Chain Wear

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#1
I got a Park Tools chain wear gauge tool thing, its a go, no go gauge, it has two sides the 0.5 side and the 0.75 side, I guess depending on the chain maker the amount of wear allowed before replacemnt varies.

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If the tool sits right down in the chain (like in my pic above) then the chain is worn and needs to be replaced. Well that is right down, in fact it is loose in there, it rattles back and forth, and that is on the 0.75 side of the gauge, so yeah, I need a new chain :rolleyes: :eek:

Question, as this bike is a Nexus 8 hub, I don't need to shift from gear to gear on the chain ring or cog side of things, can I run a much stronger chain like you do on a fixie? Seriously this chain has been stretched for some time, I should have replaced it in maybe November, but I was busy, I did replace it at the end of August, so three months and the chain is stretched. Can I run the beefier chain for the fixies bikes? Will it fit, or would I need new chain wheels and cogs?

Cheers!
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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#3
go as heavy as you can. And then clean and lube it often, its grit and such crap that wears chains out super fast. The trouble is a worn chain can also wear out the cog and chain ring as well but for this time around just switch the chain and maybe before next winter swap out the whole drive train but like you said you're not shifting with the chain so it's less critical.
 
Jul 13, 2010
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Shinjuku
#4
I don't like those tools for measuring chain wear. Since you only measure a few links and also include the roller to pin spacing it isn't very accurate.

I prefer to measure the full chain length of the old chain compared to a new. This can sometimes give a very different result.
 

GSAstuto

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#5
I recommend the Izumi 'super toughness'. You don't need the NJS version - just the standard track version. It's 1/8" so make sure your cog / chainring are ok with that (most are). Then, for general prep, degrease it and then boil in parafine wax. Then - use a dry lube on the links - or if it's a bit noisy, then the wet lube is also ok - but wet lubes will attract a bit more gunk.
 

StuInTokyo

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#7
Thanks guys.

I put a fixie chain on the Cannondale when I modded it to run single speed, it was a LOT more robust than the 10-speed chain I have on the Mixer.

No need for the NJS chain? Good to hear, as they are EXPENSIVE :eek: I could buy three of the decent quality non-NJS chains for the price of one JIS chain. Off to Y's I go.... well maybe on Sunday, busy today with deliveries, in the micro van no less :( For some reason customers don't want their orders showing up covered in snow and road grime :rolleyes: :bike:

Cheers!
 

joewein

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#8
10-speed is the slimmest kind and hence will suffer the most wear for a given load, as the friction is concentrated on a narrower bushing than with 9 or 8 speed (or single speed / geared hub) chains.
 

FarEast

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#9
erm.... forgive me if Im wrong but even if a small portion of the chain is stretched then its still going to be out compared to a new chain and cause excellerated wear on the chain set, so even if one section is stretched it is still going to need replacing as the chain has stretched.... you do not wait until the whole chain has stretched.

So in my honest opinion the Chain Gauge is the most accurate guage for checking the chain wear.

However if you are using a "Quick link" or other removable chain link I highly recommend that you measure a section of chain that includes this link as some do wear out much faster than a standard chain link. So it might be that you only need to replace the "Quick link" rather than the chain.

Also after some research these tools are designed to take in to account roller to pin spacing these actually are very accurate.
 
Jul 13, 2010
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Shinjuku
#10
erm.... forgive me if Im wrong but even if a small portion of the chain is stretched then its still going to be out compared to a new chain and cause excellerated wear on the chain set, so even if one section is stretched it is still going to need replacing as the chain has stretched.... you do not wait until the whole chain has stretch
I think it is safe to say that the wear will be uniform along the full length of the chain.
the point of measuring a longer section is that it will be more accurate.

A measurement done over just a short section against the rollers of the chain will be the least accurate method.

The important thing is the increased link to link pitch. this is what will kill your sprockets. A loose fitting roller (that will add to the pitch measurement of you include it) will not add to the actual pitch length.
 

GSAstuto

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#11
Bike chains are exactly 1 inch pitch. Use a ruler and measure out . No need for expensive tools, just a US STANDARD inch ruler! The longer reach you measure the more apparent any stretch will be. However if you have a out of round chainring and even gearing, you're likely to wear more in a single section. So measure your chain in a couple locations just to make sure.
 

StuInTokyo

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#12
I just wanted a go no-go gauge, the Park tool works very well for this, I know a rule works well too but this is dead easy to use.

