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Chain - unexpected long life

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Chain - unexpected long life

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Old 02-18-19, 03:45 PM
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Redbullet
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Chain - unexpected long life

Hi,
I was wondering whether using a chain on a road bike has a limit in Km.
My older chain reached "0.1 mm" on the caliber at 7900 km, so I changed it. It was a SRAM Red 22 chain, on SRAM Force 22 system.

Then, I used 2 chains of the same type alternatively (cleaned and switched one with the other one at around 1000 km) and I changed the cleaning mode. Now, the most used of the chains has 7600 km, it works ok and it still has a lot remaining to reach "0.075 mm" on the caliber. I estimate it will reach 0.075 mm at around 10000 km and it might reach "0.1 mm" at 13000 km or more. The second chain looks similar.
Would it be safe to use a chain for such long distances as 13000 km, since the caliber says they are not worn out?

Thanks
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Old 02-18-19, 06:06 PM
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I am not clear on your math, 0.1mm in what distance, are you using the Campagnolo idea to replace at 132.6mm? On 11 speeds I change at 0.5% elongation as the cassettes are not cheap. I know guys that claim to get around 8,000 miles but even when I was over lubing I guess there is too much sand/grit around here to get that much.
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Old 02-18-19, 06:24 PM
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I don't think the mileage should be a main indicator of chain change interval as a strong rider doing a lot of hills will wear/stretch the chain more than a gentler rider who rides flat roads. I find I wear out my mountain bike chains faster than road bike chains due to the more aggressive climbing I do on my mountain bike.

I use a Park chain gauge ( https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/...-2/rp-prod7858 ) and replace my chains at 75% stretch maximum to prevent wear on the cassette. Sooner on my mountain bike as the cassette is more expensive.
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Old 02-19-19, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
...
Then, I used 2 chains of the same type alternatively (cleaned and switched one with the other one at around 1000 km) and I changed the cleaning mode.
...
Thanks
You might be on to something there. Maybe the lubrication in the chain that is not being used has time to reflow around the pins. I would however measure the chain again after a short ride. What cleaning mode are you using if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 02-19-19, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
I am not clear on your math, 0.1mm in what distance, are you using the Campagnolo idea to replace at 132.6mm? On 11 speeds I change at 0.5% elongation as the cassettes are not cheap. I know guys that claim to get around 8,000 miles but even when I was over lubing I guess there is too much sand/grit around here to get that much.
This is good advice.

I also replace 11 speed chains at 0.5% (this is Shimano's recommendation FWIW) but 10 speed (and fewer) at 0.75%. I usually end up getting roughly 3000 miles out of a chain and I clean and re-lube regularly - there's no way I'd ever get close to 8000.

Other than effective elongation due to bushing wear, the other factor to consider is that the chain will become slacker (i.e. it will bend side-to-side more easily) over time, which can cause degradation in shifting performance. It's unlikely you'd get such pronounced side-to-side wear without corresponding effective elongation but it's worth keeping an eye on for the OP if he's getting that mega mileage out of his chains.
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Old 02-19-19, 08:40 AM
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I usually get 6000-7000 miles (9600 - 11,300 km) out of a chain at .75% elongation with reasonable but not obsessive cleaning and lubing. I'm old and rather light but I do ride a lot of hills, as you might guess.

However, I replace my chains and 10-speed cassettes together after that distance. I use lower end cassettes (105 or even Tiagra) so the cost of the cassette isn't much higher than a decent chain and it makes no sense to put several times the cost of a new cassette into frequent chain replacements.
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Old 02-19-19, 08:45 AM
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11 speeds are worn when they reach 0.5 not 0.75.
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Old 02-19-19, 09:06 AM
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Most chain wear measuring tools add roller to the true elongation (change in pitch) and exaggerate the wear. A true measurement of the change in chain pitch can be done with a precision 12 inch rule. When new, 24 pins will measure 12 inches center to center or inside edge to outside edge. If place the rule is placed at the edge of one pin, the pin at the opposite end will be completely covered by the rule. When the wear reaches .5%, about half of that pin will be exposed.

