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Thread: Chain Skipping?

  1. #1
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    Chain Skipping?

    Hi MTBR,

    After some searching, i have found out that my chain skipping has been a result of putting a new Chain on a used Chain Ring...

    But Are there other contributing issues? 1 of my closer friends has done the same thing, and his chain is NOT slipping at all, and i do not under stand why..

    If i need a new chain ring, What chain ring gears would you reccommend for the Shimano Deore XT Crankset? -Would you reccomend a bash guard?

    Thanks, Matt

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    If you really thrashed your drivetrain, that's your real problem. Don't do it again.

    Chain rings are usually good for several chain replacements, as long as the chains aren't allowed to wear out too badly before being replaced. Your friend was probably more proactive.

    I really like Shimano chain rings. I would just get the OEM replacement for your crank.

    The bash guard is a whole other issue. If you don't use your large chain ring and tend to bang it into things, sure. People who do a lot of road riding on their mountain bikes should consider a larger middle chain ring if they do that. People who use their bikes almost exclusively off-road won't miss those gear ratios.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    If you really thrashed your drivetrain, that's your real problem. Don't do it again.

    Chain rings are usually good for several chain replacements, as long as the chains aren't allowed to wear out too badly before being replaced. Your friend was probably more proactive.

    I really like Shimano chain rings. I would just get the OEM replacement for your crank.

    The bash guard is a whole other issue. If you don't use your large chain ring and tend to bang it into things, sure. People who do a lot of road riding on their mountain bikes should consider a larger middle chain ring if they do that. People who use their bikes almost exclusively off-road won't miss those gear ratios.
    What do you mean by "thrashed your drivetrain"?

    Well, what was getting me thinking, was that he rides A LOT harder then me and almost never maintains his MTB.

    So your saying that using a bash guard would limit the use of the large chain ring? I was thinking of getting a bash guard because i am worried about killing the chainring on a trail, and crippling my bike at the bottom of a trail.

    Thanks for your help.

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    Thrashing your drivetrain - not maintaining it, and riding a chain until it quits shifting or breaks.

    How do you know your friend doesn't maintain his bike? It's not a big deal - people come up with all kinds of bizarre routines on the internet, but really a few minutes a day and a new chain when required will keep things running smoothly for a very long time. He probably just takes care of it every now and then and doesn't think or talk about it.

    In general, people replace the large ring with a bash guard. So it's an either/or proposition. There are some other options, but they're not very popular. Get a gear calculator to spit out a list of the ratios your drivetrain has. There are about two unique gear ratios on the large ring. Everything else is available with a combination involving the middle ring. So it's really not that useful.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Thrashing your drivetrain - not maintaining it, and riding a chain until it quits shifting or breaks.

    How do you know your friend doesn't maintain his bike? It's not a big deal - people come up with all kinds of bizarre routines on the internet, but really a few minutes a day and a new chain when required will keep things running smoothly for a very long time. He probably just takes care of it every now and then and doesn't think or talk about it.

    In general, people replace the large ring with a bash guard. So it's an either/or proposition. There are some other options, but they're not very popular. Get a gear calculator to spit out a list of the ratios your drivetrain has. There are about two unique gear ratios on the large ring. Everything else is available with a combination involving the middle ring. So it's really not that useful.
    Ah, thats not me at all. I do clean my drivetrain every ride, but not right after the ride. i leave the dirt and junk on the bike for a few days, and then i go ride. But i do definitely maintain the drivetrain before every ride.

    Well, about my friend, there is always gunk, dirt, dust from the last trail ride, and gets even worse after every ride. He never likes riding alone and even told me, he never cleans it, since he saw how clean my cogs were after i cleaned them haha. But you make a very valid point.

    Oh. I see.

    Would you reccomend reversing the Chainings around? I saw them and it looks like the chainring has more "teeth", if reversed around, than how it is placed at the moment.

