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Thread: chain stretch?

  1. #1
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    chain stretch?

    I built up a Vassago Verhauen last summer and am using Paragon sliders with the threaded adjusters to hold the axle in place. Every 60-80 miles, my chain seems like it's getting looser as though the rear axle is moving or the chain is stretching. I don't think the axle is moving since the tensioners are still tight and the locking bolts are pretty tight. Chain is a SRAM 8 speed, best one the shop could locate. Anyone else have this happen? Would a higher quality 9 speed chain fix it if it's stretch or is this normal? I'm about 190 lbs and ride pretty hilly trails here in AZ.

    This is my first singlespeed and love it so far.

    Thanks,
    Jim

  2. #2
    Ahhh the pain....
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    Jim,
    I have a lynskey w/ paragon sliders as well. Their is some clearance in the dropout for the axle and depending on how tight you get the QR, it can move a little bit. What I do is let that happen, then w/o loosening the QR, loosen the slider bolts, adjust tension, then retorque. It should then be pretty stable. I do notice some initial "stretch" with a new chain, but that seems to settle down quickly.
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
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  3. #3
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    I've recently run into this problem with my EBB set up. My new chain has finished stretching, but is now just a hair to slack for my liking and the EBB is maxed out in adjustment. If I were to take out a link the chain would be too short, so I'm not really sure what I should do.

  4. #4
    What day are we riding?
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    Got tired of chain stretch so I switched to KMC 810 chains. Bit heavier, but they stretch a lot less and I have never broken one - broke 3 SRAMs and a couple Shimanos

  5. #5
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    Chains don't stretch they "wear"
    Use a 12" ruler to measure wear.
    I have chain tugs and the same thing happens from time to time ie the chain loses it's tension.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  6. #6
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    I have to do the same thing on my Kona about every 2 weeks. Just a fraction of a mm of wear on each link over a say a 110 link chain adds up quick.

  7. #7
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coondog#77 View Post
    I've recently run into this problem with my EBB set up. My new chain has finished stretching, but is now just a hair to slack for my liking and the EBB is maxed out in adjustment. If I were to take out a link the chain would be too short, so I'm not really sure what I should do.
    you can buy half links that allow you to shorten your chain by a smaller amount.

    OP, i don't think a chain meant for more speeds will help. it will just be narrower and more expensive.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coondog#77 View Post
    I've recently run into this problem with my EBB set up. My new chain has finished stretching, but is now just a hair to slack for my liking and the EBB is maxed out in adjustment. If I were to take out a link the chain would be too short, so I'm not really sure what I should do.
    Chains don't stop stretching. The wear on the link pivots continues and eventually the chain will snap. For single speed, it is good to measure often and replace after the chain reaches 1% stretch. If you let the chain stretch to far it will wear the cogs, rings, and is likely to snap with the result that your knee hits the bar.

    As long as chains exist they will keep stretching. The only defense is to use a more robust chain.

    My solution to chain stretch.
    Mark Farnsworth, Raleigh, NC
    http://farnsworthbikes.com

  9. #9
    Riding rigid
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    Nice fat chain Febikes. Guessing you machined your own chainring and cog then?

    BTW who makes the rear hub in with the standard chain in the back?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi View Post
    Chains don't stretch they "wear"
    Use a 12" ruler to measure wear.
    I have chain tugs and the same thing happens from time to time ie the chain loses it's tension.
    +1 Chains do not stretch. They wear at the pivots. If you keep your chain clean, it will wear slowly.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTB Pharm View Post
    Nice fat chain Febikes. Guessing you machined your own chainring and cog then?
    Yes, to run a motorcycle chain I have a custom made ring/cog. I found chain stretch was annoying and the motorcycle chain is the ultimate solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by MTB Pharm View Post
    BTW who makes the rear hub in with the standard chain in the back?
    The standard chain in the background is my friend who has a Rohloff Speedhub 14 Speed internal gear hub.
    Mark Farnsworth, Raleigh, NC
    http://farnsworthbikes.com

  12. #12
    psycho cyclo addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockin View Post
    Got tired of chain stretch so I switched to KMC 810 chains. Bit heavier, but they stretch a lot less and I have never broken one - broke 3 SRAMs and a couple Shimanos
    I use Nashbar 8-speed chains on my 29er single speeds w/ EBB. I'm a 195# rider running 34x16 most of the time at this point unless I'm riding steep / more technical trails with a lot of climbing. I get a year or more use (1,000+ miles) out of a $15 chain...

  13. #13
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    Use a Gussett half link chain - Slink, going on 4 years, no stretch. Strong as hell probably double to triple the average chain. 220# on a GT Peace 9R SS. Half link also allows a finer tuning of the effective chainstay length.

    Gusset - Chains - Gusset Chrome Plated Slink Chain - Product Information

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi View Post
    Chains don't stretch they "wear"
    Use a 12" ruler to measure wear.
    I have chain tugs and the same thing happens from time to time ie the chain loses it's tension.
    Other Option:

    This is a worthwhile investment makes me check my chains more often

    Park Tool Co. CC-3.2 : Chain Wear Indicator : Chain

    I order a new chain or make a point to get one at next LBS stop at 50% replace at 75%, on all bikes SS and geared.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEMIjer View Post
    Other Option:

    This is a worthwhile investment makes me check my chains more often

    Park Tool Co. CC-3.2 : Chain Wear Indicator : Chain

    I order a new chain or make a point to get one at next LBS stop at 50% replace at 75%, on all bikes SS and geared.
    Chain Wear Measuring Tools

    Some on the internet do not like chain measuring tools like the Park one. YMMV
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi View Post
    Chain Wear Measuring Tools

    Some on the internet do not like chain measuring tools like the Park one. YMMV
    I just read that article, and while he makes a very valid point, I use $15 chains and my measurement devices are conservative. Therefore, I will continue to replace my chains when Park says I need to, but thanks for the link.
    Something wrong with your bike? Blame it on super human strength and sleep well at night knowing you are more than a man.

