Multiple chain rotation.

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fossala
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Multiple chain rotation.

Postby fossala » 27 Sep 2013, 12:25pm

I've been reading up this morning on how to extend chain/cassette life. Apart from cleaning your drivetrain and making sure it's lubed I only came upon one other idea it's this (his words).

I buy 3 chains for a cassette and alternate their use, never allowing the roller spacing to increase by more that 8-9% before changing to the next new chain in the rotation. The spacing between roller varies between brand, but usually starts at .200-.210 inch. Campy chains have the smallest initial spacing. The partially used chains are kept for future use. After all three chains have had their first use, the rotation starts again, but at more frequent intervals, like any time I have a chain off for cleaning. With this process you will never encounter new-chain skip on worn cogs. Rotating chains also allows them to be used far longer because you don't remove them prematurely to "protect" the cassette from having enough wear to cause new-chain skip.


Seems like a very good idea and I happen to have 3 chains for my bike in the house (on on bike measuring 0.6 on my park chain wear measure tool) so it would be a good time to swap it out if I want to give this a go.

What do you guys think.
Last edited by fossala on 27 Sep 2013, 12:28pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mark1978
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Re: Multiple chain rotation.

Postby Mark1978 » 27 Sep 2013, 12:27pm

I've heard this is a good way to clean them too, as a deep clean off the bike is easier. Depends how much 'faff' you are prepared to tollerate in your life!

tatanab
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Re: Multiple chain rotation.

Postby tatanab » 27 Sep 2013, 1:20pm

I tend to do this. I do it because I use expensive cassette sprockets that I want to preserve, not necessarily because I am bothered about wear on a chain which only cost the same as perhaps a couple of my sprockets. I do not measure chains but swap them around when they get too dirty or at about 500 miles Having a number of machines this means that I am taking a chain off, cleaning it and storing it about every 5 weeks or so. I used to keep the cleaned chains in old margarine tubs with enough oil to cover them. I do not do that any more, I just put them in a plastic bag having squirted them with WD40 or similar. Then they get lubricated afresh when they are next fitted.

Sometimes I am lazy and do not bother if all is clean. Other times of course I might be mid tour so the chain just has to stay there.

Of equal importance, when the chain is taken off this is the time to clean chainrings and sprockets before fitting your nice clean chain.

xcalibur
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Re: Multiple chain rotation.

Postby xcalibur » 27 Sep 2013, 1:58pm

A good idea! I have never been this fuzzy, but I have though alternated between two chains because it's practical when cleaning. It's hard to get a dirty chain really clean again; and soaking in oil or white spirit is sometiems the best way. I'm still searching for a better way to get it done (I have two types of chain cleaners). They used to say you should stick with the set of casette and chain you started out with, they get sort of worne in together and changing chain only mess it up. Starting out with three chains probably cancels this factor out.

I usually choose wet lubricants, they are better in wet condition. For a long time Weldtite Extreme was a favorite, but lately I came across a new one "Finish Line Ceramic". It's not as messy as Weldtite, it is a bit different and feels a couple of notches smoother, and I think it can reduce wear even further but time will tell.

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fossala
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Re: Multiple chain rotation.

Postby fossala » 27 Sep 2013, 2:08pm

I couldn't get on with the ceramic lube from finish line. I'm using finish line green at the moment, seems the best. I really wanted to like green oil lube but it's too thick and "webby" similar to TF2 green. I like purple extreme but it doesn't hold up in the rain so I can't really use it.

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Mick F
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Re: Multiple chain rotation.

Postby Mick F » 27 Sep 2013, 2:20pm

I have four chains and rotate them every now and again - at the most every 1,000miles. I'm on Chain D at the moment.
Mick F. Cornwall

vernon
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Re: Multiple chain rotation.

Postby vernon » 28 Sep 2013, 12:02am

I don't have any problems with chain and sprocket wear since I bought a belt drive bike.

I don't even have to bother to lube the belt.

2,500 miles since purchase and I've still no need to adjust the tension in the belt by moving the rear wheel rearwards.

Brucey
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Re: Multiple chain rotation.

Postby Brucey » 28 Sep 2013, 7:59am

I think there are quite a few folk on here who use chain rotation. However I think most of them measure chain pitch/total elongation, not roller wear. IME it is overall chain wear (elongation) which indicates if skipping with a fresher chain (on similarly worn sprockets) is likely. In theory (and to an extent in practice with some chains) chain elongation and roller wear do not go hand in hand.