I got the Izumi chain, cheap too, 1115 yen, about half the price of a 10 speed chain!

Cheers!
 

StuInTokyo

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#13
OK here is a side by side comparison of the old and new chains....

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... same number of links. I guess the old one is a bit stretched eh?

Three months! I think the new Izumi chain should last longer, it sure is a lot stouter!
 

m o b

Speeding Up
Jun 22, 2008
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#14
Correct Chain Wear Measurement

Here is a long article which describes in great and sometimes unneccesary detail why all chain measurement tools come to wrong results:

http://pardo.net/bike/pic/fail-004/000.html

The nasty truth: roller wear must also be considered.

But I wonder if the solution isn't very simple: As Tim wrote the center to center distance bewteen two pins is 1/2 inch. This is true for all bicycle chains regardless if they are not geared, geared or how much gears they have.

So remove the chain from the bike and measure the actual length from the first to the last pin (in inch). Then multiply the number of links by 1/2 inch. Divide the actual measurement (bigger) by the second number (smaller) and substract 1 and multiply by 100 (%). That would give you the average stretch in % over the full length of the chain in percentage.

According to most manufacturers one should exchange a chain if the stretch is more than 0.5% or 0.75%. Ready.

If your bike is set-up for a 3/32 (width) chain and you use 1/8 chain that would certainly have an impact on the stretch over time. My guess would be that not only the bushings are longer but also that the plates of the links are thicker. Thicker plates mean more section and more section means, when the same tension is applied, less stress. Less stress means that the lnks are less subjected to stretch over time.

On the other hand, as 1/8 and 3/32 are the internal width of a chain, i.e. where the sprocket teeth fits in, I wonder if because there is more tolerance, that would cause more roller wear. But this might be only a theoretical thought without practical impact.

So in the end, after a lot of thinking and tinkering you will need to test the setup in the field.
 

Desune

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May 7, 2008
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#15
I used to use an inch ruler, but it was messy and slow, and less accurate because it relied on visual accuracy and determination.

Measuring the full length against a new chain would probably be best, but that requires taking it off the bike; again messy and time consuming.

My drivetrain gradually becomes noisy and fussy about shifting when the chain stretches, but I also use the Park Tools CC-3 pictured above to check just to be sure it isn't something else. I think it works just fine (at least for me). It's quick and it either fits or it doesn't; no guesswork. Perhaps not THE most accurate, but I think there is enough tolerance in the drivetrain that it doesn't matter that much...especially if you don't mind taking a few extra seconds to measure in a few extra places along the chain.
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#16
I used to use an inch ruler, but it was messy and slow, and less accurate because it relied on visual accuracy and determination.

Measuring the full length against a new chain would probably be best, but that requires taking it off the bike; again messy and time consuming.

My drivetrain gradually becomes noisy and fussy about shifting when the chain stretches, but I also use the Park Tools CC-3 pictured above to check just to be sure it isn't something else. I think it works just fine (at least for me). It's quick and it either fits or it doesn't; no guesswork. Perhaps not THE most accurate, but I think there is enough tolerance in the drivetrain that it doesn't matter that much...especially if you don't mind taking a few extra seconds to measure in a few extra places along the chain.
Basically that is how it works for me, if my chain is badly obviously worn, then the chain tool will tell me quickly, besides, the chain is not that expensive!
 

snoogly

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#17
OK here is a side by side comparison of the old and new chains....

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... same number of links. I guess the old one is a bit stretched eh?

Three months! I think the new Izumi chain should last longer, it sure is a lot stouter!
For the izumi chain, which 'missing link' would one use? (there seem to be different sizes of missing links)
 

GSAstuto

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#18
I wouldn't use missing link unless you need to. They are handy for field service, but track chain can be broken and re pinned on any link. You don't need to use the special pins like shimano, which make it a bt more convenient to use the KMC links.
 
Oct 15, 2010
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#19
That Izumi chain is a beast. The pins don't look uniform at all. Pushing them out and putting them back in looks like it would be much more difficult than the Shimano or the KMC chains that I use...
 

andywood

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#20
I always find the best way to recognise chain wear is in gear changing on the back cassette. Often fine moving up but sluggish going down.

My chain is in a right state at the moment. Haven't bothered changing it as I'm stuck in one gear on the rollers. Nothing like rollers to stretch your parts (like tyres) to the limit of use. However, I should change it as it will gradually wear down my almost new dura ace cassette.....

Note to self.

Andy

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