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  1. #1
    Rolling
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    Change your chain

    Know how you are suppose to change your chain fairly often to add to the longevity of your drive train?

    Well, being lazy, I neglected it. 3900 miles later, I got up out of the saddle to crank yesterday and it slipped on the cogs, almost causing me to blow my knee.

    So I got out the tape measure when I got home and it was a whole half a link longer over 12" of chain section. The cogs middle chainring was clearly shot.

    $150 later, on middle and small chainring, chain, and cogset, I'm back to a new drivetrain. Hopefully my big ring is good.

    The cogset was so worn, I almost couldn't get it off the hub because the chainwhip kept slipping teeth.

    So that advice about changing a chain is important....saves lots of money and potential injury.

  2. #2
    SCC
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    3900 miles I'm amazed it didn't fall apart into 1000s of little pieces!

  3. #3
    I AM I AM
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    Nah, I don't think it matters that much - spending $50 every 1000 miles or $150 every 3000.
    Replace the chain often or the whole drivetrain less often. Everything will eventually wear and over a long period of time the cost would be the same.

  4. #4
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCC
    3900 miles I'm amazed it didn't fall apart into 1000s of little pieces!
    me too. It was surprising how well it worked earlier this week biking on real trails. Then come friday, I'm riding to work and it just goes nuts.

  5. #5
    ravingbikefiend
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    I've figured that if you keep your chain clean and oiled and change it when it's needs changing you can get 4-5 chains worth of riding out of your drivetrain.

    I buy KMC or SRAM PC48 chains which run $12.00 - $15.00 each.

    The chainlife on my SS, 3 speed, and fixed gear bikes is much better since there's no lateral deflection causing extra wear and the chain is also a little tougher.

    In our shop one of the most common issues is people coming in with chains that have been neglected and ridden for so long that they have taken out the entire drivetrain and I have seen jockey wheels worn to the point of being round.

    3900 miles is some extreme mileage for a chain.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

  6. #6
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    What about lubing a new chain? I just bought a new SRAM 971 chain, and installed it tonight. It felt lubed to the touch (and left some grease stains on the carpet). Should I lube it again anyways before the first ride on the new chain?

  7. #7
    local trails rider
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    At least Shimano chains come with a greasy stuff that is more like preservative, and picks up all the crud that your tyres kick into the air.

    I just wipe it off and add some chain lube. Others get it off with some degreaser before lubing.

  8. #8
    ravingbikefiend
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    The factory supplied lube is generally pretty good stuff and will last 100 miles or so before you need to start lubing the chain.

    It is essential to give the chain a thorough cleaning before you lube it up and a 2 litre bottle filled with enough degreaser to cover the chain is an excellent chain cleaner.

    Just drop the chain in the bottle, swish the chain around, and then rinse it with water and it should come out squeaky clean.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

  9. #9
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    3900 miles on an abused chain is amazing. Thank goodness you didn't meet the stem when it slipped. OUCH!!!!
    I typically change mine every winter, but this year I have decided to do an endurance test of sorts. I took the drivetrain from my HT (1000 + miles) and put it on my FS bike. I'm real meticulous about keeping everything clean, so we'll see what happens.
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  10. #10
    A wheelist
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    My chains info will tell you when to change chains for best drivetrain longevity.
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

  11. #11
    Five is right out
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    At least Shimano chains come with a greasy stuff that is more like preservative, and picks up all the crud that your tyres kick into the air.

    I just wipe it off and add some chain lube. Others get it off with some degreaser before lubing.
    Keep the factory stuff on. If there's too much gooey stuff on the outside, wipe it down. But it's a good lube to keep in the chain.

    From Sheldon Brown (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html)


    Factory Lube

    New chains come pre-lubricated with a grease-type lubricant which has been installed at the factory. This is an excellent lubricant, and has been made to permeate all of the internal interstices in the chain.

    This factory lube is superior to any lube that you can apply after the fact.

    Some people make the bad mistake of deliberately removing this superior lubricant. Don't do this!

    The factory lubricant all by itself is usually good for several hundred miles of service if the bike is not ridden in wet or dusty conditions. It is best not to apply any sort of lube to a new chain until it is clearly needed, because any wet lube you can apply will dilute the factory lube. "
    From an archive of Jobst Brandt's newsgroup posts: (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/chain-care.html)

    A myth that is difficult to dispell is the story that grease on a new chain, fresh out of the package, is not a lubricant but rather a preservative that must be removed. This piece of bicycling myth and lore thrives despite its illogic.

  12. #12
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by womble
    Keep the factory stuff on. If there's too much gooey stuff on the outside, wipe it down. But it's a good lube to keep in the chain.

    From Sheldon Brown
    :
    The factory lubricant all by itself is usually good for several hundred miles of service if the bike is not ridden in wet or dusty conditions.
    My riding conditions are rarely particularly wet or dusty but one ride on a straight-from-the-box Shimano chain leaves the chain covered with all sorts of organic and silicon based stuff and the drivetrain sounds rough. I am going to keep wiping the excess off the surface.

  13. #13
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    I can't get get more 750-1000, no way you got 4000 miles.

