Vernier caliper for chain wear measurements

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
bikeboy1tr
Posts: 507
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:19 am
Location: Southern Ontario Canada

by bikeboy1tr

All this talk of chain checker tools made me want to purchase a chain and a checker. I looked at the Park CC4.0 and then found the Pedros checker of the same design only with the added benefit of the chainring nut tool on it as well. Oh and a Sram Red 22 chain for a spare as I know a replacement will need to be done in the late spring which I will confirm with my new tool. :D
Normally I go to 4000km before I replace my chain and my cassettes have lasted a reasonable amount of time at this point. But in the last couple years I can actually tell by the way my bike shifts and the amount of noise my chain makes if it needs to be changed. For me it is normally right around that 4k mark.
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by Weenie


TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

musiclover wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:11 am

was it a 12 or 11 speed chain?

11 speed.

DaveS
Posts: 2803
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:26 pm

by DaveS

bm0p700f wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:29 pm
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.
Miche sprockets are generally thought to shift poorly.

With 25 bikes, just rotate between bikes and change chains once every 5 years.

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

by DaveS

The new chain checkers that eliminate roller wear should work, just like a 12 inch machinist's ruler. Both may not work as expected, with a chain brand that wears out rollers, but has little elongation. That's what happened when I deliberately used a Campy 10 chain for 10,000km. It didn't have even .25% elongation, but the severely worn rollers caused new-chain skip. Totally ignoring roller wear is not always wise. That's why I have a plug gage to check individual pairs of rollers.

Suppose that you can get 5000km from a chain. How many chains before encountering new-chain skip? I'm thinking at least 5.

Another thing that's not widely known is that a chain with as little as 500km of break-in use will not skip on worn sprockets, like a new chain will.

DaveS
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by DaveS

deleted
Last edited by DaveS on Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jesper2913
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:15 pm

by jesper2913

musiclover wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:26 am
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)
1) 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?

2) Also, why the first number is so vague? 0.15mm difference? You don't need a digital vernier for that kind of precision.
1: I've always just meassured my new chains when mounted on the bike and written down the number, to get some sort of starting point for wear. These are the readings that I get. I guess I've been through 25-30 chains by now. I'm always inside the interval of 144.70 to 144.85 mm.

2) I don't know. Maybe it's within the margin of error of meassurement. Or maybe chains are not excactly the same.

jesper2913
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:15 pm

by jesper2913

DaveS wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:54 pm
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.
True. I've tried this as well for a couple of years. But there are two downsides to this system. First of all you will wear your cassettes and eventuelly have to replace them. But if one does the math, this is probably less expensive than changing chains like I do now.

Second you need to have a system of storage and labelling your used chains. And that is a lot of work and takes up a lot of space. I had 4 chains in rotation on each of 3 bikes. That was 12 chains I needed to keep track of. Too much work to save pennies. Changing chains is not what is going to ruin most ppl.

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

by DaveS

jesper2913 wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:02 am
DaveS wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:54 pm
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.
True. I've tried this as well for a couple of years. But there are two downsides to this system. First of all you will wear your cassettes and eventuelly have to replace them. But if one does the math, this is probably less expensive than changing chains like I do now.

Second you need to have a system of storage and labelling your used chains. And that is a lot of work and takes up a lot of space. I had 4 chains in rotation on each of 3 bikes. That was 12 chains I needed to keep track of. Too much work to save pennies. Changing chains is not what is going to ruin most ppl.
Cassettes will always wear out at some point. No amount of measuring and tossing chains will stop that. When mutiple chains are tossed at .5%, eventually a new chain will skip on the worn sprockets and the cassette will have to be replaced. Whether that's better depends on how many chains get tossed. If you toss more than 4 or 5 chains for one cassette, you're most likely wasting a lot money, trying to protect the cassette.

Used chains don't need to be segregated by bike, unless they need different chains. Using Campy chains, I know that I'll never reach .5% elongation, so a quick check of the space between a pair of rollers is all I need to judge the wear on the chain. If your annual mileage is split between 3 bikes and 12 chains, it should take quite a few years before anything needs to be replaced.

jesper2913
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:15 pm

by jesper2913

DaveS wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:34 pm

Cassettes will always wear out at some point. No amount of measuring and tossing chains will stop that. When mutiple chains are tossed at .5%, eventually a new chain will skip on the worn sprockets and the cassette will have to be replaced.
Obviously.

But I'd like to postpone that point as long as possible.

That said, OP asked for other ppls experience. That is only what I was offering.

DaveS
Posts: 2803
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:26 pm

by DaveS

The idea behind rotating chains is to extend the life of the cassette as much as possible, or at least a longer life with fewer chains than would be used with the measure and toss prematurely method. With the measure and toss method, the cassette's life ends when a new chain is installed and skips on the most worn sprockets. That cassette could be used for much longer, if those tossed chains were kept each used for another 500-1,000 miles.

As for keeping track of the chains, it just came to me that they should all be placed over a hanger of some sort, like the long bolt I have attached to one of my work bench legs. When a new chain is needed, take the first one in the row and use it. The chain that was removed gets cleaned and hung at the back of the row of chains, so it won't be used until all the ones before it have been used. That way, all of the chains receive a similar amount of use, assuming that chains are removed for cleaning at regular intervals.

Those who never remove a chain for cleaning can forget this idea completely. They will toss worn chains more frequently and probably get less life from each cassette. That's the price you pay for doing minimal maintenance.

