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Chain Wear

Old 04-02-11, 04:24 PM
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pritpalmanku
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Chain Wear

Hi Guys I am a long time reader, first time poster. I need a little bit of help with my bike. I was in the process of restoring an older bike when I noticed the chain, freewheel and chain rings were either broken or worn. Although I expected that (over 5 years old) I also checked my new bike for chain wear. I have used the Parktool CC-3 and noticed that there is wear on my chain at 0.75 in some places but not others. There is no wear at 1.0.

The bike I am currently using is a Specialized Allez 2010 16 gear bike. The chainset is a Shimano 2300, the cassette is Shimano HG-50, 8-speed, 12-25t and the chain is a KMC Z-51. I have done approximately 600 miles on the bike (it is still relatively new)

I have also visually checked my chainrings and cassette and noticed some irregularities. Ive attatched some pictures to show these. On the chainring it looks like some of the teeth have been broken and on the cassette it looks like two of the teeth have been rounded. I have also been in an accident where I went straight into a car (driver pulled out without looking) and the chain came off, although I dont know how much significance this has as it happened over a month ago and I have only noticed these problems now.

Ive gone to my LBS (Halfords) but the person there wasnt very helpful at all.

What I need to know are the following things, any help would be appreciated. If you cant answer all the questions I will appreciate any help with some.

1. Do i need to change the chain or any other parts of the bike? Currently I have no shifting problems or slippages.

2. Is there anything wrong in the way I cycle? I do have a tendancy to change gears a lot and I usually do this while im still pedalling, however I rarely do this when standing up.

3. Is there something wrong in the way I am cleaning/lubricating my chain? I usually do this once a week on the weekend after commuting to work (about 100 miles a week). I use the mucoff chain cleaning tool and spray. Then I wash it off, let it dry for a bit, spray some gt85 and put on some teflon oil on the chain. I also use some degreaser to get crap off the chainrings and freewheels, but only if necessary.

Thanks
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Old 04-02-11, 04:26 PM
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Also I have checked out Sheldon Brown and done some research but I am not sure how significant it is that there is wear on some parts of the chain and not others.
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Old 04-02-11, 04:36 PM
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First of all there's absolutely nothing wrong with your chainring or cassette teeth. The "worn or broken" teeth were that way when new. That's what puts the glide in Hyperglide. They're cut down to create shift gates allowing the chain to climb onto or off the sprocket to the side more smoothly without climbing over the tops of the teeth. (think of them as comparable to switches on a railroad track).

As far as your chain wear is concerned, the small tools often read high, so confirm whether it's worn to the replacement point (I hope not after only 600 miles) by measuring the pin to pin distance over 12" of chain while it's under a bit of tension (you can't stretch, you just want to get the slack out). Since each link is 1/2" the pins at either end 24 links of a new chain will be exactly 12" apart, if they're 12-1/16" apart it's time to replace the chain, but probably not the cassette. If they're 12-1/8" apart or more odds are the cassette is toast also, but try your luck replacing the chain only first.

BTW- if the chain is "stretched" more than 1/32" over 12" in only 600 miles, you're either not ever oiling (or any other lube) it at all, or not often enough, or you have crappy lube, or you let it get very dirty and gritty. With decent maintenance a chain shouldn't stretch 1/16" over 12" for at least a few thousand miles.
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Old 04-02-11, 05:11 PM
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Hi there thanks for your help. I checked out the chain again and it looks like there is mostly 1/32 stretch over 12'' but in some places it is very very close to 1/16th. Do you think it would be a good idea to change the chain now?

ive been using some halfords lubricant (link below) but I will change to something of a better quality now. Is GT-85 on its own ok? How much should I spray and how often? If not I was thinking of purchasing some Prolink lube as that seems to have some good reviews.

Thanks



https://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/s...Id_228375#dtab
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Old 04-02-11, 05:24 PM
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I'm surprised that you're seeing that much variation in wear between different sections of the same chain. I'd check my measurements and if sure that some sections are approaching 1/16" stretch mark the chain for replacement soon. That much variation is probably evidence of poor or no maintenance, because otherwise things tend to average out pretty evenly.

As to lube suggestions, I stand mute because of the obvious conflict of interest. But it's as much a matter of how you use any product, and your overall maintenance, as it is which product you use.
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Old 04-02-11, 06:28 PM
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I have the same groupset on my Tricross. I use the Park Tool "go/no go" tool - I had .5 wear in all sections I tested after about 2500kms, and .75 was hit or miss, depending on where on the chain I did the test.

