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Are people changing their chains way too often?

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Are people changing their chains way too often?

Old 10-11-21, 05:47 PM
  #101  
Dancing Skeleton
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Actually, I'm curious on what the consensus is regarding shifting frequency, reliance on fewer rear cogs, or not shifting much at all, and how there's an impact on chain or cassette wear.
For example, a flatlander Floridian.. who, once they're up to speed and cruising their ride in a pretty narrow range, are they experiencing the longest chain life, but the shortest cassette life (less shifting, but most of the miles are spent in 1-2 of the rear cogs). OTOH, someone doing a lot of shifting, using a lot of gears -- does this mean more wear on chain, but much more even distribution of wear on the cassette's cogs?
I think that I benefit from doing a lot of hill climbing and shifting frequently, having eTap definitely makes/allows me to shift more, since it's so easy.
I don't spend too much time in any one combination between the chain rings & cassette.
On a 100 mile ride with 7,200' of climbing I had 60 front shifts and 2650 rear shifts.
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Old 10-11-21, 08:54 PM
  #102  
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Based on wear my chains last about 14,000 km (8,700 miles). I thoroughly clean and lube the drive train about every 1,400 km. I am planning on replacing the cassette and chain rings at about 45,000 km (Iím at 43,000 km). Iím just now starting to notice occasional pinging. Your mileage may vary😀
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Old 10-11-21, 09:05 PM
  #103  
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Wipe cleaning the chain after each ride adds many miles and quality shifting rides. Every week or so do a thorough clean and lube. When choosing to lube chain select a quality lube from the many different types of lube that match your riding conditions. Surprisingly many experienced cyclists do not know or recognize the last suggestion.
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Old 10-12-21, 03:07 AM
  #104  
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has anybody mentioned rider weight?

and horsepower too. somebody who does animal sprints every three miles is gonna cook a chain.

my biggest problem with chain skip is due to friction shifters not being torqued up.

save those old chains, you can diy a pair of parktool chain whips for a net gain of 60 smackers.

this is good for 5 more new chains.

let's say you go through 2 chains a year. lets say you are 20 years old and will pedal every day til your 70. that's only 100 chains in your entire lifetime.

enjoy your new chains. because you will miss them when your gone.

i got about 20 chains worth of time left. no big deal to buy that many chains before i go.

Last edited by cjenrick; 10-12-21 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 10-12-21, 07:23 AM
  #105  
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I have found that a worn chain flexes a lot laterally, so shifting isn't as crisp. So I replace mine once a year, which is 4-5000 miles and it always measures "just barely" on the shop tool. Part of my annual maintenance ritual, like new shifter cables and tires.

Even though I have an Ultegra drivetrain, my LBS likes SRAM chains and I have stuck with those for the last 5 years. Cheaper too.
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Old 10-12-21, 08:21 AM
  #106  
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I use 4 chains in a rotation for each of my SRAM force axs 12 speed bikes. I take a chain off for cleaning about every 600 miles and ride about 5,000 miles per year. By alternating the use of several chains, I don't have to worry about getting new-chain skip and don't have to toss chains at only 0.5% elongation, in an attempt to avoid new-chain skip. I expect to get at least 3,000 miles from each force chain, but it will take quite a while for any of my 8 chains to get that much mileage. One year's worth of riding only uses each chain for around 600 miles. When the chains start getting over 2,000 miles each, I'll have a better idea of how long they'll last.

I use a common 12 inch machinist's rule to measure elongation, without adding roller wear to the measurement. Roller wear can be measured separately with calipers placed between the outer plates of two links. A new chain will measure about 1.200 inch. After 3,000 miles of use, a Campy chain may show very little elongation, but plenty of roller wear. Others will show lots of elongation and roller wear.

I also have a setup to measure elongation over the full length of my 55 inch long chains. It's easy to measure 0.275 inch over that length.
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Old 10-12-21, 09:51 AM
  #107  
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Old 10-12-21, 11:45 AM
  #108  
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Old 12-16-21, 07:22 PM
  #109  
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Well, I blew it. 2000 miles on an 11 speed chain (Shimano HG-11, if I recall) and checking today -it's well past 0.75%. So I'm gonna need a new cassette too, otherwise the new chain will skip.

Dumb. I knew better but didn't check.
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Old 12-16-21, 07:35 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Well, I blew it. 2000 miles on an 11 speed chain (Shimano HG-11, if I recall) and checking today -it's well past 0.75%. So I'm gonna need a new cassette too, otherwise the new chain will skip.

Dumb. I knew better but didn't check.
Have you check the cassette to see if the teeth are worn, I can't believe you only got 2k on a chain, and that the cassette is toast. .
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Old 12-16-21, 07:59 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
Have you check the cassette to see if the teeth are worn, I can't believe you only got 2k on a chain, and that the cassette is toast. .
Just based on experience, when I let an 11 speed chain go so that the 0.75% pin in the chain checker goes in easily, the cassette is going to skip if I just put in a new chain with the old cassette..

In my experience, 10 speed chains were more durable.

