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Chains!

slowmonkeyslowmonkey Posts: 48
edited November 2017 in Workshop
Hello all,

So, my local LBS has advise that I need to replace the chain and cassette on my steed. Brand new Ultegra Di2 group set fitted at end of August! Since end of August I have travelled about 1200 miles. Most of them commuting miles, and mostly in the dry - and mostly flat - odd bump like Kingston hill, sawyers hill in RP.

I totally get that individual riding style, conditions, terrain etc. are contributing factors - But I am just baffled by this - prior to the Ultegra group set going on I had 5800 105 - and that lasted nearly 3K miles before the chain needed replacing - same terrain/journeys etc., and through the last winter.

Anyhoo - Chain measuring device shows the Ultegra chain is now on the limit so I will replace imminently - but I cannot get my head round the fact that my Ultegra cassette is in need of replacement already!

Rant over...

My question - go for another Ultegra chain or try something different - say KMC equivalent offering?

Thanks,

Posts

  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Mostly in the dry - all it needs is [email protected] on the chain for it to accelarate the wear process - although should that lead to replacement cassette as well - depends how far you've pushed the chain wear ...

    On my wet bike I knew I wanted to replace the groupset - so I deliberately didn't bother replacing the (8speed) chain/cassette till way past the normal point - I used a bit of engine oil to stop the squeeking ... :)
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,407
    Just swap the chain and see if it works. If it doesn't jump or skip, then no problem. I would only think your cassette should be shot if you ride in one gear all the time. And, ask your shop why they think the cassette is shot. Get them to show you.

    PS I like Ultegra chains. Stick with them I would say, but shopping around is an idea.
  • Alex99 wrote:
    Just swap the chain and see if it works. If it doesn't jump or skip, then no problem. I would only think your cassette should be shot if you ride in one gear all the time. And, ask your shop why they think the cassette is shot. Get them to show you.

    PS I like Ultegra chains. Stick with them I would say, but shopping around is an idea.

    ^^
    I'd go with this, change the chain and see how you get on, if the current chain is only just at the limit I can't see that it would have worn the cassette enough for it to need changing but YMMV.
    'Hello to Jason Isaacs'
  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    I'd expect to get a lot more miles out a chain than, 1,200. I have a KMC 10 speed chain that must have done about 8,000 and is OK according the the chain tool I use. Likewise I've got a Campag 11 speed chain thats done about 6,000 and is fine, even worked no problem with a brand new Ultegra cassette on the winter wheels. I haven't used Shimano chains for a long time, but if they're only lasting 1,200 miles, then I'd pay a little extra for a KMC chain. As has been said, just change the chain, and only the cassette if the shifting isn't smooth, or the chain starts jumping. Maybe give the new chain some more tlc? I lubricate the chain, run it through a Jaycloth to remove any dirt and excess lubricant, than a touch more lube to finish it off. Seems to work fine for me.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    IME with today's cassettes the wear isn't obvious to the eye. So I do as suggested; measure chain wear and replace when it gets to 0.75%, and see how the new chain behaves once it's bedded in with the old cassette. I get at least 4 chains to a cassette that way. (9 speed Tiagra / 10 speed 105 if that makes any difference)

    If yours has somehow reached 1% wear then the LBS may be taking a precautionary approach based on what's worked for them in the past. They probably don't want people coming back complaining that the thing's skipping despite them fitting a new chain.

    Or they could be trying to fleece you...

    They should at least explain their thinking and give you the choice
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    Really struggling to see how you'd wear out a chain in 1200 miles - unless riding in wet muddy conditions and never cleaning it - which you haven't been.
    Agree just get a new chain unless it skips all the time.

    I assume that it really was a new one they fitted originally??
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    why have they said its shot?

    KMC get my vote.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • Thanks all for replies.

