Campagnolo 11 Speed Chain Wear Indications

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
User avatar
Scottybee
Posts: 408
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:31 am
Location: Santa Barbara

by Scottybee

I had a rather interesting customer come into the shop today- he cited a friend in saying that Campagnolo 11 speed chains don't wear in the traditional manner, being that they don't stretch- and that therefore traditional chain wear indicators are ineffective at warning the user that thier chain has worn out. He furthered his assertion in saying that the only sign that the chain needs to be replaced is when it breaks. He suggests preventative maintenance then, a new chain every 1600-2000km.

Given that I've got 6000km on my chain and customers with similar reports to mine- this opinion if true is great cause for concern

What say you WW crowd?
17 and stupid, bear with me

edmundo
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:04 pm
Location: UK

by edmundo

9100 km here, and everything perfect.
Under the Sun - a thriller for weightweenies with bike loving main character on Kindle here

lcoolb
Posts: 313
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:25 pm
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia / The Hague, Holland

by lcoolb

Scottybee wrote:What say you WW crowd?


I've taken note of your sig (no offence) :wink:

ODT
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:00 pm

by ODT

I clean it thorougly after every ride. I think I did about 5k on my previous one
http://www.cyclingtorrents.nl - Torrent Tracker dedicated to broadcasts of racing

ausrandoman
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:50 pm

by ausrandoman

Next time your "interesting customer" comes in, give him a tee shirt that says "Example of the Dunning Kruger Effect".

rustychain
Posts: 3915
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:42 pm
Location: lat 38.9677 lon 77.3366
Contact:

by rustychain

Mmm..... there is some valid things to consider. I'm sure Dave can give a better answer. First chains don't stretch so much as the rollers wear. Campy chains will be doing damage to your cassette sooner then the traditional wear indicators will indicate. So yes you can put on mega miles but at the increased cost of wear to your cassette. This issue is not peculiar to 11 speed chains BTW. It also does not mean you get a shorter chain life then other chains, IMO Campy chains still give the best durability. You need to measure the distance between the rollers with calipers to see exactly whats going on. Being rather lazy and knowing from past experience how long MY chains last I just replace them based on milage. In MY case about every 1800 miles. In season that means a bit less then every two months :shock: Keep in mind that I'm a big guy, put out lots of watts and do lots of climbing. I would suggest a search on this topic, I recall Dave giving exact measurements as well as an ambitious schedule of swapping chains to give maximum use of your chains and cassette
WW Velocipedist Gargantuan

User avatar
Scottybee
Posts: 408
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:31 am
Location: Santa Barbara

by Scottybee

lcoolb wrote:
Scottybee wrote:What say you WW crowd?


I've taken note of your sig (no offence) :wink:

None taken, any lack of knowledge on my part is compensated by ability to learn
17 and stupid, bear with me

User avatar
mr_tim
Posts: 902
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 8:47 pm
Location: durp durp durp

by mr_tim

rustychain wrote: I recall Dave giving exact measurements as well as an ambitious schedule of swapping chains to give maximum use of your chains and cassette


I've been doing the chain rotation usage that DaveS put forward in good detail for the last couple of years.

It worked on using 3nr chains across 1nr cassette with wear being put sequentially across the 3nr chains for around 1500km, then re-used for another sequence between 1500-3000km overall usage, and then again for another 3000-4500km usage.

The idea is that you prolong the longevity of the cassette buy always using a fresh chain & then using a suitably worn chain on a suitably worn cassette so that the chain & cassette meshed well enough to get good performance.

It does work really well - you get optimum wear out of your kit & you don't end up throwing out chains semi-worn or replacing cassettes early because they're slipping when new chains are fitted.

If you add in running an A bike & B training bike, you can always run the fresh & newest chains / cassettes on the A bike & then run out the older kit on the training bike & in bad weather when you might otherwise get annoyed that you were using your nice new kit in bad weather.

