My SS chains only last 2 months?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    My SS chains only last 2 months?

    I'v been running a Sram PC1 SS chain now, before it was a KMC bmx chain. The first lasted 2 months the second is almost gone at 3 months. Is this normal? I ride to work 4 days a week 16 miles round trip with about 200' of elevation gain each way. Im running 32x15 so I'm standing and hammering on the hills, and I'm a big guy 220lbs. It's still cheeper than buying a new 9 speed drive train every 6 months. But I have to run a tentioner so I can take up slack on the side of the road when it starts skipping.

  2. #2
    Bad Case of the Mondays
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    Quote Originally Posted by edmoloco
    I'v been running a Sram PC1 SS chain now, before it was a KMC bmx chain. The first lasted 2 months the second is almost gone at 3 months. Is this normal? I ride to work 4 days a week 16 miles round trip with about 200' of elevation gain each way. Im running 32x15 so I'm standing and hammering on the hills, and I'm a big guy 220lbs. It's still cheeper than buying a new 9 speed drive train every 6 months. But I have to run a tentioner so I can take up slack on the side of the road when it starts skipping.
    I snapped two PC1 chains in my first 2 weeks of having my Niner SIR9, then went to a standard 9spd SRAM chain (middle of the road, don't remember the number) and haven't touched it since.

    The PC1 looks beefy, but even with a perfect chainline they seem to be pretty weak.

  3. #3
    CB2
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    Jam Econo
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    6-8 weeks is about what I get out of a chain.

  4. #4
    @adelorenzo
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    Probably depends on conditions. Wet and grit really take their toll on chains.

    I get good life on my chains, riding year round on a SRAM PC-68 on my singlespeed MTB and a PC-1 on my fixed commuter. Also, I am a super-clyde. But, I live in a very dry climate.

    I always keep my chain dry and clean. Too much lube will work grit inside the chain and grind it down a lot faster. Just a quick wipe with a shop towel is all it takes, I don't obsess about cleaning the thing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by edmoloco
    I'v been running a Sram PC1 SS chain now, before it was a KMC bmx chain. The first lasted 2 months the second is almost gone at 3 months. Is this normal? I ride to work 4 days a week 16 miles round trip with about 200' of elevation gain each way. Im running 32x15 so I'm standing and hammering on the hills, and I'm a big guy 220lbs. It's still cheeper than buying a new 9 speed drive train every 6 months. But I have to run a tentioner so I can take up slack on the side of the road when it starts skipping.
    That sounds like under a thousand miles a chain which seems really low. What conditions are you riding in? Dust? Rain? Mud? What do you lube them with? I don't run single speed, but I get over 2000 miles on my 8-Speed mountain bike chains (SRAM PC-58), and don't have and detectable wear at 3500 miles on my road bike since switching to the same chain. I'm not religious about cleaning, but I do live in a fairly dry climate. I put White Lightning on them when they start to squeak .
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  6. #6
    I've broken one of those!
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    I'm also a big guy (235), run a similar ratio (34:16), stand & mash on climbs, and get about the same 2-3 months out of the KMC chains. I have never gotten more than 2 RIDES out of a SRAM chain, regardless of which PC-x POS, on my SS. Also, one race means I have to replace the chain no matter how old it is. My 0.02.
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  7. #7
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    I got 3x the life from a 1x9 set up, but I was spinning up hill, now it's all mash.

    As for conditions, well I'm in seattle, commuting in the winter so yes, lots of wet dirt and grime. They are sanding the roads now so very gritty. But it sounds like "normal" life expectancy for the conditions. Still its cheeper to get a $8-15 chain every 2 months, than a 9 speed chain and cog set for $60-100 every 6 months. I'm just trying to get away from depending on a tentioner.

  8. #8
    Combat Wombat
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    Considering your size and conditions, I really do not know just how long a chain would last. Have you tried the KMC Z610HX chain? I serious heavy duty SS 3/32" chain that I would find it hard to believe that any of the expensive 9-speed chains would outlast. Even it it doesn't last much longer, they are only about $12 a pop.

    Brian

  9. #9
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    get a 7 dollar Z chain they last a year at least with races well two

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by edmoloco
    ...with about 200' of elevation gain each way...
    uphill both ways? I'm gonna go out on a limb here and assume it's in the snow and against the wind as well?

  11. #11
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    sure, it's an 81 pound chain, but the weights at the bottom of the bike so you don't really feel it.
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  12. #12
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    seriously though, the whitestar chains have held up well under my fat @ss, they are relatively inexpensive.

  13. #13
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    Fulton...

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  14. #14
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    Alignment, cleanliness, lubrication, are how you keep a chain in good condition.

    However, unless you are running it for phenomenal distances in a mud bath, I suspect the real reason your new chains are wearing out so quickly is that your sprockets are worn.

