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Replacing chain after 1350 miles

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Replacing chain after 1350 miles

Old 10-18-15, 03:36 PM
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Replacing chain after 1350 miles

I needed to clean and lube my chain today. I normally do this at home, but since I was in the co-op at the time I decided to go ahead and use the Park tool chain checker. It failed the .5% measurement and very nearly failed the .75% one! I was really surprised because the chain only has 1350 miles on it. I ride in the rain quite a bit, but I'm pretty good about wiping the chain down and keeping it properly lubed.

I'm on a 2015 Bianchi Volpe with a 3x10 Tiagra drivetrain. Any recommendations for a new chain that might hold up better?
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Old 10-18-15, 03:48 PM
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Try measuring the chain again with a ruler. That doesn't sound right
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Old 10-18-15, 04:43 PM
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That doesn't sound right to me either. You shouldn't have to replace a chain on a new bike in the first year.
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Old 10-18-15, 04:56 PM
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I'll check it again tomorrow, but I'm not optimistic. I tried with two different chain checkers at the co-op, and got the same reading with both. I did see somewhere that 10-speed chains are okay until they fail the .75% test, so I may get a few hundred more miles out of it.
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Old 10-18-15, 05:01 PM
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The only accurate chain-checkers are the ones from Shimano.
The others mix roller wear with chain stretch, and are useful only for selling chains.
So you are better off using a ruler.
Full explanation: http://pardo.net/bike/pic/fail-004/000.html
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Old 10-18-15, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
The only accurate chain-checkers are the ones from Shimano.
The others mix roller wear with chain stretch, and are useful only for selling chains.
So you are better off using a ruler.
Full explanation: http://pardo.net/bike/pic/fail-004/000.html
Thanks for the link. That was really interesting. I do the ruler test tomorrow. I'll still have to decide if I want to replace at 1% or .75% as the Park too suggests.
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Old 10-18-15, 05:33 PM
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Milage varies a lot depending on conditions - rider weight, terraine (hills or flats), cadence, riding style including hard sprints, climbing standing or seated, type and frequency of lube, etc.

I've heard people getting only 1,000 miles or so but I've also heard of 6-7000 miles too. But 1350 seems on the very low.

Please post again tomorrow how the ruler measurement comes out. I'm curious.
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Old 10-18-15, 05:53 PM
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The KMC X10.93 that came with the bike lasted about 1,800 miles before it was past 0.5% stretch. Replaced it with a KMC X10-SL (nitrided) checked it at ~3,400 miles and it was past 0.75%, and sounded horrible when pedaling under heavy load. Replaced a few days ago with the cheapest chain I could get my hands on, a Shimano Tiagra CN-4601. I'll see how it goes.

And I never ride in the rain (okay, I've ridden in wet all of twice) so if the OP regularly rides in the wet, I don't see a chain going out in 1,350 miles being out of the question. I got 1,800 in the dry, and I was doing a lot less hills at that time than I did after I got the nitrided chain.
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Old 10-18-15, 06:18 PM
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Meh. Chains are pretty cheap, and it is certainly cheaper to replace a chain on the early side rather than waiting and needing to replace chainwheels and cassettes earlier than necessary.

I get an average of 1400 miles out of a chain (std. dev. is 500 miles) this measured over ten chains used to date on a commuter ridden year round in all weather. Drive train is 3 x 7. I typically replace them when they exceed .75 using a Park tool. I typically notice the difference, too.
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Old 10-18-15, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
The KMC X10.93 that came with the bike lasted about 1,800 miles before it was past 0.5% stretch. Replaced it with a KMC X10-SL (nitrided) checked it at ~3,400 miles and it was past 0.75%, and sounded horrible when pedaling under heavy load. Replaced a few days ago with the cheapest chain I could get my hands on, a Shimano Tiagra CN-4601. I'll see how it goes.