Here is the science bit ;)

DaveS wrote:Any chain with a .5 inch pitch will mesh perfectly with a Chorus cassette. What causes the chain to become longer is wear between the pins and the bushings formed into the inner side plates. In that regard, Campy is better than any brand that I tested, by a large margin. There's more to chain wear than just elongation, however. If you use a precision 12" rule to measure the elongation, you may find very little, even after 4-6,000 miles, with a Campy chain, but that does not mean that it's not shot. Roller wear can also affect the cog profile and cause some of the most-used cogs to skip with a new chain, even if the chain has far less than .5% elongation. I found this out by using a Campy 10 chain for 6,000 miles with a new cassette. The chain showed a true elongation of only 1/16 over the entire length, or about .15% elongation, but the rollers were shot. The OD was about .005 inch smaller and the ID about .010 inch larger. The side clearance was also nearly twice that of a new chain. A new chain skipped on the most-used 19T cog.

If you really want maximum cassette life, alternate the use of 3-4 chains and change each one before the roller spacing increase from it's original .200 inch to .215-.220 inch. Shimano or KMC chains will measue in the .210-.215 inch range when new, but the .015-.020 inch increase in roller spacing still applies. Shimano or KMC chains may elongate up to four times faster than a Campy chain, so elongation should also be monitored. Alternate chains before reaching .25% elongation.

lcoolb
Posts: 313
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:25 pm
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia / The Hague, Holland

by lcoolb

Scottybee wrote:None taken, any lack of knowledge on my part is compensated by ability to learn


LOL, smartass :thumbup:

Actually, the whole alternating chains thing to increase longevity is a myth. A chain of model A will last X km, period. Alternating between N chains of model A, will just take each chain N times longer (in time) to reach its limit of X km. No magic there...
See http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

fdegrove
Tubbie Guru
Posts: 5851
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 2:20 am
Location: Belgium

by fdegrove

Hi,

lcoolb wrote:LOL, smartass :thumbup:

Actually, the whole alternating chains thing to increase longevity is a myth. A chain of model A will last X km, period. Alternating between N chains of model A, will just take each chain N times longer (in time) to reach its limit of X km. No magic there...
See http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Yes, and no.

You left half of the equation out of the equation.

Ciao, ;)
Being a snob is an expensive hobby.

lcoolb
Posts: 313
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:25 pm
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia / The Hague, Holland

by lcoolb

Care to elaborate on that?

rustychain
Posts: 3915
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:42 pm
Location: lat 38.9677 lon 77.3366
Contact:

by rustychain

Switching chains is to reduce wear on cassettes not chains.
WW Velocipedist Gargantuan

fdegrove
Tubbie Guru
Posts: 5851
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 2:20 am
Location: Belgium

by fdegrove

Hi,

Thank you Rusty.

Since this is about preventing unnecessay wear and tear, how would you go about it?

Ciao, ;)
Being a snob is an expensive hobby.

lcoolb
Posts: 313
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:25 pm
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia / The Hague, Holland

by lcoolb

rustychain wrote:Switching chains is to reduce wear on cassettes not chains.


That makes sense. Alternating chains would effectively spread out (delay) the worn-chain-on-cassette effect, is that what you mean?

DaveS
Posts: 2529
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:26 pm

by DaveS

Campy chains do not wear in the same manner as most other brands - both 10 and 11 speed. Campy chains may have as little as 1/4 the amount of elongation as other brands. Elongation is properly measured with a precision scale - not a chain checker that mixes roller wear with elongation. If a chain checker is used on a Campy chain, it will primarily report roller wear, not elongation.

I've used a Campy 10 chain for 6,000 miles and measured about .15% elongation, but the rollers were shot and the side clearance nearly twice that of a new chain. That chain wore a new cassette enough to cause chain skip on my most-used cog, when a new chain was installed.

Campy chains can be easily measured for both elongation (with a precision rule) and roller wear, using calipers with internal tips. The space between the rollers will be about .200 inch when new. I alternate chains when the spacing increases to .215-.220. A really shot chain will meaure about .240 inch.

A chain should no break because it is worn. That idea is nonsense.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post