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

DaveS wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:10 pm
bm0p700f wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:29 pm
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.
Miche sprockets are generally thought to shift poorly.

With 25 bikes, just rotate between bikes and change chains once every 5 years.
That takes too much monitoring. Also I am moving worn chains about. A worn chain is a worn regardless of whether its rotated or binned. With campag kit I tend to find chains beyond 0.5% wear start to offer worse shifting whether it's on a campagnolo or miche cassette. Shimano maybe more forgiving but this chain rotation lark works for spinners. If your like me and use tall gears mostly 53-12t e.t.c then chain rotation does not work. The chains simply wears to quickly. The problem with this site is some people think everyone cycles like them or should. We dont. Chain rotation does not work me I have tried.

Miche cassettes shift perfectly for me and so many others. Some people think there sloppy setup is fine but it obviously isnt. Also just because there sloppy setup works o.k with a shimano cassette does not mean the miche cassette is the issue. The miche cassette is not a shimano copy and the sloppy setup needs to be improved so the cassette works as intended. If they did that they would also find there shimano cassette would shift well for longer. It's not difficult either. some people cant do this and blame the cassette. They cant be helped as they never question there skills and always blame the product. What do I know I'm only a mechanic. That means nothing anymore as so many think they great mechanics. Of those same folk can pretty much only set up one kind of drivetrain and are flumaxed by something every so slightly different comes along. Look at all the home mechanics who find problems with Sram eagle. Sram chains are shit but the drivetrain works well if you can adjust the b tension screw precisely.

Even with a campag cassette and clean chains I tend to see the cassette smaller sprockets toasted after two chains. That's 2000 to 4000km.

Thats why I use miche cassette. I can replace the worn out small sprockets as the larger ones dont get much use and last so much longer. That's why chain rotation does not help. Those people getting 5000km from there chains are spinning in 50t/21t at 20 mph. I cant do that and neither do I want to.

To make chain rotation work for me I'd be changing a chain every week with 5 chain method. Where as I simply replace the sprockets that have iffy shifting or have started to skip on the new chain. Much simpler.

The other solution I have for my commutor bike which is heavy and slow is to use a miche 16-29t. Chain life has been extended significantly over using a 13-29t simply because is am always in the tallest gear and that's now a lower gear.

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

by TobinHatesYou

I don’t have a complex method of storing and labeling chains. I wax five at a time and keep them hooked on separate “swisher tools” in a bin. When a wax chain gets taken off my bike, it gets thrown in a different bin. No need to micro-manage it beyond that. Each chain gets close enough to the same mileage under the same conditions. Once every couple of months I’ll use a chain checker on the used chains, but wax does such a good job of adding material between the pins/rollers, chain-checkers can be somewhat unreliable for measuring actual wear.

musiclover
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:58 pm

by musiclover

Not interested in multiple chain rotation methods and it is an offtopic here. Can we please return to discussing to chain measurement techniques?
jesper2913 wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:53 am
musiclover wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:26 am
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)
1) 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?

2) Also, why the first number is so vague? 0.15mm difference? You don't need a digital vernier for that kind of precision.
1: I've always just meassured my new chains when mounted on the bike and written down the number, to get some sort of starting point for wear. These are the readings that I get. I guess I've been through 25-30 chains by now. I'm always inside the interval of 144.70 to 144.85 mm.

2) I don't know. Maybe it's within the margin of error of meassurement. Or maybe chains are not excactly the same.
unfortunately, you were doing it wrong. Chain manufacturers often apply negative stretch to new chains to compensate for stretching. The brand new chain will not necessarily be at zero. The point of this topic is to find out zero but it seems no one has any idea.

jesper2913
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:15 pm

by jesper2913

musiclover wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:49 pm
Not interested in multiple chain rotation methods and it is an offtopic here. Can we please return to discussing to chain measurement techniques?

1) unfortunately, you were doing it wrong.

2) Chain manufacturers often apply negative stretch to new chains to compensate for stretching. The brand new chain will not necessarily be at zero. The point of this topic is to find out zero but it seems no one has any idea.
1: I didn’t know that. What is the right way to messure, when using a vernier caliper? I’m very interested in improving my system if possible.

2) Negative stretch? How does that work?

by Weenie


musiclover
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:58 pm

by musiclover

jesper2913 wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:59 am
musiclover wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:49 pm
Not interested in multiple chain rotation methods and it is an offtopic here. Can we please return to discussing to chain measurement techniques?

1) unfortunately, you were doing it wrong.

2) Chain manufacturers often apply negative stretch to new chains to compensate for stretching. The brand new chain will not necessarily be at zero. The point of this topic is to find out zero but it seems no one has any idea.
1: I didn’t know that. What is the right way to messure, when using a vernier caliper? I’m very interested in improving my system if possible.

2) Negative stretch? How does that work?
Please refer to my first post, I was able to find a reference for a new chain. Unfortunately, was not able to double check those numbers from a reputable source. Will need to consult with chain manufacturers, I am guessing.
But, as you can see, the number there is greater than the number you were always getting with new chains. My new Connex 10SX is even shorter than your measurements (I have measured 144.24mm!).

Most manufacturers (e.g. Campa) with traditionally high resource on the chain intentionally make them a bit shorter to compensate for the chain wear.

Unfortunately, at the moment I do not trust my vernier 100%, I am buying a new, better one soon. However, I can still get some rough measurements.

The number for the new chain (0 stretch) does match up with my go/no go style calipers.

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