How often do you change your chain?

Aguila
Aguila Posts: 622
edited January 2017 in Commuting chat
The titile says it all really.

Reason for asking is that I recently had my main commuting bike serviced and it needed both the chain and cassette changing due to the chain stretch. I'd done about 4000 miles last 12 months and had changed the chain myself at about 2000 miles. Now i'm wondering if I should change more often. I dont want to be forking out for new cassettes every year!
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Comments

  • il_principe
    il_principe Posts: 9,155
    I change mine to often, but then I am a tart. Buy one of these, use it.

    http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=T0038

    Simples.
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,052
    Get a chain wear tool

    FACT :D
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  • Soul Boy
    Soul Boy Posts: 359
    Yup, get a chain checker and change it when its needed.....

    I find I usually get 2 x chains per cassette.
  • mudcovered
    mudcovered Posts: 725
    Aguila wrote:
    The titile says it all really.

    Reason for asking is that I recently had my main commuting bike serviced and it needed both the chain and cassette changing due to the chain stretch. I'd done about 4000 miles last 12 months and had changed the chain myself at about 2000 miles. Now i'm wondering if I should change more often. I dont want to be forking out for new cassettes every year!

    Well if you haven't replaced it yet just keep it on the bike until it breaks or until the shifting gets dodgy. Once the damage is done it you might as well run it into the ground. :)

    While I clean my chain regularly (every couple of weeks) I don't normally bother to do the length check as based on all the stuff I've read I get as much life out of one chain and one cassette as people that end up using several chains on a single cassette. I also suspect that with the amount of dust and grit that gets into a chain riding off road I'd be replacing the chain every month. :shock:

    My record is 10000 miles (7spd MTB) That chain never broke but it was pretty much falling apart when I replaced it. Although I only got 3000 out of my last 10spd chain. (CX with regular off road use in the wet) before it broke.

    Mike
  • Aguila
    Aguila Posts: 622
    Fair dos, just orderred a checking tool. Was interested to hear what was an average mileage too though, I had thought that 1.5 to 2k miles would be well within safe distance.
  • vorsprung
    vorsprung Posts: 1,953
    best bike has two stainless steel chains which I rotate between every 1000km
    so I should get double the mileage out of the relatively expensive campag cassette

    Single Speed commuter has old 8 speed chains. I saved them when they were worn out once on the old 8 speed bike. Now they get worn out again on the single speed. The single speed is less fussy than a bike with gears. Eventually the chain stretches so much I can't move the wheel back enough to get tension. Then I have to bin it
  • lost_in_thought
    lost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Does the checking tool work with half-link chains too?
  • Jamey
    Jamey Posts: 2,152
    If they're exactly half then I see no reason why it shouldn't.
  • DomPro
    DomPro Posts: 321
    I got 2000 miles out of my last HG53 chain until a link broke. I expect the rest of the chain is ok apart from the broken link but I got a new chain anyway. Cassette and chainrings didn't need replacing :)
    Shazam !!
  • MrChuck
    MrChuck Posts: 1,663
    There are a lot of variables that make it hard to say a chain should last x number of miles, mostly weather and terrain- things like wet grit can really hasten their demise.

    +1 for getting a chain checker and just keeping an eye on it and keeping everything nice and clean (easier said than done through winter I know).
  • gtvlusso
    gtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    I am on 7000 miles/2 years on my Ultegra chain or thereabouts.....My fixie chain is a BMX one, has lasted about a year so far, maybe 3000 miles +.

    Regularly clean and lube and all is good.

    Probably due for a change before winter.
  • salsajake
    salsajake Posts: 702
    Does the checking tool work with half-link chains too?

    with a what what? What's one of them?
  • lost_in_thought
    lost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    salsajake wrote:
    Does the checking tool work with half-link chains too?

    with a what what? What's one of them?

    It's a chain made of half-links:

    charge-masher-half-link-chain.jpg
  • salsajake
    salsajake Posts: 702
    salsajake wrote:
    Does the checking tool work with half-link chains too?

    with a what what? What's one of them?

    It's a chain made of half-links:

    charge-masher-half-link-chain.jpg

    why does such a thing exist?
  • lost_in_thought
    lost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    salsajake wrote:
    salsajake wrote:
    Does the checking tool work with half-link chains too?

    with a what what? What's one of them?

    It's a chain made of half-links:

    charge-masher-half-link-chain.jpg

    why does such a thing exist?

    Well, I was led to believe that they're stronger, last longer, and run smoother on a FG.

    I definitely agree with the 'run smoother' but can't really comment on the other two.
  • salsajake
    salsajake Posts: 702
    funnily enough I just bought a chain measuring tool today, have had one on order online for 3 months and it never came in stock so they cancelled my order and I got one from evans instead. I hardly dare drop it in for fear of the result being an entire new drivetrain. Still, good reason to get rid of the OE FSA crankset
  • ride_whenever
    ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    All the above reasons are rubbish, halflinks exist because they look freaky...

    Only the pretty expensive 1/2link chains are any good. They've also got more metal so they will take hits without bending better. I'm not sure it's an inheritantly stronger design though.
  • salsajake
    salsajake Posts: 702
    All the above reasons are rubbish, halflinks exist because they look freaky...

    Only the pretty expensive 1/2link chains are any good. They've also got more metal so they will take hits without bending better. I'm not sure it's an inheritantly stronger design though.

    The only chain I have ever snapped was the OE one on my Kona Jake - a basic shimano one. It snapped when I raced a Hayabusa away from the lights for the 2nd day in a row. I beat him to about 3 bike lengths the first day, the second day I nearly lost my manhood.