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    I prefer to do my drivetrain right after a ride because I already have enough trouble getting out of the house. I also don't bother cleaning anything but my chain and fork stanchions, and maybe I'll try to get the gunk off the jockey wheels on my derailleur if it's starting to build up. IMO, cleaning the exposed gears is way too much work. I also prefer to relube right after a ride so that the volatile ingredients have time to evaporate. Chain lubes come out of the bottle thinner than how they're supposed to work, in general. I don't know if your friend is quietly hitting the essentials, like me, or if he just has better bike karma or a bike guardian angel or something. I can really only tell you what I find to be effective for me.

    You usually can't just reverse a chain ring. They're usually not symmetrical. Singlespeed chain rings are a notable exception. So in general, if you're getting skipping, your chain ring is toast.

    The small chain ring is sometimes an exception too.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I prefer to do my drivetrain right after a ride because I already have enough trouble getting out of the house. I also don't bother cleaning anything but my chain and fork stanchions, and maybe I'll try to get the gunk off the jockey wheels on my derailleur if it's starting to build up. IMO, cleaning the exposed gears is way too much work. I also prefer to relube right after a ride so that the volatile ingredients have time to evaporate. Chain lubes come out of the bottle thinner than how they're supposed to work, in general. I don't know if your friend is quietly hitting the essentials, like me, or if he just has better bike karma or a bike guardian angel or something. I can really only tell you what I find to be effective for me.

    You usually can't just reverse a chain ring. They're usually not symmetrical. Singlespeed chain rings are a notable exception. So in general, if you're getting skipping, your chain ring is toast.

    The small chain ring is sometimes an exception too.
    Oh, i generally clean exposed gears, after about every 10-20rides, since we generally ride about 6-10hours per ride, and the gunk collected is just too much for just the chain lube to clean. Also, it makes the rear feel fresh again

    Ah okay, i think ill be buying some new rings soon....

    Would under load be an exception too? I generally have the gear slipping issue when Under load, like going uphill, Stop to start.. Another issue for me, would be when traveling over some bumpy obstacles, and pedalling, the chain just skips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattlikestobike View Post
    Would under load be an exception too? I generally have the gear slipping issue when Under load, like going uphill, Stop to start.. Another issue for me, would be when traveling over some bumpy obstacles, and pedalling, the chain just skips.
    I don't understand this question.

    The problems you're having still sound totally consistent with worn out chain rings.

    I wish I still had time to do 6-10 hour days. I fit one in now and then, but it takes a lot of planning.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I don't understand this question.

    The problems you're having still sound totally consistent with worn out chain rings.

    I wish I still had time to do 6-10 hour days. I fit one in now and then, but it takes a lot of planning.
    Sorry about that..

    Since you mentioned a small ring being an exception to slipping, i was wondering if a chain slipping under load was an exception too, since i had this problem for about a month, but it never was slipping this much, comparing it today.

    Ah okay, i think il be buying Chain rings ASAP!

    Same with me, 6-10 hours away from home, gets my parents worried at times. they never know if i could have bailed badly, or fallen of a cliff, but the faces they give me once i get home, is just so rewarding. A lot of planning goes for the group of bikers im in with. Generally its family plans and schedule that kills a weekend plan. but oh well.

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    I think we're not really communicating.

    What I meant was that most chain rings can't be installed backwards. If you take a look at the ones you have, you'll see that there's a lot going on on the inner face to help the chain shift. There's also a little extra material cut away around the bolts so the bolt doesn't stick out as much, and a lot of Shimano chain rings have some stuff going on that helps them fit snugly with the tab on the crank spider. So if you try to flip the chain ring around, it doesn't work.

    The small chain ring is sometimes just cut from a flat sheet of metal. It's cleaned up a little, but there's nothing special happening on either face. When this is the case, you can wear out one side, flip it around, and get another few seasons of wear out of it. At least, in theory.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I think we're not really communicating.

    What I meant was that most chain rings can't be installed backwards. If you take a look at the ones you have, you'll see that there's a lot going on on the inner face to help the chain shift. There's also a little extra material cut away around the bolts so the bolt doesn't stick out as much, and a lot of Shimano chain rings have some stuff going on that helps them fit snugly with the tab on the crank spider. So if you try to flip the chain ring around, it doesn't work.

