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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I finally brought my bike into my LBS for the 1st tune up (the free-bee they offer). I told them the front derailleur needed some tweaking and the front wheel was a bit out of true, but other then that, running pretty well (I do regular cleaning and maintenance after each ride). So then, the mech checks my chain with the little stretch tool they use, and says that it's already pretty stretched and would be worth replacing. So, my question is: is it possible to wear a chain to the point of replacement in such a short time (3 months of riding... approx 300 miles or so)??? Also, am I going to risk ruining my cogset and chainrings if they have a new chain on them?? (I've heard that when you replace the chain, you should typically replace the cogs also...).

The mechanic also mentioned that my chain seemed "pretty dry" and asked how often I lube it (I do so after every ride). My contention was that there shouldn't be excess oil on the chain, but rather just enough to get into the links. Am I right?
 

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Yes and No. Depending on conditions your chin could easily be worn. Replacing it before it gets really worn is what will keep you from ruining your cogs and chainrings.
 

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Weight?
Height?
Ride in rain?
Ride in dry dusty?

It's possible man.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
MillerSHO said:
Weight?
Height?
Ride in rain?
Ride in dry dusty?

It's possible man.
150, 5'11". Yes in rain... we don't have dry dust around here (New England). Our terrain consists mostly of hardpack, rock, and mud.

Epic, my riding has consisted of a few days a week on the trail (usually coated with various mud and grit afterward), and a weekly 20-30mi road ride.

Next question: what do ya'll use for lube to keep things smooth? I've been using T-9, but I have a suspicion that it is picking up a lot of grit and grinding it down. Things just seem so greasy after I use it (especially chainrings and cogs).
 

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Fart smeller
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sail114 said:
150, 5'11". Yes in rain... we don't have dry dust around here (New England). Our terrain consists mostly of hardpack, rock, and mud.

Epic, my riding has consisted of a few days a week on the trail (usually coated with various mud and grit afterward), and a weekly 20-30mi road ride.

Next question: what do ya'll use for lube to keep things smooth? I've been using T-9, but I have a suspicion that it is picking up a lot of grit and grinding it down. Things just seem so greasy after I use it (especially chainrings and cogs).
What I would do: Buy a new chain (SRAM) and install it yourself (use the old chain to determine the length). Your drivetrain is new enough that it shouldn't skip. Use this chain for a while, then switch back to the old chain (hopefully, it's a SRAM too). Go back & forth, and you shouldn't have to replace cogs, rings, etc. for a while. 300 miles ain't sh!t. Your chain should last a lot longer than that. But you'll want to exchange chains before it starts to wear much. Put a date on the calendar or somefin.

Try White Lightning's Epic lube. T-9 stinks, literally and in use.

fp
 

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Did the mechanic show you how much the chain had stretched? Have you tried measuring the links yourself?

My LBS tends to be a bit conservative on recommending the replacement of parts, so I measure wear myself.
 

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Big Boned
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The reason for replacing the cassette and chain at the same time is because usually, by the time the chain has stretched to the point of replacement, it's also worn down the teeth to match the stretch, so when you put a new chain on, you get skipping. You could probably get away with putting a new chain on your cassette if you truly only have 300 miles on it -- worth a shot, anyway. If you get skipping, you'll know you need to replace the cassette, too.

300 miles of hard riding with a lot of climbing at high tension could definitely stretch your chain, especially if it was a low-end stock chain. Also, be aware of your gear selection -- if you spend lots of time in your 22-11, or your 44-34, you'll wear everything out faster.

As for lube, I've had the best luck with Pedros SynLube and ProLink. Use more than you think you need, let it sit for a while to penetrate, and then just wipe off the excess.
 

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ravingbikefiend
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The secret to a long and healthy chain life is to get a good chain to start with, keep it clean and oiled, and avoid cross chaining by running any small and small or big and big gear combination.
 

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A decent chain is $20 mail order. That's the price of one front sprocket. In comparison to good gears, chains are downright disposable.

Clean and lube the chain when you can but I wouldn't go crazy over it. Do remember thought to replace it SOONER as oposed to later and your spendy gears will last longer. Obviously you're using it in some pretty hard conditions, don't sweat it. Just buy a few chains and keep them handy.

I just filled my car the other day. $60. Next week it'll be another $60. Sooooo RLY, what's a $20 chain every four months man!!!! :skep:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
All good points... thanks guys.

The chain that came on the bike was your basic entry level shimano. I'm putting a nice SRAM chain on, which will hopefully last a bit longer. I haven't noticed any wear on the cogset, so I'm not too concerned with switching it over, but I'll be keeping a close eye on it.

I'm definitely going to stop using the T-9 and try to get rid of that grimy layer that it keeps depositing on everything.
 

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I think wet lubes work best, but use sparingly, let it work through the chain (spin several times) then wipe off as much as you can.. You can never wipe off enough. Lube needs to be "inside" the chain, not on the outer plates.
 

