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What chain for my ‘20 Giant Defy?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

What chain for my ‘20 Giant Defy?

Old 07-13-21, 04:29 AM
  #26  
PeteHski
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Originally Posted by GBK233 View Post
Good point….mine is a cheap gauge from Amazon. Could be inaccurate. I’ll pickup a better quality tool…maybe a Park Tool gauge.
The Park CC-4 is the best of the various Park models as it’s longer and measures from the back of each roller, rather than front to back. Some chains have slightly different roller diameters which throws out the front/back of roller measurement.

I agree with the others who say either your chain wear is excessive or your checking gauge is no good. I would start by getting a good tool like the above and go from there.

As for chains, I would just get an 11s Shimano Ultegra. They score highly on the Zero Friction Cycling website review and that’s what I replaced my stock Defy chain with. Just remember to match the original chain length. I had to remove a few links out of the new chain.

For lube I use Silca SS drip-on wax. As long as you start off with a perfectly clean, fully degreased chain and drivetrain it is super easy to keep it that way by simply wiping down and re-applying every 150-200 km or after any wet ride. No need to keep degreasing every week, which is probably doing more harm than good.
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Old 07-13-21, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
The Park CC-4 is the best of the various Park models as it’s longer and measures from the back of each roller, rather than front to back. Some chains have slightly different roller diameters which throws out the front/back of roller measurement.

I agree with the others who say either your chain wear is excessive or your checking gauge is no good. I would start by getting a good tool like the above and go from there.

As for chains, I would just get an 11s Shimano Ultegra. They score highly on the Zero Friction Cycling website review and that’s what I replaced my stock Defy chain with. Just remember to match the original chain length. I had to remove a few links out of the new chain.

For lube I use Silca SS drip-on wax. As long as you start off with a perfectly clean, fully degreased chain and drivetrain it is super easy to keep it that way by simply wiping down and re-applying every 150-200 km or after any wet ride. No need to keep degreasing every week, which is probably doing more harm than good.
I ordered wax, crock pot, and PTFE powder, Park Tool chain gauge….and now to ordering the chain. Is the Shimano Ultegra/XT CN-HG701 the chain you’re referring to?

Also going to pickup some mineral spirits and denatured alcohol….for chain cleaning, before initial waxing.
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Old 07-13-21, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by GBK233 View Post
I ordered wax, crock pot, and PTFE powder, Park Tool chain gauge….and now to ordering the chain. Is the Shimano Ultegra/XT CN-HG701 the chain you’re referring to?

Also going to pickup some mineral spirits and denatured alcohol….for chain cleaning, before initial waxing.
Yes, that’s the one. You can’t go wrong with those.
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Old 07-13-21, 09:09 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
If you're willing to put in the time and effort on the initial cleaning, wax is much, much lower effort. If you want to go through the trouble of the homebrew mix, go ahead, but it's a lot easier to buy a bag of MSW (and it's not expensive - it should last you a 10,000+ miles).
How many miles per wax job? Rain is no bueno right?
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Old 07-13-21, 09:36 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by phrantic09 View Post
How many miles per wax job? Rain is no bueno right?
300+.

I haven't ridden in much rain this year, but getting stuck in torrential rains last year wasn't catastrophic or anything. I may have swapped out the chain earlier, but it didn't rust out instantly or anything. I really don't know how it would fare in the regular rains of the PNW or anything, but I wouldn't be concerned short of those conditions (or sloppy winter riding, I guess).
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Old 07-13-21, 09:51 AM
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I tend to believe that those that have actual chain issues like low service life are those that produce huge amounts of torque. And/Or probably either pedal up hill at very low cadences and love to do track stands at stops.

As for being finicky with your chain, if that's what makes your cycling fun, then go for it. But I'd think you'd probably get the same results for your chains no matter what.

If you were to change up your routine, the only thing I might say is why don't you try putting the purple power on your rag and not get the rag too saturated with it as you de-gunk your chain. Don't spray or saturate your chain with purple power or any degreaser. You only want the new lube to push out the old lube.

Better yet, just use some of the lubes that seem to be less oily and create less gunk. You'll need to lube more often but just lube your chain and then wipe off the excess. Easy peasy, chain stays on the bike, takes all of two minutes, I get to ride more or keep my fingers in shape here at BF. <grin>
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Old 07-13-21, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by GBK233 View Post
I ordered wax, crock pot, and PTFE powder, Park Tool chain gauge….and now to ordering the chain. Is the Shimano Ultegra/XT CN-HG701 the chain you’re referring to?

Also going to pickup some mineral spirits and denatured alcohol….for chain cleaning, before initial waxing.
This is going down the rabbit hole!