    The small chain ring is sometimes just cut from a flat sheet of metal. It's cleaned up a little, but there's nothing special happening on either face. When this is the case, you can wear out one side, flip it around, and get another few seasons of wear out of it. At least, in theory.
    oh, i got that. My shimano i believe are not reversible after what you have described, So ill be in the market for some new chainrings.

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    Andrew, here is a picture of my gears.. Are they still usable? or worn out?

    thanks a lot for your help!

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    You're the one whose chain is slipping. You tell me if it's usable.

    To be honest, I can't really tell by sight. I replace a chain ring or cassette when I replace my chain and shifting or gear engagement gets a lot worse, instead of a little better.

    Do you have the problem in all rings or just one? What are you doing when it comes up?

    I'm doubtful that the small or big ring is very bad. The middle ring, I'm not so confident in.

    The installation of the middle ring looks kind of weird to me. On my SLX crankset, and the various other ones I have around the house, the middle ring fits onto the spider more snugly. The tab with the bolt hole is actually supported on the edge that's toward the crank spindle. I realize Shimano made a whole bunch of XT cranksets, but that seems weird. Also, that there's no material removed from the large chain ring, where it has the tab extended to meet the spider. And the SG-X stamp - again, I don't know every crankset Shimano ever made, or even most of them. But I'm surprised to see that on a Deore XT crank.

    Can you post a picture of the whole thing?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Okay. I generally have issues in rings 1 and 2. never the 3rd. When the issue does arrive, I am generally putting stress into the driveline. Like going up a hill. Or starting to go at a stop light.

    You are very right, i just looked at it and the installation is wrong, since i watched this video earlier, and saw there is a little lump on the chainrings, that are supposed to be aligned with the crank. im glad i posted that.

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    I don't think the position of the little bump is that big a deal. Maybe your shifts will be slightly smoother with it corrected, just as likely you won't be able to tell a difference.

    Can you take a picture from the side? I'm curious as to whether or not the middle chain ring is seated on the spider correctly.

    I'm flashing back to the time I destroyed an LX chain ring trying to install it on an Acera crank.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    oh, alright, but i think ill fix it just in case...

    hahaha, ouch.




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    That crank is whipped. You most likely need a new cassette as well.

    If you take those long rides often. Measure a 12" section of chain weekly. 12"-12 1/16" the chain is good, 12 1/16"-12 1/8" the chain needs replaced. 12 1/8"+ and you need to replace the cassette and possibly rings as well.
    measurement is center of pin to center of pin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ratmonkey View Post
    That crank is whipped. You most likely need a new cassette as well.

    If you take those long rides often. Measure a 12" section of chain weekly. 12"-12 1/16" the chain is good, 12 1/16"-12 1/8" the chain needs replaced. 12 1/8"+ and you need to replace the cassette and possibly rings as well.
    measurement is center of pin to center of pin.
    Oddly enough, the cassette looks pretty darn new. I have no idea why my chainrings are wearing, since my cassette looks perfectly fine.

    Oh. i need to do that., thanks for that

  20. #20
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    I was expecting something a little different where the middle ring attaches to the spider. Looks like maybe this model doesn't have it - there's an extra little tab on most.

    Anyway, you need to replace a chain ring that the chain skips on. The others, you can hold onto longer if you want. And try to keep an eye on chain wear in future. I use the method described in post #18 too.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  21. #21
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    If you wait too long to replace your chain, the metal wears out around the rollers and it essentially makes your chain act like a little saw cutting away tooth material from the cassette and chainrings. If you replace your chain before it stretches (see ratmonkey's post) then you will be able to get a few chains out of a small/middle chainring and cassette combo.

    If the chain slips when you install a new chain and you apply pressure then that probably means you need to get a new cassette and chainrings. If you don't use your small ring much then you probably don't need to replace it and I've never seen an instance where you need to change the big ring no matter how worn the drivetrain is.

    Other things to consider: is your chain slipping (when you press hard on the pedal the chain slips off and you get no resistance to your pedal stroke) or is it skipping (it pops between gears and grinds a lot)? One is a worn drivetrain the other is caused by improper setup, bent hanger, the need for new cables and housing, a stiff link in the chain, or any combination of the above.
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