The Life of a Chain

I think 2,000 miles is pretty good for a piece of engineering that performs so much, and most are about a tenner.
 

MrGrumpy

Huge Member
Location
Fly Fifer
2000 miles seems about right for me as well, although not checked the chain on the summer bike. Will take a metal rule to it tomorrow. I seem to recall this being discussed before with yourself @User9609 , I think I recall your chain rings resembling a shuriken death star from a Bruce Lee movie :biggrin: . I think its wise to check your chain often and swap out when worn past the recommended amount.
 

Moodyman

Guru
5000 miles. You must ride singlespeed and live in the fenlands.

My derailleur chains do about 1300 - 1500 miles. My hubgear bike chain barely 3000 miles. Having said that, I am big and ride in a hilly area.
 

deptfordmarmoset

Full time tea drinker
Location
Armonmy Way
You want to put your dependent variable on the ordinate, and label your axes :okay:
I love it when you talk dirty data.

There's this idea that I'm not organised enough to try out. Starting out with a new chainset, ride it, say 1000 miles. Fit a new chain. There'll be some wear but nothing critical. Ride another 1000 miles. Fit another new chain. 3rd chain, all with no more than 1000 miles' wear. So, some damage to the chain ring and cassette but, hey, that's going to happen anyway. So stick your 1st chain back on and do another 1000 - it's not going to do anything to the chainset that it's never done before. Repeat the sequence until things start slipping or breaking. In theory you should get longer wear out of the whole set. But as things get broken or die of old age eventually, it's not worth trying to keep on adding a new chain to the sequence indefinitely so, in effect, you're simply slowing the ageing process. And you don't get that mismatch of old and new, which is where the slippery bits come in, you're reintroducing slightly worn to slightly worn.

That's the theory anyway!
 

deptfordmarmoset

Full time tea drinker
Location
Armonmy Way
You want to put your dependent variable on the ordinate, and label your axes :okay:
I love it when you talk dirty data.

There's this idea that I'm not organised enough to try out. Starting out with a new chainset, ride it, say 1000 miles. Fit a new chain. There'll be some wear but nothing critical. Ride another 1000 miles. Fit another new chain. 3rd chain, all with no more than 1000 miles' wear. So, some damage to the chain ring and cassette but, hey, that's going to happen anyway. So stick your 1st chain back on and do another 1000 - it's not going to do anything to the chainset that it's never done before. Repeat the sequence until things start slipping or breaking. In theory you should get longer wear out of the whole set. But as things get broken or die of old age eventually, it's not worth trying to keep on adding a new chain to the sequence indefinitely so, in effect, you're simply slowing the ageing process. And you don't get that mismatch of old and new, which is where the slippery bits come in, you're reintroducing slightly worn to slightly worn.

That's the theory anyway!
 

SSmatty

Well-Known Member
I love it when you talk dirty data.

There's this idea that I'm not organised enough to try out. Starting out with a new chainset, ride it, say 1000 miles. Fit a new chain. There'll be some wear but nothing critical. Ride another 1000 miles. Fit another new chain. 3rd chain, all with no more than 1000 miles' wear. So, some damage to the chain ring and cassette but, hey, that's going to happen anyway. So stick your 1st chain back on and do another 1000 - it's not going to do anything to the chainset that it's never done before. Repeat the sequence until things start slipping or breaking. In theory you should get longer wear out of the whole set. But as things get broken or die of old age eventually, it's not worth trying to keep on adding a new chain to the sequence indefinitely so, in effect, you're simply slowing the ageing process. And you don't get that mismatch of old and new, which is where the slippery bits come in, you're reintroducing slightly worn to slightly worn.

That's the theory anyway!
Isn't that what the round the world cyclist guy did?
 

winjim

✊🏻✊🏾 🌈 😷
I love it when you talk dirty data.
My spreadsheets bring all* the boys to the yard.


*(p<0.05)
 
Location
Loch side.
[QUOTE 3597168, member: 9609"]And here be the old casette with 9500 mile on it and the old chain ring that I think has done about 22K


only been using the first three gears by the looks of it


the new with the old[/QUOTE]


NIce photos. It would be good to see the cassette at a bit of angle so one can see inside the sprocket valley. That way you'll better see which are your favourite gears. No-one uses them all equally, hence chain life differs so much from individual to individual. I think you use five out of those six shown there pretty equally.

As for the chainring photo, your view if from the left of the rings. The worn chainring tells a lot about your riding style and unfortunately, you cross-chain too much. The teeth (cogs) are worn away on the side. This makes them thinner and prone to the peening (folding over) you see there on the pressure faces.
 
Location
Loch side.
[QUOTE 3597739, member: 9609"]be[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE 3597739, member: 9609"]I will do a sideways shot later - I would have thought wear would be noted from how pointy the teeth are - hence loking at my cassette I would have thought in order of use would be 1st, 3rd, 2nd, 4th with 5th and 6th having little to no use, & 7th is as pristine as the day it was made.

As for cross wear with the chain ring, I would have thought 95% of my peddling was in the first three gears whilst in the smaller chain ring which is shown in the image. - so if cross wear is evident, could something else be misaligned ?[/QUOTE]
Cassette teeth don't go pointy with wear unless really worn out like your low gear, but chainring teeth do. Cassette teeth develop long flat valleys (roots) and when viewed from head-on, the wear pockets are distinctive with sharp edges and discoloration in the roots where the chain contacts.

Cross chaining happens even when in the small chainring and large sprocket. You just can't have a good chainline everywhere. I doubt there's something wrong elsewhere, it is just indicative of which gear combinations you use.
 
Location
Loch side.
The photo is great, thanks.

Sprocket wear.jpg


My brilliant artwork is divided between blue and red. The two red sprockets are used the least. Have a look at the pressure faces. This is where you can imagine the chain pushing against the rear of the circled teeth. You'll notice that the sprockets look like they're laminated from two flat sprockets. One half is rough, the other smooth. All sprockets are rough when new and become smooth where the chain connects. The edges become beautifully sharp at a perfect 90 degrees. These sprockets are only worn partially.

Now compare the wear pockets on the blue teeth. You will notice that the rough surface is completely worn away and the entire wear pocket is smooth and sharp. Further, the tops of the teeth in these blue sprockets are sharp. Having started with flat tops, the amount of wear can be extrapolated from what they should have looked like. You can see the effect the wear has on the root of the tooth. It becomes a long flat valley rather than a perfect half circle. On the three blue teeth circled, you can even see evidence of material being forced over the edge. This is possibly from a chain skating over the sprockets but can only be confirmed by yourself. These are the sprockets that will definitely skate when you fit a new chain.

Reading your palm, I'd say you live in a hilly area and have less leg strength than Jan Ulrich.
 
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