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  1. #1
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    Too much power?

    I seem to be having a problem with my chains and cogs.

    In the past I ran KMC X-10 chains, and twice I snapped the Quick Link straight through. So I changed to a singlespeed-specific KMC Z610, only for something similar to happen within 6 months of fitting (one of the Quick Link pins sheared off).

    My SS cogs seem to be shearing teeth also. I run Absolute Black 7005 Aluminium/Aluminum SS cogs, and in the last month I have lost four teeth on my 16T - consecutive 'narrow' teeth. My previous 18T lost a couple of teeth over two years.

    I run a 34T Absolute Black Oval chain ring, which has worked flawlessly. I reckon I have chain line and tension sorted - any other ideas what could be going on? Or suggestions on better chain/cog combo?


    Too much power?-ab-16t-snapped.jpg

  2. #2
    Cif
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoxR4Cox View Post
    I seem to be having a problem with my chains and cogs.

    In the past I ran KMC X-10 chains, and twice I snapped the Quick Link straight through. So I changed to a singlespeed-specific KMC Z610, only for something similar to happen within 6 months of fitting (one of the Quick Link pins sheared off).

    My SS cogs seem to be shearing teeth also. I run Absolute Black 7005 Aluminium/Aluminum SS cogs, and in the last month I have lost four teeth on my 16T - consecutive 'narrow' teeth. My previous 18T lost a couple of teeth over two years.

    I run a 34T Absolute Black Oval chain ring, which has worked flawlessly. I reckon I have chain line and tension sorted - any other ideas what could be going on? Or suggestions on better chain/cog combo?


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    I always wondered.... How does an oval chainring work on a single speed?
    Do you use a chain tensioner for that?

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  3. #3
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    No tensioner needed. You just set the chain tension at the 'tightest' point on the oval, and that's about it. Apparently at 1:1 you get no change in chain tension - but you'd never get anywhere. I ride 34:16 (or 1:2.125) and there is a noticeable slackening, but with the AB cogs the chain retention has been 100%. Even with the snapped teeth. Maybe it's the tight/slack cycle that is fatiguing the teeth?

  4. #4
    WillWorkForTrail
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    It's hard to say from the angle of that picture, but that cog looks pretty worn. How many miles are you getting on these chains and cogs before they start having problems?

  5. #5
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    As far as the chains snapping, Iíd wonder about chain line. Iím sure you make it as straight as possible so maybe you are getting some flex in your B.B. area with really high outputs?

    Iíd also like to know how many miles you are putting on the drivetrain.




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  6. #6
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    When I raced SS I would get about 3 weeks out of a Aluminum cog. Chris King cogs will go for at least a year. Never found a chain to last more then 6 weeks, used Wippermans Connex 808, never broke one. SRAM, KMC I would get about 3 weeks. Was putting in about 150 hard miles of week on the bike.

    6 months on a SS chain that gets alot of miles is too long and an AL cog is crazy to last that long with high mileage.

  7. #7
    I am Walt
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    Too much power?

    Chain line, for sure, and then aluminum cogs. I had the same problems with chains, aluminum cogs and I even bent two Surly stainless steel 32t chainrings. Once I changed to a 34t chainring (which you already have), stainless cogs and had the shop check and dial-in my chain line, I havenít had one issue. And I just use a cheap SRAM 8-speed chain. Iím 190 lbs geared up, and a masher.


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  8. #8
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoxR4Cox View Post
    Maybe it's the tight/slack cycle that is fatiguing the teeth?
    that is exactly the issue.
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  9. #9
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    I've also found the SRAM 8 speed chain performs better than any SS specific chain. Been using them for 10+ years now.
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    Thanks all, seems like my expectations of chain and cog life has been a bit too high - I normally do no more than 100km (~60mi) of light to moderate riding, sounds like I just need to allow for replacement every 6 months or so. At approx 220lb and a masher, I may have just been asking too much of the equipment. Might look at a stainless CK cog, look very tasty!

  11. #11
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    Despite what other claim, ovals are fine and I used one for a season and a half without issue. (Whether there's a benefit there is another story )

    I think the biggest problem is the aluminum cog. Maybe your chainline isn't quite perfect and is side loading the cog just a bit.

    I'd also agree with the SRAM 8 speed chains. Excellent chains for the money (though I also use 9 and 11 speed chains as well depending on the SS setup).

  12. #12
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    I am no expert at all, but I have been riding & racing SS's for many years and can get a lot of miles out of my chains and cogs. I may not be the most powerful rider but I have no problem hanging with people on gears and I have spent some time on the podiums of local endurance races.

