Chain stretch

Crankarm

Guru
Location
Nr Cambridge
Do chains stretch more readily riding a loaded touring bike, thus having a shorter life, than on a normal unloaded road bike?

I have Ultegra 9 spd chains on a couple of bikes. I put a new one on one of my hybrids this time last year which I have since used for general road riding, load carrying and some short tours. Have just checked the chain for stretch and blow me down it's pretty much in need of replacement as the Park guage at 1.0 easily slips between the links. I have hardly ridden any miles on it over the last year - maybe 1,500-2000 miles, but sometimes with heavy loads in panniers, few hills though. Whereas my road bike chain has been on for 4-5 years and has yet to reach the 0.75 mark so life still left in the chain yet. My road bike was ridden pretty much most weekends, sat and sundays, and during warm summer evenings most weekday evenings.

What's going on? All chains are kept clean and well lubed. The chainsets and cassettes are in excellent condition.

Have other cyclists experienced premature chain wear on their touring bikes?
 

rich p

ridiculous old lush
Location
Brighton
I haven't changed the chain on my Galaxy after about 4000m but I would think it's logical to assume that the chain would wear quicker under load - speed, weight and hills.
 

Brains

Guru
Location
Greenwich
I don't get even 1,000 miles out of my chains, I look after them and I've tried top of the range as well as mid range.

My main cycling is touring under load and commuting, both with multiple gear changes per mile.

I now buy two or three at a time and hope they will last me the summer
 

Yellow7

Über Member
Location
Milton Keynes
That's one of the many negative points to derailiers. I fitted a Sturmy Archer 8 speed hub on my 'town bike' & a my tourer has the rohloff, both have use the KMC S10 BMX chain, which being wider than a cassette based chain doesn't stretch as much. Also as the 'chain-line' is always straight there's no sideways movement, unlike with a derailier, which doesn't help chain life.

My chain comes off in seconds by removing the chain link 'clip' & can be dunked in spirit meths for a full clean, & then just two gears to wipe. Well worth the investment. Saves time & hassle.

Treat yourself, loose the De'erh!'railiers.

Mark:smile:
 

GrahamG

Veteran
Location
Bristol
Yes, but a Rohloff is now £800 minimum - about what I spent on my whole touring bike... it wasn't an option!
In the meantime I'm using 8 speed stuff for greater durability (over 9 speed at least!),
 

GrahamG

Veteran
Location
Bristol
You using 8 speed bits? I'm probably going to be doing about 5000 miles this summer and am hoping to be able to get away with just a new chain whilst away.
 
Location
Midlands
GrahamG said:
You using 8 speed bits? I'm probably going to be doing about 5000 miles this summer and am hoping to be able to get away with just a new chain whilst away.
Me? 9 Speed - I think you are pushing it a bit at 8000km - I would budget for another chain - particularly if it is dry and dusty - pretty easy in wet weather to keep them in reasonable nick but everyday wear over 8000km would mean that the chain would be pretty string like - not comfortable when cycling - easy enough to find and fit a new chain on the road and not that expensive
 
OP
Crankarm

Crankarm

Guru
Location
Nr Cambridge
psmiffy said:
Me? 9 Speed - I think you are pushing it a bit at 8000km - I would budget for another chain - particularly if it is dry and dusty - pretty easy in wet weather to keep them in reasonable nick but everyday wear over 8000km would mean that the chain would be pretty string like - not comfortable when cycling - easy enough to find and fit a new chain on the road and not that expensive
Just carry a chain wear indicator tool, spare chain, use a quick link and carry some lube. Plus a little bottle of washing up liquid and a scrubbing brush/tooth brush to clean the cassette, chain rings and deraillieur jocky wheels before putting on the new chain. Simples :smile:.
 

upsidedown

Waiting for the great leap forward
Location
The middle bit
I've never even thought about it, done about 7500 miles on my chain, but then i'm using bar ends switched to friction instead of indexed so there's no mis-shifting. Guess i'd better get my hand in my pocket.
 
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