    I normally run 9 speed SRAM chains and have never had a problem with them.
  • always_tyred
    always_tyred Posts: 4,965
    It depends how hard I flush.


    (Gets coat.....)
  • I just had a funny thing happen. I replaced my chain 1035km ago.. Exactly so many km's. And today I as I was I in the middle of a sprint the chain broke and I came off and lost some skin and got pretty banged up.

    Am I correct in saying that 1 000km is too soon for a new chain to break? It is not a cheap junk chain. It is an expensive one from a very reputable brand. So I don't know why it would break like that.

    I clean my chain every two weeks and clean the cassette thoroughly as well every two weeks. Or after a wet ride I will also clean it thoroughly. So it has been well looked after.

    I sprint a few times every ride so I don't know if that could contribute to it breaking so quickly. I got 5 000km from my previous chain and it never broke. And I also sprinted that much on that chain. So I don't know.

    Any ideas what went wrong? Anything I am doing wrong?
  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    8 year thread resurrection. Is that some sort of a record?

    Depends what cleaning entails, and how you lube it, and how and where you ride.

    I never actually clean chains, just as and when I clean the bike, then use a wax based lube (Squirt in my case).
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  • bigmat
    bigmat Posts: 5,134
    I suspect you are cleaning it too often, which is causing premature wear. Mine get cleaned every 6 months whether they need it or not and generally last a lot longer than that.
  • rower63
    rower63 Posts: 1,991
    MozBiker wrote:
    ...Am I correct in saying that 1 000km is too soon for a new chain to break? ...?
    A chain should never break. The normal sign that a chain (and cassette and maybe chainring) has reached beyond the end of its life is that it skips teeth, making the bike unrideable.

    If a chain parts spontaneously, it's often because a side-plate has been bent during pin attachment or removal. Cheapo chain-breaking tools can do this.
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  • bigmat
    bigmat Posts: 5,134
    rower63 wrote:
    MozBiker wrote:
    ...Am I correct in saying that 1 000km is too soon for a new chain to break? ...?
    A chain should never break. The normal sign that a chain (and cassette and maybe chainring) has reached beyond the end of its life is that it skips teeth, making the bike unrideable.

    If a chain parts spontaneously, it's often because a side-plate has been bent during pin attachment or removal. Cheapo chain-breaking tools can do this.

    I'm not convinced about this. I have broken a few chains over the years. They have been fitted with missing link type links, and the breaks have been elsewhere i.e. links that have never had a tool anywhere near them. I think chains will have inherent weaknesses and if you put enough power through them there is always a risk they will break. I suspect wear increases the risk, although it could just be one of those things.
  • MozBiker wrote:
    I just had a funny thing happen. I replaced my chain 1035km ago.. Exactly so many km's. And today I as I was I in the middle of a sprint the chain broke and I came off and lost some skin and got pretty banged up.

    Am I correct in saying that 1 000km is too soon for a new chain to break? It is not a cheap junk chain. It is an expensive one from a very reputable brand. So I don't know why it would break like that.

    I clean my chain every two weeks and clean the cassette thoroughly as well every two weeks. Or after a wet ride I will also clean it thoroughly. So it has been well looked after.

    I sprint a few times every ride so I don't know if that could contribute to it breaking so quickly. I got 5 000km from my previous chain and it never broke. And I also sprinted that much on that chain. So I don't know.

    Any ideas what went wrong? Anything I am doing wrong?

    Some chains are better than others but and some folks are less mechanically sensitive. but to be honest its more likely just be one of those things, I've worn a chain in under 500 miles on the CX bike, with lots of muddy rides, and less than perfect cleaning, The MTB gets cleaned with unicorn tears and such, chain is showing very little wear after 700 miles and steep/muddy/high torque rides.

    The old MTB I use for commuting had 3x9 across gravel/mud in Bushy Park never got more than 1000 miles before the chain was trashed, changed to 1x9 thus far up to 900 miles and it's not looking to bad.
  • 500 miles! Good grief. I run all of my chains for 1000s of miles (I think I did 5000 on my last CX chain). My cleaning regime is as follows:

    1. Oil chain after it gets wet or if the chain looks unlubricated.
    2. Clean it when the amount of crud on it interferes with shifting (2-3 month interval minimum)

    When I replace the chain I do have to replace the cassette but in my experience unless you are super-paranoid about chain wear checking that's innevitable and replacing a cassette and chain after 5000 miles is still a lot cheaper than the number of chains I'd need if I did them even every 1000 miles!

    Most of my chains show significant bushing wear when I replace them (I've even worn them through but I do try and get it replaced before that point).

    Only shift issues I suffer in this regime is when the chain is covered in dirt or if the shift cable needs replacing. I've never experienced chain skip even when things are ridiculously worn(maybe I don't generate enough power ;) ).

    Mike
  • fat daddy
    fat daddy Posts: 2,605
    hmmm, this reminds me, last year my MTB chain separated under load, one of the links opened up and chain came undone .. still had the pin in it though ... so I managed to squeeze it back together with 2 small stones and when the pin was lined up layed the bike so the chain was resting on a rock and hit the chain with a smaller rock until the pin was driven back in place.

    must replace the chain !
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,711
    Get a gauge. Basing use on kms is meaningless.
    Some pootle, some put out 800 watts. Clean conditions, or grimy conditions. Etc, etc...
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
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  • PBlakeney wrote:
    Get a gauge. Basing use on kms is meaningless.
    Some pootle, some put out 800 watts. Clean conditions, or grimy conditions. Etc, etc...

    I have a gauge. It reports chain worn after about 500-1000 miles. I ignore it and carry on for another 4500miles.

    Mike