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  1. #1
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    Measuring chain stretch using a vernier caliper

    For all the engineers and tool guys out there, here's a method to measure chain stretch using a 6 in. vernier caliper:

    1) set the caliper at 5.6 in.

    2) insert the inside measuring jaws between the chain rollers

    3) extend the jaws to tension the chain and record the measurement

    new chain = 5.715 in.
    1/2% stretch (equivalent to 1/16 in. over 12 in.) = 5.745 in.
    3/4% stretch (equivalent to 3/32 in. over 12 in.) = 5.760 in.
    1% stretch (equivalent to 1/8 in. over 12 in.) = 5.775 in.
    To avoid injury, do not ride with your eyes closed

  2. #2
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    I had never though of using my vernier to measure stretch. Probably the most precise way of doing it!!!
    Beware the hucking bear!

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    "Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?"

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pop_martian
    Park already has too much of my money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billee
    Park already has too much of my money.
    Good point!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by billee
    For all the engineers and tool guys out there, here's a method to measure chain stretch using a 6 in. vernier caliper:

    1) set the caliper at 5.6 in.

    2) insert the inside measuring jaws between the chain rollers

    3) extend the jaws to tension the chain and record the measurement

    new chain = 5.715 in.
    1/2% stretch (equivalent to 1/16 in. over 12 in.) = 5.745 in.
    3/4% stretch (equivalent to 3/32 in. over 12 in.) = 5.760 in.
    1% stretch (equivalent to 1/8 in. over 12 in.) = 5.775 in.
    At what point do you replace the chain? I was told the cassette should be replace with the chain. Good tip using calipers-thks

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAKE61
    At what point do you replace the chain? I was told the cassette should be replace with the chain. Good tip using calipers-thks

    According to Sheldon Brown, at 1% stretch the cassette and chain ring have probably been damaged. He recommends replacing at 1/2%.
    To avoid injury, do not ride with your eyes closed

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAKE61
    At what point do you replace the chain? I was told the cassette should be replace with the chain. Good tip using calipers-thks
    While it's usually best practice to replace the chain when replacing the cassette, the opposite isn't true.

    Chains wear on their own schedule independent of the cassette condition, but cassette wear depends on the chain's condition, so running an old chain on a new cassette will cost you valuable cassette life.

    With decent care, replacing chains well before 1% wear (many riders replace at 1/2%) a cassette should outlast 3-5 chains.

    BTW- measuring stretch with a caliper this way shares the same problem that causes most of the wear gauges to read high. Roller float is included in the measurement, adding to the reading. If you want to use a caliper, measure from the outside plates instead. First measure from the front of a plate to the back of one about 6" away on a new chain to establish the zero reading. record that someplace where you won't lose it. Then you can repeat the measurement any time and the difference equals the stretch.

    Don't forget to put some tension in the chain by pressing the pedals while not letting the rear wheel turn, otherwise you'll get a low reading.
    fb
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by billee
    For all the engineers and tool guys out there, here's a method to measure chain stretch using a 6 in. vernier caliper:

    1) set the caliper at 5.6 in.....
    All these years of riding, why didn't I think of this. I swear by the Parktool gauge but this will work just fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY
    ....With decent care, replacing chains well before 1% wear (many riders replace at 1/2%) a cassette should outlast 3-5 chains....
    I replace at about the .75% mark, at the .85% mark things go downhill fast and my chain gets to the 1% mark within 2 weeks and usually break around that time.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY
    BTW- measuring stretch with a caliper this way shares the same problem that causes most of the wear gauges to read high. Roller float is included in the measurement, adding to the reading. .
    I agree that the method I described produces higher length measurements than theoretical due to the two contact rollers being pushed in opposite directions during the measurement (and as you pointed out, the same happens with commercial chain stretch gauges) . However, the baseline length I listed for a new chain includes this effect so that the stretched readings are only in error by the amount that the radial float of two rollers increased due to wear. A few thousandths of an inch at most.
    To avoid injury, do not ride with your eyes closed

