Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
LittleGreyCat
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Joined: 7 Aug 2013, 8:31pm

Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby LittleGreyCat » 5 Jul 2020, 8:01pm

Well, that's me with a couple of ear worms. :lol:

Following advice from this forum, if I was riding 1,000 miles at, say, 100 miles a week for 10 weeks it would probably be a good idea to change chains at regular intervals to even out chain and cog wear. Two, possibly three chains.

If I'm riding around 1,000 miles in 20 days (end to end) at 50 miles a day every day should I be considering changing chains at least once?
Touring riders take spare links, but I'm not sure that they take a complete spare chain.

Doing my head in thinking about swapping chains every 200 miles or so (random figure) for daily rides and riding 1,000s of miles on long distance touring.

simonhill
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Re: Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby simonhill » 5 Jul 2020, 8:06pm

Don't ask me I'm a philistine, but.... new chain in September, good for all winter touring (c 5,000kms). Then use it during the summer (c 2,000 kms) and replace with new cassette the following Sept.

Why complicate life...............unless you want to.

ossie
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Re: Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby ossie » 5 Jul 2020, 8:07pm

Unless it starts chattering away I'll leave it. When it does I'll measure it and usually change it.

Two or three chains to a cassette and probably 1500 miles per chain looking back.

Navara
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Re: Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby Navara » 5 Jul 2020, 8:31pm

I recently replaced the chain on my carbon bike and according to Strava I've done 4,349 miles on it!According to my chain-checker it was just about .75 so I just replaced the chain.Works fine.I generally change chains at the 2000-ish mile mark but this time it slipped through the net.KMC chains on Shimano running gear seem to last a very long time!

PH
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Re: Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby PH » 5 Jul 2020, 8:36pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:If I'm riding around 1,000 miles in 20 days (end to end) at 50 miles a day every day should I be considering changing chains at least once?

The cycling of several chains to preserve the cassette paints you into a corner that isn't IMO compatible with touring. You'll either need to continue the regime or risk throwing all the components out of sync. Or, you could put those chains and cassette to one side, fit new, do the tour, leave the chain and cassette on when you get back till they've worn out together and re-fit those component you'd put to one side. Or you could just think life's too short for that malarkey.

Brucey
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Re: Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby Brucey » 5 Jul 2020, 8:49pm

1000 miles? A new chain when you go, a new chain when you get back, another new chain after that, then cycle those three chains until they are all worn to the point that you are either going to start wearing the chainrings or the cassette won't take a new chain, and then choose your subsequent approach accordingly.

cheers
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fatboy
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Re: Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby fatboy » 5 Jul 2020, 9:14pm

As someone who gets through chains quickly (the order of 1000ish miles - don't ask me why, maybe my high cadence and sloppy maintenance!) but I just change the chain when it needs it and don't worry about anything else. When I've got steel rings (given up of Aluminium) the drive train lasts so many chains that it'd not be worth faffing about IMHO. However your mileage may vary!
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly

pedals2slowly
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Re: Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby pedals2slowly » 6 Jul 2020, 1:04pm

I rode to the middle east and back on one chain, the bike lived outdoors in all weathers and encountered lots of mud rain and gritty sand.
I ride about 8000 miles per year on multiple bikes and just change the chain and cassette together when it start jumping over sprockets.
Chainwheels only need changing when the chain jumps over them too. (I tried filing them down but that didn't work very well!)

There is sooooooooooooooooo much more riding time available if you don't waste time with swapping chains and worrying about little things, and strangely it's much more memorable and fun to have a failure in the middle of a ride and have to deal with it than boring maintenance in your shed and garage. You have laugh with your riding mates, or meet the generosity of a friendly local and the local bike shop enroute. Rides where everything goes to plan are essentially boring, ride your chain until it breaks - I think you'll find the majority of normal cyclists do this, or just change it once a year

BUT I suspect the a lot of users on this forum will throw their arms up in horror at my blasphemy!

Each to their own.

I do carry 8,9,10 and 11 speed quick links which I've never had to use but many others have been thankful for my help.....................

Vorpal
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Re: Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby Vorpal » 6 Jul 2020, 1:10pm

I like the Bowie reference...

As for the chain swap, it depends alot on your drive train, riding conditions, and how hard you go? I think it's better just to check the wear every now and then, and replace when needed. If you want to be a bit conservative, replace it when it starts to show wear, instead of waiting for the recommended wear limit.

FWIW, I get about 3X that from my 9 speed chains, and more from my 7 speed one, if it's not in winter riding.

On the other hand, I less than 1000 miles from my 7 speed chain in the winter, and less yet from a 9 speed chain. But I live in Norway, and am basically grinding salt & gravel into it every ride.

p.s. I follow pedals2slowly's method on my winter bike. Stuff doesn't last very long, anyway.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

cyclop
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Re: Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby cyclop » 7 Jul 2020, 7:20am

pedals2slowly wrote:I rode to the middle east and back on one chain, the bike lived outdoors in all weathers and encountered lots of mud rain and gritty sand.
I ride about 8000 miles per year on multiple bikes and just change the chain and cassette together when it start jumping over sprockets.
Chainwheels only need changing when the chain jumps over them too. (I tried filing them down but that didn't work very well!)

