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Old 10-11-17, 02:17 PM   #1
Cerveau
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Replacing a chain

So I ride a road bike, a 1984 Cannondale, pretty much this:
Apparently I can't post photos either. Just google 1984 Cannondale Road Bike, it should come up.

And on my way to do a lab practical, the chain broke. I called a local bike shop and they said to bring it in and the whole thing would run me $28 total BUT then he said if the chain is so stretched out it could mean I'd need to change the cassette or something like that and it would cost upwards of $100.

So I did a google searched and to change the chain myself, all I need is a new chain and a chain tool, nothing about needing to replace a cassette if the gears didn't match up with the chain.

What I'm asking is, is this place trying to take me for a ride (heh)? It looks simple enough for me to do as long as I have the proper tools. This is what I'm using for reference to teach me how to replace the chain
Any and all help is appreciated. I can't post urls, its called How to Replace a Bicycle Chain by the Global Cycling Network on Youtube, has a British guy sounding exotic.

Any and all help is appreciated. I am strapped for cash as I am finishing school up, any where I can save money, I'll try. Thank you in advance.
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Old 10-11-17, 02:31 PM   #2
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Yes, changing a chain is pretty simple if you have the right tool. But the shop isn't taking you for a ride. Chains and cassettes both wear and if you put a new chain on a worn cassette, they may not engage correctly. See https://www.sheldonbrown.com/chain-wear.html for more than you'd ever want to know.

You may need a new cassette, you may not. I'd take it in and see how much each is worn.
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Old 10-11-17, 02:34 PM   #3
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No, it sounds like they are telling you that there may be more issues that just replacing the chain won't fix.

Many time a worn component when replaced will not work correctly with the other components as they have wear too. Not always, but I'd say it's often enough that it should always be taken into account.

So replacing the chain may likely be all you need, but if the particular reason the chain broke was also wearing the chain wheels on the front or sprockets on back, then they will need changing too and that means more money.
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Old 10-11-17, 02:38 PM   #4
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...the current crop of mechanics are all schooled in the Shimano Official Corporate Line, which states, "Thou shalt change the chain every 1.000 miles, and the cassette cogset every other chain swap." Which is a little bit on the anal side for most practical users who do not ride in severe conditions.

It's difficult to tell whether yoiu need to change out your cogs (or freewheel if your bike is that old and has one), without actually looking at it.

But by far your best course of action as a poor person who rides a bike is to buy yourself a KMC 6-8 speed chain (they are cheapest online, but you may be in a hurry), a tool to push out the pin to shorten the chain to the length you require 9match it to the old one), and then to see how well your bike works.

If you get a lot of skipping and jumping around, with poor shifting performance, you need to replace the cogs (or freewheel).


If you rode this chain long enough for it to break, there's a very good chance your cogs are worn too. Which is why the shop is telling you this and why it's that much to have them do it.
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Old 10-11-17, 02:39 PM   #5
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You can mearure it yourself: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/chain-wear.html
Edit: redundant info, other people posted the same reference while I was typing.
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Old 10-11-17, 02:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerveau View Post
....

What I'm asking is, is this place trying to take me for a ride (heh)? It looks simple enough for me to do as long as I have the proper tools. ......
yes and no.

Changing a chain is simple enough and often all that's called for. But the shop was simply giving you fair warning of the possibility that the new chain might skip on a worn cassette. This is a common problem, and discussed at length here on multiple threads.

The shop rightfully felt obligated to warn you to the issue because IF they installed a chain and IF it skipped, and then they told you you'd need to shell out another $70, nobody would be happy.

FWIW - the potential skipping issue can be predicted, with some cases near certainty that it will skip, or that it won't. But there's a wide band of gray where it MIGHT skip, and the only way to know is to fit the chain and ride.
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Old 10-12-17, 04:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...the current crop of mechanics are all schooled in the Shimano Official Corporate Line, which states, "Thou shalt change the chain every 1.000 miles, and the cassette cogset every other chain swap." Which is a little bit on the anal side for most practical users who do not ride in severe conditions.

It's difficult to tell whether yoiu need to change out your cogs (or freewheel if your bike is that old and has one), without actually looking at it.

But by far your best course of action as a poor person who rides a bike is to buy yourself a KMC 6-8 speed chain (they are cheapest online, but you may be in a hurry), a tool to push out the pin to shorten the chain to the length you require 9match it to the old one), and then to see how well your bike works.

If you get a lot of skipping and jumping around, with poor shifting performance, you need to replace the cogs (or freewheel).