  11. #11
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    Thanks for replies Billy&FB. I recently damaged my chain via a bad shift which bent a side plate and then the rivet came out. I took the bike and chain to the bike shop recommended from a friend that races mountainbikes. He always places in the top three so I figure he knows. Anyway he said to replace the cassette if you replace the chain. So I took the old chain along so they'd get the right chain length-they tuned the bike up but I got it back with the old chain-they'd put in a quick link(master link). I don't really like the looks of the link(weak link) as I don't want to get stranded. BTW the bike shifts good post tune-up. What thinkest ye? Can't they spin rivets for these chains? At a minimum i think I'll carry a spare link just in case. Am I a casual rider? I raced dirt bikes for many years-I figure I ride better than the majority. I don't pound my equipment, but I do go pretty fast. Background: recently acquired ' 99 K2 1000 with deore LX groupo(gift from friend). So I have a lot to learn on maintenance/tweaking etc. Just here to learn/sorry for the rant-seemed an appropriate thread to ask. Cassette has some wear but serviceable. Chain seems very stretched but with no baseline chain measurement...What's your feeling: run it or replace it? Thanks in advance-Jake

  12. #12
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    To answer your first question, no you can't re-peen a pin after it's been pushed out and back. Even if you had the right equipment, the excess metal you'd need to flow out to make the rivet head is gone having been sheared off when you pushed the pin out.

    As far as measuring your chain for wear, you don't need a base line measurement. The baseline is 1/2" or a multiple thereof (that's why it's called 1/2" pitch chain). Since it's now closed with a reusable master link, remove it and hang it vertically letting it's own weight stretch it out. Use a steel tape measure pin to pin over 4 feet of chain (96 links) and noting how far beyond 4' mark that pin is. By measuring over a longer distance the accumulated wear will be greater. ( 1/2% = 1/4" in 4 feet, 1% = 1/2" in 4 feet) with the wear magnified this way you won't need a precision instrument to know exactly how worn your chain is.

    As far as the cassette is concerned, it's condition will mirror that of the chain, but I never suggest replacing cassettes until you try them with the new chain. If it runs smoothly and transmits power without skipping keep it, if not replace it.
    fb
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    The key to solving any problem is to understand and address the underlying cause.

  13. #13
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    Ok-I'll take a measurement. Sounds like good advice: "If it works good-it's good." Save me money in the process. Now I need to see what they have in the way of chains. Thanks FB-Jake

  14. #14
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    Picture

    Here is a picture of a new chain vs a worn one.

    The chains are both the same number of links and a little over 4' long. The worn chain failed on the Park chain gauge's 0.75% side but not the 1.0% side. From the picture it's easy to see that the worn chain is about 1/4" longer than the new one.

    I got 2 seasons out of the chain, so even though the wear is only about 0.5%, I'm replacing it anyhow. Got my money's worth out of it and chains are cheap compared to cassettes.

    I would guess that the reason the Park gauge showed 0.75% wear is that the rollers are worn.

    Walt
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    Good illustration-thks. My last Ride I was 5 -6 miles away from the truck at the farthest point. Considering the terrain, it would've really sucked to have had to walk back-I'm with ya on the chain. I can tell you from experience with motorcycles chain quality matters. I have a 450cc streetbike-just a cruiser. The chain it came with needed to be adjusted regularly and never stopped stretching to the point of aggravation(cheap POS). I replaced the chain with an EK triple Z chain made for 180hp crotch rockets. The chain was so hardened that when I installed it, it took a 6" C clamp to press the plate on the master link. I had the bike shop flange the rivet heads and their special tool wouldn't do it. So they put an X in the rivet heads with a hand sledge and chisel but even with that they hardly made a nick in it. They were amazed at the hardness of that chain. That was almost 3 years ago. Since then I've adjusted the chain twice(difference between a 60.00 chain and a 210.00 chain retail). I got it off ebay for 110.00-money well spent. I'll never buy a cheap chain again. Are all bike chains as junky as the one on my bike or do they have different grades? Any recommendations? I suppose a chain that hard would really tear up a cassette, but if only the rivets and rollers were super hardened.....I'll have to research a little and see what's out there.

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    "I got 2 seasons out of the chain, " Wow, I have only about 200 miles on my XTR chain and I'm already getting major slipping. I replaced the chain and rear cassette with XTR about 3 months ago and I'm bumed that I'm already having issues with chain slip. Am I doing something wrong??? The bike shop says I have some wear left on the chain but not sure what side of the Parktool he used. I don't think he even used it correctly as I'm pretty sure I saw him try to insert the curved end in last... What are good chains to use??? I would think that the XTR chain would be great, but are they known for wearing out this fast??? Any help or advice on the chain selection would be great....