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Mud, salt, dust eat chains.

Keep clean and lube often, (even on the trail, like after a creek ford etc).

I use the Shimano CN7701 I get about 4 weeks from 25% stretch to 1% stretch. Thats 1000 km, lots of mud and dust (beleive it or not).

I get about 3 chains for new middle and big chainrings.

I get about 4 chains per cassette Shimano 970.

Funny the chains actually are shifting best at the end of life, but I really don't want to end up chaining the whole drive train if I let it go to 1.25% stretch.

I tried several different chains but Jenson has the Cn 7701 for $18.00, this is by far the best bang for my buck.
 

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I already rode that
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From my experience dry (wax) lube causes chains to stretch faster then using a wetlube. So I stay away from the dry stuff. Also even though in dry conditions your chain still picks up the dust which also helps in causing chain stretch.

Its just a waste of money to replace the chain and cassette at the same time. I usually replace the chain a couple times a year and toss on a new cassette once a year.
 

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SuperNewb said:
From my experience dry (wax) lube causes chains to stretch faster then using a wetlube. So I stay away from the dry stuff. Also even though in dry conditions your chain still picks up the dust which also helps in causing chain stretch.

Its just a waste of money to replace the chain and cassette at the same time. I usually replace the chain a couple times a year and toss on a new cassette once a year.
It's not so much that anyone wants to buy parts they don't have to its that if you let the chain go too far you'll have no choice but to start replacing the cassette and chain rings.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Yes, I ride hard and buy about 3 chains per year. By doing this, I get more life out of my other drivetrain components, like chainrings last me almost a year and cassettes last a little longer, maybe 1.5 or so max. I can buy much more expensive drivetrain components every 6 months or so if I don't change my chain.
 

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I used White Lightning last year and had great results. I also thoroughly cleaned my bike each week. It wasn't until I switched to a wet lube that I started having difficulties keeping my chain clean (I don't have any fancy chain cleaning tools).

I now have a new cassette and two new chainrings (didn't use the big one last year) and a new SRAM chain. I switched to Pedro's Ice Wax by a friend's suggestion. My chain stays very clean in comparison to other lubes.

I tried White Lightning Epic this year and did not like it. I collected gunk on my chain. I have very minimal gunk with the Ice Wax.

I read that you should replace your chain every 750 - 1000 miles to prevent wear on other components. I'm going to try this when I hit ~800 and see how things work. :-D
 

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EastBaySteez
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I go through 3 chains a year.

I ride 3-5 times a week. The more you ride the more you need to replace chains simple as that.
 

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ravingbikefiend
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I also use wet lube (Tri-flow) and have enjoyed some great chain life and smooth running... it dose pick up more crap than dry-lube but also forms a protective barrier that makes chain cleaning really easy.,, I have gotten 1500 km out of SRAM chain before it has stretched to it's replacement point.

I am on target to ride 10,000 km this year but will be spreading that mileage out over a good number of bikes...even then I'll probably be replacing the chains on my primary rides on a 4 to 6 week basis.

I rode 1500 km last month and most of that (at least 2/3) was on my fixed gear road bike which got a new chain when it was built this spring and had already logged some good miles... the chain is still in stellar shape and much of that stems from running a ruler straight chainline and keeping the chain clean and lubricated.
 

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Maaaaan
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Your not the only one...

sail114 said:
So, I finally brought my bike into my LBS for the 1st tune up (the free-bee they offer). I told them the front derailleur needed some tweaking and the front wheel was a bit out of true, but other then that, running pretty well (I do regular cleaning and maintenance after each ride). So then, the mech checks my chain with the little stretch tool they use, and says that it's already pretty stretched and would be worth replacing. So, my question is: is it possible to wear a chain to the point of replacement in such a short time (3 months of riding... approx 300 miles or so)??? Also, am I going to risk ruining my cogset and chainrings if they have a new chain on them?? (I've heard that when you replace the chain, you should typically replace the cogs also...).

The mechanic also mentioned that my chain seemed "pretty dry" and asked how often I lube it (I do so after every ride). My contention was that there shouldn't be excess oil on the chain, but rather just enough to get into the links. Am I right?
I just had a new chain only last for three months. I've never gotten that short a life out of a new chain, even if I've been lazy about proper care because of work ect.
There was another thread recently about the exact same problem with fast wearing chains.
I don't know about others, but mine was a Sram PC 951.
I'm starting to suspect, that the manufacturers have found a new way to make an extra dollar or yen.
Many people don't ride their bikes enough to notice something like the drivetrain wear issues that are starting to become common.

As a parting comment, I used to get two chains or about 2000 miles out of my cassettes and rings as well. Now everything is shot at about 1000 miles or so. This is with LX and above components.
I don't care what anyone says, this is not normal and has been sneaking up on us since about 04. At least thats when I first noticed things didn't seem quite right anymore in the bike industry.

Later, Eric.
 
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