How many miles should chain ring last?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by tjonz, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. tjonz

    tjonz New Member

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    I know that the answers to this question will be extremely variable due to riding conditions, chain condition, etc but I have never ridden a bike for this many miles since I was a youngster. When I was 10 - 14 I couldn't care less about bike condition. I just hopped on and rode. I purchased my Felt F75 in March of 2010 and have currently ridden it 3400 miles. I replaced the factory chain with a new one at 3000 miles. My Park chain gauge told me it was time. I checked the rear cogs for wear and really didn't notice much at that time. The other day while adjusting my front deraileur I noticed on the big chain ring the beginnings of the "shark tooth" wear on the teeth. Not affecting performance yet but I just didn't know if this should be normal for the miles on the drive train. The crank is Shimano 105 compact 50/34. It is the stock component that Felt put on it.

    Like I mentioned above, I have no past experience to judge how long a chain ring should last. I want to ride this steed for another year or two. If I upgraded crank/chainrings to Ultegra would effective service life increase or remain about the same?

    Your input would be greatly appreciated.

    Tony J
     
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  2. Lewie

    Lewie New Member

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    I have heard that with the narrow chains required by 10-cog rear clusters, chain life is much less. I have replaced the last two chains at about 2,000 miles. I leave the decision to my LBS. Kind of a double wammy: not only do I have to replace the chain more often, but the chains are also more expensive than they used to be with 6 and 7 cog clusters. Oh well. I do not believe I helped you much, since I believe that you are more knowledgeable than I am; I do not even have a tool to measure the chain.

    Lew
     
  3. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Your chain ring should be OK at 3400 miles. You may be seeing the normal profile of the chain wheel and mistaking it for wear. Keep in mind that the chain wheel has a varing tooth profile that allows for the chain to shift freely on and off the chain wheel. If you think your wear is more than normal post a picture of it.
    As far as how long it should last. With proper maintenance and regular chain replacements the 105 chain wheel could very likely out live your riding years.
     
  4. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I personally think one can last 10000 miles if it is taken care of(cleaned , lubed) and your climate and conditions are not too harsh.
     
  5. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    FWIW, my 1964 Paramount still has the original chain rings on it, and they still work great. It's got many thousands of miles on it.......
     
  6. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    My FSA Team Carbon rings were showing some wear @ 18K miles based on the amount of "slop" or freeplay between the chain and the ring. When holding the rear wheel (so the chain couldn't move) and pushed down on a crankarm, the chain would "climb" up the teeth, allowing the crankarm to move a few degrees. Also, when pushing down on the crankarm (tension on the top of the chain), the chain could be easily pulled off the ring about 1/4 of the way around the ring, meaning that only a few chainring teeth were carrying the load.

    The chain wasn't skipping, but it seemed louder than new and a bit rougher under load. Plus, I figured that I was losing a small percent of efficiency due to the "wasted motion" of the crankarms as load was applied on each downstroke. Replacing the chainrings brought back that "new drivetrain" feel. The cost for my triple FSA rings was $100, about the same as a new Ultegra cassette.
     
  7. tjonz

    tjonz New Member

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    Thanks for the input everybody. I will look more closely at it next time I have it up on the repair stand and post a picture if I have any additional concerns.

    Tony J.
     
  8. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    I had an $80 Walmart bike and did over 5000 miles with no problems or even
    any sign of wear. I cleaned and lubed once a week. I have a chain gauge and
    it showed no wear at all.

    With care, they should last a long long time. Clean is the key word I think....
     
  9. john gault

    john gault New Member

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    I've often wondered this same question, sort of like the question: "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop"/img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

    Of all the bikes I've had I have never worn-out the Chain Ring and my bikes all had over 10,000 miles. I just bought a new bike before it wore out, sort of like bitting into a tootsie pop before getting to the center./img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif

    My current bike has ~18,000 miles and I've been trying to resist buying a new one just so I can see how long the chain ring lasts...but no promises/img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
  10. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    John, apparently you and I define "worn out" differently. I'll guarantee that your chainring at 18K miles has experienced some wear. It may look fine, and not skip, but when a new chain is running on it, the fit won't be optimal, ie, the chain will try to climb up the cogs under load, and only the first few links at the top will be carrying most of the load.

    Since I'm critical of drivetrain noise and efficiency, I don't want the lost motion and extra friction that the misfit causes. Sure, it may only be an extra 1% power loss, but my thinking is that I bought a fairly-expensive bike to realize that kind of small improvement in efficiency. No point in losing any more power than necessary due to worn chainrings (or chain or cassette).
     