  17. #17
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    There's no way the chain stretched enough to be the cause of your slipping, unless you did the Mt. Washington Hill Climb without any chain oil (and even then I still doubt it).

    Satisfy yourself by measuring chain stretch with a 6-12" ruler. Since the chain is 1/2" pitch every link will line up exactly at 1/2" marks. With wear, the pitch is a bit longer, and over 6 or 12" the links will be out a bit more than expected.

    Lean the bike on a wall where it can't roll. Tension the chain with some pedal pressure, and line up the ruler with either a pin or the forward edge of a plate, and note the position of the corresponding point 12" out. Less than 1/6" is still OK, 1/6" to 1/8" time to replace, and beyond 1/8" reaching the point of skipping and/or causing excessive sprocket wear. (if measuring less than 12" pro-rate the allowable stretch accordingly)

    Note; measuring chains isn't a precision task, since you're working with an acceptable gray zone of 1/16" anyway, so don't sweat it.

    Lastly, while measuring wear is good, the real issue is preventing it, and that's where good chain oil, and good maintenance come into it.

    As far as what is causing the skipping, there are lots of possibilities, and knowing more, like the age of the bike, age of the cassette & chainrings and the age of the chain you replaced would help us help you.
    fb
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  18. #18
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    Here's the best thing. Made from a dollar store tape measure. Idiot proof. Replace chain at +1/16" -
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Measuring chain stretch using a vernier caliper-chaintool.jpg  


  19. #19
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    I just measured an old chain that I had taken off of my bike. I got results from 5.74 to 5.72. Quite a variation I thought. Part of the problem is the inability to measure from roller pin to roller pin every time. I think I will stick to a rigid rule, or more likely change it when I get around to it.

  20. #20
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    Huh, I have always just used a ruler......

  21. #21
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    just a note for people who dont know

    bike chains dont stretch, the pins and rollers wear becoming looser and thats why the chain is longer.
    all the above measuring methods are fine , it doesnt matter how you measure.
    the bottom line is if the chain is 1/16" over 12" then its time for a new one.
    what will happen if you dont? nothing everything will still shift and run fine, but
    once the chain lengthens it will affect the rings and cassette which are made out of aluminum, ti or steel
    a "stretched " steel chain vs an aluminum gear means the gear will take on the shape of the chain. Depending on your riding style that usually means the middle or granny ring up front will be malformed since thats the ring you ride in most of the time. the reason why the cassette lasts longer is because you're constantly shifting which means you spread the wear among the 9 cassette cogs.
    so if you never change your chain, rings or cassette you will probably not have any issues untill its all worn out , but if you change 1 item , it will no longer fit properly and youll have lots o issues.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by billee
    I agree that the method I described produces higher length measurements than theoretical due to the two contact rollers being pushed in opposite directions during the measurement ....
    It is possible to use a vernier caliper to measure chain stretch without introducing error from the roller float.

    First, measure the length of 12 links inserting the measuring jaws between the chain rollers, as described by Billee. This is measure A, and should be around 5.7 in. Then, use the same technique to measure the length of only two links. This is measure B and should be something around 0.7 in. Subtract B from A, this is the length of 10 links. The subtraction eliminates the error from roller float. To estimate the stretch compare with the ideal length of 5 in. Therefore, 5.025 in indicates 0.5% of stretch, 5.038 for 0.75% and 5.050 in for 1%.

    This two measurements technique should be less prone to error for roller float than the commercial devices.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by elopez
    It is possible to use a vernier caliper to measure chain stretch without introducing error from the roller float.

    First, measure the length of 12 links inserting the measuring jaws between the chain rollers, as described by Billee. This is measure A, and should be around 5.7 in. Then, use the same technique to measure the length of only two links. This is measure B and should be something around 0.7 in. Subtract B from A, this is the length of 10 links. The subtraction eliminates the error from roller float. To estimate the stretch compare with the ideal length of 5 in. Therefore, 5.025 in indicates 0.5% of stretch, 5.038 for 0.75% and 5.050 in for 1%.

    This two measurements technique should be less prone to error for roller float than the commercial devices.
    chains dont stretch, what happens is the pins and rollers wear creating slop or what youre calling roller float, measuring the links without the roller float will never change

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    chains dont stretch, what happens is the pins and rollers wear creating slop or what youre calling roller float, measuring the links without the roller float will never change
    If you re-read carefully this will measure the "stretch" or as you correctly point the elongation due to added slack at the junctions. He's measuring over a distance as one would with a ruler, and adjusting for the part of the reading due to roller float.

