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How much does muck on drivetrain affect speed

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How much does muck on drivetrain affect speed

Old 12-24-16, 04:01 PM
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Blond
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How much does muck on drivetrain affect speed

If someone was riding a bike for 3 months and never cleaned his chain just kept adding lube on line and a lot of muck formed around the chain and groupset, how much will this affect your speed vs a very clean and well new lubricated chain and groupset?

Furthermore, how much does an old groupset which is nearly worn out affect speed vs a new groupset which new componentry?

Thanks
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Old 12-24-16, 04:06 PM
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How often does the rider change socks?
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Old 12-24-16, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
How often does the rider change socks?
Preferentially when it gets dirty
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Old 12-24-16, 04:12 PM
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As long as the drive train works, ie. doesn't slip and shifts OK, then the added friction caused by a dirty chain is pretty marginal.

Of course, all sources of friction take a toll, but a dirty chain doesn't rank high in the scheme of things.

That said, neglect can and will shorten chain life, but that's a different issue.
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Old 12-24-16, 04:50 PM
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Probably none of us knows enough to quantify any loss. Probably I notice noise and poor shifting performance more than any power loss. A clean, quiet, and smooth bike is a joy to ride.
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Old 12-24-16, 04:54 PM
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Two useful responses out of four. The odds might be improving.

I find that after cleaning a bike's chain, cassette and chainrings, and lubing them, the bike feels smoother, shifts better and does indeed seem easier to pedal. I think if you take a particularly grimy chain and clean it, you will find the links loosen up and chain will "flop" sideways more (which can indicate excessive wear).

As to general wear, chains and cogs are designed to mesh nicely together. Wear interferes with the engagement of the chain rollers on the cogs -- the chain elongates (people call it stretch but that's not strictly true) because of wear between the pins and rollers, and the teeth slowly wear away, too.

The result is that the chain won't engage properly and in the worst cases you get chain slip when the chain simply slides over the top of the teeth.

First step is to (learn how to) clean your chain and gears, and if there is excessive wear, replace it all.
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Old 12-24-16, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
I find that after cleaning a bike's chain, cassette and chainrings, and lubing them, the bike feels smoother, shifts better and does indeed seem easier to pedal.
+1. I really noticed the difference when riding across the U.S. I pretty much neglected my drivetrain from Seattle to Minneapolis. We had a couple of days there. I needed new tires and put the bike in a shop for overnight work, including a drivetrain cleaning. The difference was like night and day.
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Old 12-24-16, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
I find that after cleaning a bike's chain, cassette and chainrings, and lubing them, the bike feels smoother, shifts better and does indeed seem easier to pedal.
That is my experience, too.
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Old 12-25-16, 12:05 AM
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This...

Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
A clean, quiet, and smooth bike is a joy to ride.
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Old 12-25-16, 01:04 PM
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At least 50%, IMO.
One end of winter day I rode a 3x8 derailler bike 30 miles. Puddle, sand, clear, sand, slush, clean puddle, dirty puddle ... By the time I got home it was a grinding POS. I was loathe to ride it another damn inch. WTF So right there is the reason I never rode much in winter. And yes, I have fenders and boot mud flap on the front.

I had some days like that in Vietnam with my SS Rohloff. So I spent all this summer making myself a CF chain cover. Problem solved. Not sure how much dust will get at it yet, the hole is pretty big because of the crank.
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Old 12-25-16, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Blond View Post
If someone was riding a bike for 3 months and never cleaned his chain just kept adding lube on line and a lot of muck formed around the chain and groupset, how much will this affect your speed vs a very clean and well new lubricated chain and groupset?

Furthermore, how much does an old groupset which is nearly worn out affect speed vs a new groupset which new componentry?

Thanks
Both questions refer to speed. If you never clean your drive train the muck build up will eventually cause the derailleur to stop working, hence, no speed. If your group-set is shot, poor shifting, chain skipping, = no speed.
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Old 12-25-16, 01:56 PM
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I pick up about 1mph after clean and lube. Hesitant shifts become crisp. And that is after a chain that probably looks clean to most people.
Though the very subtle added smoothness probably accounts for half the gain; just makes me want to push a little harder.
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Old 12-25-16, 02:25 PM
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Ah the Blonde is starting to show


Test and Report back . measure while dirty , clean every thing and Measure Again..

why take the opinions of strangers ..

Pros racing Cyclocross have a whole extra Bike and someone to hose off the Mud , so a Lot of Mud definitely

as should be obvious to any one, will affect your lap times , particularly if the wheels wont roll..




... Ho, ho, ho etc.
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Old 12-25-16, 07:46 PM
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Ive always made it a common practice in using WD40 for cleaning the front and rear sprockets as well as the chains and even cables. I ride commonly on lightly crushed gravel and usually clean them up about twice a month. I put the bike on the hoist, spray heavily while cranking, then soaking letting it drip off, wipe off access grime and re-spray again ,oil it back up including the inside gears and shes good to go.

I dont know what true if any effect it has on speed. I would think there are a lot of variables involved in each case. But at minimum its good maintenance keeping the bike in top shape
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