bicycle chain efficiency

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by vlad, Nov 30, 2003.

  1. vlad

    vlad New Member

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  2. Alnamvet

    Alnamvet New Member

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  3. jmitting

    jmitting New Member

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    Very cool report, makes a valid point. What is the real efficiency (average) of a chain drive in real use? Back in the 1890's there were shaft driven bikes, there have probably been many since is weight there only penalty?:)
     
  4. cachehiker

    cachehiker New Member

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    the chain matters ... period. it matters a whole lot more than a lot of people would like to think.

    as one with a reputation for being a little too proactive with maintenance at times, i put off replacing a chain that didn't show much elongation until the riding season was almost over. i finally got sick of lubing it to keep it from squeaking and OMG! what a difference! i swear that replacing it had me riding an entire gear higher.

    disassembling several links in the old chain revealed a little rust on the pins and plates but i never would have believed it mattered as much as it did until i experienced the difference first hand.
     
  5. Alnamvet

    Alnamvet New Member

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    Point taken....I never worry about chain maintenance since it's cheap enough to replace after a year or so. My daughter's Schwinn Factory has the original chain since I bought the bike back in '99, and though some rust is apparent, it has never failed her. I do plan to change the chain this weekend, though, since jeeezzzuz, enuf is enuf; she keeps up the rest of the bike, and it still looks new, but that chain has got to go.;)
     
  6. Hecubus

    Hecubus New Member

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    There was a study with motorcycles that showed a clean lubed chain provided 15% more horsepower when compared to the same bike with a dirty chain. While I doubt you will be 15% faster with a clean chain I'm sure it surely helps ;) That said its probably a good idea to keep chain clean and replace it every so often. I usually clean them about every week depending on conditions and right after a ride if its very wet and muddy. Once you let that mud dry in the links its a pain a nearly impossible to clean out completely afterwards. I'll usually replace them every 4-6 months depending on mileage since it is so cheap. Nothing keeps a chain shifting smooth and extends the life of your chainrings like a nice new chain.
     
  7. pauls

    pauls New Member

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    I can easily get another 8-10 mph on the flat on a properly cleaned and lubed chain/gear set compared to the ride just before cleaning, also for a set ride I feel less tired afterwards. It does make a LOT of difference.
     
  8. cachehiker

    cachehiker New Member

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    I've decided I really like these SRAM PC-68 and PC-69 chains. They don't shift quite as well as the Shimano chains I've used but the nickel? plating on them seems to make it really easy to keep clean. After the cables ceased stretching, I haven't had a single ghost shift either. The little Powerlinks are an awesome emergency repair item to stash in the seat bag, and many of the reviews on mtbr also make it sound as if their chains are a bit stronger than Shimano's too.

    It was actually a couple of cheaper ZMC chains that I replaced. They both started looking totally grimy only a few months after I put them on. Neither showed much elongation, ~0.2-0.3%, and only one of them had a tendency to squeak. Replacing the squeaky one made such a dramatic difference that I replaced the chain on my old Bianchi hybrid as well. They are the only item recommended by and purchased from my preferred LBS that I have not been happy with.

    Does anybody else out there have a favorite chain or an opinion regarding the above chains?
     
  9. Hecubus

    Hecubus New Member

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    I've used most chains but my favorite still remains the xtr/dura-ace. It is cheaper than the sram chains, only 2 or 3 dollars more expensive than lower end shimano chains and has the best shifting performance. They are also by far the most rust proof I have ever tried. The drawback is they do seem to wear out a bit quicker. The SRAM plates seem to be thicker and last longer but as a result the shifting isn't as quick and quiet.
    I live directly in front of the ocean and my daily rides go along coast line with salty winds. Trust me when I say I get to a very good idea of what corrodes easily and what doesn't. SRAM chains rust REALLY fast, particularly the models below the PC-99. The lower end shimano chains tend to rust relatively fast but I have left XTR chains hanging around for months and they are still rust free. It seems they have the best nickel plating of all.
    I have to admit I do use a powerlink on dura ace chains on some of my bikes and have never had a problem with it. I also carry a spare one when riding so I can easily fix a broken chain.
     
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