If you rode this chain long enough for it to break, there's a very good chance your cogs are worn too. Which is why the shop is telling you this and why it's that much to have them do it.
I bought a KMC x8.93, 7.3mm 6-8 speed chain and a chain tool, do I need anything else like pins or anything? The description of the chain says it has a "Missing" link which is a "Master link". Again, thanks for all your help.
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Old 10-12-17, 05:52 AM   #8
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The best thing to do is to install the new chain, and then see how your bike rides. If you get a lot of skipping in your favorite sprockets, then it is time for a new cassette or freewheel.

The occasional skip may work itself out over time. That is up to you, but it may be a sign of looking for more replacement parts for the next time you replace your chain.

The shop likely will replace a cassette or freewheel if there is any question about reliability. Easier to charge a customer $100 than to have them angry for only doing a half a job.

You can likely find cheaper parts if you hunt.
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Old 10-12-17, 06:08 AM   #9
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Try to avoid the temptation to run the chain backwards and apply lube in a hurry — it’s wasteful and can overload the links..
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Old 10-12-17, 07:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
If you rode this chain long enough for it to break, there's a very good chance your cogs are worn too. Which is why the shop is telling you this and why it's that much to have them do it.
And I would guess "this pretty good chance" is nearly 100%. The shop is giving you fair warning, and their quote is not out of line at all. It is very rare for me to replace a chain and not have to replace the cassette/freewheel. I throw the chain on and see, but fully expect to have to do the rear cogs.
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Old 10-12-17, 09:01 AM   #11
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I bought a KMC x8.93, 7.3mm 6-8 speed chain and a chain tool, do I need anything else like pins or anything? The description of the chain says it has a "Missing" link which is a "Master link". Again, thanks for all your help.

...you're good to go as far as the chain. It is only the Shimano chains that use those ridiculous, one use, direction oriented (which is easy to get backward), snap off pins. Most everyone else seems to have gone to those links as a more user friendly solution. Because the KMC 8.93 chain has peened ends on the roller pins, you can only join it with a link. When you push out a pin to shorten it, it makes the hole in the side plate a little bigger, so be careful when you shorten it to get the correct length or you'll need to buy another quick link.
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Old 10-12-17, 09:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...the current crop of mechanics are all schooled in the Shimano Official Corporate Line, which states, "Thou shalt change the chain every 1.000 miles, and the cassette cogset every other chain swap." Which is a little bit on the anal side for most practical users who do not ride in severe conditions.

It's difficult to tell whether yoiu need to change out your cogs (or freewheel if your bike is that old and has one), without actually looking at it.

But by far your best course of action as a poor person who rides a bike is to buy yourself a KMC 6-8 speed chain (they are cheapest online, but you may be in a hurry), a tool to push out the pin to shorten the chain to the length you require 9match it to the old one), and then to see how well your bike works.

If you get a lot of skipping and jumping around, with poor shifting performance, you need to replace the cogs (or freewheel).

If you rode this chain long enough for it to break, there's a very good chance your cogs are worn too. Which is why the shop is telling you this and why it's that much to have them do it.
Dude, I'm one of the "current crop of mechanics" and nowhere in Shimano's technical training (either the dealer manual or in any of the S-tec videos) does Shimano recommend chain replacement on a mileage or time based interval. They recommend using a chain checker (and preferably theres--although their nicer one is actually a little more accurate than most), and replacing cogs and/or chainrings when the chain skips on them. If anything, most mechanics recommend replacement a little early because they use chain tools that slightly exaggerate chain wear, and because they also because we see how terrible people are to their bikes. If we see a chain that is 70% worn in, chances are the next time anyone checks it'll have completely blown out the cassette and chainrings on some bike for which parts are nearly impossible to find.

The shop is just giving you fair warning over the possibilities. Expect about $10-30 for the chain (depending on quality), maybe $25-40 for the freewheel, and if things are really bad you could be looking at $40-80 in chainrings, and potentially $10-50 in labor.

If you're interested in doing the work yourself, I'd recommend checking your current chain wear yourself to get an idea of how much needs replacing. The least expensive way is to take a ruler and measure 12 links. New, it should measure 12 inches, at 12 1/16 inches the conventional advice is to replace the chain, and everything else is still probably fine. At 12 1/8 inches you probably need to replace the cassette/freewheel, which requires the appropriate freewheel/locknut tool and a chain whip. If it's much more than that, or if the chainrings have a noticeable sharktooth pattern to their teeth, then you'll need to replace those as well. I'd also recommend checking to see if there are any bicycle cooperatives in your area if you want to learn to do the work yourself, as they'll have all the tools you need and will be able to provide you with help.

