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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Aug 2008
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    chain suck & upgrade advice

    Hi all,

    I have a Trek 4300 that's 3.5 years old. I ride it quite a lot on the local trails (all dirt/sand/mud/rocks) about 6 months/year.

    My problem is 'chain suck'. I can't climb hills in the lowest gear without the chain getting stuck between the smallest front cog and the frame. The pedals jam and I have to walk up hills.

    Last year I bought a Connex link so I could easily remove the chain and clean it - this helps, but only as long as I can avoid the water or mud. So I guess the cogs and the chain are pretty worn out. Questions:

    * What parts do I need to get replaced? Would it have to be the entire drivetrain? Bear in mind it's 3+ years old and I didn't start maintaining it properly until last year.

    * How much is it likely to cost? I don't need anything too high-end and I don't want to sink too much money into a low-end bike.

    * How difficult is it to replace the parts myself? I can replace brake pads, adjust the shifter, replace cables, and take the chain off to clean it. That's all I've done so far. I've got a few Allen keys but no other tools.

    * Considering the age of the bike, and the fact that's it's pretty beat up, does it make more sense to buy a whole new bike? I don't know what state the front forks are in (do they wear out?), my handle bar grips are worn out, etc. etc.

    I'm new to bike maintenance but I want to learn, rather than rely on the local bike shop for everything.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    I win.
    Reputation: Popper252's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    708
    Hey man, as a temporary fix before you go crazy upgrading parts you could always buy this for about 10 bucks.

    N Gear Jump Stop

    It'll keep the chain from dropping off the lower gear.

    You may also want to just try adjusting the limit stops on your front derailleur. That'd probably be the easier thing to do.

    As for upgrading parts, you'll probably want a new cassette, chain, and new chain rings.

    Do you have an 8 speed or 9 speed bike?
    09 Giant Anthem X3
    07 IBEX Trophy Comp X7

  3. #3
    Vaginatarian
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    Oct 2005
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    5,685
    Quote Originally Posted by acgreen
    Hi all,

    I have a Trek 4300 that's 3.5 years old. I ride it quite a lot on the local trails (all dirt/sand/mud/rocks) about 6 months/year.

    My problem is 'chain suck'. I can't climb hills in the lowest gear without the chain getting stuck between the smallest front cog and the frame. The pedals jam and I have to walk up hills.

    Last year I bought a Connex link so I could easily remove the chain and clean it - this helps, but only as long as I can avoid the water or mud. So I guess the cogs and the chain are pretty worn out. Questions:

    * What parts do I need to get replaced? Would it have to be the entire drivetrain? Bear in mind it's 3+ years old and I didn't start maintaining it properly until last year.

    * How much is it likely to cost? I don't need anything too high-end and I don't want to sink too much money into a low-end bike.

    * How difficult is it to replace the parts myself? I can replace brake pads, adjust the shifter, replace cables, and take the chain off to clean it. That's all I've done so far. I've got a few Allen keys but no other tools.

    * Considering the age of the bike, and the fact that's it's pretty beat up, does it make more sense to buy a whole new bike? I don't know what state the front forks are in (do they wear out?), my handle bar grips are worn out, etc. etc.

    I'm new to bike maintenance but I want to learn, rather than rely on the local bike shop for everything.

    Cheers.
    you will need a new chain, new middle and granny rings, new cassette
    around $100- $150 for parts (lx or xt)
    you need special tools for all, chain breaker $10 chainring wrench $5 casstette tool $8 and chain whip $15
    probably worth buying the tools as this is considered routine maintenance
    if you clean and oil the chain and change it when it gets 1/16" longer than 12" pin to pin
    then youll get 3 or 4 chains to middle ring and cassette
    I can usually get a year out of the rings and a little longer on the cassette
    check out the park tools web site for detailed instructions for any type of bike work
    http://www.parktool.com/repair/bikemap.asp

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