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Chains

Swift3269Swift3269 Posts: 27
edited November 2013 in MTB beginners
Again sorry if this has been asked before or may seem a stupid question but are the chains that come on bikes from the shop suitable, just looking at shops and gloves and stuff I see chains for sale so makes me think that I should change mine, can anyone shed any light please
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  • mcnultycopmcnultycop Posts: 2,143
    Is there anything wrong with your current chain?
  • Antm81Antm81 Posts: 1,406
    A chain is a wear and tear part, along with the rear cassette and the front chain rings, until you have problems there's no need to change
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    Buy yourself a chain wear indicator tool, use that to see if your chain has stretched, if it has change it for the same or better, if it's still inside the limits check every so often but make sure you do replace it when it's needed or it will cost you a cassette and chainrings as well.
  • booldawgbooldawg Posts: 290
    Theres a chain wear indicator you can buy; shows how stretched your chain is.

    I organise ride outs every week with a group of MTBers. Snapped chains tends to be the most popular breakdown.

    LBS told me you need to replace your chain every 3 months. I guess it depends on usage more than anything else. I tend to change every year (which equates to about 2,500 miles). Also depends how sympathetically you ride; changing gear under duress and standing up on the pedals whilst climbing puts extra pressure on the drive-train.

    Most chain snaps I have seen have been under the above conditions. And we've seen a few!
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  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    You'd have to covering a hell of a lot of mileage, or be guilty of a shocking lack of maintenance, to need to replace your chain every three months. Sounds like your LBS just wants to fleece you...
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Mine wear out in three months, riding once a week, and being well maintained.

    Personally I usually keep them a year and just replace the whole drivetrain, false economy doing chains.
  • You'd have to covering a hell of a lot of mileage, or be guilty of a shocking lack of maintenance, to need to replace your chain every three months. Sounds like your LBS just wants to fleece you...

    They probably mean get to a wear where the wear is doing damage.
  • Ah right ok so it's just replace when worn, where can I get a chain tool and I take it then in my bag of tricks as well as puncture repair kits, tyre levers etc include a chain for just in case?
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  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    I ride 20 - 60 miles a week off road and my chains last a good nine months. I haven't had one break in years.
    My road chain has done around 6000 miles so far.
    A new one every 2-3 months is too much.
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    I ride 20 - 60 miles a week off road and my chains last a good nine months. I haven't had one break in years.

    I'd be willing to bet that most breakages are down to poor maintenance or riding technique.
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    njee20 wrote:
    Mine wear out in three months, riding once a week, and being well maintained.

    Personally I usually keep them a year and just replace the whole drivetrain, false economy doing chains.

    I suspect your putting a lot more power than most though your chains :-)
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Just to clarify, chains don't stretch, they wear, the wear at each joint between the pins and rollers and plates result in it getting longer but no actually component stretches, so while everyone understands stretch, it isn't!
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    I ride 20 - 60 miles a week off road and my chains last a good nine months

    But what is 'last'? The X10SL on mine is now 2 years old and hasn't snapped, but it is absolutely wrecked, I did change it after about 4 months, but the new one skipped on the cassette, so I put it back on, and it's been fine!

    So 'last' in the context of 'not break', yes. But it was worn out after less than 4 months.
  • CitizenLeeCitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    njee20 wrote:
    I ride 20 - 60 miles a week off road and my chains last a good nine months

    But what is 'last'? The X10SL on mine is now 2 years old and hasn't snapped, but it is absolutely wrecked, I did change it after about 4 months, but the new one skipped on the cassette, so I put it back on, and it's been fine!

    So 'last' in the context of 'not break', yes. But it was worn out after less than 4 months.

    Sounds like the cassette is worn too if it doesn't like the new chain :)
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  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Yes, that's the point. New cassette. New chain. 4 months later, replace chain, skips on cassette (ie chain was worn enough to take the cassette out). Re-fit old chain, use for another 18 months.
  • OuijaOuija Posts: 1,386
    You'd have to covering a hell of a lot of mileage, or be guilty of a shocking lack of maintenance, to need to replace your chain every three months. Sounds like your LBS just wants to fleece you...

    Used to do between 2500/3000 miles every three months on just one bike and the constant replacement of chains, pedals and bottom brackets seemed almost constant. At least taught me to maintain bearings better if for no other reason than to keep costs down. But that's an extreme case and these days i ride less and spread the load over five bikes though i still feel like barely a month goes by without me having to attend to some problem or other.

    However. To recommend a chain change every three months is just silly for the average rider. It should be based more on mileage than time (i mean does the LBS still expect him to change the chain every three months if he hasn't even ridden the bike in that time period........?).
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    There are no real rules of thumb though, that's the point, either time or mileage. On the road you can get many thousands of miles out of a chain/cassette, on the MTB it can be a matter of weeks.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    I'm with njee here. I just ride until I'm ready to change the whole drivetrain. I manage a couple of years normally, but I don't have mighty racing legs.
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  • Swift3269 wrote:
    Ah right ok so it's just replace when worn, where can I get a chain tool and I take it then in my bag of tricks as well as puncture repair kits, tyre levers etc include a chain for just in case?

    No mate, you don't need to carry a spare chain. I'd recommend a visit to your LBS and they should sort you out, but basically you need a chain-breaker tool and the appropraite snap link. If a link of your current chain breaks whilst you're out, you can remove the broken link with aforementioned tool and connect the chain back together with the snap link.

    A good LBS should be able to provide you with both the tool and the snap link, and some education on how to use both for no extra charge.
  • Ok thank you
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