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New chain? Or is it too late to bother?

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New chain? Or is it too late to bother?

Old 07-31-14, 07:57 AM
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New chain? Or is it too late to bother?

I'm tripleizing my faithful Cross Check this weekend. New granny ring, BB, FD, etc.

It's had the same crank and cassette since 2007 or so and they seem happy together, decaying in tandem. (Much like my wife and me.) Should I bother putting on a new chain at this point? Seems as though it might cause more problems that it solves.

Thanks in advance for the usual sage advice.

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Old 07-31-14, 08:44 AM
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Depends how many miles you have on the chain and how worn it is. Check the wear using a tool or a ruler.

If you need a new chain, you could buy both a chain and cassette and first just swap the chain. If your old cassette still works with the new chain, then you've got a new cassette waiting for the day when the old one does eventually wear out. If the old cassette skips with the new chain, then you've got a new cassette on hand.

You could keep running the old chain/cassette combo but eventually they're going to affect shifting performance. Before that happens the chain will get excessively noisy even when lubed. A noisy drivetrain is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, so that right there would drive me to replace them.
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Old 07-31-14, 08:58 AM
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If you're happy now, try keeping everything. When you do change, you certainly will need a cassette. You may also need two new chainrings if they are worn too bad - 2007 to now is a long time and depends on how many miles you accumulated.

It's always a good practice to check chain wear periodically and switch before needing new cassettes.
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Old 07-31-14, 09:12 AM
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Time doesn't matter. If you never rode your bike you could keep the same chain forever and it would never wear out.

If it was my bike, I'd use a steel ruler to see where the 12 inch mark intersects with a chain rivet. If two rivets are between 12 1/16 and 12 1/8, you are probably good just replacing the chain. If it's beyond 12 1/8" you'll need a new cassette too. Front chainring wear is easier to eyeball. New chanrings are rounded on top. If yours look pointy, you're due for new ones.
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Old 07-31-14, 09:27 AM
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Take Admiral Hopper's advice -- MEASURE the existing chain for wear (stretch). It's not rocket science, and no *** precision is needed, but it will give a good idea of the right answer to your question. As a rough guide, if it's stretched less than 1/2% keep the chain. More than 1% it' too late, wait until you replace the cassette. In between is a toss up a new chain may skip or may not.
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