All that said, it is possible to have a chain show little elongation, but extreme roller wear after 6,000 miles of use and cause enough wear on the cassette, that the most-used cogs will skip, when a new chain is used on the cassette. The way to avoid new-chain skip is to alternate the use of at least three chains, so new-chain skip never occurs. Then you can use each chain well past .5% elongation and never have new-chain skip. This avoids the problem of prematurely tossing chains to avoid new-chain skip.
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Old 02-19-19, 12:53 PM
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Maybe check the odometer's calibration. =)
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Old 02-19-19, 01:24 PM
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Mean it did not break, like it was expected to?

worn chains wear into cassette cogs and chainring teeth , you may not notice, until you try replacing just one of those 3..
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Old 02-19-19, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bikeaddiction1 View Post
I use a Park chain gauge ( https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/...-2/rp-prod7858 ) and replace my chains at 75% stretch maximum to prevent wear on the cassette. Sooner on my mountain bike as the cassette is more expensive.
Got'a get me one of those. Are they compactible for 7 speed chains? What about single speed?
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Old 02-19-19, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
11 speeds are worn when they reach 0.5 not 0.75.
I use the caliber as the one at this link: https://www.bike-components.de/en/Ro...dicator-p1740/ I'm sure there are many others on the market, at similar quality.
The figures are 0.075 mm (not 0.75) and 0.1 mm. Maybe your figures come from another system of measuring?
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Old 02-19-19, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
I am not clear on your math, 0.1mm in what distance, are you using the Campagnolo idea to replace at 132.6mm? On 11 speeds I change at 0.5% elongation as the cassettes are not cheap. I know guys that claim to get around 8,000 miles but even when I was over lubing I guess there is too much sand/grit around here to get that much.
I use this caliber: https://www.bike-components.de/en/Ro...dicator-p1740/
There are many others with the same system.
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Old 02-19-19, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt Gaunt View Post
This is good advice.

I also replace 11 speed chains at 0.5% (this is Shimano's recommendation FWIW) but 10 speed (and fewer) at 0.75%. I usually end up getting roughly 3000 miles out of a chain and I clean and re-lube regularly - there's no way I'd ever get close to 8000.

Other than effective elongation due to bushing wear, the other factor to consider is that the chain will become slacker (i.e. it will bend side-to-side more easily) over time, which can cause degradation in shifting performance. It's unlikely you'd get such pronounced side-to-side wear without corresponding effective elongation but it's worth keeping an eye on for the OP if he's getting that mega mileage out of his chains.
Definitely another measuring system. Mine does not show "%", but only 2 limits: 0.075 mm and 0.1 mm
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Old 02-19-19, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
I am not clear on your math, 0.1mm in what distance, are you using the Campagnolo idea to replace at 132.6mm? On 11 speeds I change at 0.5% elongation as the cassettes are not cheap. I know guys that claim to get around 8,000 miles but even when I was over lubing I guess there is too much sand/grit around here to get that much.
No, I use this type in mm: https://www.bike-components.de/en/Ro...dicator-p1740/ There are many others similar on the market.
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Old 02-19-19, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Got'a get me one of those. Are they compactible for 7 speed chains? What about single speed?
All chains that I am aware of have the same individual link length so the stretch is measured the same way and this tool will work. I have used it on all chain speeds from single to 12 speed.
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Old 02-19-19, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ArmChairRider View Post
You might be on to something there. Maybe the lubrication in the chain that is not being used has time to reflow around the pins. I would however measure the chain again after a short ride. What cleaning mode are you using if you don't mind me asking?
Lubrication is the same: PTFE thin lube, spray. I think that other types of lubes work the same.
But I changed the cleaning method. Instead of the fancy method with brushes on a plastic device with chain on the bike, I changed to a very rough one: I remove the chain and I put it in a pet with some 100-150 grams of regular Diesel fuel. I shake it strongly 10-20 times, then I leave it submersed until the other chain reaches 1000 km on the bike.
Then, I cut the pet, I put the chain in another pet with clean Diesel fuel (100-150 gr), I shake it again, then I wipe it with paper towel and I leave it a few hours to dry (Diesel fuel would not fully dry, for sure). Then I put it on the bike and lube it once. I make no other work for 1000 km, then I switch the chain with the second one, which followed the same cleaning procedure.

I always find a lot of fine sand on the bottom of the cleaning pets. I'm sure that at least 50% of this sand always remains between roles and pins if you clean the chain on the bike, with those fancy plastic devices with brushes.
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Old 02-19-19, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
I am not clear on your math, 0.1mm in what distance, are you using the Campagnolo idea to replace at 132.6mm? On 11 speeds I change at 0.5% elongation as the cassettes are not cheap. I know guys that claim to get around 8,000 miles but even when I was over lubing I guess there is too much sand/grit around here to get that much.
So, it looks to make sense: 8000 miles means around 13000 km. It looks that I better eliminated the sand.
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Old 02-19-19, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Mean it did not break, like it was expected to?

worn chains wear into cassette cogs and chainring teeth , you may not notice, until you try replacing just one of those 3..

