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  1. #1
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    Does the VPP chain growth cause excessive drive-train wear?

    So, I was thinking about this on a ride yesterday and i'm curious if any of you have experienced excessive drivetrain wear from the chaingrowth created by the VPP suspension design? I've only been riding my 6.6 for a month or so and haven't had any problems but how about you guys that have been riding them for years?

    Here's the potential situation, say you're in a higher gear on a downhill run and you come across a drop, upon landing wouldn't the chain growth on impact cause a pretty severe and sudden tension on the chain that could put far greater pressure on the hub engagement/chain/cassette, etc than they would normally experience from pedaling? Assuming that you land with the cranks stationary or pedaling forward, and don't back pedal upon landing.

    Anyway, I have no idea if this is an issue, or if it's been covered, it just seemed to me like it might be, especially for the longer travel models (assuming they create more chaingrowth?)

  2. #2
    Old school BMXer
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    No problem. Suspension designs that cause chain growth have been around since the beginning of rear suspension (or about).

    In regards to chain tension increasing, don't worry. The only instance where you'd have chain tension from landing a steep drop is if you landed going backward (roll your rear wheel backward and you'll see the cranks move. And since you never land a drop with your rear wheel not moving, your cranks will never rotate backwards.

    On a related note, let's say you do land jumps backwards (and some people do), the rearward motion of the wheel simply turns the cranks backwards. Considering that you're never applying a significant amount torque when landing backwards, it'll never be an issue. Ultimately, you'll never apply as much chain torque as when you're standing and cranking up a hill. In that regard, since the VPP design allows for this better than many other suspension designs, you may prematurely wear out your driveline simply by the fact of using it. I'd think most people are alright with that.

  3. #3
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    I just added an extra link more than what is calculated.
    Team MOJO Wheels.

  4. #4
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    I'm not sure if this is an issue, but i ran an XT cassette out on two cogs (3rd and 4th from smallest) in less than 6 months. Not sure how long they usually last, but this is a first for me. Looking back, these are the two gears that i use 80% of the time, so got the vast majority of wear, but i've never worn through a cassette before, ever.

    Can't say this was because of the VPP, but it did interest me.
    Its All Downhill From Here....!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange-Goblin
    I'm not sure if this is an issue, but i ran an XT cassette out on two cogs (3rd and 4th from smallest) in less than 6 months. Not sure how long they usually last, but this is a first for me. Looking back, these are the two gears that i use 80% of the time, so got the vast majority of wear, but i've never worn through a cassette before, ever.

    Can't say this was because of the VPP, but it did interest me.
    Did you check the chain stretch or replace your chain during those six months?

    I find that I go through a chain every 3 months during riding season and if I am careful replacing the chain when it stretches about 0.75% (those little $8 gauges come in handy) the cassette lasts and lasts. If I let it go above 1%, when I finally replace the chain a few cogs on the cassette start skipping and I have to replace the cassette as well.

  6. #6
    Ideas Above My Station...
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    Yeah i snapped the chain so replaced it, but i'd only been running that chain for about 2/3 months so didn't think it'd make much difference. I now have a new cassette and chain, so we'll see if they last.
    I know your meant to swap both at the same time, but i'm not going to get a new cassette everytime i ruin a chain. I'm running SRAM snap-link chains now, so i'll just fix it with a new link next time that happens, i can see myself running a chain that has a snap-link every other link!!!!!!
    I'm not sure what you mean by chain stretch, how do you measure that?
    Its All Downhill From Here....!

  7. #7
    Fearing the Reaper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange-Goblin
    Yeah i snapped the chain so replaced it, but i'd only been running that chain for about 2/3 months so didn't think it'd make much difference. I now have a new cassette and chain, so we'll see if they last.
    I know your meant to swap both at the same time, but i'm not going to get a new cassette everytime i ruin a chain. I'm running SRAM snap-link chains now, so i'll just fix it with a new link next time that happens, i can see myself running a chain that has a snap-link every other link!!!!!!
    I'm not sure what you mean by chain stretch, how do you measure that?
    2-3 months is not really a good indicator of chain condition. One person may ride 1500 miles in a couple months where another might ride 150.

    You should buy a chain checker and follow nybike1971's suggestions for monitoring the condition of the chain. Typically if you just replace a chain before it is 'streched', your cassette won't be affected.


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  8. #8
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    Yeah fair point. I ride about 10 miles a week FR / DH with the odd 20 mile trail thrown in.

    Prob about 200 miles...

    Ahhh i've seen one of those puppies in my LBS so i'll get them to check it next time i'm about to change cassette / chain.

    Thanks for your help GLIDE!
    Its All Downhill From Here....!

  9. #9
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    I think chainline has a lot to do with it, and also chain brand... I can't get Shimano chains to last on my Uzzi w/ 135mm rear end, but SRAM pc951 chains do fine. I haven't noticed the higher end chains lasting any longer than the less expensive ones.
    .




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  10. #10
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    I got two years out of a hg73 chain on my Uzzi VPX trail riding and dh'ing...
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  11. #11
    Boyeeee
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    Been running VPP bikes for a few years (Blur Classic, VPX, Blur 4x) and haven't noticed any increased drivetrain wear.

    I have noticed that the cable housing tends to blow out faster, particularly the middle section of the rear derailleur housing on the VPX. I ended up going with Aztec Powerlines (like Nokon, but cheaper), but a full housing run would have worked as well.

  12. #12
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    i think people just need to get out and ride their bikes.........

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumo
    i think people just need to get out and ride their bikes.........
    I think you need to get out and ride your bike instead of wasting space on my thread mister

  14. #14
    Ideas Above My Station...
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumo
    i think people just need to get out and ride their bikes.........
    So why are you commenting on a thread on an internet forum that you have no interest in?
    Its All Downhill From Here....!

  15. #15
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    FFS, it was a frikkin joke, lighten up or do you have yer thumbs stuck up yer a$$es?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange-Goblin
    Yeah fair point. I ride about 10 miles a week FR / DH with the odd 20 mile trail thrown in.

    Prob about 200 miles...

    Ahhh i've seen one of those puppies in my LBS so i'll get them to check it next time i'm about to change cassette / chain.

    Thanks for your help GLIDE!
    There are simpler chain checkers like the one below. The idea is to have one at home and check your chain every few weeks. Chain stretch is not really stretch but wear. As the links wear the chain gets a little longer. Each link is ideally a half inch, when new. As the chain gets older and the spacing between the rollers gets wider, they do not fall neatly between the teeth. They tend to run against the teeth wearing them down. The gaps between the teeth become noticeably wider. If you replace the chain when it reaches 0.75% stretch, you will not cause excessive cog wear. I find that I generally replace a chain once a year but only replaced a cassette after four years and that was a XTR aluminum cassette. A steel cassette will last even longer.

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  17. #17
    mini clyde
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    I think aluminum chainrings contribute to accelerated wear. 'Round here, with small hills and no long/fast sections to speak of, we're in the middle ring 99% of the time, I go through alum chainrings about as fast as I go through chains. I was having to change ever 6 months or so. The last time I put a chain on, I found a steel middle chainring, after ~18 months the chain shows negligible wear (stretch). It could also be that this is a PC991 chain, if that's the fix it's money well spent.

    (On topic, all this on a BLT1)

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