    No problem with the methodology, except that it's unnecessarily complicated. A ruler measuring pin to pin over 10-12 inches is plenty accurate for the job. Chain wear is a progressive thing, and it isn't like a chain that's fine suddenly turns bad after a certain point, so replacing a bit early or a bit late won't matter in the scheme of things.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY
    If you re-read carefully this will measure the "stretch" or as you correctly point the elongation due to added slack at the junctions. He's measuring over a distance as one would with a ruler, and adjusting for the part of the reading due to roller float.

    No problem with the methodology, except that it's unnecessarily complicated. A ruler measuring pin to pin over 10-12 inches is plenty accurate for the job. Chain wear is a progressive thing, and it isn't like a chain that's fine suddenly turns bad after a certain point, so replacing a bit early or a bit late won't matter in the scheme of things.
    right , but isnt roller float the same thing as chain stretch? on a new chain the rollers and pins are tight and have little or no float. as the chain wears the float increases

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    right , but isnt roller float the same thing as chain stretch? on a new chain the rollers and pins are tight and have little or no float. as the chain wears the float increases
    No they're very different things. Stretch occurs because the pins and journals they move in wear allowing the links to move apart a little bit. Imagine a freight train pulling out, it gets longer as the slack in the couplers is taken up, even though none of the cars gets longer.

    Likewise with a chain, each little bit of play is added and accumulates to something measurable over distance.

    With roller wear, each roller wears, but the on-center distance them is unchanged, so there's no accumulation of the incremental wear.
    Last edited by FBinNY; 08-27-2010 at 04:33 PM.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY
    No they're very different things. Stretch occurs because the pins and journals they move in wear allowing the links to move apart a little bit. Imagine a freight train pulling out, it gets longer as the slack in the couplers is taken up, even none of the cars gets longer.

    Likewise with a chain, each little bit of play is added and accumulates to something measurable over distance.

    With roller wear, each roller wears, but the on-center distance them is unchanged, so there's no accumulation of the incremental wear.
    so youre saying that there is a difference in length between a new chain relaxed and pulled tight?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    so youre saying that there is a difference in length between a new chain relaxed and pulled tight?
    Yes, but it's very slight. When new, there's about .002" play between each pin and bushing. But it's factored in, by drilling the holes in the plates and bushings a bit closer than the nominal 1/2" pitch, so when the chain is loaded and the slack is pulled out true pitch is exactly 1/2" and 48 pairs of links is exactly 48"

    With wear, the chain's links can pull a bit farther apart increasing the pitch to say .502" and 48 pairs of links measures 48.192" hence the apparent stretch.

    The rollers also have play, but roller play doesn't accumulate link to link, because the on center distance is always equal to the true pitch.

    A better term, that might be less confusing than stretch would be pitch change
    fb
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by elopez
    It is possible to use a vernier caliper to measure chain stretch without introducing error from the roller float.

    First, measure the length of 12 links inserting the measuring jaws between the chain rollers, as described by Billee. This is measure A, and should be around 5.7 in. Then, use the same technique to measure the length of only two links. This is measure B and should be something around 0.7 in. Subtract B from A, this is the length of 10 links. The subtraction eliminates the error from roller float. To estimate the stretch compare with the ideal length of 5 in. Therefore, 5.025 in indicates 0.5% of stretch, 5.038 for 0.75% and 5.050 in for 1%.

    This two measurements technique should be less prone to error for roller float than the commercial devices.
    A very clever addition to my original method. Kudos Elopez.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by elopez
    It is possible to use a vernier caliper to measure chain stretch without introducing error from the roller float.

    First, measure the length of 12 links inserting the measuring jaws between the chain rollers, as described by Billee. This is measure A, and should be around 5.7 in. Then, use the same technique to measure the length of only two links. This is measure B and should be something around 0.7 in. Subtract B from A, this is the length of 10 links. The subtraction eliminates the error from roller float. To estimate the stretch compare with the ideal length of 5 in. Therefore, 5.025 in indicates 0.5% of stretch, 5.038 for 0.75% and 5.050 in for 1%.

    This two measurements technique should be less prone to error for roller float than the commercial devices.
    Best first post I've seen in my short tenure.

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    but why 5.7 and 0.7?
    if 5.7 inches is for 12 links then for 2 links it should be 0.95 inches no?

