Minimum life expectancy of a chain?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Daemon[CRO]'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    349

    Minimum life expectancy of a chain?

    Heya,

    is there such a thing as a minimum life expectancy of a bike chain?

    Because I managed to completely stretch out a chain over the summer. In just three months a fresh chain got elongated to uselessness. Yea, I did ride a bit more than usual (approx 200 kilometers per week of All Mountain terrain, so ups and downs and single-tracks and whatnots), but seriously ... three months?

    It's a SRAM 10 speed chain, X7 rank.

    Also, can you recommend better chain, something which will last longer? Weight is not a factor, it can be heavy, I do not care, as long as it is sturdy & tough.
    Daemon
    "Worship the Machines."
    www.nivas.hr | www.worship.hr

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AndesJack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    105
    I can not answer your question on minimum life expectancy as that will be impossible IMO. What I can share is what I've experienced from riding various chains and casette combos over the years. Example: When I started out riding I could ride any chain and any casette there was no issue. As my riding progressed and my pedal strokes gained "form" (clipless) and power I had to start considering better quality products. Suddenly I found that each couple months I had to replce casettes due to wear and tear as well as the chains due to exactly what you experienced. I ended up changing casettes and chains every 3 months till a friend suggested I swop out the casette and chain spend the extra money and get XT products. I prefer SRAM over Shimano but was fed up with changing casettes and chains all the time (I was buying X7/LX/SLX versions due to price as I knew they wouldn't last long).

    I got the XT casette and chain which have no issue with the rest of my SRAM drive train and I haven't looked back since (a year or so ago). Our rides are 50% up the mountain and 50% down the mountain. Pedaling uphill for 1 - 2 hours can take it out any chain and can say I am super happy with the change. I do however have friends with full SRAM drive trains running the PC1071 chain. Keep it lubed and it works. We talk bike and parts and durability each time out and none of them have had a bad word about their chains.

    When looking at chain reviews people usualy post stuff about chains when the chain fail (IMO) and that doesn't help much when deciding what to get next.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Daemon[CRO]'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    349
    Yea. Back to Shimano cassette and chain it is then.

    I managed to destroy (break / elongate / deform / ...) bucketload of SRAM chains and cassettes over the past year. It seems their stuff is just made out of cardboard.
    Daemon
    "Worship the Machines."
    www.nivas.hr | www.worship.hr

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Haus Boss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1,495
    So you did approx 2400km of riding in 3 months? You're doing a helluva lot better than me. I've been going through chains left and right lately, destroyed my last chain over the weekend. I think I'm Going through a new chain every 300 miles or even less it seems :/

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Daemon[CRO]'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    349
    Quote Originally Posted by Haus Boss View Post
    So you did approx 2400km of riding in 3 months? You're doing a helluva lot better than me. I've been going through chains left and right lately, destroyed my last chain over the weekend. I think I'm Going through a new chain every 300 miles or even less it seems :/
    You destroy them, as in snap them? Yea, I have never snapped the chain, I just elongate it really really fast.

    My average ride when I go AM is about 70-80 kilometers. I do at least one of those a week, plus afternoon after work some 20 km of XCish track a few times a week. Guess on average I am somewhere there about 180-200 km per week.

    It was a dry summer with no rain, so almost no pauses. I just took a two week pause for summer vacation at the seaside.

    Just bought ten speed Shimano XT chain. Let's see how that goes.
    Daemon
    "Worship the Machines."
    www.nivas.hr | www.worship.hr

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    678
    I snapped a chain in about 3 months of riding on it but it was my fault was shifting a lot under load going uphill. Learned my lesson.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fix the Spade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,749
    I haven't found any particular brand or model of chain lasts better than the others, so I just go and buy the cheapest chain in the shop that fits the cassette.

    More expensive seems to equate to a little bit lighter and sometimes a fancy coloured coating, but it still due for the bin in a couple of months.

    You're covering a lot of miles, just buy cheap and then you won't care about binning them!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 006_007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,220
    Did you check to see if perhaps your cassette / crankset has worn teeth as well? If you have worn teeth putting a new chain on it could cause the chain to prematurely wear out (and potentially cause shifting problems as well).

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    325
    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007 View Post
    Did you check to see if perhaps your cassette / crankset has worn teeth as well? If you have worn teeth putting a new chain on it could cause the chain to prematurely wear out (and potentially cause shifting problems as well).
    This. Excessive wear on any one of the three drivetrain components (ring, chain, and cog) can prematurely wear the other components. Important to be aware if you aren't already.

    Moreover, chains will obviously wear faster if you are using more torque. e.g., stand and mash instead of spin, clydesdales, uber fast people, etc. Assuming you have incredible torque, the minimum life expectancy could be zero.

    As an extreme example of drivetrain wear, the >1000 ft-lbs torque Bugatti Veyron started out prototyping with a 200 ft-lbs Audi TT gearbox. Apparently it striped the gears clean as soon as full throttle was applied.

    That said, 200km x 12 weeks = 2400km (1500 miles) isn't all that terrible. It's on the low side, but I think I've had chains last less (I am a masher).

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    45
    Check your chain line. Are you running 1x9/10? Do you spend most of your climbing or spinning in a bad chain line? I was doing this and noticed a deteriorated chain life.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,712
    Good point dullertap.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ihaveagibsonsg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    970
    I've actually had better luck with sram products than shimano. I snapped 5 shimano chains after 500 miles. I've been on the same sram chain now for 2,000 with no stretching. I'm also the kinda guy who stands up and pedals up 22% grade climbs in a 2x5 gear ratio because I'm a SS rider. SRAM all the way in my opinion. If you or your LBS has your chain too long or too short it WILL snap prematurely. Make sure its the right length!

