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Home / Tips and Tricks / How a Chain Inspector Can Spare You Hundreds of Bicycle Maintenance – Review Geek

How a Chain Inspector Can Spare You Hundreds of Bicycle Maintenance – Review Geek



  Rohloff chain wear gauge
A Rohloff chain wear gauge is just one of dozens of similar tools. Ian Slack

Using a chain checker to measure the stretch of your bicycle chain will save you a lot of money on maintenance costs over the life of your bike. J Do not forget to use it!

waiting. What? Stretch bicycle chains?

It does not seem like something so heavy and made of steel could stretch, but bicycle chains do. It's not that the steel stretches itself. What happens is all the little rolls, jacks and pins that make up a chain. The "incline" of the chain ̵

1; the distance between the individual links – only increases slightly. The industry-standard divider chain pitch is 12.7 mm between pins. A chain is considered severely worn if it exceeds this standard pitch by one percent. As the chain must fit into the teeth of the sprockets and chainrings, a stretched chain puts more pressure on the sides of the teeth, causing them to wear faster.

  Measuring Bike Chain Slope
When You're Setting With a ruler next to the links, you can see the pins string together every two centimeters on a standard pitch chain. Ian Slack

Symptoms of a Stretched Bicycle Chain

Over time, a chain and the rear gear grow together, and when you try to put a new chain on a worn gear, it wins. & # 39; not fit properly in the worn teeth. It will actually skip when the chain slides over your teeth. It is usually most noticeable when you go up a mountain under pressure, and it can be very uncomfortable to stand on the pedals, when the crank suddenly lurches forward and threatens to send you over the handlebars.

You can ignore the problem and a chain and tooth get old together. But what happens then is that at some point you will get a chain slip that provides extra side-to-side flexibility as the chain wears off. A sloppy chain does not respond to the action of the derailleur, and there are bad shifts and other problems such as additional noise.

After all, a worn chain is weaker and more susceptible to breakage.

The problem is It only got worse as the manufacturers invented drives with more and more gears and chains that got narrower and smaller. The latest 12-speed chains have an outside diameter of almost two millimeters less than the 5-speed chains a few decades ago. Also, the inner diameter has shrunk somewhat, which is why the sprockets and chainrings are now narrower and more susceptible to wear. By adding factors such as hollow pins and cutouts in the outer plate of high and very low weight chains, a chain can have a very short life.

Okay, so, chains stretch. What does measuring mean?

Here you can save a lot of money if you buy a chain tester and use it regularly, especially if your bike came with an expensive assembly. Replacing a chain before it is too tight and widening the teeth on the rear sprocket significantly increases the life of the cassette and sprocket by preventing excessive wear. Considering that the chain is the cheapest spare part for your powertrain, you can save hundreds, depending on how many components run on your bike. Take, for example, high-end Shimano drives. With $ 150 to $ 200 in XTR and Dura-Ace cartridges and $ 35 chains, replacing chains to extend the life of the gears is a breeze.

Just do not forget to use them

If you do, buy a chain spanner. Remember to use it regularly, because if you wait a little too long, the chain will stretch, you will not notice the problem, and you will get stuck if you replace both the chain and the cartridge. The number of kilometers driven is not a good indicator of when your chain might be worn out, as conditions such as sand can dramatically accelerate chain wear. A good rule of thumb is to measure each time you clean your bike and oil the chain. It only takes seconds, so why not?

Using a Chain Checker

  Rohloff Chain Checker
This brand new chain allows you to detect the gap between the bottom of a Rohloff chain checker and its links when it has collapsed. Ian Slack

You could use a foot-length ruler to measure the distance between the chain pins, but it's hard to get it right. The pens should exactly match the 12 one-inch marks, and anything longer than one percent longer is considered to be after the time of replacement. So it's a bit fiddly. Chain checkers, on the other hand, are cheap and very easy to use. The most common designs have a small hook that fits over a chain roller at one end and a small jig at the other end that sticks out like a person's nose. They drop this end into the limb, and if it falls too far, the chain is worn to the point where it needs to be replaced. Some chain wearers – such as the Rohloff shown above – have two sides for different types of sprockets, depending on what material they are made of, such as aluminum or titanium. On the Rohloff I use the "A 0.075 mm" for aluminum, also for steel gears. I've found that waiting for the S-side is too long and skipping the chains.

The best chain inspection options?

Rohloff Caliber 2-chain wear indicator

A long-time favorite The Rohloff Caliber 2 chain wear indicator is slightly more expensive for professional bike mechanics than its competitors, but I've found that it's very reliable if I've decided to always use the A Page as standard for the chain change. Its small shape makes it easy to use and store.

The Choice of the Professional

Park Tool Chain Chain Chainsaw Tester

The Park Tool Chain Chainset Chain Checker is a little different. The chain contacts three instead of two points – which, according to Park, increases accuracy. It is compatible with any derailleur chain – including the new Sram eTap AXS – to determine when a chain has a wear of 0.5 to 0.75 percent The Tools Chain Checker Plus 2 has the same design with three contact points as the park However, it also has a chain hook on the opposite side, which allows you to hold the two ends of your chain together while you are ready to insert the master link when installing a new chain.

Works More Than Just

KMC Digital Chain Checker

If you're a tool geek looking to upgrade to Mac Daddy, the KMC Digital Chain Checker is for you! KMC claims that it is the most accurate chain wear gauge on the market, but unlike other designs, human pressure is needed to push the rollers apart to measure the distance, rather than cheaper tools where gravity takes over.

Let's go!

Use a Chain Checker and Save

Just as you change the oil at certain mileage intervals in your car, using a chain-pull tool you can easily make a constant measurement of your bike chain. You save a lot of money on maintaining your bike and taking care of it ensuring that your journeys run at optimum performance. The ads are so cheap that there is no reason not to do so. And since the majority of chain manufacturers (including Shimano) offer master link systems with their chains, replacing these chains is much easier than it used to be, as one had to know how to press chain pins while connecting the two in just the right amount Chain. All you have to do is use a tool to break the chain in the same length as the old one and connect it to the main bolt, and you can set off, so no excuses!


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