Chain Life

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
Wippermann also markets e-bike chains. However and for example, I have no idea what distinguishes a Connex 10SE e-bike chain from a 10SX. The seem to have identical appearance and construction. The only difference appears to be the lengths available. Whatever the case, if an e-bike chain is stronger, why not just use one on any and every bike, motorized or not?
 

rocky289

Member
As I have mentioned in several threads I have a KMC X10e EPT on a SDURO Fullnine RC with over 7000k on it & still running fine.
Been used 80% off road too.
 

Dmitri

Active Member
The way I see it, the reason why ebikes use bicycle chains is because bicycle chains are compatible with a rear derailleur. Which means that if you remove the rear derailleur out of the equation in favor of Rohloff/NuVinci/some other IGH, then suddenly the requirement for specific chain width/bendiness vanishes.

With that in mind, it is not infeasible to manufacture front and rear sprockets that take a motorcycle chain. Sure, there are engineering challenges (the Bosch chainring flange is too close right now), but nothing impossible. And what you'll end up with is a much more durable chain.
 
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Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
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With that in mind, it is not infeasible to manufacture front and rear sprockets that take a motorcycle chain. Sure, there are engineering challenges (the Bosch chainring flange is too close right now), but nothing impossible. And what you'll end up with is a much more durable chain.
Typical bicycle chains weigh around 300g. Even very light motorcycle chains weigh around 1kg. And the sprockets are correspondingly heavy. Is it really worth it to add 2kg or more to an already heavy bicycle?
 

Dmitri

Active Member
Typical bicycle chains weigh around 300g. Even very light motorcycle chains weigh around 1kg. And the sprockets are correspondingly heavy. Is it really worth it to add 2kg or more to an already heavy bicycle?
It might be. Especially for ebikes which are already heavy and go at high speeds. If I could get 50,000km I wouldn't mind the extra weight. Right now, a chain lasts only a few thousand km (about 2-3) and that's it. Given the bike goes 200km on a single charge, that's peanuts.
 

Sweetwater

Active Member
New chain is excellente' after a test ride. I stopped at 2 bike shops this past week and the results were clear, the chain was still within tolerance but had stretched quite a bit over just the past 250 miles. So a new KMC X11e went on as a continuous chain without the included Master Link. My experiences with those on motorcycles has shown the continuous chain to be a better solution. My only surprise was how much the chain stretched towards the end of it's life, quite a bit over those last 250 miles. BTW, it was on for a total of 1500 miles and was the OEM, the KMC seems like a distinct upgrade.
 

Trail Cruiser

Well-Known Member
Chain life can be highly variable especially for mid drives since the one big factor is the frequency of how often you hit that turbo mode. The higher the assist level, the more strain to the chain and the drivetrain overall.

If you ride like Court's uncle where he uses turbo whenever he starts from a dead stop then you are looking at changing your chains every 800-900 miles.

See 14:40 mark of this video


Hub drive is another story since chain life is not affected by the assist level and it tends to last way much longer than that of non-electric bikes.
 

Sweetwater

Active Member
Bicycle chains are simply a weak point in the design and makeup of two wheeled vehicles.
This thread reminded me of a friend I met 2 years ago and his experiences with bikes and moto's.
He's 6'6" and trim at 255 lb, he played professional F'ball at 285 lbs.
He's notorious in the Denver region for taking advantage of bike chain and frame warranties.
He can literally blow out either when he engages his physical power.
I met him on a Moto ride and he's the same with them, outstanding physical strength and agility.
He managed to destroy an expensive moto on that trip with his ability and demands for performance.
There is a failure point for all equipment but he was a joy to be around.
 

Rakku

Active Member
On my Radrhino I have a KMC Z7, Im pretty heavy with 110kg, fortunaly its a geared hub so it doesnt put too much stress on the chain, even though I do like going first gear and climb some pretty steep stuff with my own strengh (with only 70W supported to balance the weight of the bike out, climbing with additional 32kg is not fun).