    A new chain on worn sprockets is the quickest way to wear out a chain that I know.

    The other possibility is that you have a lot of flex in your chainstays - in which case a chain designed for derailleur use will have better life than a singlespeed specific chain.
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  15. #15
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    Wipperman BMX chain..........pretty much the last chain you will buy. Runs about $50...
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  16. #16
    Full Tilt Boogie
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    I had one of those on a park bike last summer mostly for the novelty value. It worked surprisingly well, though it was loud. Another plus is losing the need for a bash guard, who need on with a chain that big!
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  17. #17
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    Replace your chainring and cog/freewheel if you haven't already. If you put a new chain on a worn chainring and/or cog it will wear out that chain easily in no time. I mash the hell out of my SS and weigh a little over 200 on a lot of hills as well, and can go 6 months on a chain. I measure the chain with the park tool about every 2-3 weeks, and replace at 3/4 worn.

  18. #18
    another bozo on the bus
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    I had been running cheap KMC chains for a while and thought my EBB had been slipping. On a new bike, after 3 rides and less than 100 miles, I used the trusty chain stretch checker by Whipperman, to find that after that short amount of riding, the chain was already trashed. I put on an XT chain and have had no issues since. I am guessing the slack in my chain on my other bike was not due to slippage but extensive chain stretch. Buy a decent grade chain.

  19. #19
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    The ring/cog were new with the first chain but it was the KMC. I'll try replacing the ring/cog and look for a better chain. I was considering the Whipperman, but $47 is alot for a chain.

    I is up hill both ways, but its also down hill both ways. And tomorrow it may very well be snowing. but on the way home I have this.

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  20. #20
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    Strange, I weigh anywhere between 200 and 215# depending on the time of year. I have been running PC1's and typically go all season on one. The last one I took off is now doing time on my son's bmx bike. I keep them semi clean and lubed but, I sure don't baby them.

  21. #21
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    I've had way better luck with PC-48/58/68 chains than I ever had with PC-1s and other single speed chains. Still cheap, lighter, and seems much more durable.

  22. #22
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    I haven't had good luck with SRAM chains. I use KMC Z510HX. The "X" designates an improved Z510H with (KMC specs in italics)

    StretchProof treatment - SP exceptional durability
    Mushroomed Riveting - High pin power.

    Costs less than $10.

  23. #23
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    Try the SRAM 8 or 9 sp chains, the PC-1 did not work out for me.
    I am 225lbs and I ride the same pc 68 for an entire season

  24. #24
    trail rat
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    I know this is SS and not fixed, but I like the solid advice on chains from 63xc (actually, solid advice on anything bicycle). I have heard many good things about the KMC Z610HX as well. I'm one of those who never breaks things, and have good luck with SRAM, but have used KMC on a couple of my SS/fixed bikes (I have three) with good results.
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabe
    Wipperman BMX chain..........pretty much the last chain you will buy. Runs about $50...

    I have run the Weisstern (sp?) chain and got excellent life out of it running it in the winter months. It's nickel plated too so it is awfully attractive, it's just too bad that they don't do a nickel plated half-link, because my magic gear needs one and I'm sort-of anal like that.

    They have a new 1R8 chain coming out, which is going to be significantly more expensive but will supposedly be much stronger/longer wearing for Single-speed, BMX and track use. I don't know what the difference in materials is (the weight is the same) so I am waiting until I can have a first hand look before I decide if that will be my next chain or not.

    Can't go wrong with the Weisstern though unless you are trying to save a lot of weight. Un chopped (110 links for a Wipermann chain, I don't know about other brands) a regular 9-speed chain is around 290-310 grams but my Weistern was ~400 if I remember right.

    -D

  26. #26
    make mine fixed
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    Quote Originally Posted by edmoloco
    I'v been running a Sram PC1 SS chain now, before it was a KMC bmx chain. The first lasted 2 months the second is almost gone at 3 months. Is this normal? I ride to work 4 days a week 16 miles round trip with about 200' of elevation gain each way. Im running 32x15 so I'm standing and hammering on the hills, and I'm a big guy 220lbs. It's still cheeper than buying a new 9 speed drive train every 6 months. But I have to run a tentioner so I can take up slack on the side of the road when it starts skipping.
    I suggest going to a 38x18 or 42x20. I'm running a 38x20. Had to move the ring to the outside of the spyder to clear the chain stay and run an 8spd SRAM. I've read everyother tooth carrys load, so maybe 4 or 5 teeth are carrying your load. Regardless, going to a 20t would lower the force per cog tooth by a third and give you longer chain, cog, and ring life.
    Rigid keeps you one with the ground vertically. Fixed keeps you one with the ground horizontally.

  27. #27
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    I agree; more teeth to share the load. Small rings and cogs mean greater chain tension and accelerated chain and cog wear.

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