Chain Wear

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tykeboy2003
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Chain Wear

Postby tykeboy2003 » 21 Jun 2013, 7:03am

I just bought a chain wear gauge, since I suspected my chain was getting worn by the way the rear gears have been changing (or not). The gauge is saying the chain is 0.75% worn. The bike was bought new last september and I've done 1500 miles on it.

Bike: http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/products/revolution-country-explorer?bct=browse%2fbicycles%2ftouring-bikes

Is this normal wear?
Can I do anything to extend the life of the chain?
I use Green Oil.

Incidentally the bike is now on sale at £573 which is a real bargain for anyone looking for a decent tourer.

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Vantage
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Re: Chain Wear

Postby Vantage » 21 Jun 2013, 7:33am

The chain gauge is probably wrong. They don't take into account the wear on the rollers between the links and for that reason, a steel rule is better. 1500 miles is nothing.
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

reohn2
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Re: Chain Wear

Postby reohn2 » 21 Jun 2013, 8:03am

The wear is premature at 1500mls(I usually get 4,500/5,000mls) but it depends what make of chain it is,some wear a lot faster than others.Shimano when I've occasionally used them didn't last very long.
Another way to measure the chain is with a steel rule along the top chain run with the chain under tension(rear brake held on pedal pressed on to tighten),a new chain will have pin/rivet centres at 0and12inch,if the pin/rivet centres measure more than 1/16in wear over 12inch the chain is worn and needs replacing.
What does matter is that you change the chain before the wear gets any worse in which case you'll need a new cassette.
I find if I change the chain at 0.75%(1/16in over 12in) it preserves cassette sprocket wear and I can get through three(Sram) chains before needing to change the cassette.If the chain is left to 1%(3/32in over 12in) the cassette cogs are usually worn so much that a new chain skips on them and so a new cassette is needed.
It's important that the chain is cleaned* and lubed regularly as most lubes attract road grit which when ground to a paste between chain and cogs/chainrings accelerates chain wear.

* I clean chains by either running them through a chain scrubber filled with White Spirit whilst still fitted to the bike then running through again with washing up liquid and hot water in the scrubber or removing from the bike and shaking in a jar with a sealable lid or a plastic soft drinks bottle half filled with WS, then a rinse with w/up liquid hot water.After either method dry the chain off with an old dry towel before relubing.
After trying quite a few lubes in recent years have settled on TF2 as it's cheap and doesn't attract road git too badly,though it does get washed off in prolonged rain in which case I just relube when I get home.It's available in 150ml and 450ml cans.
Last edited by reohn2 on 21 Jun 2013, 9:08am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ayesha
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Re: Chain Wear

Postby Ayesha » 21 Jun 2013, 8:20am

1500 miles on dusty canal towpaths would have got through three chains.
Seaside roads with sand blowing round would have got through three dozen chains.

Cleaning chains is pointless.
You wash out the factory fitted lube, and there's NO WAY of stopping fine grit particles getting in. The best you can achieve is to spray it with a wax furniture polish when new and wipe with a cloth when it looks dirty.

Accept the wear rate.
The chain is a 'Consumable' and when its worn, change it.
Last edited by Ayesha on 21 Jun 2013, 8:24am, edited 1 time in total.

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531colin
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Re: Chain Wear

Postby 531colin » 21 Jun 2013, 8:23am

My Rohloff wear gauge has 2 prongs which seat against 2 rollers and push them apart. Therefore the wear on 2 rollers is included, which may over-estimate the actual chain wear. Having said that, my gauge has been totally reliable for something like 15 years, I've never found it wrong....on my bikes, mates bikes, (and back in the day customers bikes).
If you get different wear readings on different bits of the chain, that's corrosion.
If you don't "know" your gauge like I know mine, the acid test is to put a new chain on the old cassette....if it skips, the cassette is worn beyond the point it will accept a new chain.
edit...I generally replace the cassette when I re-build the wheel (because the brakes have worn through the rim)
Last edited by 531colin on 21 Jun 2013, 8:26am, edited 1 time in total.

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meic
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Re: Chain Wear

Postby meic » 21 Jun 2013, 8:24am

I would expect many chains to be worn out by around 1500 miles on a £500 bike, it would fit my experience with a Shimano chain.

A Campagnolo C9 would last somewhat longer but isnt cheap.

A rather obsessive regime drags my SRAM chain life out to 2,500 on the lightweights and 2,000 on the towing bike, three in rotation per cassette.
I havent had the C9 long enough to say how long it will last.

