Vernier caliper for chain wear measurements

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
musiclover
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:58 pm

by musiclover

Hello,

I was thinking about chain wear measurement the other day and really want to try to use vernier caliper for that purpose, however, it is not clear how to do it properly.

I want to have some precise tool which is easy to use with good feedback, informative. KMC has a nice digital tool which is in effect a digital vernier caliper with modified lips, but it has a 'cycling' price tag to it.

One can just use a digital vernier caliper and get similar results, plus be able to use it on plenty other applications unlike the KMC tool.

The question is, how to use it and which formula to use. I have stumbled across this instruction on the Internet:
https://www.pinkbike.com/u/notdannyhart ... liper.html
How to measure chain stretch using vernier calipers (preferably digital for more accuracy).

1) Open the caliper to 5.6 inches/142.24mm.
2) Insert the inside caliper between the chain rollers.
3) Extend the calipers and record the measurements:

New chain= 5.715 inches/145.161mm
1/2% stretched (consider looking for a replacement)= 5.745 inches/145.923mm
3/4% stretched (replace)= 5.760 inches/146.304mm
1% stretched (replace immediately along with new drivetrain)= 5.775 inches/146.685mm
It does not specify how they come up with those digits or how to use it on different lengths.
I tried to use it for same length - one chain link, so just subtracted 12.7 from the number. Seem to be getting realistic results like that, but where they take the numbers from?

by Weenie


musiclover
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:58 pm

by musiclover

Here is an example of what I came up with using the small lips for internal diameter:
Old KMC x10 fuji 133.3 132.461 0.839 0.63339398
Shimano Dura Ace Boardman 132.6 132.461 0.139 0.104936547
Wipperman Connex 132 132.461 -0.461 -0.348026966

Campa states that the chain should be thrown away (probably referring to 0.5% wear) at 132.6 mm which could contradict my numbers.

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

Campagnolo insist there chains are measured with a vernier. The 0.5% wear on a campagnolo chain is reall. Leave it longer and you wreck cassettes.

musiclover
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:58 pm

by musiclover

Have you been doing it?
Can you please refer to my questions above? Thanks

jesper2913
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:15 pm

by jesper2913

I do this regularly with my digital vernier. This is the only way I meassure my chains.

1. Change gears so that you are on the big chainring and somewhere in the middle of the cassette
2. Slide the vernier open to around 144.50 to 145.00 mm.
3. Place the small lips from below on the chain somewhere between the lower pulley and the big chainring
4. If the chain is new, the small lips will easily slide in between the rollers of 12 chainlinks.
5. Slide the vernier open until full stop
6. Repeat this between 2 to 3 different series of 12 chainlinks in order to get several meassurements (avoid meassuring the quicklink)

New chain: 144.70 to 144.85
Ligtly used chain: 145.20 to 145.30 (maybe even 145.40)

I´ll admit I'm pretty nazi with my chains, which is why I bin the chain, when it's lightly used. By doing so, I never have to change cassettes, pulleys or chainrings. I've ridden more than a year on my cassettes (several bikes) with this method and still counting. I prefer replacing chains often than changing cassettes.

Previously I rode my chains past the 145.70 mark. At this point the wear on the cassette is too big to match the cassette with a new chain and the cassette is permanently damaged.

I ride a mix of 105, ultegra and Dura Ace chains on my bikes.

DaveS
Posts: 2952
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:26 pm

by DaveS

It's a lot cheaper to place several chains in a rotation instead of tossing them in an attempt to avoid the inevitable new-chain skip. With the proper number of chains in the rotation, you'll never get new-chain skip and the chains can each be used longer without damaging anything.

Any measurement that includes a roller at each end is mostly measuring the wear on the hole in the roller, plus some true elongation. The problem with Campy chains is they can have very little elongation but have severely worn rollers and excessive side clearance.