And I never ride in the rain (okay, I've ridden in wet all of twice) so if the OP regularly rides in the wet, I don't see a chain going out in 1,350 miles being out of the question. I got 1,800 in the dry, and I was doing a lot less hills at that time than I did after I got the nitrided chain.
Originally Posted by FanaticMN View Post
Meh. Chains are pretty cheap, and it is certainly cheaper to replace a chain on the early side rather than waiting and needing to replace chainwheels and cassettes earlier than necessary.

I get an average of 1400 miles out of a chain (std. dev. is 500 miles) this measured over ten chains used to date on a commuter ridden year round in all weather. Drive train is 3 x 7. I typically replace them when they exceed .75 using a Park tool. I typically notice the difference, too.
Well, it's good to hear that at least two others have had experiences close to mine. I agree about chains being a relatively cheap part that I plan on replacing regularly. I was just surprised at how few miles I got out of it. This is my first 3x10, and I knew the chain was thinner than what I'm used to. I just didn't realize how much more quickly it could wear.
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Old 10-18-15, 07:01 PM
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Toss chains early & you may not have to replace the cassette every Time ..
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Old 10-18-15, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
Well, it's good to hear that at least two others have had experiences close to mine. I agree about chains being a relatively cheap part that I plan on replacing regularly. I was just surprised at how few miles I got out of it. This is my first 3x10, and I knew the chain was thinner than what I'm used to. I just didn't realize how much more quickly it could wear.
I used to routinely have to replace my chains at about 1500 miles. Then I did two things - (1) I switched lubes to Chain-L and then to Rock 'n Roll Gold and (2) I started working on increasing my cadence from 70-75rpm to 90rpm. On the chain I have now, I have 2400 miles and it still shows at .5 on the Park Chain tool. Really shocking difference for me that I attribute to the combination of the lube and the higher cadence. I'm surmising that the higher cadence means the chain has less force on it per revolution causing less wear. So less force and better lube (and a cleaner chain) is giving me dramatically better chain wear.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Toss chains early & you may not have to replace the cassette every Time ..
Exactly. I don't push it with chains. I think it's false economy.

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Old 10-19-15, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Milage varies a lot depending on conditions - rider weight, terraine (hills or flats), cadence, riding style including hard sprints, climbing standing or seated, type and frequency of lube, etc.

I've heard people getting only 1,000 miles or so but I've also heard of 6-7000 miles too. But 1350 seems on the very low.

Please post again tomorrow how the ruler measurement comes out. I'm curious.
I'm not confident of how accurate this measurement is because I didn't take the chain off the bike (no chain tool at home): It looks to me like the center of the pin falls somewhere between 12 1/16th and 12 1/8th.
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Old 10-19-15, 02:02 PM
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3800 miles on my Gazelles chain, with no maintenance its still clean with no visible or measurable wear.

Hurray for chaincases.
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Old 10-19-15, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
3800 miles on my Gazelles chain, with no maintenance its still clean with no visible or measurable wear.

Hurray for chaincases.
Yes, indeed. The chain on my usual commuter, an Achielle Oma (very much like a Gazelle, chain case and all), is absolutely beautiful with 1500 miles on it. It's a very robust chain and looks like it could move a tank.
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Old 10-19-15, 03:08 PM
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My Felt's original chain (possibly a 105 5700 chain, not sure) went only about 2K miles at which point it was very worn.

I put a KMC X10L-Ti chain on it and it has over 6,000 miles now with no discernible stretch. I've been very amazed at how well it's held up. I use the bike for commuting, but have barely had it in the rain at all this year just due to the fact that we haven't had much rain, or the days/times I commute ended up having little to no rainfall. I wasn't trying to avoid it or anything.

This was my original chain after only 2K miles. At least 3/32" stretch, more than 0.75% nearly 1%.


