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Re: Excessive chain wear?

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  • jtrops
    After reading all of the responses it seems like my chain wear is par for the course. I could have cleaned my chain more often, but I haven t been bad about
    Message 1 of 24 , Mar 5, 2011
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      After reading all of the responses it seems like my chain wear is par for the course. I could have cleaned my chain more often, but I haven't been bad about maintenance by any means. My new chain is a KMC Z410RB, and it has fairly good reviews for durability, and weather resistance. We'll see how it fairs. It turns out that my new chain is almost perfectly tensioned without a tensioner at all. So, my old tensioner was really just taking up chain wear slack. I wonder if there is a way that I could put a scale on my tensioner so that when it points to the right indicator I would know my chain was toast.

      I turned a channel in an old skate wheel on my lathe, and made an idler with it. I wanted to route my return chain above the cross bar, but I found that if my chainline was maintained it had to rub the active chain, so it went back underneath.


      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, David Chase <dr2chase@...> wrote:
      >
      > I use the Park Tool (the easy laser-cut one), but I get pretty terrible wear at unpredictable rates (i.e., looks good one month, two months later, completely worn out, and the cog in the rear won't mesh with the new chain).
      >
      > I'm not much on regular maintenance; I did get a chain case to help with front wheel splash, but (for various reasons) I have that TerraCycle idler on order, and I am also wondering if I could sneak a small guard in near where the rear wheel passes near the chain. There's a fender, but it's clearly not clean back there.
      >
      > My current plan is to make it to the spring, when the roads are a little cleaner. I still need to buy a new front chainring, and then I will try to make it All Right and see how long it goes.
      >
      > David
      >
      >
      > On 2011-03-04, at 7:00 PM, jtrops wrote:
      >
      > > I just changed my chain so that I could use an old Suntour BMX freewheel on my Nuvinci. The new chain is much shorter for the same number of links. When I measured it the 12" ruler goes from the center of one pin to the edge of the 12" pin, so that's about 1/16" stretch. That would indicate that the chain needed to be replaced anyway, but I have only been riding this chain since July. I have ridden it almost everyday, and sometimes with fairly heavy loads, but not often. I would guess that I probably have about 1200-1500 miles on it.
      > >
      > > Is this kind of wear normal for Xtracycle/Big Dummies? I know it's anecdotal, but what have other people experienced?
      > >
      > > For reference I had a Sram pc830.
      > >
      > >
      >
    • Vik Banerjee
      I almost never clean my chain [assuming we are talking street riding here vs. muddy mtn biking]. I think you can end up doing as much damage flushing grit
      Message 2 of 24 , Mar 5, 2011
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        I almost never clean my chain [assuming we are talking street riding here vs. muddy mtn biking].  I think you can end up doing as much damage flushing grit deeper into your chain than it does on the surface.

        When I can I use 8 speed SRM chains I can buy locally for $16. I put them on use them and throw them away when they are worn. If you change your chains aggressively your rings and cogs should last a long time.

        Properly fitted fenders with generous mudflaps will help keep crud off your chain. 

        safe riding,


        On 2011-03-05, at 8:39 AM, jtrops wrote:

         

        After reading all of the responses it seems like my chain wear is par for the course. I could have cleaned my chain more often, but I haven't been bad about maintenance by any means.

      • David Chase
        This is hooked up to a Shimano Alfine hub, also I have a chaincase (Velo Orange) for keeping my pants clean. Seems to work; I put it lower than they recommend,
        Message 3 of 24 , Mar 7, 2011
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          This is hooked up to a Shimano Alfine hub, also I have a chaincase (Velo Orange) for keeping my pants clean.

          Seems to work; I put it lower than they recommend, I think because my largest (and only) chainring is a 38, and the chaincase clearance is very, very tight. I cut away part of it to add clearance.

          Clearance is pretty tight in the back, to the shifting cable mount, too. Following their installation height advice would probably improve the shifter clearance a little, but make the chaincase clearance a little worse. I plan to try flipping it around so that the idler is to the rear of the tube, which ought to improve both just a little bit, if it fits in the available space.

          A corollary of the tight chaincase clearance, is that I think there is a risk of grease-on-pants. I'm going to try to make something that doesn't look too awful, using spokes threaded through holes, in minor tension back to the idler, to attempt to keep pants from flopping into the chain.

          David
        • jtrops
          Do you have a photo? I d like to see how the idler looks. I know what you mean about space. I have a 36t chainwheel on mine, and it just didn t get the chain
          Message 4 of 24 , Mar 7, 2011
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            Do you have a photo?

            I'd like to see how the idler looks. I know what you mean about space. I have a 36t chainwheel on mine, and it just didn't get the chain high enough to have the return chain going over the tube without hitting the active chain. You may be right about getting more room to play behind the tube as it would put the idler closer to the center of the chain.