Last edited by cpach; 10-12-17 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 10-12-17, 10:07 AM   #13
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I agree with @cpach bashing you a little on those comments. Of course I've made similarly biased comments too, some called by others and some not.

My only beef is with this........

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
has peened ends on the roller pins, you can only join it with a link. When you push out a pin to shorten it, it makes the hole in the side plate a little bigger, so be careful when you shorten it to get the correct length or you'll need to buy another quick link.
I re-used the pin in my Shimano 11 speed chain after breaking it off and deciding I wanted to take another link out. Late Saturday night, everyone closed for the weekend. And I want to ride Sunday morning. So I re-used that tiny little pin. Had a dickens of a time aligning it while the chain was on the bike, but I did. And I felt the same reassuring click when I pushed it to the proper position that I've felt with every bike chain I've ever taken a link out of and reused the same pin from the 1970's to now.

500 plus miles so far on that chain, no issues. The link is marked. I have looked at it.

Recommended........... no, the pin is so small that alignment while pushing it in is difficult and will likely distort pin or plate if done wrong. But I don't think the peening thing holds true. All pins I've dealt with seemed to have a certain amount of peening. It probably does break off a feather edge on the pin or plate. But I bet enough is left to still do it's job when re-used. If you can get it aligned properly...... which was very difficult.

So while I agree, not recommended.. I don't agree with your reasons. I have not looked to see whether Shimano officially states a reason.

Last edited by Iride01; 10-12-17 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 10-12-17, 10:11 AM   #14
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I looked for a community shop in my area and didn't see any. Measuring the chain links now to see if I can gauge the wear. I've only had the bike for a few months, otherwise it was in the gentleman's garage that I bought it from. I didn't oil up the chain as often as was recommended, once a week, I was riding in show and stuff, so I'm hoping the chain is just worn from poor maintenance. I looked at the gears, no shark tooth pattern so hopefully I didn't do too much damage to the cassette.
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Old 10-12-17, 10:15 AM   #15
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12 links measure exactly 12 inches, I think I just beat the hell out of it while I had it, didn't maintain it, and now I'm learning the hard way. Chain and tool comes in Saturday, I'll let everyone know.

Now what's up with these pins? I'll have to reuse them? The chain won't come with some? It'll come with a missing link but I'm not exactly sure how to put that on, or is it already on and I just remove links to resize?
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Old 10-12-17, 10:42 AM   #16
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12 links measure exactly 12 inches, I think I just beat the hell out of it while I had it, didn't maintain it, and now I'm learning the hard way. Chain and tool comes in Saturday, I'll let everyone know.

Now what's up with these pins? I'll have to reuse them? The chain won't come with some? It'll come with a missing link but I'm not exactly sure how to put that on, or is it already on and I just remove links to resize?
https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...railleur-bikes has all the information you need. To summarize, if the chain length was good before you can simply copy it. With master link chains you simply cut the chain to length so that it is short one set of outer plates, and then insert the master link plates into the inner plates of the chain, link them together, and then pull the chain to lock them into place. This actually makes installation easier/harder to mess up. They're reusable if you ever need to remove your chain (for example, to clean it thoroughly, or install a new derailleur). There's a special tool that makes this very easy, but you can do it by hand usually by forcing the plates together--you can also try various tricks using wire/etc.

If your chain was not worn it's probably not lack of proper lubrication that caused it to fail. Probably it was installed poorly or experienced some trauma, and your massive watts were simply too much for it. That's great news, now you're only <$20 down the hole in consumable costs and have a useful tool.

This is a case where a shop may have actually saved you some money--on a broken but unworn chain I am often happy to install an inexpensive quick link with $5 labor when I'm reasonably confident the rest of the chain is fine.
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Old 10-12-17, 10:47 AM   #17
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Now what's up with these pins? I'll have to reuse them? The chain won't come with some? It'll come with a missing link but I'm not exactly sure how to put that on, or is it already on and I just remove links to resize?
I think the missing link is what many of us call a master-link. It's what you use to connect the chain. Make sure you understand how it works before you break the chain. Master links connect two ends of the chain that both have inner links on them. So you need to take that into account and break on the side of the link that is going to leave you an inner link on the chain.

