Thursday, March 18, 2010

609.4 Miles: Replaced Stretched Chain

Today I replaced my "stretched chain". The chain actually does not stretch, but each link pivot point wears into an oblong shape. The grit that gets captured in the oil is what causes the wear.

I was surprised that this happened so quickly at 609.4 miles, but I guess mountain biking is harder on the equipment.

The picture on the left shows the worn chain with my Nashbar chain gauge. When the gauge can be slid in place, the stretch is 1% and a replacement is recommended.

This picture shows the new chain. The gauge cannot fit in the link and therefore is not 1% stretched.

You want to replace the chain at this point because if you don't the cassette and even chain rings would then wear to accommodate the stretched chain. This chain is only $15, so it is not that expensive. The new chain comes with a quick link, so it is easier to remove for degreasing.
If you replace the chain and the cassette or chainring are worn, then you will have trouble shifting.

I lined the chain up and you can see that the bottom old chain is about a half a link longer over the length of the chain. The amount of wear is amazing.

I also got this nice hex wrench set at Nashbar. It was on sale for just $20.


pikelakejohn said...

Hi, Mike,
Like you I bicycle for exercise daily about 6 months a year as the back roads in northern Wisconsin are ice packed over winter. After riding made in China department store bikes 'til they break, Huffy and Schwinn, I've been researching upgrading to a 29er this spring, comparing three Motobecane models with other brands. Your blog has been most helpful. Thanks. I decided a Phantom 29 like yours will fulfill my needs to avoid the maintenance and noise nightmares associated with Juicy 3 or 7 hydraulic brakes. Once again, thanks for sharing your experiences. always, pikelakejohn

FraSiec said...

Good deal. You don't replace then you have cog wear too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,
I have the same bike, and I was told that the only maintenance I need to do on it is to lube the chain regularly (every 5th ride). Would you agree?

Mike said...


No, you will need to do more maintenance than lubing the chain. I have reported on actual maintenance that I have done and a preventative maintenance program in other posts.