Bottom line it was stretched beyond limits in some places - replaced with the a SRAM PC-850 chain. See how this one lasts...
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Old 04-02-11, 06:31 PM
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Ive decided to do the same. I just purchased the SRAM PC-850; seems like a good alternative. Ive also decided to go for some progold chain oil as it has great reviews. It surely cant be worse than any Halfords brand though!
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Old 04-02-11, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
First of all there's absolutely nothing wrong with your chainring or cassette teeth. The "worn or broken" teeth were that way when new. That's what puts the glide in Hyperglide. They're cut down to create shift gates allowing the chain to climb onto or off the sprocket to the side more smoothly without climbing over the tops of the teeth. (think of them as comparable to switches on a railroad track.
+1

I have the same 2010 Allez as you, and have only had it a week. My chainwheels and cassette cogs look the same way, and have looked that way since new. I have the SRAM PC-850 chain on my hybrid, and it has held up well for me.

Just FYI... If you ever need touch up paint for your bike, the closest color match I've found so far is L84A Porsche Guards Red. If it isn't an exact match, it is extremely close.
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Old 04-02-11, 07:12 PM
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I doubt your choice of chain lube is to blame for any accelerated wear. Much more important is how thoroughly you clean it, and it looks like you're doing a good enough job of that. 1/32 of wear is about right at this point. Normally a chain only lasts a couple thousand miles, depending on a number of variables such as rider weight, riding conditions (sandy or gritty surfaces, wind, etc), even pedaling style. A single wet ride of 20 or 30 miles can burn almost half the life out of a brand new chain, and shorten the life of the chain even after if you can't get all the grit out.
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Old 04-02-11, 07:26 PM
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I use Rock "N" Roll Gold chain lube so far it's been good to my chain.
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Old 04-02-11, 07:59 PM
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https://draco.nac.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8d.2.html
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Old 04-03-11, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Scooby214 View Post
+1

I have the same 2010 Allez as you, and have only had it a week. My chainwheels and cassette cogs look the same way, and have looked that way since new. I have the SRAM PC-850 chain on my hybrid, and it has held up well for me.

Just FYI... If you ever need touch up paint for your bike, the closest color match I've found so far is L84A Porsche Guards Red. If it isn't an exact match, it is extremely close.
Thanks dude! Im sure ill pick up some chips and scratches in the paint sometime soon!
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Old 04-03-11, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by BobLoblaw View Post
I doubt your choice of chain lube is to blame for any accelerated wear. Much more important is how thoroughly you clean it, and it looks like you're doing a good enough job of that. 1/32 of wear is about right at this point. Normally a chain only lasts a couple thousand miles, depending on a number of variables such as rider weight, riding conditions (sandy or gritty surfaces, wind, etc), even pedaling style. A single wet ride of 20 or 30 miles can burn almost half the life out of a brand new chain, and shorten the life of the chain even after if you can't get all the grit out.
I am amazed to hear how little use people get, or expect out of chains. I don't do anything special, and have even been pretty neglectful when it comes to cleaning chains (but always diligent in oiling them) and I get thousands of miles out of them. I ride year round, rain or no. I would be shocked if my chain lasted only 2 thousand miles.

Is it sand in desert areas or salt in seaside areas that zap the life out of chains so quickly?
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Old 04-03-11, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by scroca View Post
I am amazed to hear how little use people get, or expect out of chains.
I think that those little "chain checkers" are an excellent tool - if your goal is to sell unneeded chains. If I had one I'd calibrate it with a brand new chain to see how much "wear" it indicates.
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Old 04-05-11, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by scroca View Post
I am amazed to hear how little use people get, or expect out of chains. I don't do anything special, and have even been pretty neglectful when it comes to cleaning chains (but always diligent in oiling them) and I get thousands of miles out of them. I ride year round, rain or no. I would be shocked if my chain lasted only 2 thousand miles.

Is it sand in desert areas or salt in seaside areas that zap the life out of chains so quickly?
It might be a question of what you want out of your drivetrain.

I find that after about 6-8000 km the chain on my road bike (meticiously cared for, especially the drive train) starts to get sluggish on shifting, and the the whole drivetrain produces some sound and vibrations. For me, that is not acceptable, so the chain (and usually the cassette as well) get replaced.

I am pretty sure though, that it would easily last double that distance before it was truly unusable. Campy Record 8 speed, btw.
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Old 04-05-11, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by KDC1956 View Post
I use Rock "N" Roll Gold chain lube so far it's been good to my chain.
+1 - Idaho company
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Old 04-09-11, 04:59 PM
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Hi guys I need your help again. I changed the chain to an SRAM 850 but now I am experiencing skipping problems. I have done some research and most people seem to say that this is because of a worn out cassette. The issue I have is that my bike has done roughly 600 miles and I have cleaned and lubricated it once every week so how can the cassette be worn? I have also made sure the length of the chain is correct and that there were no stiff links. Is this normal? should I buy a new cassette?
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Old 04-09-11, 05:07 PM
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Is the skipping problem happening on all the cogs of the cassette? Usually a worn out cassette won't be equally worn out on all cogs.
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Old 04-09-11, 05:11 PM
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It seems to happen on the gears that I use the most so usually the 4th and 5th gears. it seems to be a bigger problem when im on the smaller gear on the front chainset. I took it for a ride 20 mins ago and the more extreme gears on the cassette seem to be fine, no slippages
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Old 04-09-11, 05:11 PM
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by the way it is a shimano HG-50 8 speed cassette. shall I post another better picture of it?
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Old 04-09-11, 05:31 PM
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There are 3 main causes of skipping. One is wear, and that causes skipping because the chain can climb out under load. That usually starts after a chain change, or when a chain is seriously stretched, and is most pronounced on the most used sprockets.

The second cause of skipping has nothing to do with wear, and can occur regardless of load. It's within the chain, usually a stiff link, but often a twisted or dinged plate. the tip-off is the skipping happens on any sprocket, but is fairly rhythmic, happening once every 3-4 crank revolutions.

The last one, I don't like to call skipping to avoid confusion, is simply the result of poor RD trim which allows the chain to ride up onto the tips of the teeth and slip. It happens randomly regardless of load.

Ride the bike, and pay careful to exactly when, how and how often is skips and you might get an insight.

BTW- based on your description so far it sounds like cassette or small chainring wear, but that's pretty extreme wear for only 600 miles
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Old 04-09-11, 05:55 PM
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I put my money on stiff link in your new chain. I had the EXACT same problem. Just replaced worn 8 speed chain with SRAM PC 850. I had a lot of skipping for the first few miles, then it cleared up as the chain loosened up.
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Old 04-09-11, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I think that those little "chain checkers" are an excellent tool - if your goal is to sell unneeded chains. If I had one I'd calibrate it with a brand new chain to see how much "wear" it indicates.
Bingo. Because they also double-count wear. Wear on the inside of the rollers shows up as chain "stretch".

They're only good for letting you know when it's time to take out a ruler and find out for real.
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Old 04-10-11, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
There are 3 main causes of skipping. One is wear, and that causes skipping because the chain can climb out under load. That usually starts after a chain change, or when a chain is seriously stretched, and is most pronounced on the most used sprockets.

The second cause of skipping has nothing to do with wear, and can occur regardless of load. It's within the chain, usually a stiff link, but often a twisted or dinged plate. the tip-off is the skipping happens on any sprocket, but is fairly rhythmic, happening once every 3-4 crank revolutions.

The last one, I don't like to call skipping to avoid confusion, is simply the result of poor RD trim which allows the chain to ride up onto the tips of the teeth and slip. It happens randomly regardless of load.

Ride the bike, and pay careful to exactly when, how and how often is skips and you might get an insight.

BTW- based on your description so far it sounds like cassette or small chainring wear, but that's pretty extreme wear for only 600 miles

Hey dude i took the bike for a spin and noticed that it only skips when in the gears that i use the most. There is no skip when i try the more extreme gears. It also skips on every pedal stroke. Ive removed the chain and looked for stiff links but cant find any. im guessing the cassette is gone and i should just buy another one. luckily a replacement hg-50 isnt majorly expensive even if it is an extra expense. Thanks for the help though!
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Old 04-10-11, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by pritpalmanku View Post
Hey dude i took the bike for a spin and noticed that it only skips when in the gears that i use the most. There is no skip when i try the more extreme gears. It also skips on every pedal stroke. Ive removed the chain and looked for stiff links but cant find any. im guessing the cassette is gone and i should just buy another one. luckily a replacement hg-50 isnt majorly expensive even if it is an extra expense. Thanks for the help though!
So it seems you've isolated the problem to the cassette, and the next step is replacement. Don't chuck the old cassette in case replacement doesn't solve the problem.

That brings up the second issue, or how you can kill off a chain and cassette in only 600 miles. You might have to review your maintenance habits, because you got only about only 1/10th or less of the average life out of your cassette.
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