Spring Maintenance - Check for Worn Chains!

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Chains stretch (the bushings wear) and if they stretch enough they will start skipping and can damage your freewheel/cassette/chain ring. And if you own a mid drive bike, where the chain transmits all the power to the wheel, it might wear more quickly.

Bought an A-D road bike a few months ago, and was giving me all kinds of problems. Chain wasn't even seating in the chain ring... Replaced the chain, the cassette and now i'm looking for the derailleur wheels..

There's two ways, ok three ways to check your chain.

1. Use a 12" ruler and measure the chain for > 1/16" elongation over 12". Simple..

Go to 1:40 of this video for steps and criteria.

2. Use a Chain Go / No Go gage.. If you can borrow one.

3. Take it to a bike shop... Not really worth it unless the bike is in for other work.

If it is worn, don't ignore it and wait for the problem to get worse.. Chains are cheap.. Just make sure you get the right replacement size and type, or have a bike shop take care of it.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
If it is worn, don't ignore it and wait for the problem to get worse.. Chains are cheap
That says it all! You can get a really good chain for $20.00. I like and use the Park Tool CC-3.2, costs $10.00 and is fast and easy. If you have 2000 miles on a chain and are planning a spring tune up for a trouble free summer riding season, go to Amazon (or other) and spend a few dollars for a chain and tool. You won't regret it.
 

Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
The slip lock type link makes a chain swap cake, < $10. I did one today without it and had to jockey the pin in both directions a few times before finding the sweet spot where the link pivots easily and appears/feels centered on the link. -S
 

Ann M.

Moderator
Remember to check your cassette (or freewheel for some old style ebikes) for wear when you're replacing a chain. It could be all for nothing if a couple of cogs are so worn that the new chain jumps or chatters. Cool thing with a cassette-- remove the lock ring and disassemble the cassette to replace individual cogs if need be or replace the whole unit for smooth riding. New chain will wear better and last longer.
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
Also note that the Bosch motors with the small front sprocket, has the potential to eat both chains and the front sprocket quicker than you could imagine.

Because the front sprocket is often hidden, it isn't possible to gauge wear without removal. You can't see the wear when viewing from above.

As an example, 630 miles of use, and probably a good couple of hundred miles over due for replacement.

sprocket.JPG


New chain above, the old and very worn one. This is showing the difference between the arc of the new chain and old.

chain 1.JPG
 
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J.R.

Well-Known Member
A real workhorse for chain maintenance is a chain scrubber. Until you use one you will have no idea how well they work. Fast, easy and complete. I use a Park Tool CM-5.2 Cyclone Chain Scrubber with regular household degreaser like Simple Green or Formula 409. With it's heavy duty brushes it really cleans a chain to like new. Even has a magnet at the bottom to collect any metal shavings that come from the chain, cassette and cogs. Road/trail dirt, salt can really wear out your bikes drive very quickly, cleaning and lubricating should be done frequently. I generally preform this maintenance every 100 miles or sooner if conditions warrant. You can pick up a CM-5.2 at any quality bike shop for $20 to $30.
 

NoDTMF

Active Member
Speaking of chains and front Bosch sprockets, any good sources in the US? I believe the proper chain is Shimano HG-X CN-E6090-10 I seem to be having a hard time finding on the web.
 

Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
I found a Shimano HG at my local shop, it was the first time I did not remove any links to match the OEM chain length. Regarding the front sprocket or chainring you will probably have to order through your local dealer, although I did see some offerings in Germany. -S
 

NoDTMF

Active Member
Thanks guys,

But sadly answers lead to more questions :)

Do you believe in "special chains" for e-bikes? The one I referenced is "special" and trying to find the exact model number in the US is tough. Easy to find in the UK! (Where I had to order my kick stand as my bike has European 40mm spacing for the mounts)

Has anyone had a chain break?

I have also found the 15 tooth front sprocket on E-bay.
I probably will go to my dealer, but they are pretty far away and mail order so is easy.
 

NoDTMF

Active Member
I'm lead to believe what I have is 15, but I will check tonight, I didn't ride in today :-(
Also I believe my rear cassette is 11-36, if it is 11-34 then I think I will try 11-36. My derailleur can handle 42.

REI...cool, since that is where I bought the the HG-95 chain , I'll return it an get the 6090 chain
 
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KenM.

Active Member
Well thank you for your tip on how to measure chain wear without a tool! Now I have to replace my chain, thanks.
All kidding aside thank you for the tip! Ken.
Keep looking up!