  17. #17
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    I had the exact problem with that chain, had to adjust the sliders every second ride. Switched to a Connex 808 and have only adjusted the tension 2 times in the last 2 months. Ride 3-4 times a week on the SS.

  18. #18
    gran jefe
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    i like the way the s-link looks too.

  19. #19
    No known cure
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    I like MKS BMX tensioners. Slippage is never an issue, and any slack in the chain can be adjusted with a quarter turn of an allen key. And you only need one.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails chain stretch?-bike-007.jpg  

    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  20. #20
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    I'm thinking it was play in the sliders, since it seemed to happen all of a sudden and I was messing with the back wheel a lot at first. I've done a couple rides without loosening the quick release and it seems to be holding the same tension for a few rides now. I suppose I should have said "wear" instead of stretch to be correct. Thanks!

    Jim

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi View Post
    Chains don't stretch they "wear"
    Use a 12" ruler to measure wear.
    I have chain tugs and the same thing happens from time to time ie the chain loses it's tension.
    Quote Originally Posted by DavyRay View Post
    +1 Chains do not stretch. They wear at the pivots. If you keep your chain clean, it will wear slowly.
    The word "stretch" is appropriate for this purpose. "Wear" describes the cause, not the effect.

    Definition of STRETCH
    transitive verb
    1: to extend (as one's limbs or body) in a reclining position
    2: to reach out : extend
    3: to extend in length
    4: to fell with or as if with a blow
    5: to cause the limbs of (a person) to be pulled especially in torture
    6: to draw up (one's body) from a cramped, stooping, or relaxed position
    7: to pull taut
    8a : to enlarge or distend especially by force b : to extend or expand as if by physical force c : strain
    9: to cause to reach or continue (as from one point to another or across a space)
    10a : to amplify or enlarge beyond natural or proper limits b : to expand (as by improvisation) to fulfill a larger function
    11: to extend (a hit) to an extra base usually by fast or daring running
    intransitive verb
    1a : to become extended in length or breadth or both : spread b : to extend over a continuous period
    2: to become extended without breaking 3a : to extend one's body or limbs b : to lie down at full length
    "I like skinny jeans. Sometimes I wear them to the mall to get an Orange Julius." -Chim Chim

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by amishscum View Post
    The word "stretch" is appropriate for this purpose. "Wear" describes the cause, not the effect.

    Definition of STRETCH
    transitive verb
    1: to extend (as one's limbs or body) in a reclining position
    2: to reach out : extend
    3: to extend in length
    4: to fell with or as if with a blow
    5: to cause the limbs of (a person) to be pulled especially in torture
    6: to draw up (one's body) from a cramped, stooping, or relaxed position
    7: to pull taut
    8a : to enlarge or distend especially by force b : to extend or expand as if by physical force c : strain
    9: to cause to reach or continue (as from one point to another or across a space)
    10a : to amplify or enlarge beyond natural or proper limits b : to expand (as by improvisation) to fulfill a larger function
    11: to extend (a hit) to an extra base usually by fast or daring running
    intransitive verb
    1a : to become extended in length or breadth or both : spread b : to extend over a continuous period
    2: to become extended without breaking 3a : to extend one's body or limbs b : to lie down at full length


    Chain wear, or chain stretch, becomes an issue with extensive cycling. Although the overall effect is often called "stretch", chains generally wear through attrition of the bushings (or half-bushings, in the Sedis design) and not by elongation of the sideplates. The tension created by pedaling is insufficient to cause the latter.
    from here

    But yes the chains do get longer so in one sense they do stretch. So you are correct. English is a difficult language to use. It has many subtle rules that need to be understood for it to be used correctly. Stretch is not the best word to describe what is happening to the chain IMHO. YMMV
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by amishscum View Post
    The word "stretch" is appropriate for this purpose. "Wear" describes the cause, not the effect.

    Definition of STRETCH
    transitive verb
    1: to extend (as one's limbs or body) in a reclining position
    2: to reach out : extend
    3: to extend in length
    4: to fell with or as if with a blow
    5: to cause the limbs of (a person) to be pulled especially in torture
    6: to draw up (one's body) from a cramped, stooping, or relaxed position
    7: to pull taut
    8a : to enlarge or distend especially by force b : to extend or expand as if by physical force c : strain
    9: to cause to reach or continue (as from one point to another or across a space)
    10a : to amplify or enlarge beyond natural or proper limits b : to expand (as by improvisation) to fulfill a larger function
    11: to extend (a hit) to an extra base usually by fast or daring running
    intransitive verb
    1a : to become extended in length or breadth or both : spread b : to extend over a continuous period
    2: to become extended without breaking 3a : to extend one's body or limbs b : to lie down at full length
    I have read several posts in the past months from riders who believed that chain stretch was caused by too much power or a cheap chain. There was even speculation that a strong rider could "stretch" the chain after one ride.

    I think mitzikatzi is just pointing out that the side plates are not stretching from force.
    "Head injuries are pretty high-consequence" - AndrwSwitch

  24. #24
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    While no individual part of the chain stretches (but wears), the chain as a whole does stretch as a result of wear on the components that make up the chain.

    The important part is that people understand the cause, so they can take measures to prevent it. (Cleaning, lubrication, protection.)

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