Chain that won't stretch?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Chain that won't stretch?

    Can anyone recommend a chain that doesn't stretch much or often? I'd like something fairly light if possible. 9, 10, or 11spd is fine.

    With my current chains, it seems I have to adjust the tension about once a week. I just switched to an oval ring, so now it seems like maintaining tension will be more important since part of the pedal stroke will have a lot more slack than normal.

    I've tried KMC SL series in 9, 10, and 11spd. I know nothing on the bike is slipping because I have to move the position of my ebb to adjust the tension, and have run out of adjustment with a couple of the chains.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    have you put a chain wear indicator on your chains to see how much they are stretching?

    how old is your cog? maybe that is the culprit.

  3. #3
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    He can find such a chain.

    Chain that won't stretch?-billy.jpg

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    have you put a chain wear indicator on your chains to see how much they are stretching?

    how old is your cog? maybe that is the culprit.
    It's been a while since I measured wear. It's an issue with multiple chains though. I have one chain I use for 21 through 19t cogs and another chain for 18-17t cogs. Same issue with both.

  5. #5
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    All chains will wear - and they are wearing, rather than stretching. Try a non- dérailleur chain like everyone's (and my) favourite - KMC Z610HX.

  6. #6
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    Chain wear can be called stretching, although it's not the same as stretching a rubber band.

    But yes, all of them do stretch. Get a good quality one and it'll stretch less. If it does, your problem is probably not the chain.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy R View Post
    All chains will wear - and they are wearing, rather than stretching. Try a non- dérailleur chain like everyone's (and my) favourite - KMC Z610HX.
    Thanks. Just ordered one.

  8. #8
    Armature speller
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    I've got a year (2000km) out of a KMC X9 so far. Pin wear well within spec. 32/21 with AB oval ring.

  9. #9
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    It's called belt drive, you're welcome.

  10. #10
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    I've tried all of the above chains, and all stretch significantly during the first few weeks of riding. I didn't mind it at first, until the short chainstay geo frames started to come along. I like the 420mm chainstay, but chains kept stretching and putting me closer to 430mm. So I made an expensive experiment with a KMC DLC chain. 200 miles clocked and not a single chain tension adjustment from day 1. Grain of salt, as I'm sure results will vary...

  11. #11
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    I have about 200 miles on a KMC DLC 10s chain also with zero tension adjustment required so far. Not the cheapest chain out there though. Previously was running KMC X9 SL chains that were stretching like mofo's
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    I just switched to an oval ring, so now it seems like maintaining tension will be more important since part of the pedal stroke will have a lot more slack than normal.
    You sure about that? I thought the whole point and design of the oval was to maintain the same tension all the way around.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlipSpace View Post
    You sure about that? I thought the whole point and design of the oval was to maintain the same tension all the way around.
    Almost, but not perfectly.

  14. #14
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    my oval ring a slightly more slack in one spot than any round ring that I have had, but only slightly. no ring is perfectly round.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlipSpace View Post
    You sure about that? I thought the whole point and design of the oval was to maintain the same tension all the way around.
    Yes, there's a significant difference.

  16. #16
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    Fair play then folks, I got sucked in by the hype I guess.... doh!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlipSpace View Post
    Fair play then folks, I got sucked in by the hype I guess.... doh!
    round rings have slack spots too. if you look closely at single speed bikes with round chainrings there will be a tight spot and a loose spot on a lot of them. not sure if it's most or just some, but in my experience i've seen it on all kinds of single speeds. it's just usually minimal so you don't notice unless your looking for it. once you know it's there though it changes the way you tension your chain. at least for me it does.
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  18. #18
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    Maybe I'm misconstruing things here. I'm a single speeder too and yes you're right it's not an even tension for the full revolution. My interpretation maybe but I read the OP as the oval ring had a greater variation and was making things worse than a round ring.

    No personal experience but I thought the new ovals were supposed to be no worse than a round.
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  19. #19
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    I have no idea, but is there any reason why an oval ring would wear out a chain faster, or cause it to wear unevenly?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I have no idea, but is there any reason why an oval ring would wear out a chain faster, or cause it to wear unevenly?
    In short, no.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlipSpace View Post
    Maybe I'm misconstruing things here. I'm a single speeder too and yes you're right it's not an even tension for the full revolution. My interpretation maybe but I read the OP as the oval ring had a greater variation and was making things worse than a round ring.

    No personal experience but I thought the new ovals were supposed to be no worse than a round.
    Yes, that's why I posted this. The chain has a lot more variation with the oval ring. Probably not enough to drop a chain, but my bike gets chain slap when there's too much slack.

