Bike chains

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by hoangtrunglien, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. hoangtrunglien

    hoangtrunglien New Member

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    I do my best to take care of my bike. Normally, anything that breaks is usually due to some accident, not miscare. But I remember the last time I biked, the chain just broke. It wasn't rusted or old. And it was properly lubricated. So should we simply just expect the chains to suddenly break at some point?
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    How many miles was it used? How many speeds is your bike? How and where on the chain did it break?
     
  3. kopride

    kopride Member

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    get a chain gauge to check wear, or measure it pin to pin with a ruler. But yes, if your chain has lots of miles on it, it can eventually break even if its not rusted. http://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/gear/article/bicycle-chain-wear-explained-46015/

    Replace cassette and chains together. A bad cassette will wear out a chain faster and a bad chain will wear out a cassette faster. They tend to work together and conform to each others wear. I just bought a direct drive trainer and threw a new cassette on the trainer. Because my chain has some miles on it, I am going to replace the chain on my bike and the cassette on my rear. it's a relatively cheap fix on most bikes
     
  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    If you're a smooth rider, don't cross chain, and take care of chain by regularly cleaning and lubing it it should last at least 8,000 miles before it wears out, breaking a chain should be rare event, in 40 years of riding including 10 years of racing I never broke a chain, I have about 8,000 miles on my current chain and it's still checking out good.

    I disagree with changing the cassette at every chain replacement, if you maintained your stuff you shouldn't have to change the cassette except for every third chain replacement. Yes a bad cassette can wear out a chain but if you maintained the chain and gears that cassette won't go bad until the third chain has gone bad. This business of changing the cassette every time is a mantra that some LBS's preach, but it simply is not necessary. If you don't change the chain in time then it, the chain that is, will wear out the cassette; I usually change my chain when it gets to 0.75 mm over 20 half links, and usually when I get to the third chain I may let that run out to 1 mm over 20 links because I know the cassette will have to get replaced. If you wait too long and the chain starts skipping then you're going to have to replace the cassette along with the chain.

    What wears down chains and gear is minute particles of road grit and metal, if you clean your chain using something like the Park chain cleaning machine it contains a magnet in the base that attracts the metal particles so that crap is eliminated from your drive system. And wiping down your chain after each ride helps a lot, then clean and relube about every 150 miles...unless you're using some sort of wax crap based lube than you have to reapply the wax after every ride, and the chain will wear out faster with wax lubes.
     
  5. kopride

    kopride Member

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    I think Froze's advice is great if you are meticulous or even reasonably diligent about drive train maintenance. I've never had a chain brake either in 25 plus years of regular riding. I generally follow a noise and feel based guideline, which is if your drivetrain is quiet and shifting smoothly, then everything is probably ok. When stuff gets noisy or shifting becomes stickier, you need to address, first by cleaning and lube, then a gauge, then chain replacement if you've got real stretch.

    But in terms of bang for your buck, swapping the chain and cassette together is a pretty low cost high satisfaction fix. The 3-1 chain-cassette rule works for most folks. In SE PA with lots of rolling hills, rain, and road grit- means lots of shifting in gummy conditions, replacing both is about the same cost as replacing a set of tires and it feels like a new bike
     
  6. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    On my old 9 sp triple, I was getting about 6K miles per chain before hitting the dreaded 0.75% wear side of the ParkTool drop-in gauge. And I found I had to change the cassette every other chain, or roughly at 12K miles. Otherwise, the new chain would skip on the worn (6K mile) cassette when climbing out of the saddle.

    I like kopride's advice to change the cassette and change together. I tend to be a cheapskate, but if you're willing to pay for it, believe you'll get the best shifting performance and quiet operation from a new-matching chain and cassette. Also, my experience has been the new chain lasts longer with the new cassette, at least based on my records over 40K miles on the old bike. Note despite liking the idea, I always ran the cassettes for two chains.

    Also found I like to replace the chainrings at about 18K miles. When they wear, you can feel "slippage" when applying pressure on the pedal as the chain rides up off the worn cogs. That can't be good for efficiency of power transmission.

    Note I'm a fairly heavy rider at 200 lbs, and we have lots of hills here with 10% and higher gradients. Of course steep hills put a lot more load on the chain, chainrings and cogs vs. just cruising on the flats.
     
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  7. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I also get about two to three chains per cassette replacement. Most of the time when I install the third chain I put on anew cassette.

    I clean my chain weekly and usually refresh lube mid-week, depending on mileage. I rarely get more than 2500 miles out of a chain before hitting 0.75% on the Park Tool CC-3.2 Chain Checker. Only cross chain when my brain is gone from effort. I do climb a bit. Use Chorus chains lubricated with Finish Line Dry and am a light weight rider with only moderate power stats and do my best to avoid riding in the rain.
     
  8. hoangtrunglien

    hoangtrunglien New Member

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