How long can I expect the chain to hold, when should I switch out the chain?
Is it adviced to take out a link if the chain streched too far?

And I dont see any masterlink on my chain, can I just pop out a link and put the masterlink in to make service easier?
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
How long can I expect the chain to hold, when should I switch out the chain?
This is mostly dependent on how clean and lubricated you keep the chain. A frequently cleaned and lubricated chain will last 10 times as long as a poorly maintained one.

Is it adviced to take out a link if the chain streched too far?
No, because chain stretch is a misnomer. Chains do not stretch, they wear out. Removing a link does not fix chain wear, it only makes the chain a link too short.

And I dont see any masterlink on my chain, can I just pop out a link and put the masterlink in to make service easier?
Yes.
 
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Manu

Active Member
In a pedelec or ebike think that the chain to be more resistant and long lasting, that is the important factor, reduce breakdowns, reduce weight is
not important

in a pedelec or s-pedelec because the strength newtons of the drive unit or hub they make the full weight structure become carbon or air
 

Sweetwater

Active Member
New chain is excellente' after a test ride. I stopped at 2 bike shops this past week and the results were clear, the chain was still within tolerance but had stretched quite a bit over just the past 250 miles. So a new KMC X11e went on as a continuous chain without the included Master Link. My experiences with those on motorcycles has shown the continuous chain to be a better solution. My only surprise was how much the chain stretched towards the end of it's life, quite a bit over those last 250 miles. BTW, it was on for a total of 1500 miles and was the OEM, the KMC seems like a distinct upgrade.
New data point, the KMC X11e blew out on 4 consecutive rides. I returned and replaced it with the beefier X10e which seems superior after my first 10 mile ride which included some elevation gain not reported for the first ride of the X11e. I think this is the better solution. Time will tell.
 

Saru9999

Member
If the Wipperman Connex chain was available in USA, i would give it a go.. a KMC chain lasts about 1 month ( under 100 miles) and a sram or Shimano normal bike chain lasts about 100 yards.
 

Saru9999

Member
New data point, the KMC X11e blew out on 4 consecutive rides. I returned and replaced it with the beefier X10e which seems superior after my first 10 mile ride which included some elevation gain not reported for the first ride of the X11e. I think this is the better solution. Time will tell.

Is your cassette 11 speed? how was the durability of the 10 speed? for sure they are cheaper. So even if life is same and shifting is OK.. then at least it's more chain per dollar.
 

tallpaul

Active Member
If the Wipperman Connex chain was available in USA, i would give it a go.. a KMC chain lasts about 1 month ( under 100 miles) and a sram or Shimano normal bike chain lasts about 100 yards.
Saru9999, are you serious regarding the mileage you get out of your chains? I ask as I am on my 3rd chain in 2600 miles and am disappointed in how long they last. And this is with 95% street riding.
After the Shimano chain (went about 1200 miles) I replaced it with the X10e, lasted about the same, now on second X10e.
 

Dmitri

Active Member
If the Wipperman Connex chain was available in USA, i would give it a go.. a KMC chain lasts about 1 month ( under 100 miles) and a sram or Shimano normal bike chain lasts about 100 yards.
I find it very hard to believe that your chains fail after <100 miles. This can only happen if you ride mud-heavy trails and then neglect to clean your chain. Then, yeah, your chain can fail after just a single ride. Otherwise, this is very suspect. I use KMC X1 chains and currently get several thousand km per chain.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
We have an article which will help everyone better understand when to replace a chain. If you have a mid drive ebike, your chain wear is happening more rapidly depending upon how you use that motor. For those riders who use a higher gear without pedaling equally hard, then the motor gear and the chain are taking all of the beating. Use a slightly easier gear and spin more and all of the components on a mid drive last longer. Add in some extra focus on simple drive train maintenance and you see even more miles.

The KMC and Wipperman Connex ebike specific chains you may see more miles before needing to replace the chain; however, much of the wear is dependent on how the rider cares for their bike and their style of riding.