    What worries me most is what the other guy said: so if you never change your chain, rings or cassette you will probably not have any issues untill its all worn out , but if you change 1 item , it will no longer fit properly and youll have lots o issues. .

    I have recently broken my chain by bad shifting going uphill (bend in 2 places and popped out). The LBS repaired it but it's noisy now and doesn't feel like before.

    I was going to buy a new chain but what if I have more issues with the new one cause I will not replace the other parts?!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainii View Post
    but why 5.7 and 0.7?
    if 5.7 inches is for 12 links then for 2 links it should be 0.95 inches no?

    What worries me most is what the other guy said: so if you never change your chain, rings or cassette you will probably not have any issues untill its all worn out , but if you change 1 item , it will no longer fit properly and youll have lots o issues. .

    I have recently broken my chain by bad shifting going uphill (bend in 2 places and popped out). The LBS repaired it but it's noisy now and doesn't feel like before.

    I was going to buy a new chain but what if I have more issues with the new one cause I will not replace the other parts?!
    Each link is 1 inch. The 5.7 measurement is 6 full links minus 1 roller because you are measuring between rollers with the caliper.
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    Ah, I see, thanks for clearing it up.
    Well, I measured my chain with the ruler and instead of 12 inches I got 12 and 2/8ths almost (plus it's been bent and repaired in 2 links), so I'm about to order a new chain of Ebay. It's the first time I'll replace the chain.

    1) Do you guys think it will work smoothly if I replace just the chain or maybe I need new casettes as well?
    2) The existing chain is a shimano HG-53 9 speed one. These are my options:
    SRAM PC-991
    Shimano XTR Dura Ace CN7701
    KMC X9-93
    Wippermann Connex 9SG
    Wippermann Connex 900

    3) Will all the above chains work on my bike? (shimano xt derailleurs)

    4) Which one of these do you recommend, I don't care about the weight I just want a tough one that is forgiving of my bad shifting..

    Thanks!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainii View Post
    but why 5.7 and 0.7?
    if 5.7 inches is for 12 links then for 2 links it should be 0.95 inches no?

    What worries me most is what the other guy said: so if you never change your chain, rings or cassette you will probably not have any issues untill its all worn out , but if you change 1 item , it will no longer fit properly and youll have lots o issues. .

    I have recently broken my chain by bad shifting going uphill (bend in 2 places and popped out). The LBS repaired it but it's noisy now and doesn't feel like before.

    I was going to buy a new chain but what if I have more issues with the new one cause I will not replace the other parts?!

    why mess around, you're overthinking this
    take a ruler or tape, measure 12" pin to pin , if its 1/8" over replace, if its 1/4" you'll probably need a new middle ring
    if you bent your chain in 2 places I would replace it, if you need rings and/ or cassette you needed them anyway so just bite the bullet and do what you have to do.
    as far as never changing anything without issues thats not really true, the componets may mesh together fine but if they are worn out, you'll probably have alot of other issues.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainii View Post
    but why 5.7 and 0.7?
    if 5.7 inches is for 12 links then for 2 links it should be 0.95 inches no?
    Not really Brainii, because we are measuring between the chain rollers. Here is a quick sketch of both measurements. This could help to avoid the confusion.

    When you subtract the measurement of 2 links to that of 12 links, you get a precise measurement of 10 links. Roller diameter and float is eliminated when subtracting. It might be simpler to use a ruler and try to measure center to center distance, but the idea originally proposed by Billee makes sense if you already have a vernier and want to be as precise as possible.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Measuring chain stretch using a vernier caliper-cadena.jpg  


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    thanks guys, I will replace the chain and see how it goes.
    any comment on those chains I proposed? remember, I need the toughest one, don't care about weight.
    thanks

  37. #37
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    I've used most of the ones you listed, most recently the Sram PC991 and the XTR.

    They all work well. Pick the one that fits your budget.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainii View Post
    thanks guys, I will replace the chain and see how it goes.
    any comment on those chains I proposed? remember, I need the toughest one, don't care about weight.
    thanks
    Ive had great results with XT, stay away from hollow pin designs

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by elopez View Post
    Not really Brainii, because we are measuring between the chain rollers. Here is a quick sketch of both measurements. This could help to avoid the confusion.