My mileages are on the low side as my roads are hilly and sometimes dirty. Others can get even lower, I save almost worn chains for the New Forest as those tracks are real chain destroyers, constantly coating the chain with very abrasive grit.
Yma o Hyd

Ayesha
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Re: Chain Wear

Postby Ayesha » 21 Jun 2013, 8:39am

When you buy a bicycle, you don’t spend your last penny on the bike. You save some money for a PRK, two tyres, two tubes, set of brake blocks, two spare spokes of each size and a couple of chains. You buy these spares.
For the next twelve months, you put away five quid each week into a ‘bike kitty’ to buy the spare parts at its 12 month service if required. You repeat this until you sell or scrap the bike.

Any excess cash in the ‘bike kitty’ is put toward the purchase of Bike No.2.

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tykeboy2003
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Re: Chain Wear

Postby tykeboy2003 » 21 Jun 2013, 9:52am

Thanks for all the replies, I'll re-check the chain with a steel ruler.

I fairly regularly clean my chain by removing it from the bike and soaking it in some WD40 type stuff I got off eBay. I then give it a good shake and then another soak/shake in some fresh stuff. I then oil it with Green Oil.

This is an interesting point of view:-

Cleaning chains is pointless.
You wash out the factory fitted lube, and there's NO WAY of stopping fine grit particles getting in. The best you can achieve is to spray it with a wax furniture polish when new and wipe with a cloth when it looks dirty.


I seem to remember reading something similar on Sheldon Brown, but it just seems to feel so wrong!

Edit - I've got a new chain on order.

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meic
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Re: Chain Wear

Postby meic » 21 Jun 2013, 10:03am

It depends on your riding conditions, I would agree with that quote for riding on dusty, gritty, crushed stone tracks.

However for a 200k Audax on nice roads, I would agree it is pretty wrong and a nicely oiled chain would be far better.
Yma o Hyd

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Vantage
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Re: Chain Wear

Postby Vantage » 21 Jun 2013, 10:15am

I think the majority of us would agree that a clean drivetrain will far outlast a dirty one. Cleaning your chain is definitely not a waste of time.
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

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531colin
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Re: Chain Wear

Postby 531colin » 21 Jun 2013, 10:37am

If you clean your chain properly, as recommended by the great Sheldon, http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html its worth doing.

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tykeboy2003
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Re: Chain Wear

Postby tykeboy2003 » 21 Jun 2013, 10:48am

Since I'm taking early retirement at the end of August, I will be regularly using the Sheldon Brown chain cleaning method once a week. I suspect my chain will then outlast the bike.......

jb
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Re: Chain Wear

Postby jb » 21 Jun 2013, 10:48am

On primitive derailleur type gears muck can be wiped into the moving plates by the action of the front changer and sliding against the other sprockets so cleaning probably has benefits but an a single sprocket bike you don't gain a lot. Covering the chain at the worst splash points are the most effective methods and fully enclosing it has huge benefits but is not always practical.

The gauge measures wear over a number of parts that all wear together, unless for some strange reason the rollers wear but the link pins don’t, the gauge will be as accurate as it needs to be.
Cheers
J Bro

Brucey
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Re: Chain Wear

Postby Brucey » 21 Jun 2013, 10:52am

cheap chains can last half as long as expensive ones, but a clean cheap chain will outlast a dirty expensive one.

At 0.75% chain wear your cassette is probably worn too (so you might get jumping with a new chain).

IMHO if you are going to clean a chain, you may as well do it properly, which means taking it off. This is not difficult with a quicklink.

If you are taking it off, there is no need to put the same chain back on. Thus if you have three or four chains, and you just rotate them once every couple of weeks or so, you never have a very dirty one on the bike, you can have a chain cleaning session once every two months, and always have a clean/lubed one ready to go back on.

Once all your chains have got to 0.5% wear, buy a fresh set of chains and start again, or kill the cassette off by taking all the chains out to 1%.

cheers
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Ayesha
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Re: Chain Wear

Postby Ayesha » 21 Jun 2013, 11:45am

Brucey wrote:cheap chains can last half as long as expensive ones, but a clean cheap chain will outlast a dirty expensive one.

At 0.75% chain wear your cassette is probably worn too (so you might get jumping with a new chain).

IMHO if you are going to clean a chain, you may as well do it properly, which means taking it off. This is not difficult with a quicklink.

If you are taking it off, there is no need to put the same chain back on. Thus if you have three or four chains, and you just rotate them once every couple of weeks or so, you never have a very dirty one on the bike, you can have a chain cleaning session once every two months, and always have a clean/lubed one ready to go back on.

Once all your chains have got to 0.5% wear, buy a fresh set of chains and start again, or kill the cassette off by taking all the chains out to 1%.

cheers


To elongate the life of the chain on a bike, have three or four bikes. :wink: :D