The only practical way to measure elongation, is with a precision ruler. An English 12 inch ruler with one end placed on the edge of a pin will completely cover the pin at the opposite end. When a little less than half of that pinexposed, you've reached a true .5% elongation. This works because the chains manufacturing standard is .5 inch between pins.

To better gage roller wear, I made a plug gage from a 6mm hex wrench, ground down to fit between the outer links. If that gage ever drops between the rollers, I toss the chain. This works best with several chains in a rotation. You're then not trying to avoid new-chain skip, you're trying to protect the chainrings from excessive wear.

Campy has specific instructions for a 132.60mm maximum length, as measured between the outer plates, at both ends. A lot of caliper tips won't go deep enough between the outer plates, without some grinding on the caliper tips.

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

With 25 bikes chain rotation will require alot of chains and too many labels. Chain rotation also requires alot of chain checking.

Miche cassetteow yputkreplacethe worn sprockets only. This is how I solve the wear issue.

musiclover
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:58 pm

by musiclover

jesper2913 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:57 pm
New chain: 144.70 to 144.85
Ligtly used chain: 145.20 to 145.30 (maybe even 145.40)
Where have you taken the numbers from? I understand you just add 0.5% to the first number, so to be exact, where is the first number taken from? Also, why the first number is so vague? 0.15mm difference? You don't need a digital vernier for that kind of precision.
Last edited by musiclover on Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

musiclover
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:58 pm

by musiclover

DaveS wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:54 pm
The only practical way to measure elongation, is with a precision ruler. An English 12 inch ruler with one end placed on the edge of a pin will completely cover the pin at the opposite end. When a little less than half of that pinexposed, you've reached a true .5% elongation. This works because the chains manufacturing standard is .5 inch between pins.
Yes, I have heard this before, that this method is incorrect and only measures the last rollers wear. Should you not account that wear into equation anyway?

1. Parktool CC-3.2 uses the same method of measurement as a vernier caliper. Is it not accurate?
2. The ruler method is not practical, neither it is informative.

TobinHatesYou
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

Proper elongation measurement requires the chain to be put under tension like with the Shimano tool or the newer Park and Pedro’s tools. This way exterior roller wear can be isolated from pin wear.

musiclover
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:58 pm

by musiclover

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:51 am
Proper elongation measurement requires the chain to be put under tension like with the Shimano tool or the newer Park and Pedro’s tools. This way exterior roller wear can be isolated from pin wear.
Is Parktool CC-3.2 not accurate?

TobinHatesYou
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

musiclover wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:54 am

Is Parktool CC-3.2 not accurate?

The way the newer chain checkers work is the hooked end faces the other way so you can "zero" out exterior roller wear. The newer 3-point chain checkers are also compatible with SRAM 12spd road chains as a result. Older chain checkers would push the rollers at either end of the tool in opposite directions.

musiclover
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:58 pm

by musiclover

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:12 am
musiclover wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:54 am

Is Parktool CC-3.2 not accurate?

The way the newer chain checkers work is the hooked end faces the other way so you can "zero" out exterior roller wear. The newer 3-point chain checkers are also compatible with SRAM 12spd road chains as a result. Older chain checkers would push the rollers at either end of the tool in opposite directions.
Yes, I understand all that. Will not be measuring 12 speed.
The question is still valid though. My opinion is that it is accurate, what's yours?

TobinHatesYou
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

musiclover wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:49 am

Yes, I understand all that. Will not be measuring 12 speed.
The question is still valid though. My opinion is that it is accurate, what's yours?

I can only tell you that I just measured a known worn chain with a CC-3.2 at <0.5% wear. Then I used a CC-4.0 and it indicated >0.5%.

by Weenie


musiclover
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:58 pm

by musiclover

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:54 am
musiclover wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:49 am

Yes, I understand all that. Will not be measuring 12 speed.
The question is still valid though. My opinion is that it is accurate, what's yours?

I can only tell you that I just measured a known worn chain with a CC-3.2 at <0.5% wear. Then I used a CC-4.0 and it indicated >0.5%.
was it a 12 or 11 speed chain?

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