Measuring roller spacing may give odd readings because;

1) roller spacing on inner links can be different to that on outer links, in part because of the different contribution of bushing wear to the measurement.

2) measuring roller spacing pushes one roller against the side that wears when the chain is meshed with the sprocket, and the other roller against the side that wears when the chain is meshed with the chainwheel. Although the wear on the roller itself is likely to be uniform, the wear on the parts that the roller bears against is unlikely to be the same on both sides, simply because the link articulates more (under load) on sprockets than on chainring, so typically wears more on one side than the other.

3) Some chains have quite soft rollers, that wear quickly on the ID, without the chain elongating greatly necessarily. Worn rollers like this don't always mean worn sprockets in quite the same way as with an elongated chain.

cheers
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ChrisButch
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Re: Multiple chain rotation.

Postby ChrisButch » 28 Sep 2013, 10:03am

A refinement is to use different brands of chain for the rotation. The main difference is in the side plate profiles, which means a slightly different point of contact with, for instance, the front derailleur cage when shifting: and thus different wear points on that and other components.

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NUKe
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Re: Multiple chain rotation.

Postby NUKe » 28 Sep 2013, 6:00pm

I run 4 chains runnning for about 1000 miles between changes similar to Mick F although because the bikes get used daily, my cleaning regime isn't as stringent as his and I tend to run Wet lubes rather waxes just to cope with the weather.
Last edited by NUKe on 30 Sep 2013, 5:43pm, edited 1 time in total.
NUKe
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fossala
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Re: Multiple chain rotation.

Postby fossala » 28 Sep 2013, 7:12pm

NUKe wrote:I run 4 chains runnning for about 1000 miles between changes similar to Mick F although because the bikes get used daily, my cleaning regime isn't as stringent as his and I tend to run Wet lubes rather waxes just to cope with the wether.

How many miles you getting out of the 4 chains/1 cassette?

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NUKe
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Re: Multiple chain rotation.

Postby NUKe » 30 Sep 2013, 5:42pm

3500 per chain and 14000 per cassette. No where near Mick's figures I know, but because I commute I have to be practicle in cleaning terms. my Chains would need changing every week or more often to keep them truely clean so I rely on lubing them with wet lube and I use GT85 and rag to clean off the excess dirt before lubing with either Progold for the summer months or Halfords wet lube for the winter months.
NUKe

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Mick F
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Re: Multiple chain rotation.

Postby Mick F » 30 Sep 2013, 5:55pm

NUKe wrote:3500 per chain and 14000 per cassette. No where near Mick's figures I know, but because I commute I have to be practicle in cleaning terms.
I really do wish I had figures and facts from when I commuted by bike.

We were poor as church mice back then - two kids, mortgage(expensive in those days), car HP loan - and spending money on chains and cogs was difficult to comprehend. The bike worked! Ride it!

I tried all sorts of maintenance on the drive-train and was doing it without the aid of the internet forums and asking advice, I made it up as I went along. Chains and cogs wore out and I found the chain jumping on cogs etc ........... you know the story! I had to work it out for myself why it was.

I have much sympathy for people who read all this about my transmission longevity and only dream that they can achieve it too. Commuting five days a week all year doesn't help coz you don't have the time to do it.

I understand.
Honestly.
Mick F. Cornwall

Brucey
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Re: Multiple chain rotation.

Postby Brucey » 30 Sep 2013, 8:30pm

I guess like Mick I had to work out a solution for myself, too.

To anyone who is really putting in the miles, I'd suggest;

a) that NUKe's method is pretty good for a derailleur system given how relatively little time and effort is involved. A longer life than that would involve a lot more cleaning, I am sure.

b) consider using an IGH. You can get 2500-3500 miles from a cheap chain in all weather use; and the price? About £2.30 for the chain and less than one minute total spent lubing the chain (no cleaning....). Obviously the same chain might last x5 or x10 longer inside a chaincase.

cheers
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easyroller
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Re: Multiple chain rotation.

Postby easyroller » 6 May 2014, 6:01pm

I'm considering trying out this "chain rotation" system as I've just put a new chain & cassette on my road bike. It would be good to get a bit of extra life out of the whole system considering the cost. I was thinking of just using two chains and rotating every 1000 miles.

What do you find is the best way to get the chain super clean once it's off the bike?

And do you then store it any particular way? Lube it up and then just box it up somewhere you can remember?