Chain stretch question

Salty seadog

Space Cadet...(3rd Class...)
Can the style of your riding make your chain stretch prematurely? Does grinding out the cadence put more strain on the chain rather than using the gears more?
Yes, the more effort you put into peddling the more strain on the chain. Also environmental factors such as dry gritty/dusty conditions will wear the chain quicker.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
In extreme cases, not just stretching the chain ... EXPLODING IT! :whistle:

I once took a younger bodybuilder colleague out for an evening ride over the local hills. He was strong enough to break his chain (mashing a 52/13 gear round on a climb! :eek:), but trying to keep up with me half-killed him. (And I am not fast!)
I tried explaining to the body-building gear-masher that it would be better to spin a lower gear because if he carried on like that he would destroy the bike or his knees. He said that it felt weird to him to spin because he was used to 'pumping iron'. And 5 seconds later, his chain exploded under the strain! :laugh:
 

smutchin

Cat 6 Racer
Location
The Red Enclave
@ColinJ Hate to spoil a good story but I suspect other causes behind that breakage. Maybe a very heavy rider going up a very steep hill could put enough of a load on a chain to break it but even that sounds unlikely unless there are other factors - it's usually shifting under load that causes breakages, isn't it?
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
@ColinJ Hate to spoil a good story but I suspect other causes behind that breakage. Maybe a very heavy rider going up a very steep hill could put enough of a load on a chain to break it but even that sounds unlikely unless there are other factors - it's usually shifting under load that causes breakages, isn't it?
He didn't change gear at all - that was the problem! :laugh:

It was just like he was back in the gym operating a leg press machine with massive weights, one leg at a time... Left leg - aaaaaaaaaargh! Right leg - aaaaaaaaaargh! Left leg - aaaaaaaaaargh! Right leg - aaaaaaaaaargh! Left leg - aaaaaaaaaargh! Right leg - aaaaaaaaaargh! BANG!!!!

I think he would have got away with it if he had been pedalling smoothly, but he was putting very short bursts of enormous force in on alternate legs. I could see that something was going to happen before it did, and I didn't have long to wait!
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
I'd like to see any evidence of how riding style can increase wear..genuinely, because I could never achieve the mileage some users here could get out of their chains.
Not so now but my riding style used to be attacking, out the saddle up inclines and short hills and push push push as much as I could. Maintenance and oiling was regular, chains varied across all the main manufacturers but I could only average 1200 miles per chain...far less apparently than some manage.
Then there's the chainline, how often are you in an extreme and that obviously speeds wear. That's why old three speed chains used to seen to last forever...spot on chainline all the time.

I always wished I'd asked one of the mechanics at the TdeF prologue in London...how long does a pro's chain last ?
 

Salty seadog

Space Cadet...(3rd Class...)
.how long does a pro's chain last ?
probably not overnight.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gbb

numbnuts

Legendary Member
Location
North Baddesley
On my road bike 27 speed I sit and spin and get 6500 miles out of a chain, it gets washed in white spirit and then coated in WD40 twice a month.
My trike gets a wipe with white spirit on a rag until it comes clean and then WD40, I know trike chains last longer, but after 4000 + miles it showing no wear at all on the gauge.
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
@ColinJ Hate to spoil a good story but I suspect other causes behind that breakage. Maybe a very heavy rider going up a very steep hill could put enough of a load on a chain to break it but even that sounds unlikely unless there are other factors - it's usually shifting under load that causes breakages, isn't it?
I've recently broken a chain by overloading it, no gear changes involved. Granted it was quite an old one (9 speed) , but I pulled away from a junction, slightly uphill, in much too high a gear, barely over to force it over top dead centre, and 'bang' - snapped both side plates of an 'outer' link. First time it's ever happened to me.
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
Hope you have recovered. No more long rides for you, then.
Pictures?
No damage to me, fortunately. And I was only 1/4 mile from home on morning commute, so able to walk bike home, get another bike** out of the garage, transfer contents of panniers, and still get to work on time.

Reconnected with spare quick-link when I got home that evening and still going strong.

**Neither being the long-distance bike !
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
[QUOTE 5358439, member: 9609"]
One thing I have noticed on this site is the people who are doing the biggest milage seem to get some of the best distances out of their chains, if that is correct? why would that be, they will be fitter and stronger so put more energy through the chain which should give shorter life. is it because they maintain better, oiling before every ride. or may be ride bigger gears so the chain turns less per mile, but I would have thought the smaller the cog the greater the wear. [/QUOTE]

Most folks doing big mileages find it is less tiring to spin rather than grind, that means less chain tension, less forcing the pins sideways in the bushings, less wear? Or so I imagine.
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
Hey ho!
I've been wondering if there be something wrong somewhere... because chain's been "slipping" a bit of late, at first I thought this was worn/broken teeth somewhere, but couldn't see anything obvious.

Anyway I got the chain checker out this morning and found it was way past 1%, so new chain & cassette time, which is fine because it's been on there for years...
and then I noticed this:
4EzlI1u.jpg

inner plate broken this time...
 
Top Bottom