Smoove-Advanced-Guide.pdf (zerofrictioncycling.com.au)

Instructions like the above preclude me from going down similar rabbit holes.

As for waxing, I don't want to be like the witches in the opening scene of MacBeth in my garage.
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Old 07-13-21, 10:07 AM
  #33  
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Maybe degreaser is too harsh. I use a dab of dish washing soap in a chain cleaner with water followed by a rinse with just water then wipe dry and lube. Some degreasers weaken the chain
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Old 07-13-21, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
As for waxing, I don't want to be like the witches in the opening scene of MacBeth in my garage.
Then you have a misunderstanding of what it entails. Once you get past the initial cleaning, it's very low maintenance and very little hands-on time, like 5 minutes a month. Pop your chain in the (cold) mini-crock, turn it on, come back in an hour (or however long it takes to get up to temp, swish the chain around and then pull it and hang it. Loosen the links after it's cool.
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Old 07-13-21, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Then you have a misunderstanding of what it entails. Once you get past the initial cleaning, it's very low maintenance and very little hands-on time, like 5 minutes a month. Pop your chain in the (cold) mini-crock, turn it on, come back in an hour (or however long it takes to get up to temp, swish the chain around and then pull it and hang it. Loosen the links after it's cool.
I know, but I could not help but make an exaggerated allusion to reenacting the opening scene of MacBeth in my garage. I am somewhat intrigued by this waxing thing because I have to remove the chain to install my new chain rings when they arrive, so that provides an opportunity for a more thorough cleaning. It sounds easier than the ZFS guide for applying Smoove. If only Shimano 11s quick links were reuseable.

Last edited by SoSmellyAir; 07-13-21 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 07-13-21, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
If only Shimano 11s quick links were reuseable.
You can re-use them, I think that you just don't want to move one from one chain to another. IOW, retire the quick link with the chain that it came with, don't try to use the same one for 2 or 3 or 7 chains.
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Old 07-13-21, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
You can re-use them, I think that you just don't want to move one from one chain to another. IOW, retire the quick link with the chain that it came with, don't try to use the same one for 2 or 3 or 7 chains.
Got it, thank you. Each Shimano chain I buy comes with a quick link, so no need to pass it onto the next newer chain.
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Old 07-13-21, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I tend to believe that those that have actual chain issues like low service life are those that produce huge amounts of torque. And/Or probably either pedal up hill at very low cadences and love to do track stands at stops.
I think it's more related to weather conditions. Looking at the Zero Friction Cycling tests for chain wear, once you start to introduce wet and dirty environments then the wear rates go up exponentially. Out of choice over the last few years I've only ridden outdoors in fair weather (hitting the indoor trainer on wet days) and my chain wear has been pretty negligible without spending a whole lot of time on maintenance. When I used to ride in all manner of conditions I saw a lot more chain wear, especially on my mtbs.
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Old 07-13-21, 08:11 PM
  #39  
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Is a bike chain cleaner tool worth purchasing or will a grime brush do the same thing?
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Old 07-14-21, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Got it, thank you. Each Shimano chain I buy comes with a quick link, so no need to pass it onto the next newer chain.
Quick links are reusable, to an extent, however they do loosen considerably if opened more than a few times. Id get a spare or two if crockpot lubing and extended service life is on the menu. Assuming a 200mi interval and a 5000mi life, its more than 20 openings. Imo they be completely loose long before that.

I once dabbled a bit in hot wax lubing. I could never achieve more 100mi. It got to be a real chore and I reverted to on the bike maintenance. I believe most eventually will. Imo, for now liquid wax, Squirt, Smoove, super secret etc. looks the most promising. Pricing is insane tho. Have a hard time believing such expensive lubes could ever pay for them selves. A small bottle is more than a new chain ...

