old 09-11-15, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
I replace at .75 on the bike in question because that that point the chain has so much play in it that it won't shift onto the large chainwheel.
That's a shifting / derailleur problem, not a chain wear problem. Your chain wear gauge is misleading you. You are unnecessarily throwing out perfectly good chains.
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Old 02-16-16, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
That's a shifting / derailleur problem, not a chain wear problem. Your chain wear gauge is misleading you. You are unnecessarily throwing out perfectly good chains.

I beg to differ. On a new chain I can get my largest chainwheel no problem. The more play in the chain... I can't . Plus over all the bike shifts smoothly front and rear on a new chain.

I resurrected this thread just to follow up. I replaced my chain wheels and rear sprocket and then problem still continues. I seem to get the most mileage from SRAM chains. I did try a KMC "Stretch Resistant" chain and although it was a sample amount of one I did measure it with my gauges (The park and a Pedros Chain Checker) It was at .50 right out of the box and by .75 and 50 miles it was as flexy as a wet noodle. I've noticed the SRAM chains are slightly tighter in tolerence and run between .25 and .50. Think I'm staying with SRAMs for the time being.
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