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rogbie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,255
    A Shimano 10 speed chain will not work with a SRAM drivetrain. On that note, if you're putting in 200km a week, 3 months is about what you'll get out of a chain. As others said, check the rest of the drivetrain, as worn rings and cogs will exacerbate chain wear.

    I replace my road chains every 2000 miles. Mountain chains I check for wear every couple weeks and replace accordingly. As for chains, I use KMC chains on all my bikes: mountain, road, dj, bmx, commuter. I've found they last longer than SRAM or Shimano chains. Also, the connector link from KMC is easier to pull apart than the other two mentioned. Plus, the gold chains sparkle.

  14. #14
    Spanish rider
    Reputation: Pableras's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    311
    It depends on several factors such as:

    - Rider weight
    - Type on terrain (start climbing steep singletracks and say bye to your chain)
    - Presence of mud or dust (200km in serious mud and again say bye to your chain)
    - Rider skills (avoid crossing the chain...)
    - Maintenance
    - Previous wear of chainrings and sprockets

    I ride in dry, dusty conditions, CLEAN and lube the chain every 70 km, ride steep terrain and weigh 85 kg. I rarely get more than 1000 km until I get to the 0,75% of stretch.


    However, the problem won't ever be solved until we realize how crazy/stupid is the setup of our bikes, with an oily chain totally exposed to the dust/mud/sand that our tires pick up. This is the solution, expensive though:



    Sadly this company went out of business last year..
    A pessimist is an experienced optimist

  15. #15
    bicioso
    Reputation: spinerguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    67
    Minimum life expectancy? How about 13 miles?

    I had an essentially brand new XT chain failed me on the first ride, not only snapped but also managed to rip cleanly my rear derailleur in half
    No other damages so I cut losses as expendables. Either way, 2400 kms is a reasonably life expectancy.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    629
    Hey guys...I'm sure this is a noob question....but how do you guys know when the chain has been stretched to its limits? Is it something noticeable when riding.. Or are you going comparing several new links next to the used chain for measurements? I'm the type of person who replaces them after a certain amount of mileage. just curious if your going off feel.. Or actually measuring the amount of stretch. Thanks for your input.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    59
    Yeah get a gearbox bike, chains last easily over a year.
    If not, I'd get two chains, and rotate(swap)them every ten rides, so the sprockets(mech etc)wear with them, instead of them prematurely wearing the sprockets, and then vica versa.

  18. #18
    bicioso
    Reputation: spinerguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    67
    Quote Originally Posted by drz400sm View Post
    Hey guys...I'm sure this is a noob question....but how do you guys know when the chain has been stretched to its limits? Is it something noticeable when riding.. Or are you going comparing several new links next to the used chain for measurements? I'm the type of person who replaces them after a certain amount of mileage. just curious if your going off feel.. Or actually measuring the amount of stretch. Thanks for your input.
    Courtesy of Sheldon Brown:

    "The standard way to measure chain wear is with a ruler or steel tape measure. This can be done without removing the chain from the bicycle. The normal technique is to measure a one-foot length, placing an inch mark of the ruler at the side of one rivet, then looking at the corresponding rivet 12 complete links away. On a new, unworn chain, this rivet will also line up exactly with an inch mark. With a worn chain, the rivet will be past the inch mark. [For accurate measurement, the chain should be held under some tension -- either on the bicycle, or hanging. Also, use a metal ruler or tape measure. Wood, plastic and cloth all can expand or shrink.-- John Allen]
    This gives a direct measurement of the wear to the chain, and an indirect measurement of the wear to the sprockets. first, let's look at how to do this with a ruler that measures in inches.

    If the rivet is less than 1/16" past the mark, all is well.
    If the rivet is 1/16" past the mark, you should replace the chain, but the sprockets are probably undamaged.
    If the rivet is 1/8" past the mark, you have left it too long, and the sprockets (at least the favorite ones) will be too badly worn. If you replace a chain at the 1/8" point, without replacing the sprockets, it may run OK and not skip, but the worn sprockets will cause the new chain to wear much faster than it should, until it catches up with the wear state of the sprockets.
    If the rivet is past the 1/8" mark, a new chain will almost certainly skip on the worn sprockets, especially the smaller ones."

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mitzikatzi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,808
    Buy 2 or more chains. Rotate them out every couple of hundred miles. Clean the removed chain. That way you always have a clean chain ready to be fitted.

    Many believe this maximizes the life of the cassette.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi View Post
    Buy 2 or more chains. Rotate them out every couple of hundred miles. Clean the removed chain. That way you always have a clean chain ready to be fitted.

    Many believe this maximizes the life of the cassette.
    Why didn't I thin of thatI believe

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mitzikatzi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,808
    Quote Originally Posted by No Skid Marks View Post
    Why didn't I thin of thatI believe
    Well Sorry I just skimmed over the thread. Felt like I had something to add. I missed your comment or I would have just +1 it or it

    Really if the search function had been used there would be no need for a new thread.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi View Post
    Well Sorry I just skimmed over the thread. Felt like I had something to add. I missed your comment or I would have just +1 it or it

    Really if the search function had been used there would be no need for a new thread.
    Wasn't having a go mate. Great advice, that's rarely given, that's what struck me funny.

Members who have read this thread: 2

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.