    I have ran everything from cheap 8 speed KMC chains to expensive 11 speed Sram's and KMC's with both steel CK cogs and aluminum Wolf Tooth cogs and chain rings. I can get quite a lot of miles out of them. I will go 400-500 miles out of a chain (depending on the conditions I am riding in) and more out of the cog and chain ring (because I monitor my chain wear and change it before it is smoked). I also keep up on chain stretch and maintain proper chain tension. But IMO most important I clean my drive train very well after each ride and lube it after it dries and then wipe the excess lube off before I ride.

    I cant say what is killing your chains and cogs as I don't really have that problem. But I do notice some heavy gunk/dirt build up on the cog. Could it be dirt that is killing your drivetrain? I am of the opinion that dirt is the biggest killer of drivetrains. Do you keep on top of your cleaning and lubrication? Just my .02

  13. #13
    I am Walt
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoxR4Cox View Post
    Thanks all, seems like my expectations of chain and cog life has been a bit too high - I normally do no more than 100km (~60mi) of light to moderate riding, sounds like I just need to allow for replacement every 6 months or so. At approx 220lb and a masher, I may have just been asking too much of the equipment. Might look at a stainless CK cog, look very tasty!
    That is way too often, IMO, and your expectations are not out of line. I expect my cogs (CK stainless) to last pretty much indefinitely, along with my SRAM 8-speed chain. Since I fixed the issues I mentioned in my last post, I have not had a cog or chain failure.

    To jbellís post, I absolutely agree re cleaning the drivetrain - I clean mine after/before every (OK, maybe not EVERY) ride, to get rid of the gunk and grit. Here in AZ, the desert grit will absolutely destroy stuff if you donít clean.


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  14. #14
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    Al cogs do not last.

    Save yourself the stress and just buy a steel cog....not a cheap stamped steel cog, but something like the Surly cog. Yes, they are heavier, but you should get more life out of them. You also don't need a N/W ring on a SS if you get the tension correct.

    When it comes to chains.....I have run everything from 8-10 spd chains from SRAM and KMC to SS chains as well. Sram chains stretch out too quick, it I don't break them first. KMC, I have settled on the x10.93 I have found that the x8.93/9.93/10.93 all last about the same mileage. I figured all things being the same, I'd save a little weight. I too break the quick links. Usually they let go about the same time the chain in stretched out, so I end up replacing them anyway.
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  15. #15
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    You guys really should try the Connex 808 8 speed chain. Never had any stretch but set and forget.

    Earlier I was referring to AL cog wear, CK is light and last very long time and the Surly is a cheaper great cog as well.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the advice - I do normally clean and lube the chain regularly but not every ride. Photo was taken directly after a ride, hence the gunk. But yes I should probably clean it all a bit more.

  17. #17
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    I cant help but notice that you are also only using half of your brake rotor surface. Might want to check that out as well.

  18. #18
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    Thanks! I thought I had them in as close as I could get but more tweaking may be in order.

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    Once I wear out my newly ordered AB cogs I'll splash out on a CK stainless and try the SRAM 8 speed chain.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    That is way too often, IMO, and your expectations are not out of line.
    He doesn't say how many hours/miles he rides, or maybe I missed it? In 6 months my chains are stretched way beyond reasonable.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  21. #21
    eri
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    I'm 185, 195 riding weight. Lots of wet riding in pnw winter but months of dry in the summer. Ride 34x23. My current endless 23t cog came with the bike and has 1500 miles on it. The kmc x10.93 has about 1000 miles on it and shows 0.85.

    Your rear cog is super worn, but also really dirty. See that aluminum paste?

    I use rock and roll ultimate lube to clean drivetrain after every ride. I've also used One chain lube, both are 'cleaner lubes', brush and water to wash the big stuff out and off, then drip the lube on, back pedal a bit, then blue shop towel to wipe off all the nasty that migrates out of the links. Sometimes it takes 2 passes to get it clean.

  22. #22
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    Just say No to aluminum cogs, and only use quality steel and make sure your chain-line is 100%

    Not for everyone but I run 1/2x1/8 BMX chain-rings up front, with KMC 710 chain.

    EDIT:

    Oh yeah, no master link or quick links ever!

  23. #23
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    That's a pretty worn looking cog in your pic. And some interesting wear on the brake rotor. I wonder if your wheel is slipping in the drop out and taking what WAS a good chain line and making it not so good?

    Also, the only part of a KMC chain I've broken is a quick link. The only exception to that is when a small rock got sucked through the chain, wiping out my oval AB ring and damaging a couple of the narrow links. The CK cog was unfazed. Next race the chain finally failed and I finished with only one plate in one of the narrow links after repairing a different link that failed completely. Meanwhile, I'm putting over 1k miles on these KMC chains (10XL) with nearly zero maintenance between rides, putting them away wet after rainy/muddy/gritty rides. I wipe 'em down occasionally and lube them when they get noisy. Otherwise they are neglected more than a red headed step child. AB rings with CK cogs.

