Replace a chain, why?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by magnatom, 24 Jun 2008.

  1. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    I was talking to a friend the other day about a bike he has had for a long time and uses on occasion. He described how recently he took it to a bike shop for it's first service in about 10 years. I was impressed as mine only lasts about 6 months between services (I work it hard!). Apparently, when my friend when to pick up the bike the owner was amazed that the bike was still running ok. Apparently when he had a look at the chain the chain wear indicator was suggesting that the chain was just about ready to be replaced. However, it turned out that the chain had worn so much that it was worn by just over one whole chain link!

    Does anyone else have a bike that they haven't serviced (in a bike shop or otherwise) for a long time that runs ok? Do they just not build bikes like they used to? :evil::biggrin:
  2. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman New Member

    In the days (long time ago) when single speeds and three speed Sturmey Archer were very common (and also my old four speed Benelux derailleur) sprockets and chains seemed to be made of sterner stuff :evil:.
  3. Paulus

    Paulus Getting older by the minute

    Single speed or three speed hub gears do not wear out the chains like 8/9/10 speed derailleur gears do. This is because of the excessive wear that occurs because of the chain angle from the chainrings to the cassette at the back. these days because of the way chains are made to accommodate more gears means that more wear will occur. Chains are really made to work in straight lines.
  4. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I have a old mtb that still has the same chain on it as when i bought it in 1990...but it hasnt been up any mountains:biggrin:
  5. Paulus

    Paulus Getting older by the minute

    Spose it depends on how much you shift across the gears and how often you clean the chain.
  6. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    Yeah and if you ride in the gritty north the chain wears out damned fast, eh Paulus?
  7. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig New Member

    North Lanarkshire
    Years ago I changed my chain, and gears, when they got worn. Then I got lazy and left them. I still take the chain off and wash it in white spirit regularly but the chain and gears are now maybe four years old or more and still work fine.

    They are obviously well worn, you can see it on the sprockets, but they still shift fine and do not kick under heavy load. I use all the (24) gears and all work fine.
  8. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    They will just wear everything and may not work as well as they should - no getting away with just a chain at this point - chain rings / chain/ sprockets - but then again you've saved a fortune over the years if you leave it badly.

    Does that guy ride his bike much to be able to leave it 10 years....
  9. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig New Member

    North Lanarkshire
    That's right, I couldn't just replace the chain. I'd have to replace the lot. I'm not going to though as I'm about to buy a new bike.

    My son is getting my old one and as he's a lot lighter than me and hardly cycles the chain and gears may last him a while yet.
  10. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    I just replaced the chain, sprockets and chain ring on my commuter - £35 ain't bad with 10 months commuting (chain ring was the original).
  11. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig New Member

    North Lanarkshire
    Not as good as sod all in four years though ;0)
  12. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    I think we're talking about 2 different animals here...5 / 6speed and 9 / 10 speed. Completely different in strength.
    Not serviced in 10 years..probably a 5 or 6 speed then...with heavier chain than we're usded to seeing nowadays. Heavier and stronger..obvious really.
    My 8 speed did 3500 miles ish before i changed the chain, winter riding as well, and i didnt HAVE to change it, i could see it was getting worn, but it wasnt causing a noticeable problem.

    My 9 speed is completely different. The wear was evident on it much sooner. Lighter, thinner chain. I replaced it after 1 year.

    I look at my 10 speed now....think i'll be changing it every year minimum just to be happy in the knowledge its not going to bugger up expensive components.
  13. One of the factors which affects chain wear is the relentless removal of material from sprockets. Old skool 5 and 6 speed sprockets have full height and full width teeth whereas modern sprockets have shifting ramps cut into them. Shi**no led the way with IG (interglide, external cut-outs which helps the chain climb up the gears) and HG (hyperglide, which added internal cut-outs to ease shifting to smaller sprockets). Less material has resulted higher individual tooth/ chain-link interface loads and therefore higher chain wear rates. Shi**no's sacrifice of durability in the strive for faster shifting is what drove SunTour to the wall, in side by side tests consumers preferred Shi**no every time, they weren't prepared to wait a couple of months for SunTour to bed in. I notice that SRAM has done away with several sprocket teeth altogether in the battle for faster shifting on their new road groups, I dread to think how it affects chain wear.
  14. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    I personally think 'service' in the sense of what a bike shop carry out is a bit of a trumped up term - they are basically latching onto the fact that people know their car needs servicing, so why shouldn't their bike? :angry: ;)
    Well, bikes make sense, unlike cars. Cars need oil changing, filters changing, regularly - and these often can't be done by the layman or if they can are fairly messy and can be an afternoon's work.
    If there's something wrong with your bike, then it's usually obvious what it is or at least where it's coming from, and even if it's not, then that's the time to take it to a bike shop (if you can't do it yourself that is which is a much better solution).

    I've never been of the inclination to let somebody put my bike on a stand, check it goes into every gear and that the brakes work, oil it, give me it back, and charge me £20 or £30 for the privilege.
  15. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    If you are very good at overhauling your bike then using a LBS is not needed so much but if you need a full strip down and clean /overhaul, using an LBS is advisable. However make sure the LBS has good mechanics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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