            I'd also like to see how the chainguard looks. I was thinking about putting one on my Dummy.
          • ama3655@aol.com
            In a message dated 3/7/2011 9:06:13 A.M. Central Standard Time, jtrops@yahoo.com writes: I d also like to see how the chainguard looks. I was thinking about
            Message 5 of 24 , Mar 7, 2011
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              In a message dated 3/7/2011 9:06:13 A.M. Central Standard Time, jtrops@... writes:
              I'd also like to see how the chainguard looks. I was thinking about putting one on my Dummy.

               
               
              +1. I'd really like to be able to run a full chain guard on my Dummy.
               
              FatRob
            • David Chase
              I ll work on a photo (I m at work now). The idler, seems pretty good, note that I am running with the slightest bend on the drive side, which should do a lot
              Message 6 of 24 , Mar 7, 2011
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                I'll work on a photo (I'm at work now). The idler, seems pretty good, note that I am running with the slightest bend on the drive side, which should do a lot to reduce changes in the chain line, deformation, etc.

                The clearances on the chain case are darn tight; if I could find a better fitting crank with similarly low tread (it's a Sugino RD2 track crank), I would. I think there's 1-2 mm clearance at multiple points. The upside is, when the clearance goes wrong, it's just noisy.

                Flipping around behind looks like I might have chain-fender clearance issues. Sigh. And the chain, near the end of the winter, is just filthy, so working on this is just awful. I may just give it a few hundred miles of use to see how it works in this setup.

                David


                On 2011-03-07, at 10:06 AM, jtrops wrote:

                > Do you have a photo?
                >
                > I'd like to see how the idler looks. I know what you mean about space. I have a 36t chainwheel on mine, and it just didn't get the chain high enough to have the return chain going over the tube without hitting the active chain. You may be right about getting more room to play behind the tube as it would put the idler closer to the center of the chain.
                >
                > I'd also like to see how the chainguard looks. I was thinking about putting one on my Dummy.
                >
                >
              • jtrops
                After looking at the VO chaincase I think I may just go with a BMX style chainguard. It doesn t go all of the way around the chainwheel, but it seems like
                Message 7 of 24 , Mar 7, 2011
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                  After looking at the VO chaincase I think I may just go with a BMX style chainguard. It doesn't go all of the way around the chainwheel, but it seems like maintenance might be easier.

                  Still, I'd like to see how it looks.


                  --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, David Chase <dr2chase@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I'll work on a photo (I'm at work now). The idler, seems pretty good, note that I am running with the slightest bend on the drive side, which should do a lot to reduce changes in the chain line, deformation, etc.
                  >
                  > The clearances on the chain case are darn tight; if I could find a better fitting crank with similarly low tread (it's a Sugino RD2 track crank), I would. I think there's 1-2 mm clearance at multiple points. The upside is, when the clearance goes wrong, it's just noisy.
                  >
                  > Flipping around behind looks like I might have chain-fender clearance issues. Sigh. And the chain, near the end of the winter, is just filthy, so working on this is just awful. I may just give it a few hundred miles of use to see how it works in this setup.
                  >
                  > David
                  >
                  >
                  > On 2011-03-07, at 10:06 AM, jtrops wrote:
                  >
                  > > Do you have a photo?
                  > >
                  > > I'd like to see how the idler looks. I know what you mean about space. I have a 36t chainwheel on mine, and it just didn't get the chain high enough to have the return chain going over the tube without hitting the active chain. You may be right about getting more room to play behind the tube as it would put the idler closer to the center of the chain.
                  > >
                  > > I'd also like to see how the chainguard looks. I was thinking about putting one on my Dummy.
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                • David Chase
                  Pictures: http://gallery.me.com/dr2chase#100293 I cut away some of the chain guard to avoid chain rub. And all the holes, for the spokes (pants diverters) and
                  Message 8 of 24 , Mar 7, 2011
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                    Pictures:

                    http://gallery.me.com/dr2chase#100293

                    I cut away some of the chain guard to avoid chain rub.
                    And all the holes, for the spokes (pants diverters) and for the bootlace holding it tight against the homemade PVC mount, those are nonstandard, too.

                    Commentary later....

                    David
                  • ama3655@aol.com
                    Definitely cool. Almost even steampunkish. In a message dated 3/7/2011 5:21:09 P.M. Central Standard Time, dr2chase@mac.com writes: Pictures:
                    Message 9 of 24 , Mar 7, 2011
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                      Definitely cool. Almost even steampunkish.
                       
                       
                      In a message dated 3/7/2011 5:21:09 P.M. Central Standard Time, dr2chase@... writes:
                      Pictures:

                      http://gallery.me.com/dr2chase#100293

                      I cut away some of the chain guard to avoid chain rub.
                      And all the holes, for the spokes (pants diverters) and for the bootlace holding it tight against the homemade PVC mount, those are nonstandard, too.