Using a chain rotation, you pick the number of chains that you believe will deliver a reasonable cassette life, then toss chains and cassette when all are really worn. If the cassette is cheap, then 3 chains might cost about as much as the cassette. If it's pricey, then more chains might be added.

If you do install a 4th new chain after many thousands of miles, it probably will skip on the old cassette. Put on a new cassette and use the chain for a few hundred miles. After that that break-in period, you'll find the chain no longer skips on the old cassette.
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Old 02-19-19, 09:25 PM
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Sad to say, but this is the original chain that came with my 1964 Legnano. I raced on it, commuted to college, and it hung in my garage for 20 odd years before being put back on the road in 2000. I've had it checked a couple of times, always in spec, and it runs smooth, doesn't skip, and the gear teeth seem in good shape. I just upgraded from 5 to 6 speed, and the crank was changed in 2016 from the original 53/45 to a 52/42, more friendly to old legs. I've had a new KMC 8 speed chain since 2016, but haven't gotten around to changing it. The 6 speed freewheel is a little close to the frame, so I think I'll finally get out the KMC and change it. I don't baby this bike, but it doesn't get that many miles, couple of hundred a year, lately.



Time for a good cleaning.
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Old 02-19-19, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
No, I use this type in mm: https://www.bike-components.de/en/Ro...dicator-p1740/ There are many others similar on the market.
There are only three gauges for chain wear the are reliable. Two made by shimano and one made by Pedros. They do not measure roller wear.
The other reliable chain checker is a ruler.
The only reliable way to take care of a drive train is to remove the chain for cleaning.
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/chain-care.html
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Old 02-20-19, 11:35 PM
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You guys got me thinking. 55 years is a long time to use a chain. I certainly got my money's worth out of it. I'm talking about the blue Legnano posted above. 2 years ago, I bought a new chain with the idea of changing my (then) 53 year old chain. Ok, today, I finally did it. You know, the new chain (Sram 8 speed ) is considerably lighter than the old motorcycle chain that came with the bike. It seems to shift better, is quieter, and provides a little more clearance between the small rear gear and frame. I recently went from 5 to standard 6 speed (not ultra 6) freewheel, and the old frame was pretty close to the chain. Better now, but I'll bet the new Sram doesn't last 55 years. 😁

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Old 02-21-19, 07:08 AM
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The chain manufacturers have a strong interest in selling more chains.
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Old 03-05-19, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I usually get 6000-7000 miles (9600 - 11,300 km) out of a chain at .75% elongation with reasonable but not obsessive cleaning and lubing. I'm old and rather light but I do ride a lot of hills, as you might guess.

However, I replace my chains and 10-speed cassettes together after that distance. I use lower end cassettes (105 or even Tiagra) so the cost of the cassette isn't much higher than a decent chain and it makes no sense to put several times the cost of a new cassette into frequent chain replacements.
I've been thinking about this approach (I may fit your profile - older, not too heavy and do a fair amount of hill climbing) - riding the chain for as long as possible and just changing both the cassette and chain together. To your point, for example, on Amazon, a 105 chain is just under $30 and a 105 cassette is $52. There's a lot of different variables but seems like tossing chains proactively to preserve the cassette (assuming shifting performance isn't an issue) can actually cost more. On my regular-use bikes, I've taken the approach of monitoring chain wear and changing proactively. But, on my winter/beater bike, I haven't bothered with chain replacement - and the shifting (105 components) has been fine, for my purposes, since the chain and cassette and chain are wearing together. Not sure I'm saving money in the long term by pro-actively changing the chains.
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Old 03-05-19, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by dennis336 View Post
I've been thinking about this approach (I may fit your profile - older, not too heavy and do a fair amount of hill climbing) - riding the chain for as long as possible and just changing both the cassette and chain together. To your point, for example, on Amazon, a 105 chain is just under $30 and a 105 cassette is $52. There's a lot of different variables but seems like tossing chains proactively to preserve the cassette (assuming shifting performance isn't an issue) can actually cost more. On my regular-use bikes, I've taken the approach of monitoring chain wear and changing proactively. But, on my winter/beater bike, I haven't bothered with chain replacement - and the shifting (105 components) has been fine, for my purposes, since the chain and cassette and chain are wearing together. Not sure I'm saving money in the long term by pro-actively changing the chains.
You'll save money by alternating the use of three chains. A cassette will easily last for the life of three chains and you won't have to toss them prematurely. They could all be used far longer. All you prevent by tossing chains early is a brief period of new-chain skip. Keep the chains and give them each a second use. You'll never get new-chain skip.
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