  11. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Unless you have been attacking your chain ring with a file, it should not be worn out after 3400 miles. The "shark tooth" appearance is most likely the normal appearance of the teeth. The teeth of multiple speed bikes are specially designed so that the chain will easily move from one chainring to the other to facilitate shifting. If you look closely you will probably see that most of the teeth are not identical and some may even look like they are twisted a little. The inside of the big ring might also have little knobs referred to as pins, and larger raised surfaces called ramps that help in shifting. When the chain is pushed against the pins, they grab the chain and pull it up and then the ramps direct it to the top of the chainring. These innovations were not that important on standard cranksets, but are absolutely necessary for the large jumps on a compact crankset.
     
  12. Lewie

    Lewie New Member

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    Sorry about my earlier post. I read chain ring but thought chain. I have a 53 chain ring with 28,000 miles on it that still works fine. I did replace my smaller chain ring a 45, at about 20,000 miles, but not because of wear, but because of the age of the legs; I needed a smaller chain ring. I have another bike with compact gearing. The chain rings have 3,000 miles on them. They show wear, but the LBS says that they are fine.

    Sick of the snow in midwest Illinois! want to be riding.

    Lew
     
  13. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I sympathize with you Lew. I too would like to be wearing my chainrings outdoors but the nasty white stuff is putting that on hold for now. How is that for not really going off topic but taking the thread in a completely different direction? Sorry/img/vbsmilies/smilies/redface.gif.
     
  14. john gault

    john gault New Member

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    28,000 miles...oh crap I'm gonna have to get another bike/img/vbsmilies/smilies/ROTF.gif
     
  15. tjonz

    tjonz New Member

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    I second the desire to get outside and ride! I'm in East Central Illinois and we've seen our share of snow/ice lately. I think it was the last Sunday in November when I last was out on the road. Been putting in many long hours on the drainer trying to expand my aerobic base for next years riding. No competition for this old fart but just challenging myself and maybe ride in the Decatur Time Trials a few times this summer.

    T.
     
  16. frankiemuniz01

    frankiemuniz01 New Member

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    Just wondering how many of you carry a gun as part of your cycling equipment? Here in Arizona we can legally carry open and concealed (concealed with permit).

    For long distance touring and bicycle camping... I think I'd feel safer carrying my .45 semi-auto pistol (concealed so it doesn't freak people out).

    Anyone else carry while biking?
     
  17. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Wrong thread Frankie!
     
  18. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    Frankie seems to be busy spreading his question across several threads....

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/ROTF.gif
     
  19. Scott2468

    Scott2468 Member

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    I reckon longer.

    I know I leave my chain on way too long but I get get 10 000km. In saying this, I clean and lube it regularly.

    I replace my cassette every second chain.

    I replace my chain rings every second cassette.
     
  20. magill

    magill New Member

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    I have about 4500 miles on a 2012 Trek 4.5 with 105 crankset. I ride roughly 60-100 miles/week (just purchased the bike Christmas of 2012). I replaced the chain and rear cassette @ 4000 miles (chain wear tool was up to .75 and I wanted a different ratio in the rear 11-28 instead of the Tiagra 12-30 it came with).

    I live in north GA and have a lot of hills and my fitness level is taking a long time to get back up there so I spend a lot of time in 1st on the back and in the big ring up front (50/34). I have noticed in the last month while on the big ring it makes more noise than it used to unless you are in 4th gear or higher in the back.

    I try to lube the chain every other week or so (~200 miles, if I don't it makes noise) -- wile looking at it outside yesterday I noticed just how worn the large ring is (all teeth are sharp on the ends not flat, various wear patterns etc.). In my rides this weekend I used the small ring anytime I could not keep it quite on the front, I was having a VERY nice quite weekend in the N. GA mountains and did not want tot listen to the incessant clatter (which is a minor to moderate ticking).

    The person who has the old 53T with no wear, they used to be steel, now they are the cheapest aluminum they can get, riding against a steel chain, and I fear my constant cross chaining has shortened the life of this chain ring. If I lived in flat country or was a stronger rider I could easily see 10K miles being the norm.

    And as for Frankie (yes I know wrong form). I carry a S&W Body Guard 380 for Dogs and Rednecks a like (concealed with a permit).

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
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