  22. #22
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    If anything, an oval ring will reduce chain tension at the moment of maximum leg output, because it's virtually a larger size at that spot of rotation. This will prolong chain life. Probably not enough to notice, though.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    Yes, that's why I posted this. The chain has a lot more variation with the oval ring. Probably not enough to drop a chain, but my bike gets chain slap when there's too much slack.
    i am afraid if you get chainslap on a singlespeed you are doing it very wrong sir... I have bolted cheap chains to shitty unround rings for years and never gotten close to achieving anything so sloppy it got close to banging on the frame.

    to the point: which chains won't stretch? they all do. seems to occur mostly in the first couple hundred miles then slows drastically until it finally gets too worn. i bet your giving up on the chains before they bed in?

    to me spending more than 10-15 bucks on a singlespeed chain is pretty pointless but i have three kids so i probably have significantly less disposable income than most.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    i am afraid if you get chainslap on a singlespeed you are doing it very wrong sir... I have bolted cheap chains to shitty unround rings for years and never gotten close to achieving anything so sloppy it got close to banging on the frame.
    .
    There's not much clearance between my frame and chain. I think I took this pic when I had a 19t on, so there's even less room when I use an 18 or 17. Also, there's flex in the frame when accelerating up hills and over bumps, which apparently adds a little more slack to the chain since that's typically when I get chain slap. From what I can tell after adding some clear protective tape, the chain is hitting the bottom of the chainstay.

    Chain that won't stretch?-20150827_183900.jpg

  25. #25
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    Just thought I'd post an update. I switched to an 11spd shimano xtr chain and have had to only tighten it once in the past couple months. Much better than the KMC chains which needed tightened about once per week.

  26. #26
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    If you want a chain that won't "stretch", keep it clean, dry, and protect it from the spray coming of the tyre at the chainstays. I prefer Purple Extreme as a lubricant.

    Initial stretch is usually caused by the factory grease being squeezed out under operational pressure, so the chain settles down once that's done..

    Oh, and buy a decent quality single speed or 8 speed chain. KMC is good, I've had a number of SRAM chains actually break, and while I'd like to think it's the awesome power of my legs, it's probably crap QC. (Maybe they have improved - I haven't touched them for the last 6 years)

    The extra money for the expensive chains is so they slip easily off the chainring and cogs, which is something you don't want on a SS.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlipSpace View Post
    You sure about that? I thought the whole point and design of the oval was to maintain the same tension all the way around.
    The point is to maintain consistent power output. They do it by varying the diameter of the chainring which inevitably causes tension to vary.

    It's not a huge fluctuation, but it's there.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    There's not much clearance between my frame and chain. I think I took this pic when I had a 19t on, so there's even less room when I use an 18 or 17. Also, there's flex in the frame when accelerating up hills and over bumps, which apparently adds a little more slack to the chain since that's typically when I get chain slap. From what I can tell after adding some clear protective tape, the chain is hitting the bottom of the chainstay.
    You said you switched to oval, but your picture is a SRAM ring. Are you still running a 32 tooth ring?

    I'm riding a One 9 with a 32t oval ring and 18t in the back and haven't had any issues yet. I could see how I might have issues if I were running a 30t oval ring though. Also, everything is still new here, only a few rides on it so far.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    It's called belt drive, you're welcome.
    All these people and only one person got it right!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigid Belt View Post
    All these people and only one person got it right!
    It's not really a chain though.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    It's not really a chain though.
    I was more making a point that all chains will stretch. Belt is the only thing (within reason for biking) that I can think of that will not stretch.

    Bicycles with drive shafts? Sounds interesting to me but I can't think of one that has ever been built. Google to the rescue.

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  33. #33
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    Anyone tried the 7R8? Says it's made for SS and fixies.

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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigid Belt View Post
    All these people and only one person got it right!
    Are you planning on doing the surgery on his CF frame to make it belt ready?

    Aside from that, it's only right if you ignore the actual issue he's having.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    There's not much clearance between my frame and chain. I think I took this pic when I had a 19t on, so there's even less room when I use an 18 or 17. Also, there's flex in the frame when accelerating up hills and over bumps, which apparently adds a little more slack to the chain since that's typically when I get chain slap. From what I can tell after adding some clear protective tape, the chain is hitting the bottom of the chainstay.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In the interest of staying on point :-)

    Chain slap on carbon is a no no. At a minimum I would wrap a tube (on a budget) or grab a chain protector that wraps all the way around (cheaper to replace than a frame)

    EBB's can always be burden but you say yours is not slipping at all. I am a larger rider myself and it took a bundle of time and money to make a bike that will not noticeably flex when I hammer up hills.

    Flex and something like an oval ring will only add to the issue in my mind. More like a bounce effect that puts lots of torque on the drive chain at different points of your pedal stroke. I would think a larger front ring (so that your more on the power all the time and no allowance to get to super high spin rate and start bouncing would help the most).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ogre View Post
    Are you planning on doing the surgery on his CF frame to make it belt ready?

    Aside from that, it's only right if you ignore the actual issue he's having.
    I would love to try this out. But only when I make my next dream bike work out. (Santa Cruz Highball with Gates drive) If I am going to kill a carbon bike I could only do so on my own bill. If I find a way to make it work I would be more than happy to run a side carbon frame / belt mod business. Sounds fun!

  36. #36
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    Chain that won't stretch?

    I have the same bike and also use an oval ring but don't have these issues. Do you have the EBB positioned with the bottom bracket towards the top of the frame? I believe mine is down which might give a bit more clearance. Also, maybe consider going with a 34 tooth ring in the front and a bigger cog in the back to get the same ratio but on bigger rings

  37. #37
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    Added a chainstay protector a couple months ago. The chain is probably still hitting, but I don't hear it anymore.

    EBB is usually around the 6:00 position, or the lowest point.

    Probably not the best solution cosmetically, but it works. Also keeps my heels from rubbing the frame.
    Chain that won't stretch?-20160131_151128.jpg

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