Your chain may come with both ends already inner if this is a Master Link. But check both ends too before breaking as you don't want to correctly leave an inner link just to find out the other end is an outer link and you should have taken the links from that end instead. I've done that. It's part of a learning curve.
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Old 10-12-17, 11:03 AM   #18
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worn chains wear cassette teeth, just replacing the chain wont un do the cog wear..
the drive train: chain, rear cluster, and chainrings are "consumables"..

Wearing out is a result of use, and Expected .

Buying KMC * chains their Quick Links can be un done, Shimano opts for a non reusable pin...

But you can use a KMC * link on a shimano chain. the "Speeds " number , chain width has to match..

* German Whipperman also has a Joining link of their own..

12 links , if 1 link = an outer link and an inner link... there is 1" between the 3 pins , of a half inch pitch chain.






.....

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Old 10-12-17, 11:22 AM   #19
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Dude, I'm one of the "current crop of mechanics" and nowhere in Shimano's technical training (either the dealer manual or in any of the S-tec videos) does Shimano recommend chain replacement on a mileage or time based interval. They recommend using a chain checker (and preferably theres--although their nicer one is actually a little more accurate than most), and replacing cogs and/or chainrings when the chain skips on them. If anything, most mechanics recommend replacement a little early because they use chain tools that slightly exaggerate chain wear, and because they also because we see how terrible people are to their bikes. If we see a chain that is 70% worn in, chances are the next time anyone checks it'll have completely blown out the cassette and chainrings on some bike for which parts are nearly impossible to find.
...thank you for your correction. Indeed the official Shimano chain literature does say "depending on usage and riding circumstances". http://bike.shimano.com/media/techdo...9830750298.pdf

I meant no disrespect to the current crop of mechanics, other than to point out that they are working in a much different repair environment than was the case 20 or 30 years ago.

I was misled by something I read on the internet, which is always a possibility in life.

I fully agree that chains are much cheaper than chainwheels, thus ought to be changed prior to wearing out the stuff that's more expensive. I have heard from the people I know who work professionally here the "new cogset every other chain replacement" mantra. I'm not certain where it's coming from, but I know it's out there.
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Old 10-12-17, 11:27 AM   #20
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...to the OP: I have been poor and in college in the past, and dependent on a bike for getting around. If it does turn out that one of your rear cogs is a little worn and the new chain is skipping on it, it is often possible to find another cog that you did not use much because it was not your preferred gear to ride around in, and use that safely until you have enough cash to buy the cog cassette or freewheel you require and the tools to change them out.

Generally speaking, it's great to have every cog working reliably, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
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Old 10-12-17, 11:32 AM   #21
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Why so much bickering? Why are some people trying to pretend to know more than others when its obvious even to me they don't?

Anywho, thanks for all the help again, I appreciate it. It'll work itself out.
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Old 10-12-17, 11:42 AM   #22
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I don't think we are bickering in a bad way. Just trying to clarify things. If I don't state my opinion, add my supporting views, then get a chance to see the same from others, then I'll never know where I might be correct or incorrect.

Sure it frequently gets the thread off track. But I learn a lot from that.
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Old 10-12-17, 11:52 AM   #23
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Why so much bickering? Why are some people trying to pretend to know more than others when its obvious even to me they don't?

Anywho, thanks for all the help again, I appreciate it. It'll work itself out.
...it's a long tradition on teh Biekforooms. Everyone thinks he's got the biggest wrench.
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Old 10-18-17, 11:32 PM   #24
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From the absolute bottom of my heart, I thank everyone for all of the help. I used the KMC 8speed chain, was the perfect length right out of the box, didn't even need the chain tool but I'm thankful to have it.

I used the chain tool on the old chain to get a feel for how everything worked, etc and then tested my bike on a hill to see if anything skips and no, it doesn't.

The bike sat in a garage for decades and if you saw the guy who sold it to me, you'd wonder when he even rode a bike last. He was a big guy. I'm thinking the chain was just old and it couldn't keep up with the 100 miles per week I've been putting on it.

Again, thank you everyone for your help. My bicycle is very important to me and getting back and forth to class this last week without it was a good reminder.
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Old 10-19-17, 12:00 PM   #25
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Why so much bickering? Why are some people trying to pretend to know more than others when its obvious even to me they don't?
You're new here aren't you?

Please NEVER ask about or mention chain lube. Or WD-40.

And for all that is holy, never ever never even think about possibly posting a question, comment or slightest mention of the chemical nature of any thing. Just don't do it.
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