There is sooooooooooooooooo much more riding time available if you don't waste time with swapping chains and worrying about little things, and strangely it's much more memorable and fun to have a failure in the middle of a ride and have to deal with it than boring maintenance in your shed and garage. You have laugh with your riding mates, or meet the generosity of a friendly local and the local bike shop enroute. Rides where everything goes to plan are essentially boring, ride your chain until it breaks - I think you'll find the majority of normal cyclists do this, or just change it once a year

BUT I suspect the a lot of users on this forum will throw their arms up in horror at my blasphemy!

Each to their own.

I do carry 8,9,10 and 11 speed quick links which I've never had to use but many others have been thankful for my help.....................

Possible scenario:middle of winter,flogging over Hartside into a stiff easterly,chain breaks,I,m thinking,"Wow,this is fun,this is why I do these rides on my crappily maintained bike so it will break down.What an adventure!!"Really?Don,t think so.

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Sweep
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Re: Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby Sweep » 7 Jul 2020, 8:24am

pedals2slowly wrote: just change the chain and cassette together when it start jumping over sprockets..


If you do that you do have to change the sprockets at the same time though?

Not saying it's wrong, it is an approach/system.
Sweep

simonhill
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Re: Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby simonhill » 7 Jul 2020, 1:47pm

I measured my cavalier approach as detailed at 1st post (or is the OP first post and mine second??).

Slightly lower winter touring (Asia) distance this year 4,000kms, plus about 1,000 at home in sunny Essex. Regularly lub'd with White Lightning Dry Ride. Chain at 0.75.

I should be able to get away without changing rear sprockets, if I can get away in the Autumn.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 7 Jul 2020, 2:02pm

Get a chain stretch checking tool, or learn how to check using a piece of string and a couple of nails. A chain has a 0.5in (12.7mm) spacing between pins. This is the chain ‘pitch’ and is an industry standard on multi-speed bikes. The chain should measure 12 inches across 12 links, and start with 0.5 inch pitch. Change the chain when the 12 link length becomes 12 1/16 inches ( 0.5 percent ) stretch. If you allow the 12 link chain length to reach 12 1/8 inches, it’s best practice to change the cassette as well as the chain as you’ll then discover that you can’t teach an old cog new links at that point. The other type of wear is ‘chain slop’ and that is pretty much gauged on experience of what’s right in terms of shift feel

reohn2
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Re: Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby reohn2 » 7 Jul 2020, 2:16pm

My regeme is a simple one,from a new chain and cassette I ride the new chain to 0.75 then fit a new chain,then repeat.
The third chain is usually OK on the original cassette in which case I will then try a fourth chain,if it skips I remove it and replace with the third chain.
I then run that until shifting gets a bit ropey.I then replace cassette and chain.
As a rule 4,000 to 4,500 miles each is as much as I can get out of the first two chains and 5,500 out of the fourth one.
In total about 13,000 to 15,000 miles before new chain and cassette is required.

I tend to keep the drivetrain clean and well lubed but I'm not obsessive like MickF :wink:
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pedals2slowly
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Re: Chain, chain, chain.....ch-ch-ch-changes...

Postby pedals2slowly » 7 Jul 2020, 10:08pm

cyclop wrote:Possible scenario:middle of winter,flogging over Hartside into a stiff easterly,chain breaks,I,m thinking,"Wow,this is fun,this is why I do these rides on my crappily maintained bike so it will break down.What an adventure!!"Really?Don,t think so.


I shouldn't have used the word 'break' because I've never come across that happening unless you've fitted something incorrectly. 'Wear's out' would have been a better choice of words.Wearing a complete chainset out without changing chains isn't 'crap' maintenance, it's just a different approach.
You do have to be cleverer at maintenance to make things last longer than the newby who goes to the bike shop for a puncture repair or the obsessive who daren't risk running a chain for more than 999 miles. That cleverness also allows you take increased risks because you can fix almost anything in the event. Oh and cost is an important element as well, there's no way running three chains on a block for 3000 miles is cheaper than one chain on a block for 10,000 miles.

Memories that mean so much more than 'went for a ride'

Tandem freewheel disassembling itself on the road to Arthur's Pass in NZ, ball bearings scattered across the road - went to nearest farm, found a bike on their scrap heap, located some correct size bearings and re-assembled it.
Sturmey hub exploding as accelerated away from lights outside Athens Olympic stadium - buy single speed hub, rebuild wheel, ride for 2 weeks to destination then get Sturmey to send replacement out (and they sent me a free Brooks saddle compensation)
Breaking straight pull spokes in Moroccan desert, find local bike shop, bend J spokes straight and respoke wheel.
and many more minor ones which meant meeting people, having a laugh and exaggerating everything in the pub later.

But my TT bike it's a new chainset each year, horses for courses