    You'd have to weigh 100lbs, never gone up a hill and never road in dust,mud or rain, ever.

    I call BS
    Trek 4300 2006
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  14. #14
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by MillerSHO
    I can't get get more 750-1000, no way you got 4000 miles.

    You'd have to weigh 100lbs, never gone up a hill and never road in dust,mud or rain, ever.

    I call BS
    Yes...all that...I ride only DH shuttles..I weigh 60lbs actually.

    Call BS all you want...I'm not here to rave about some world record on chain longevity...Besides, I should have changed it on your schedule...and why I had to replace it all! That is the point. Go push your drivetrain till it fails and report back.

    ...but seriously I dont ride in mud much or rain to tell you the truth on this bike, so you do have some valid points here.

    BUt yep, 3900 miles...shall i send you the chain...it's pretty damn ugly actually. So are the chainrings.

    What happened here is the classic rings wearing with the chain. So it was all good until the point where the rings couldn't keep the spacing correct I guess.

    Oh wait, This is all BS! Forget it.


    .

  15. #15
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MillerSHO
    I call BS
    What, because you experience doesn't match the OP he has to be lying?

    Tim

  16. #16
    SCC
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    I don't think its BS i just think its funny. I was in the MEC about 3 weeks ago buying a chain for my road bike, there was another customer trying to pick out a chain,he seemed confused. I asked him what he was looking for ,he said "a mountain bike chain" I said you have to be more specific ",now many speeds i asked "," 21 speed' his reply

    I pointed to a low end chain knowing it would be more than sufficient.
    He added " its 10 years old with about 15000km on it, i heard that you should replace the chains once in a while"! I guess I should have told him to skip it , its way too late!

  17. #17
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    My chain and cassette were put on the same time (as well as crank) all last October. The chain is nearing the end of it's life, but cassette (XT) appears to be healthy still. How bad is it to change just the chain and leave the cassette?

  18. #18
    local trails rider
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    You'll soon find out if it is OK: a new chain with a worn cassette will not feel/sound right.

  19. #19
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guppie58
    My chain and cassette were put on the same time (as well as crank) all last October. The chain is nearing the end of it's life, but cassette (XT) appears to be healthy still. How bad is it to change just the chain and leave the cassette?
    It's probably fine.

    The normal rule of thumb is 24 links is exactly 12" when new. Once it gets beyond 3/32" to 1/8" longer, change it. That is, if it's more than an 1/8" longer, you might have damaged your cogs too much. Mine was 1/4" too long when I measured it and the plates were really worn. I'm surprised it didn't break or act funny months ago.

    Get the chain and put it on. Watch how it rides on the teeth. if it rides up and doesn't seat on in the gully of the gear, the teeth are too worn.

    It's important to change the chain because it's hardened steel. Any wear on it will be immediately worn on the gears. It's generally the dominate factor in the wear of the drive system.

  20. #20
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    I guess I should have put one of those at the end of my post.

    I had an out of spec chain wear out my middle chainring in less then 200 miles of buying a new crankset purchase so I can personally say a worn chain doesn't mess around.
    Replace often or just don't replace anything in your drivetrain(chainrings, chain and cassette) anything in between will cost you more $$$ and more stress figuring out why things are not working after you just bought a new part.
    Trek 4300 2006
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  21. #21
    Vaginatarian
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    :
    My riding conditions are rarely particularly wet or dusty but one ride on a straight-from-the-box Shimano chain leaves the chain covered with all sorts of organic and silicon based stuff and the drivetrain sounds rough. I am going to keep wiping the excess off the surface.
    excatly right, the first sentance in the shimano chain instructiions say to clean the chain, and sram says to clean the chain but not use degreasers and do not soak.

  22. #22
    Five is right out
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    excatly right, the first sentance in the shimano chain instructiions say to clean the chain, and sram says to clean the chain but not use degreasers and do not soak.
    You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink (shakes head in disbelief).

  23. #23
    local trails rider
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    As I read the Shimano instructions, they say that when you clean a chain, use a neutral detergent (not alcalic or acidic). They do not say you should degrease it before use.

    My issue is that the crud that the factory stuff collects cannot be good for the drivetrain either.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    :
    My riding conditions are rarely particularly wet or dusty but one ride on a straight-from-the-box Shimano chain leaves the chain covered with all sorts of organic and silicon based stuff and the drivetrain sounds rough. I am going to keep wiping the excess off the surface.
    I'm sure Sheldon knows his stuff, but I never ride in the mud or rain. I like wax based lubes. I find the cosmolene on the new chains act like glue for dust and dirt, and I soak my new chains in solvent, and get rid of it before it goes on the bike. Then my chain never sees anything but the same lube for it's (long) lifespan. Works for me.

  25. #25
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    Once in a million.

    I ride about 4000 km per year and have been going through 2-chains,2-cassettes,1-2 chain rings per year. This year on the advice of my lbs owner I purchased 2 XTR chains and have been alternating them every million meters (1000 km). I am hoping to make it through the season without replacing cassettes or chain rings by riding more of the time with a fresher chain.

    Has anybody else tried this?

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