  24. #24
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    I did say 100km/60mi, but forgot to say 'per week'. Usually one or two longer flatter rides up to 40km and a couple of shorter 'climbing' rides.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoxR4Cox View Post
    I did say 100km/60mi, but forgot to say 'per week'. Usually one or two longer flatter rides up to 40km and a couple of shorter 'climbing' rides.

    That is not very much.....I was getting 5000 miles out of Surly cog before I flipped it around....and I climbed a 20k'+ a week.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    That is not very much.....I was getting 5000 miles out of Surly cog before I flipped it around....and I climbed a 20k'+ a week.
    Exactly why I thought the wear and breakage was premature. Sounds like I need to do more regular, thorough cleaning. And a chain without a quick link or similar.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoxR4Cox View Post
    Exactly why I thought the wear and breakage was premature. Sounds like I need to do more regular, thorough cleaning. And a chain without a quick link or similar.
    i hate to burst your bubble but your not most likely not stronger than a regular ol chain installed properly.

    i'd bet a few bucks you just need a steel cog. i bet all you chain issues were also due to that.

    aluminum cogs are stupid unless you like spending money replacing them regularly (my friend has one hanging from his mirror where he folded the teeth over). with front rings it is less important since you have more teeth but steel still lasts longer.

    i recommend buying the cheapest steel ring cog and chain you can find (well maybe get the "NICE" 10 dollar chain). make sure the chainline is decent, tension is not to high; you will get thousands of trouble free miles. And when the rings finally wear; the beauty of steel is you can flip them for a second go.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    i hate to burst your bubble but your not most likely not stronger than a regular ol chain installed properly.

    i'd bet a few bucks you just need a steel cog. i bet all you chain issues were also due to that.

    aluminum cogs are stupid unless you like spending money replacing them regularly (my friend has one hanging from his mirror where he folded the teeth over). with front rings it is less important since you have more teeth but steel still lasts longer.

    i recommend buying the cheapest steel ring cog and chain you can find (well maybe get the "NICE" 10 dollar chain). make sure the chainline is decent, tension is not to high; you will get thousands of trouble free miles. And when the rings finally wear; the beauty of steel is you can flip them for a second go.
    I was joking about having top much power - surely that's obvious? I don't for a second think my power/torque is actually shearing off my cog teeth. But the advice seems to be to get a stainless cog, that is where I will head next (just take my $ already Chris King)_!

  29. #29
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    i am sure i came off as harsh; sorry. what i meant is you breaking quicklinks and your chain issues was probably the chain hitting the worn cog funny. that's usually how chains break i suspect; not from monster torque...

    if you can live with an 18t find yourself a shimano dx cog. they are under 10 bucks and indestructable. very smooth too... unless you have an aluminum freehub then go with a widebased cog.

    there are plenty of cheaper cogs out that work great. no need to spend "king" money unless you want to...

  30. #30
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    If you guys don't use quicklinks, what do you use? I have a 10spd chain with a standard QL right now.

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    I haven't had any issues with my quicklinks. I don't ride that much, but i'm an ultraclyde. I'm running a KMC nickel SS chain.
    I had one issue with an endless cog and sheared a couple teeth off, but got it replaced under warranty. I only did it for the bling factor, I have a Surly cog on my other bike.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuckyCharm4x4 View Post
    If you guys don't use quicklinks, what do you use? I have a 10spd chain with a standard QL right now.
    I've adopted a policy of replacing quick links more frequently. If you inspect the quick link, the side plates start to wear as the link ages. Worn enough to catch a fingernail = replace

  33. #33
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    Not only do I use quick links but I also reuse quick links, to a point but definitely not a 1 time use item as recommended. I have gone away from KMC chains and have settled on Sram chains as they seem to stretch less for me.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    i am sure i came off as harsh; sorry. what i meant is you breaking quicklinks and your chain issues was probably the chain hitting the worn cog funny. that's usually how chains break i suspect; not from monster torque...

    if you can live with an 18t find yourself a shimano dx cog. they are under 10 bucks and indestructable. very smooth too... unless you have an aluminum freehub then go with a widebased cog.

    there are plenty of cheaper cogs out that work great. no need to spend "king" money unless you want to...
    No worries at all - thanks for the Shimano option, I have had one in the past, but I changed it out for some reason (cannot remember why - may well have been an alloy freehub at the time). I currently swap between 16, 18 and 20T as the terrain demands, as these are the Absolute Black options, but I may go for an odd-tooth-number going forward.

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