Chain Replacement 10speed

Malte

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Sep 26, 2011
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#1
I would like to replace my >4000km 10speed chain, currently Ultegra.
What model do you recommend? What are your chain changing intervals? Haven't changed a chain for 20 years, anything new there to learn?

Thanks and Cheers,
Malte
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#2
Erm, I suppose changing intervals depend on wear; have you got a chain stretch guide?

If I was you, I would go for a Dura Ace chain. They are not that expensive, and work really nice. Might need to replace your cassette too, depending on wear.

Other people will have more knowledge on this, but that is what I would do.
 

FarEast

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#3
Actually Dura Ace due to the hollow pins wear out much quicker than the Ultegra - My recomendation is that if weight isn't an issue go for the Ultgra 10 speed chain.

Also as Owen mentioned might want to pick up a chain ware gauge as it takes the guess work out of the equation. Also if there is a lot of wear on the chain you may need to replace the cassette also.

In regards to tools you'll need a chain breaker - I found that my old one (really old one) didn't fit the 10 speed chains so I had to get a new chain breaker tool as well.
 
Jul 13, 2010
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Shinjuku
#4
My bike came with an Ultegra chain. It was at the wear limit at 4000kms. Switched to a Dura Ace chain that I just replaced with 5000-6000 kms on it.
Dura ace seems to last slightly longer but not much.

I also made another test where I kept using the same KMC quick link on two chains without issues for about 7000kms.

I don't see the logic in the Dura Ace wearing out quicker due to the hollow links?
Chain wear depends more on surface hardness ant the quality of steel used in my opinion.
 

Yamabushi

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#6
Yep, Andreas is right. The Dura-Ace CN-7901 chain or the 105 CN-5701 have been shown to outlast the Ultegra chain. I'm with Owen on this, get the Dura-Ace chain and connect with a KMC Missing Link. It couldn't be easier.

Additionally, to maximize the life of the rest of your drive train, you should be changing chains based up measured wear, colloquially, but incorrectly, called "stretch". I'd recommend the Shimano TL-CN41 Chain Wear Tool for that.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#7
colloquially, but incorrectly
Surely an Oxymoron there?

And yeah, Dura Ace chain all the way. Hardly likely that Shimano would make something more crap higher up the range. Possible to argue that they would do it to make a 'maximum performance : minimum life product', but with Dura Ace we all know that it simply is the best of both worlds.
 

Yamabushi

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#8
Surely an Oxymoron there?
No, but I'll grant that it's vaguely redundant. :p


Possible to argue that they would do it to make a 'maximum performance : minimum life product'...
The only Dura Ace products guilty of that, IMHO, are the DA cassettes. They're definitely not known for being long lived.
 

FarEast

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#9
Cheers for sharing the link guys - I actually remember reading that when it was released -LOL so god knows why I was under the impression that the Ultegra outlasted the DA.
 

GSAstuto

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#10
Yeah - the recently released DA chain is great! Unless your formerly used Ti cassette has been worn into a slightly different pattern (ask FE about mine). Anyway - if your cassette is not worn too much, then replacing the chain only will be fine. If your cassette is worn and you haven't been changing chain regularly (or at least monitoring the stretch), then putting new chain may cause some skips. I saw recently on ride one the bike's cassette (DA) was incredibly worn in 2 or 3 cogs - and the rider was experiencing chain skip quite a bit - all DA parts, mind you!

I typically change my chain 1x /yr (2 chains per year) only. And I rarely lube it. The factory lube is better than anything you can buy over the counter. Coming into winter I just degrease and boil it in wax. Then in the spring, replace with new chain - which lasts until the next winter season. The newest Shimano chains are awesome - I noticed the change early this year starting with the Ultegra versions. Now the price for DA and Ultegra is about the same - I use DA chain. The one on my bike has been there since May or June. I changed it 2 mo prior to Haute Route and probably didn't need to at all.

Oh - yeah - I also use the KMC gold link .. 'just in case'. And makes packing the bike for travel a little less dirty.
 

Malte

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Sep 26, 2011
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#11
Thanks for all the answers. I ordered the 105 because I got it for ~1800Yen at ChainReaction, as well as the tools to check stretch and a chain breaker.
What I still don't fully understand, how does this gold link work? Would I need special tools? What are pro/cons?
 

FarEast

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#12
The gold link is a slot fit - basically you don't need a chain breaker tool to install and remove the chain. You get two in pack and I keep the second in my tool back in case I break a chain while riding.

Pros- easy too install and remove for cleaning and repair
Con's - wears a little faster than a standard link
 

joewein

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#14
The gold link is a slot fit - basically you don't need a chain breaker tool to install and remove the chain.
But you still need to push the two ends of the KMC link towards each other to unlock it. What tools do you use for that?

The only times I've seen it done it was with a wire loop whose ends were twisted with a pair of pliers. What would be the proper tool?
 
May 22, 2007
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#17
What I still don't fully understand, how does this gold link work? Would I need special tools?
You don't need tools, although I recommend you lubricate the link thoroughly when you install it to make removal easier. Unlike a motorcycle O-ring chain split-link, you don't need to compress the link laterally; just assemble the two parts and then slide them 'together' in the direction of chain tension (the chain tension stops it from ever falling apart).

To disassemble, I fold the chain into a 'Z' shape at that link and, while holding it loosely between thumb and forefinger, apply tension to the chain with both hands. Two-second job.

I once had one that didn't want to come apart. Wrapped some string around the rollers and pulled them together; easy. Used more lube the next time.

One time I had a serious chain-suck incident and was facing a 20 km walk and a Train Ride of Shame. The Missing Link allowed me to remove the chain and wheel from the bike and flail them around* until they separated, much to the amazement of my riding companions. In the end, I rode another 120 km that day. (The core problem was a bent derailleur hanger - I carry a spare!)

* Don't try this at home, kids. Unless you have to.
 

Yamabushi

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#18
One time I had a serious chain-suck incident and was facing a 20 km walk and a Train Ride of Shame. The Missing Link allowed me to remove the chain and wheel from the bike and flail them around* until they separated, much to the amazement of my riding companions. In the end, I rode another 120 km that day. (The core problem was a bent derailleur hanger - I carry a spare!)

* Don't try this at home, kids. Unless you have to.
My hero! :love: