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  1. #1
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    Does the toothbrush rule apply to chains?

    It was always said (before sonicare, anyway) that two toothbrushes used alternatingly, lasted much, much longer than two used in succession. Does this rule apply to chains? If so, would alternating two chains also extend the life of other drive train parts?

    The Fisher Tassajara came stock with a Shimano HG-53 and SRAM 970 9sp cassette.

  2. #2
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    I've never heard of it, but I would suspect that yes, it might be a good idea. Haviing two chains in rotation would mean each one would be fresher, longer. And the drivetrain parts would not have to try and get used to a progressively worse chain, then a brand new one.

    Buuuut, maybe doing this will wear out the drivetrain faster because it has more time/miles to try and conform to the chain, who's life got extended by two.

    I dunno. But it might be a good idea!

  3. #3
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    I rotate 3 chains, 2 middle rings, 1 inner, 1 outer, and 1 cassette.

    The goal is to try to prolong the life of the cassette (expensive but longest wearing part) and have the best shifting possible thruout the drivetrain's useful life. New chains don't work very well on a worn drivetrain, so rotating parts should help keep everything wearing at a similar rate. I'm sure the number of parts I rotate will have to be adjusted after I get thru the experiment once.

    I chose the number of parts to rotate based on previous wear. Unfortunately this experment came to end when one of the crank arms cracked and was replaced, under warranty, with one with a different chainring bolt pattern. So now I'm starting the experiment all over again with new chainrings, old chains, and old cassette.

    Looking at the cassette, it does appear to be less worn than it would normally be after ~5 months & ~1200 miles. I would have rotated the middle chainring at about ~6 months or ~1,500 miles. Anyway, the best part is that it shifted great the entire time and I always have a clean & dry chain ready to go!
    Last edited by B R H; 08-22-2004 at 10:30 AM.

  4. #4
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    BRH, that looks like a lot to keep straight...but very effective. So, let's say that I was going to rotated another chain or three. Would both (or all) chains have to be identical, or could I upgrade the spare(s) and rotate with the original? ...and which chain would be compatible?

  5. #5
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    I suppose you could just pick up another chain or two and start rotating assuming your current chain isn't too worn already. Just measure the chain you have and take a close look at your chainring and cassette. If your current drivetrain is too worn, you'll know it right away when you try to put a new chain on. If the new chain slips or otherwise behaves badly, you may be better just riding the heck out of what you've got first, then consider rotating when you finally replace the rest of the drivetrain. There are people that believe that method is best (ride each drivetrain into the ground). I don't agree and I think the performance of my setup proves it works! I can't remember the last time I had shifting troubles and I ride alot year round in all weather.

    The best scenario is obviously to start with everything new. That's what I did, but my previous cassette wasn't shot yet, so I saved it. I figure I'll use it once the newer one reaches the same wear. I keep a good journal of my rides and bike maintenance already anyway, so managing the details isn't an issue for me.

    Run whatever chain you want. I run the SRAM 9-speed chains on my 8 speed setup. They work great.

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