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Posts [ 16 ]

1  - 7 April 2008 21:57

HI all,

I've had my new bike since last October and it's done about 500 miles now.

I was thinking of getting a chain checker to test the stretch, but would it be better to get new chain to be on the safe side?

Think i may book it into LBS but they may want to replace cassette too?

MInd it's changing cogs lovely at the mo.

So how many times would people change chains during a season?

THanks and sorry for all the questions.

2  - 7 April 2008 22:04

i change it about every 6months and if you change your chain change your cog aswell otherwise it will be jumping all over the place

3  - 7 April 2008 22:17

My chain and rear cassette is 6 months old now, but it's running as smooth as can be!

Is it abit extravegant to change it when it's running and changing well?

Maybe the chain checker tool will show up stretch.

What sort of ££ is it for chain and rear cassette?


4  - 7 April 2008 22:39

I'd definitely recommend the Park chain measurement device, at only £7 or so.  My chain's just reached 0.75% stretch after 14 months' use and is about to be replaced.

I'd rather occasionally spend £14 on a new chain (following Park's instructions) and minimise drivetrain wear than spend far more in one go replacing chainrings, chain, cassette and jockey wheels because they are all worn.

Your shifting can still be fine with a worn chain etc. but as endurochaz says, if you replace the chain but keep using very worn chainrings etc., the shifting may be affected.

As for everything else, chain and cassette prices vary with quality, but for example off the top of my head, the SRAM PC991 hollow pin chain is about £35, and a PG990 cassette around £50 or so.  Equivalent Shimano prices will be lower than these, I expect.

5  - 8 April 2008 07:43

Has Eldrik says a chain measurement device is the way to go, and really easy to use. if you don't have on I think 12 links should be 12" from center of pin to center of pin, so you can work out wear that way! also another quick way is put chain on big ring and then try and pull chain away and if you start seeing 3to4 gaps between chain and the chain ring teeth, it be getting there.

also you got to remember that the chain is desgined to WEAR quicker than other parts of the drive chain! (and how quick depends on type of mud you ride in, and how clean you keep you drive chain)
So i tend to keep on top of the chain, replaceing it more oftern.
oh one more thing you also bare in mind the side to side wear on the chain, face the pins up/down to the ground, and then bend the chain,(over 12 or more links) new chain you get a bit of a bend, worn lots! but might not show it is worn lenght ways, replacing it like this also well help shifting (as chain is forced into gear my side to side movement)

so get you tape measure out!


Last edited by MTB Rob (8 April 2008 07:46)

6  - 8 April 2008 22:08

Ahhh cheers for that everyone.

So to clear things up if i get the chain checker which i will tomorrow and it is 0.75 worn and not on the 1 mm wear mark the chain is ok so no need to change?

And if i check it and it is stretched say to the 1mm marker as i think there are 2 on the checker? it need s replacing but i surely shouldn't need to replace the rear cassette like bike shop suggests as it's 6 months old and i ain't an animal on the bike, as i can imagine the chain would wear but the cassette must be tougher to last more than one chain?

So if say in 12 months or so and the chain is worn then maybe do chain and cassette.

Don't want to waste money and i think the chain checker would be a good investment.

Do you guys take spare gear cables etc to events?

I was planning on taking spare sets of pads tie wraps lots of tubes chain tool and spare links and spare set of tyres for mud.

With the bike only being 6 month old and doing the event in a team it won't be getting as much hammer as if i did solo.

Just wondered what spares back up people take.

We have a friend that's coming along to help in the pits etc with bike knowledge.


7  - 8 April 2008 22:26

320DMsport - if I remember rightly, the Park device does not show 0.75mm or 1mm of chain wear, but 0.75% or 1% chain stretch, i.e. wear. 

I think Park recommend definitely changing the chain once it is 1% stretched, and possibly earlier than that when it is only 0.75% longer.  I've just changed mine at 0.75% anyway as a £14 chain now seems better value than saving the chain until 1% and then maybe needing new cassette etc. too.

I'd certainly bring spare pads, zie ties, tubes and mud tyres, and also make sure your bike and those of your team mates are working 100% or very close to that before the race. 

You'll have enough to think about without wanting to worry about 'that clicking noise' etc. wink

8  - 8 April 2008 23:27

Oh i hate clicking noises but my bike is fairly smooth at the mo!

Sorry knew it had 0.75 and 1 on the checker just couldn't recall what measurement it was when i had a glance at one in the shop!

I tend to look after my bike so hopefully my team mate have theirs sorted too!

I'll get a checker tomorrow and see what state the chain is and get one on if needed.

Ill be worrying about all the people passing me when i'm out there! :-)

9  - 9 April 2008 07:45


You need to check it after every muddy ride really on an MTB.  On a road bike every year nd on a commuter once a month.

I can go through a chain on my MTB in winter every 500 miles.  Cassettes depend on how quick you catch the chain.  If it's caught early at .75 you'll be able to keep the cassette otherwise if it's at 1 then it's time for a new cassette and maybe a new middle and granny cog.  If you've got a powerlink check that as it's the part of the chain that wears fastest (SRAM) this will ensure you won't have to keep buying cassettes.  But the park tool and at the same time you can get 3x lots of chain from CRC for £30.

10  - 9 April 2008 11:44

"If you've got a powerlink check that as it's the part of the chain that wears fastest (SRAM)"

based on what ?

11  - 9 April 2008 12:24

Don't forget to take a spare rear mech hanger. It's easy to bend or break it when you fall off.
It is also easy to fix between laps in a relay event.

12  - 9 April 2008 17:00

Based on the last dozen or so powerlink equiped chains I've replaced. 

Whenever I measure a worn chain the wear is greater when the powerlink is part of the measurent.  i.e. I'll allways be able to measure .75 wear on that part before the rest of the chain.  Don't know why; don't really care that's just been my experience.

Don't forget to visually check all the pins on the chain also: I allways check all the pins are in right before a race as they can come out (really unlikely though).   SRAM chains are easier to split / join generally as Shimano ones need a special joining pin which you surely won't be able to find when you need it. 

Usefull if you mangle your chain in a muddy race after a chainsuck incident and need to remove some links. 

Also if you wrap your chain round the cassette the powerlinks quite handy for spliting the chain   and removing it from your wheel.  Again this has only happened to me once but the powerlink was super handy when it did.

13  - 9 April 2008 21:48

dont know why that is then cause there aint very much wear occurs on the "pins" which power links are made from its mostly in the rollers

oh well

14  - 11 April 2008 07:16

Got a chain checker and as i thought the chain isn't worn 0.75 yet so as it's 6 month old i won't bother changing it.

So as a example my old hard tail that has been neglected and is 5 years old and on it's original chain and that still hasn't stretched 0.75 either! So would you change sometime because of age rather than stretch?

I suppose once a year is cheap enough even if it hadn't stretched, i must have legs like pipe cleaners to not stretch a chain in 5 years although it didn't get much use!

15  - 11 April 2008 12:40

I'm not sure chains actually stretch - they just wear out causing the pins to become a smaller diameter - and thus there's a greater distance between the pins...  You can run chains for ages - they only need changing when the gear shift becomes rubbish - normally after 9 months or so of hard use (if you clean and relube after every ride).  I do a lot of mtbing and get a year out of mine.  So there you go - don't change it till your gear changes are rubbish (and before it snaps!)

16  - 11 April 2008 17:59

Yes i'll do that and hope i do it before it snaps hehe.

I clean and re lube after every ride so it's always nice and clean and i'll keep a eye on it with the checker.

Cheers folks.

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