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Thread: new chain noise

  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    new chain noise

    I replaced my old chain (shimano) on my XT drivetrain with a Sram PC-971 9SP. There seems to be a lot of gear noise (for lack of a better term) that i didnt hear before on my old chain. I guess where the chain and gears are making contact. In fact it was basically noise free. Is this normal? does it need to be broken in?
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  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Sometimes. Yes. How's the performance? Did you match the length of the new chain to the length of the old chain?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    How worn is ur old chain? YouTube it if u don't know how.

    sent from one of my 4 gold leafed iphone4s's

  4. #4
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    Over time chains get longer, they don't actually stretch but develop play between the pins and side plates. The harder metal of the chain forces the softer metal of the cogs and chainrings to conform to it. This happens gradually over time and so when a new, "tight" chain is installed it will not mate perfectly with the worn cogs and produce the grinding you are experiencing.

    If they are not too bad the grinding may subside as they wear together, but it may also be time for a new cassette, or possibly chainrings. The best practice is to measure your chain now and then and replace before it gets too bad.

  5. #5
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    Did you get your derailleur adjusted?

  6. #6
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    give it 3-4 good rides..

    if noisy after that - you may want to look at your cassette or chaing rings - as someone suggested already...

    ideally, at the time the chain is changed - cassette and rings should also be changed BUT that is an expensive proposition. I never let the chain stretch too much - i replace it with new chain and let that chain stretch to about the same mark as the previous one then i put on teh third chain. i let this chain stretch all the way before replacing it with one of the other two chains that i kept in my tool box... by the time i use all 3 chains - it is time to replace teh cassette and rings...

    Quote Originally Posted by henmar77 View Post
    I replaced my old chain (shimano) on my XT drivetrain with a Sram PC-971 9SP. There seems to be a lot of gear noise (for lack of a better term) that i didnt hear before on my old chain. I guess where the chain and gears are making contact. In fact it was basically noise free. Is this normal? does it need to be broken in?

  7. #7
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    I checked the old chain with the park chain tool and the tool didnt even fit between the links. Which if im not mistaken still means it has life left? However, i decided to just changed it anyway because everyone keeps telling me that this is probably the issue thats causing my rough shifts. Shifts were noisy and not engaging smoothly. All adjustments have been made to the derailers with not very much change. The cog was not purchased with the new chain but it is fairly new. Just got it about several months ago and probably has about 100 miles (not sure if thats a lot) on it since chain was changed. i did measure the new chain with the old and saw that the links did not line up, but came out to be the same length when i cut a replaced it. I assumed that this meant there was wear on the old chain. I assumed that there would be a break in period considering that the cog and chain are not manufactured together to fit exactly. So maybe it just needs time? I dont know. I am becoming a little frustrated with the drivetrain and i dont know if its because i assumed that it would be very smooth because of the components i have, or maybe im just not being realistic with my expectations. I think i will have to break down and just finally take it in for a check up. I just hate having to pay for stuff i can do myself. unless there is someone knowledgeable in my area willing to help? lol
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by henmar77 View Post
    I checked the old chain with the park chain tool and the tool didnt even fit between the links. Which if im not mistaken still means it has life left? However, i decided to just changed it anyway because everyone keeps telling me that this is probably the issue thats causing my rough shifts. Shifts were noisy and not engaging smoothly. All adjustments have been made to the derailers with not very much change. The cog was not purchased with the new chain but it is fairly new. Just got it about several months ago and probably has about 100 miles (not sure if thats a lot) on it since chain was changed. i did measure the new chain with the old and saw that the links did not line up, but came out to be the same length when i cut a replaced it. I assumed that this meant there was wear on the old chain. I assumed that there would be a break in period considering that the cog and chain are not manufactured together to fit exactly. So maybe it just needs time? I dont know. I am becoming a little frustrated with the drivetrain and i dont know if its because i assumed that it would be very smooth because of the components i have, or maybe im just not being realistic with my expectations. I think i will have to break down and just finally take it in for a check up. I just hate having to pay for stuff i can do myself. unless there is someone knowledgeable in my area willing to help? lol
    Yup you should expect a break in period...If in doubt just put the old chain on and see if the noise goes away.

    Probably best way is to get to extend drivetrain life is to get say 3 chains, run one til it is about a third worn...then switch chains.....switch the chains for 3 cycles....then buy a whole new drivetrain, and chains. (I son't have a memory good enough for this).

    I get about 5 chains to a cassette and rings, by the 5th chain the breakin period is pretty rough and takes about 200 km.

  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    OP, I mostly glossed over your second post, it was hard for me to read. I think I read that you bought one of those chain-checker tools and either it didn't work or you didn't use it, but you let peer pressure push you into buying a new chain anyway. You're now using that chain, and that brings us to the problems you're having.

    If I understand you correctly, the new chain, with the same number of links, is visibly shorter than the old chain was.

    So you certainly did put some wear on the old chain. From your post and without the chain in hand, I can't tell if it was wear that caused you to be unable to use the chain checker, or if the design of the chain checker just doesn't work, or if you couldn't figure out how to use it. But whatever.

    How's the performance? Is it just noise, or is your bike performing worse than it did before you swapped? Is the chain slipping or jumping? Are you getting chainsuck?

    Here's an article on how to check wear on a chain easily and with a more representative measurement.
    Chain Maintenance
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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