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What a difference a chain makes

seajaysseajays Posts: 330
edited January 2015 in Commuting chat
So got my first bike back in June and commuted since then. Learning as I go I'd seen some posts about chain wear. I bought one of those metal measure things last week, and lo and behold, with 1,500 miles on the clock it was beyond 1% wear!

So I bought a new chain and fitted it this weekend, and this morning's commute was as smooth and quiet as could be - even the gear changes are much improved and as smooth as anything.
Cannondale CAADX Tiagra 2017
Revolution Courier Race Disc '14
My Strava

Posts

  • Yup, I find it's best not to get let them get much beyond 1,000 miles (having said that mine is 1,300 miles now!) if you can afford to replace them.

    There's always people saying oh my chains always last at least 10,000 miles, but I'm sure that's with a lot more care than most of us would give it!
  • seajaysseajays Posts: 330
    Yeah - I'd been giving it a basic wipe and oil once a week, but it wasn't until I took it off I realised just how sticky some of the links had become. Not knowing what to expect I was quite surprised it had worn so much. I'll be able to keep a closer eye on it in future though.
    Cannondale CAADX Tiagra 2017
    Revolution Courier Race Disc '14
    My Strava
  • Seajays wrote:
    Yeah - I'd been giving it a basic wipe and oil once a week, but it wasn't until I took it off I realised just how sticky some of the links had become. Not knowing what to expect I was quite surprised it had worn so much. I'll be able to keep a closer eye on it in future though.

    You could get one of the Park Tool chain cleaning tools. They really do work very well and get all the censored off your chain, stops it staying there and wearing down quickly, and gives you a nice sparkly chain which is always good!
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    Bear in mind that if your chain is worn then there is a good chance your cassette will be too. May also need replacing.
    Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
    Kona Paddy Wagon
    Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
    Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    Seajays wrote:
    Yeah - I'd been giving it a basic wipe and oil once a week, but it wasn't until I took it off I realised just how sticky some of the links had become. Not knowing what to expect I was quite surprised it had worn so much. I'll be able to keep a closer eye on it in future though.

    You could get one of the Park Tool chain cleaning tools. They really do work very well and get all the censored off your chain, stops it staying there and wearing down quickly, and gives you a nice sparkly chain which is always good!

    I got one of those Park Tools cleanamajigs, they work great, but the cleaning fluid is expensive. Have tried washing up liquid with warm water but is next to useless. Anyone know where to get cheap chain cleaning fluid?
  • Daddy0 wrote:
    Seajays wrote:
    Yeah - I'd been giving it a basic wipe and oil once a week, but it wasn't until I took it off I realised just how sticky some of the links had become. Not knowing what to expect I was quite surprised it had worn so much. I'll be able to keep a closer eye on it in future though.

    You could get one of the Park Tool chain cleaning tools. They really do work very well and get all the censored off your chain, stops it staying there and wearing down quickly, and gives you a nice sparkly chain which is always good!

    I got one of those Park Tools cleanamajigs, they work great, but the cleaning fluid is expensive. Have tried washing up liquid with warm water but is next to useless. Anyone know where to get cheap chain cleaning fluid?

    Diesel?
  • dav1dav1 Posts: 1,298
    Yup, I find it's best not to get let them get much beyond 1,000 miles (having said that mine is 1,300 miles now!) if you can afford to replace them.

    There's always people saying oh my chains always last at least 10,000 miles, but I'm sure that's with a lot more care than most of us would give it!

    This depends entirely on conditions though.

    My best bike has done 2000 miles on one chain and its still under .75% but I only ride it in summer in the dry. Commuters tend to go around 1000-1500 if well looked after, less if not.
    Giant TCR advanced 2 (Summer/race)
    Merlin single malt fixie (Commuter/winter/training)
    Trek superfly 7 (Summer XC)
    Giant Yukon singlespeed conversion (winter MTB/Ice/snow)

    Carrera virtuoso - RIP
  • Dav1 wrote:
    Yup, I find it's best not to get let them get much beyond 1,000 miles (having said that mine is 1,300 miles now!) if you can afford to replace them.

    There's always people saying oh my chains always last at least 10,000 miles, but I'm sure that's with a lot more care than most of us would give it!

    This depends entirely on conditions though.

    My best bike has done 2000 miles on one chain and its still under .75% but I only ride it in summer in the dry. Commuters tend to go around 1000-1500 if well looked after, less if not.

    Yes true in the summer in good conditions they can last forever. In the winter commuting every day they can die pretty quickly.
  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    White spirit will get your chain clean if you want something cheap.

    My chains cost £2.50 a time (KMC brown) so I don't bother cleaning.
  • I don't understand this, even if it is only £2.50 to replace I couldn't cope with not looking after something properly just because it was cheap to replace. It's not a big deal keeping a chain clean and lubricated is it?

    Maybe I'm just a bit old fashoined about stuff.
  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    I would have to clean it after every ride given my route, it's cold, it's dark and I'd rather get indoors and see my kids than mess about with a grimy chain that leaves my hands filthy.

    I just add lube every so often then replace when it's worn. Get several months out of them.
  • ga02clrga02clr Posts: 97
    I use this from Halfords, cleans well and cheap. Gunk Green Engine Degreaser : £6.99 before any discounts
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 7,078
    The throwaway society.

    What about the environment?

    (half tongue in cheek. Only half mind).
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame
    Tall....
    www.seewildlife.co.uk
  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    Degreasers = all sorts of nasties that can get into the water table then there's the manufacture, shipping, packaging.

    Next time I have a chain to get rid of I'll drive it to the local recycling centre.
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 7,078
    For the regular clean. I actually just clean my chain with a dry rag (actually it's a bar towel). If you rub the chain hard enough you don't need degreaser, just enough to get most of the stuff off that causes wear.

    Only use degreaser for servicing.
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame
    Tall....
    www.seewildlife.co.uk
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    Just worked out that my current chain (Ultegra 10s) has been on the bike for the last 10000km. Gears had been OK up until December - so was good for about 9000km IME.

    Thanks for the tip about white spirit. Will give that a go. As for saving the planet, how about reusing the white spirit? Could filter out the dirt maybe? Or is there a green biodegradable option? Ta!
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Both chains on my commuter have done circa 2000 miles, changed as they had gone orange not due to wear (still under 0.75%), shows the benefit of a good quality chain lube perhaps. Also my commuter runs a single 46T ring so chain tension is lower than if I was running the same overall gear ratio with a smaller chainring.
  • I try to keep the chain as clean as I can, though since its a commute/workhorse it doesn't get cleaned that often, I stick to dry lubes that don't gum up.

    My route is gravelly and therefore gritty. I have started to use Strava to log the distance tyres/chains etc last, in fairness it also gets a bit of light off roading as well, last chain lasted barely 1000 miles but had been used off road during the winter for half of that.

    The present chain is mostly parks and roads so I'd expect a bit more miles out of it.
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,968
    the commuter is on 3,200 miles and due to be changed / upgraded to a 9 speed set up...now if only it can make it through the week
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    You can do as much harm as good with degreaser., as you need a very thorough lube to drive oil back into where you have decreased.

    Instead just wipe with a rag with a bit of WD40 on it until rag stays clean (or cleanish) and then relube.
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
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