    When you subtract the measurement of 2 links to that of 12 links, you get a precise measurement of 10 links. Roller diameter and float is eliminated when subtracting. It might be simpler to use a ruler and try to measure center to center distance, but the idea originally proposed by Billee makes sense if you already have a vernier and want to be as precise as possible.

    maybe, but chains arent that precise to begin with

  40. #40
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    ok, I have now narrowed it down to these 2:

    KMC X9-93
    Wippermann Connex 900

    which one do you guys think is tougher and which one installs / uninstalls easiest (without tools??). Price is exactly the same, 21 GBP.

    Thanks

  41. #41
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    A chain is a chain.. ive been using a KMC x9 for a while. Its just as good as the shimano and sram chains it replaced.

    You need to chain tool to properly install all chains.

  42. #42
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    I got a new Shimano CN 7701 chain and it measured LESS than 12 inches.

  43. #43
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    The wippermann chains come with a connex link, which is fitted (or unfitted) by hand.
    I think I'll go for those, plus they are german (safety wise should be better).

  44. #44
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    I bought this one: Wippermann Connex 900
    Wippermann has a very nice website that explains all the different models etc.
    Hope it's good!
    Thanks for all the replies.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainii View Post
    ok, I have now narrowed it down to these 2:

    KMC X9-93
    Wippermann Connex 900

    which one do you guys think is tougher and which one installs / uninstalls easiest (without tools??). Price is exactly the same, 21 GBP.

    Thanks
    Ive had issues with wipperman links cracking
    never used KMC

  46. #46
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    well, got the chain today, installed it (lost one part of the connex link that came with it) and used a KMC quicklink.

    Chain looks fine but even after lubing I hear noises that couldn't hear before..
    also some gears were skipping so I tried to recalibrate the rear derailleur using the cable adjustment behind the right brake.

    after trial and error it sort of worked and it rarely skips anymore.

    I noticed that the new chain is slightly longer than the old one, will this be a problem?

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainii View Post
    well, got the chain today, installed it (lost one part of the connex link that came with it) and used a KMC quicklink.

    Chain looks fine but even after lubing I hear noises that couldn't hear before..
    also some gears were skipping so I tried to recalibrate the rear derailleur using the cable adjustment behind the right brake.

    after trial and error it sort of worked and it rarely skips anymore.

    I noticed that the new chain is slightly longer than the old one, will this be a problem?
    what is slightly? , more than 1 link? if so cut it down. you can also use the method of wrapping the chain around your biggest front ring and biggest cassette cog without going through the deraillier, then add 2 links

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainii View Post
    we

    I noticed that the new chain is slightly longer than the old one, will this be a problem?
    Not as long as the RD can take up all the slack in the small/small combination.

    I prefer to use chains that are as long as possible vs. as short as possible. This gives me a margin of error in case I want to use a larger cassette in the future, or ever have to cut out a damaged link (which hasn't ever happened so far, but what's a few grams of chain).
    fb
    www.chain-L.com

    The key to solving any problem is to understand and address the underlying cause.

  49. #49
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    well, the small/small combo does have some slack (but not enough to make the chain drop out of the cogs).
    I should prob remove a couple of links, still waiting for my chain tool from ebay..
    thanks

  50. #50
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    following up, I measured the links of the old chain: found 108 links.
    The new one has 114 so remove the others?
    at maximum slack the chain touches the frame (when not turning the pedals).

  51. #51
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    how long should a standard 9 speed chain be?
    why don't they make the to fit without removing links etc?

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainii View Post
    following up, I measured the links of the old chain: found 108 links.
    The new one has 114 so remove the others?
    at maximum slack the chain touches the frame (when not turning the pedals).
    The chain must be short enough for the RD to take up all the slack - before the cage hits the stop - with the chain in the small/small combination. It must also be long enough to loop the big/big combination with with an inch to spare in the lower loop, or for the RD cage to still have some room to swing.

    Any length between those two is OK. Some including myself prefer to run longer chains leaving room for a larger cassette in the future. Others simply measure the shortest length large/large +1" and cut it there. That's your call.
    fb
    www.chain-L.com

    The key to solving any problem is to understand and address the underlying cause.

  53. #53
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    Just want to update, I have finally got my chain break tool, removed 5-6 links (length measured against the old chain) and the wippermann shifts smoothly and silently and of course no more slack.

    The noises I used to hear came from a slightly wrong installation of the chain on my part (it was going over rather than under, a metal part of the small cog /rear derailleur).

    The LBS pointed that out...

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