It's a gravel bike that gets dirty a lot. I'm mot surprised that the chain was overstretched in 2k miles. I should have been keeping closer track.
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Old 12-16-21, 08:12 PM
  #112  
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Changing my chain before it absolutely needs to be? Yes... Most likely. But I can afford it now. Still I don't throw them away, who knows what coming down the road...
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Old 12-16-21, 08:50 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Just based on experience, when I let an 11 speed chain go so that the 0.75% pin in the chain checker goes in easily, the cassette is going to skip if I just put in a new chain with the old cassette..

In my experience, 10 speed chains were more durable.

It's a gravel bike that gets dirty a lot. I'm mot surprised that the chain was overstretched in 2k miles. I should have been keeping closer track.
Do you only have 2k on this cassette? If so, you should be able to get much more mileage on it that 2k and maintain good shifting. Are you using a oil based lube versus a wax if it is a gravel bike? If not waxing, you might look at that so you can not worry so much about the dirt and grime ruining the chain so quickly.
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Old 12-17-21, 05:51 PM
  #114  
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The chain falling off every 10 rides or so may seem like no big deal, but trusting your equipment 100% can be important for safety. For instance I have 5 bikes and I only trust one of them enough to full out sprint out of the saddle, because of chain slipping issues.
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Old 12-17-21, 06:08 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
The chain falling off every 10 rides or so may seem like no big deal, but trusting your equipment 100% can be important for safety. For instance I have 5 bikes and I only trust one of them enough to full out sprint out of the saddle, because of chain slipping issues.

You still have chain slip issues on 4 bikes?
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Old 12-24-21, 06:46 AM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
Got a road bike about 3-3 1/2 years ago. Was told that first year to replace the chain every 2,000-3,000 miles, something like that. And that if I didn't, it would wear out the sprocket, crank. And since chain is the least expensive, better to sacrifice a decent chain for the long-term good of the more expensive stuff that an older chain will ruin. OK, so started doing that.

Then, sometimes with a new chain, it would skip a little, and so some folks on here who work in bike shops say whenever you buy a new chain, buy a new sprocket too. I didn't follow that advice. Found that the new chain would slowly take the shape of the old sprocket, or for whatever reason, it would start working better.

Now, I can't get a new sprocket because of global supply issues. Was told by bike shop just to stay with old chain and sprocket as long as I could hold out. Now, whole drive chain is working as well as ever. Except for the chain coming off every 10 rides or so, everything seems fine. No skipping, no problems. I don't know how many miles I'm into this chain, but it's probably 6,000.

And finally, I've had a hybrid bike for probably 8 years now. I've never gotten a new chain. I don't know how many miles it has on it. Not as much as my road bike because the old hybrid is in semi-retirement.

So why should I buy so many new chains?
I'm not sure what brand or model of chain you're using, and that does matter. That being said, I've read and heard multiple times that this changing the chain thing depends on many factors, the most important of which is how often you clean the drive train, and what kind of weather you cycle in. Riding in all manner of conditions, including rain, will wear a chain much faster than if you only ride in dry conditions (that's me). I generally change them about every 3000kms, and when I put a new one on, it works flawlessly. Caveat Emptor: I'm OCDC with chain and drive chain cleanliness. I clean my chain about every 300kms.

I was recently chatting with a fellow cyclist about this and he told me he recently switched to the wax method of chain lube, and he's able to get more that 5000kms out of one chain. He prepares three in advance, hangs them up and replaces as needed, and is able to seriously prolong the life of the cassette and the chain rings. I'm going to look into this wax thing. It's not cheap, and is a laborious process, initially, at least.
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Old 12-24-21, 08:10 AM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I use 4 chains in a rotation for each of my SRAM force axs 12 speed bikes. I take a chain off for cleaning about every 600 miles and ride about 5,000 miles per year. By alternating the use of several chains, I don't have to worry about getting new-chain skip and don't have to toss chains at only 0.5% elongation, in an attempt to avoid new-chain skip. I expect to get at least 3,000 miles from each force chain, but it will take quite a while for any of my 8 chains to get that much mileage. One year's worth of riding only uses each chain for around 600 miles. When the chains start getting over 2,000 miles each, I'll have a better idea of how long they'll last.

I use a common 12 inch machinist's rule to measure elongation, without adding roller wear to the measurement. Roller wear can be measured separately with calipers placed between the outer plates of two links. A new chain will measure about 1.200 inch. After 3,000 miles of use, a Campy chain may show very little elongation, but plenty of roller wear. Others will show lots of elongation and roller wear.

I also have a setup to measure elongation over the full length of my 55 inch long chains. It's easy to measure 0.275 inch over that length.
This sounds like a great idea: rotation.
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Old 12-24-21, 04:08 PM
  #118  
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I donít know about chains, but people are washing their bikes way too often.
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Old 12-24-21, 04:14 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I donít know about chains, but people are washing their bikes way too often.
I don't "wash" my bike. I never get it so dirty that I have to take a hand mop or garden hose to it. I wipe it down, thoroughly.
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