    I find the whole chain wear/cassette wear thing so random, frustrating! I certainly don't mind spending the money to keep my steep in tip top condition, just bugged out by the lack of perceived lifespan of 'superior components'.
    When I picked up my bike - I had them check the chain again - right on line for replacing imminently. Which of course I will replace. Also, certainly since upgrading my group set - the chain has been cleaned every fortnight using decent cleaner and a park tools chain bath etc.
    But. I don't how they know that the cassette is worn - in need of changing? How DO you gauge when a cassette is knackered? And surely not after so few miles? This is what is bugging me!! If anyone can enlighten me on what to look for to notice a cassette that is wearing out, that would be great!

    Even now - a few days after speaking with the LBS - the bike feels fine GGRRRR! no slipping or anything. But new chain will go on this weekend.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I've had a worn and a brand new cassette side by side and struggled to tell them apart, but the worn one was jumping horribly when a new chain was fitted. Doubt they could tell just by looking at it.

    Your bike will sound fine; all the drivetrain components are wearing out together and will be meshing perfectly. In fact when you fit the new chain, be prepared for things to sound noisier and feel a bit rougher for a while till it beds in. But fitting new chains promptly will prolong the life of the cassette and chainrings.

    The alternative is to just run the whole lot into the ground then replace it all. Probably dearer that way, but I'd be curious to know how long it would actually take before things started failing on a modern groupset.

    My old 10 speed Raleigh racer back in the 70s was still on it's original chain, chainset and freewheel after 10 years... :D
  • There is a tool for checking sprocket wear ;-)
    After seeing a picture of the tool , costing upwards of £14 I just made my own with the end of a new chain, bit of iron rod and a split link ! Job done
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,407
    slowmonkey wrote:
    Thanks all for replies.

    I find the whole chain wear/cassette wear thing so random, frustrating! I certainly don't mind spending the money to keep my steep in tip top condition, just bugged out by the lack of perceived lifespan of 'superior components'.
    When I picked up my bike - I had them check the chain again - right on line for replacing imminently. Which of course I will replace. Also, certainly since upgrading my group set - the chain has been cleaned every fortnight using decent cleaner and a park tools chain bath etc.
    But. I don't how they know that the cassette is worn - in need of changing? How DO you gauge when a cassette is knackered? And surely not after so few miles? This is what is bugging me!! If anyone can enlighten me on what to look for to notice a cassette that is wearing out, that would be great!

    Even now - a few days after speaking with the LBS - the bike feels fine GGRRRR! no slipping or anything. But new chain will go on this weekend.

    As mentioned, it's hard to tell just by looking unless it is very badly worn. Get the new chain, and see if it works. Simple functional test.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    slowmonkey wrote:
    Thanks all for replies.

    I find the whole chain wear/cassette wear thing so random, frustrating! I certainly don't mind spending the money to keep my steep in tip top condition, just bugged out by the lack of perceived lifespan of 'superior components'.
    When I picked up my bike - I had them check the chain again - right on line for replacing imminently. Which of course I will replace. Also, certainly since upgrading my group set - the chain has been cleaned every fortnight using decent cleaner and a park tools chain bath etc.
    But. I don't how they know that the cassette is worn - in need of changing? How DO you gauge when a cassette is knackered? And surely not after so few miles? This is what is bugging me!! If anyone can enlighten me on what to look for to notice a cassette that is wearing out, that would be great!

    Even now - a few days after speaking with the LBS - the bike feels fine GGRRRR! no slipping or anything. But new chain will go on this weekend.

    Why are you changing it if it all works fine?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,722
    get a 12" ruler and measure the chain yourself
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • grenwgrenw Posts: 793
    1600 dry miles and I've just changed the Ultegra chain on my bike. Was borderline ready to change (past the .5 marker but within the .75).

    Swapped it for a KMC x11 as they are my go to chains, I like the quick link and 1600 seems lower than I'm used to changing.
  • 6wheels6wheels Posts: 411
    sungod wrote:
    get a 12" ruler and measure the chain yourself

    Then post a photo up and someone will give an opinion on how worn it is.
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