Last edited by Racing Dan; 07-14-21 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 07-14-21, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
Imo, for now liquid wax, Squirt, Smoove, super secret etc. looks the most promising. Pricing is insane tho. Have a hard time believing such expensive lubes could ever pay for them selves. A small bottle is more than a new chain ...
It's expensive, but a bottle lasts a very long time. One drop per roller is all you need every 150-200 km. I used Squirt for a few years (not bad, good chain wear, but a little gunky) and recently moved to Silca SS, which is excellent. Drivetrain has never been cleaner with this. Only question mark is wet performance, but I don't ride much in the wet.
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Old 07-14-21, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
Quick links are reusable, to an extent, however they do loosen considerably if opened more than a few times. Id get a spare or two if crockpot lubing and extended service life is on the menu. Assuming a 200mi interval and a 5000mi life, its more than 20 openings. Imo they be completely loose long before that.
I would get the KMC re-usable quick links. They actually do 2 versions of their quick link, one re-usable and one not. They look pretty much identical and a lot of sellers don't label them properly, so requires a bit of Googling to get the right ones. I agree the Shimano ones are not good for 20 openings. You can use them a few times, but they should be a tight fit.
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Old 07-14-21, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I would get the KMC re-usable quick links. They actually do 2 versions of their quick link, one re-usable and one not. They look pretty much identical and a lot of sellers don't label them properly, so requires a bit of Googling to get the right ones. I agree the Shimano ones are not good for 20 openings. You can use them a few times, but they should be a tight fit.
The KMC reusable links loosen too, just like the ordinary ones. I have a few, Identified by an "R", that came with some x10 chains. I say about 5 uses and they get noticeably loose. Im not sure its safe, even if I never had one come apart. I much prefer the link having some reassuring resistance and click sound when assembled.
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Old 07-14-21, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
The KMC reusable links loosen too, just like the ordinary ones. I have a few, Identified by an "R", that came with some x10 chains. I say about 5 uses and they get noticeably loose. Im not sure its safe, even if I never had one come apart. I much prefer the link having some reassuring resistance and click sound when assembled.
Sounds about right. FWIW, the YBN brand quicklinks actually specify that they're reusable for 5 times only.
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Old 07-14-21, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Only question mark is wet performance, but I don't ride much in the wet.
im curious about wet weather and melted wax lube also. I have a Marin flat bar road bike that I use for riding in bad weather (and winter)…..and don’t want to use melted wax on that chain if water and/or freezing temps will be a problem
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Old 07-15-21, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
The KMC reusable links loosen too, just like the ordinary ones. I have a few, Identified by an "R", that came with some x10 chains. I say about 5 uses and they get noticeably loose. Im not sure its safe, even if I never had one come apart. I much prefer the link having some reassuring resistance and click sound when assembled.
No doubt true, but they must surely be more re-usable than the non-reusable version!
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Old 07-15-21, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by GBK233 View Post
im curious about wet weather and melted wax lube also. I have a Marin flat bar road bike that I use for riding in bad weather (and winter)…..and don’t want to use melted wax on that chain if water and/or freezing temps will be a problem
It's a tricky one this. I think for wet weather a more traditional oil based lube is probably more effective, but only if you clean your drivetrain religiously after every wet ride. Otherwise you will soon end up with an oily black grinding paste, which is a disaster for both wear rates and your bike/clothing. The wax based lubes tend to get washed off pretty quickly in the wet, but if your rides are not too long and you re-apply it then it should be reasonably effective. Your drivetrain will remain much cleaner with wax, which is more than half the battle won IMO. Not sure about freezing temps though.
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Old 07-15-21, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
It's a tricky one this. I think for wet weather a more traditional oil based lube is probably more effective, but only if you clean your drivetrain religiously after every wet ride. Otherwise you will soon end up with an oily black grinding paste, which is a disaster for both wear rates and your bike/clothing. The wax based lubes tend to get washed off pretty quickly in the wet, but if your rides are not too long and you re-apply it then it should be reasonably effective. Your drivetrain will remain much cleaner with wax, which is more than half the battle won IMO. Not sure about freezing temps though.
when you say “reapply”…..do you mean that I’ll need to pull the chain, pour boiling water on it(according to Oz video, anyway) to clean the chain off….and dip in melted wax again?
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Old 07-15-21, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by GBK233 View Post
when you say “reapply”…..do you mean that I’ll need to pull the chain, pour boiling water on it(according to Oz video, anyway) to clean the chain off….and dip in melted wax again?
Possibly yes. If most of the original wax has been washed away and the chain is dirty you are back to square one. Personally I just use the best of the drip-on waxes (Silca SS) and simply wipe the chain down with a cloth and re-apply another drop or two per link. Takes just a couple of mins. But I should stress that I rarely ride in the wet these days. A full comprehensive chain clean is a rarity for me.
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Old 07-15-21, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Possibly yes. If most of the original wax has been washed away and the chain is dirty you are back to square one. Personally I just use the best of the drip-on waxes (Silca SS) and simply wipe the chain down with a cloth and re-apply another drop or two per link. Takes just a couple of mins. But I should stress that I rarely ride in the wet these days. A full comprehensive chain clean is a rarity for me.
ya…I don’t ride my Defy in any wet weather, but my aluminum Marin is my yucky weather bike.
Can I apply Smoove or any other bottled wax to the paraffin wax to “touch up” the chain after a rain? Or just do the redip of the paraffin?
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