The Chainlink

The chain on my commuter (a chicago era Schwinn Continental, converted to a flip flop single, currently fixed only) has stretched to the point where even with the wheel pushed all the way back in the dropouts, it is too loose.

I've already taken out a link, which bought me a few months, but that seems like a hack which might be... I dunno, dangerous? Or at least bad for my cog or chainring?

anyway,

I am soliciting advice on a replacement. I have not replaced a chain before, even though I've gone through a lot of them. Until now I've left that task for my LBS. But I'm trying to learn to do more of this stuff myself.

Generally I'm fine with spending a bit more for a part that will last longer, but I have no idea if a say $23 SRAM PC-7X Single-Speed Chain - 1/8" is worth twice as much* as a $11 SRAM PC-1 Single-Speed Chain - 1/8" for my purposes.

My only concern really is longevity. Is a fancier chain going to last longer or as is the case with lots of bikey stuff, am I just paying double to shave a few grams off the weight? Obviously I am not concerned about weight or I would not be rocking a Continental.

*These are the prices at REI this AM and I just print them here for comparison purposes. I would like to get a SRAM because they are local and seem pretty supportive of the scene. I plan to get a chain at Blue City if possible, because they are the closest shop to my house and they are super helpful and friendly people.

In the words of Sheldon Brown (RIP). "If the chain is too loose, it can fall off, usually at the most inconvenient possible time."

Views: 148

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Chains do wear out and thus seem to stretch. There is a very inexpensive tool for measuring the "stretch" sold at good LBSs. The longer stretched length is not a perfect match for cogs and chainrings, so to keep these other parts from wearing unnecessarily you should replace the chain. Remember how much work and stress the chain actually endures. There are also things called half links that can help to adjust the chain link. Normally, chainlinks come in pairs and you have to remove two links to reconnect. The half link lets you connect with just the one link (1/2" instead of 1"). They come in 3/16 and 1/8" widths. Also keep the chain clean and lubricated. I found that after 120 miles of Wisconsin "rails to trails" paths a lube of my chain was worth a gear or two.
Hi Tony:

Used to have this same problem. Two things I tried:

once, I spent a lot on chains: track, fixed, whatever; what helped was forgetting price: buy a BMX chain: don't have to take out so many links and it's stiffer and wider and are just better than the track or fixed I have tried.

Other thing that helped: MKS chain tensioners on my dropouts--as long as yours are horizontal or somewhere close. Those really helped me.

What are the dropouts--semi horizontal?
Yes, thanks the dropouts are semi-horizontal. I think... they are at a slight angle, and they open toward the front of the bike, not the back. Can those kinds of tensioners work with front facing dropouts?


Scott said:
Hi Tony:

Used to have this same problem. Two things I tried:

once, I spent a lot on chains: track, fixed, whatever; what helped was forgetting price: buy a BMX chain: don't have to take out so many links and it's stiffer and wider and are just better than the track or fixed I have tried.

Other thing that helped: MKS chain tensioners on my dropouts--as long as yours are horizontal or somewhere close. Those really helped me.

What are the dropouts--semi horizontal?
All of this depends on how straight your chainline is. Getting a 3/32" SRAM chain (the single speed) will be good because it's flexible if your chainline isn't exactly perfect. The SRAM chains also offer easier maintenance (though I still find that an NJS chain with a screw-off master link is far superior).

Sheldon Brown can give you advice on when to replace your chain:

The standard way to measure chain wear is with a ruler or steel tape measure. This can be done without removing the chain from the bicycle. The normal technique is to measure a one-foot length, placing an inch mark of the ruler exactly in the middle of one rivet, then looking at the corresponding rivet 12 complete links away. On a new, unworn chain, this rivet will also line up exactly with an inch mark. With a worn chain, the rivet will be past the inch mark.

This gives a direct measurement of the wear to the chain, and an indirect measurement of the wear to the sprockets:

* If the rivet is less than 1/16" past the mark, all is well.

* If the rivet is 1/16" past the mark, you should replace the chain, but the sprockets are probably undamaged.

* If the rivet is 1/8" past the mark, you have left it too long, and the sprockets (at least the favorite ones) will be too badly worn. If you replace a chain at the 1/8" point, without replacing the sprockets, it may run OK and not skip, but the worn sprockets will cause the new chain to wear much faster than it should, until it catches up with the wear state of the sprockets.

* If the rivet is past the 1/8" mark, a new chain will almost certainly skip on the worn sprockets, especially the smaller ones.

RSS

Groups

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service