Last edited by PatrickGSR94; 10-19-15 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 10-19-15, 05:14 PM
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That actually sounds about right. I used to go through 10spd chains on my old cross bike in about 8 months of commuting. As others have said,proper lubing/cleaning can help extend the lifespan,but remember that ultimately chains(and cassettes,and brake pads,and tires) are just consumables.
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Old 10-19-15, 07:28 PM
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I had over 8k on mine. I replaced the shifters, crank and cassette when the chain finally wore out. The cassette was bad as well, but I went from a 8 speed to a 10 speed and customized the gears. I like the bike even more now.
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Old 10-20-15, 06:40 AM
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this makes me want to check my chain. it's not as smooth as it once was even tho i degrease and clean the chain regularly. i was thinking of getting a chain brush. but i suppose i should measure the chain.
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Old 10-20-15, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by snow_echo_NY View Post
this makes me want to check my chain. it's not as smooth as it once was even tho i degrease and clean the chain regularly. i was thinking of getting a chain brush. but i suppose i should measure the chain.
That's generally the first clue that a chain is nearing the end. A good cleaning and quality lube job should make it almost silent. If that is not the case, it's likely wearing.

With some of the newer lubes, cleaning and lube is a single pass. I started using Rock n Roll gold for just that reason. You lube up the chain so it's pretty wet with the lube, spin the chain forward for 10 seconds. Then let it sit for a few seconds then spin it backwards for 10 seconds. All the dirt and grit floats up and you spin the chain through a cloth to take off the excess carrier in the lube that is holding all the grease and grit. Do it again until the grit is gone. I'm pretty picky about chain cleaning and lubes and I really like a clean chain. This is the easiest way to get there that I have seen.

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Old 10-20-15, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
I'll check it again tomorrow, but I'm not optimistic. I tried with two different chain checkers at the co-op, and got the same reading with both. I did see somewhere that 10-speed chains are okay until they fail the .75% test, so I may get a few hundred more miles out of it.
Use a caliper and measure the roller pitch directly. A chain can pass a 12" ruler test and fail a roller-pitch measurement.

0.200" per roller=new

0.240" per roller=shot.
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Old 10-20-15, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Use a caliper and measure the roller pitch directly. A chain can pass a 12" ruler test and fail a roller-pitch measurement.

0.200" per roller=new

0.240" per roller=shot.
What exactly is being measured in your description above? Spacing between rollers? The rollers themselves should be more than 0.2" diameter.
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Old 10-20-15, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by FanaticMN View Post
Meh. Chains are pretty cheap, and it is certainly cheaper to replace a chain on the early side rather than waiting and needing to replace chainwheels and cassettes earlier than necessary.

I get an average of 1400 miles out of a chain (std. dev. is 500 miles) this measured over ten chains used to date on a commuter ridden year round in all weather. Drive train is 3 x 7. I typically replace them when they exceed .75 using a Park tool. I typically notice the difference, too.
That's pretty dismal for 7/8-speed chains. Which brand/model are you using?
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Old 10-20-15, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
What exactly is being measured in your description above? Spacing between rollers? The rollers themselves should be more than 0.2" diameter.
+++1^^^ That's my question as well.
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Old 10-20-15, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
What exactly is being measured in your description above? Spacing between rollers? The rollers themselves should be more than 0.2" diameter.
Originally Posted by tjkoko View Post
+++1^^^ That's my question as well.
New in the bag Campag Chorus 11spd chain. Lucky for you was time to change chains

https://www.dropbox.com/photos/share...aBY3eFO6n5wuzI

All bicycle chains (that I know of) everywhere are 1" pitch (1 full link is 1", and thus internall the distances are the same), thus the roller spacing is identical....kinda funny when you think about how everything else is metric. Campagnolo advises in their official documentation to track chain wear measuring roller pitch across 6 full links, and when their length exceeds 132.7mm to replace, and not to use the 12" equals 12 links and 0.5% rule....however, with a decent digital caliper that is accurate and repeatable to thousands of an inch, that averaging over 6 links isn't necessary just remember 0.200" new and 0.240" replace (or rotate at 0.220", for fans like myself of rotating chains). The iGaging one above was $25 IIRC and certified as accurate to 0.001" IIRC, not only cheaper than most chain-checkers but far more accurate and repeatable as well and tells you what you need to know in a meaningful data way.

Sorry was in a hurry earlier and meant to type "roller pairing" in my last post. Probably what confused y'all.

Last edited by Marcus_Ti; 10-20-15 at 11:38 AM.
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