                      Commentary later....

                      David
                       
                    • TeamJT
                      Thanks for the photo s.  It makes it much easier to see how it all goes together. Does the idler pulley make extra noise due to the bend in the chain line?
                      Message 10 of 24 , Mar 7, 2011
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                        Thanks for the photo's.  It makes it much easier to see how it all goes together.

                        Does the idler pulley make extra noise due to the bend in the chain line?  The pvc mount is clever.  I may have to borrow that idea at some point.  

                        I'm not as concerned about my pants as I am about getting more life out of my chain.  VikB suggested fenders with mud flaps as part of the solution, and I thought that maybe a chainguard would further protect the chain from front tire splash.



                        --- On Mon, 3/7/11, David Chase <dr2chase@...> wrote:

                        From: David Chase <dr2chase@...>
                        Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Re: First experience with TerraCycle Big Dummy idler
                        To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Monday, March 7, 2011, 4:20 PM

                         

                        Pictures:

                        http://gallery.me.com/dr2chase#100293

                        I cut away some of the chain guard to avoid chain rub.
                        And all the holes, for the spokes (pants diverters) and for the bootlace holding it tight against the homemade PVC mount, those are nonstandard, too.

                        Commentary later....

                        David


                      • David Chase
                        ... Not really; I ve got very little bend on the load pulley, and the other one, is urethane. ... I want a bike that is just ready to go, always, no matter
                        Message 11 of 24 , Mar 7, 2011
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                          On 2011-03-07, at 6:45 PM, TeamJT wrote:
                          > Does the idler pulley make extra noise due to the bend in the chain line? The pvc mount is clever. I may have to borrow that idea at some point.

                          Not really; I've got very little bend on the load pulley, and the other one, is urethane.

                          > I'm not as concerned about my pants as I am about getting more life out of my chain. VikB suggested fenders with mud flaps as part of the solution, and I thought that maybe a chainguard would further protect the chain from front tire splash.

                          I want a bike that is just ready to go, always, no matter what. It should replace a car. So, I don't want greasy legs. I have fenders front and rear, and a front mud flap, and the chaincase provides some shielding (used to provide more, I had a thin piece of plastic on the backside), and there's still grit everywhere. I am not sure whether it comes form that long low chain run, or if there's a fair amount of sand kicking around inside the rear wheel fender area.

                          David
                        • Rich W
                          The always ready to go criteria does not work with ANY complex mechanical item, including cars. They all require maintenance and have items that will wear out
                          Message 12 of 24 , Mar 7, 2011
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                            The always ready to go criteria does not work with ANY complex mechanical item, including cars. They all require maintenance and have items that will wear out and will continue to do so as long as made up of multiple mechanical parts.

                            From a theoretical standpoint a single speed steel frame bike using good quality track hubs, heavy duty aluminum rims, large gauge stainless spokes, a high end headset and freewheel and 1/8" drivetrain and chain should be ultra reliable if properly built. It will last even better if you can get a full chaincase for it. This is basically the standard configuration of European utility bikes for the last 100+ years and many of those seem to go practically forever with minimal TLC.

                            Adding derailleurs or an IGH will almost certainly decrease reliability, at least slightly, while increasing versatility. Your call regarding the best compromize for you.

                            As a retired Reliability Engineer for Xerox I can guarantee that the general rule of thumb for ultimate reliability is KISS. Every added component has it's own failure rate which adds to the total overall risk of failure of the complete assembly.

                            Rich Wood


                            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, David Chase <dr2chase@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > On 2011-03-07, at 6:45 PM, TeamJT wrote:
                            > > Does the idler pulley make extra noise due to the bend in the chain line? The pvc mount is clever. I may have to borrow that idea at some point.
                            >
                            > Not really; I've got very little bend on the load pulley, and the other one, is urethane.
                            >
                            > > I'm not as concerned about my pants as I am about getting more life out of my chain. VikB suggested fenders with mud flaps as part of the solution, and I thought that maybe a chainguard would further protect the chain from front tire splash.
                            >
                            > I want a bike that is just ready to go, always, no matter what. It should replace a car. So, I don't want greasy legs. I have fenders front and rear, and a front mud flap, and the chaincase provides some shielding (used to provide more, I had a thin piece of plastic on the backside), and there's still grit everywhere. I am not sure whether it comes form that long low chain run, or if there's a fair amount of sand kicking around inside the rear wheel fender area.
                            >
                            > David
                            >
                          • David Backeberg
                            ... Love the handlebar tape and the zipties to reduce rub on the tubes. Ideas I d never thought of.
                            Message 13 of 24 , Mar 8, 2011
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                              On Mon, Mar 7, 2011 at 6:20 PM, David Chase <dr2chase@...> wrote:
                              > Pictures:
                              >
                              > http://gallery.me.com/dr2chase#100293

                              Love the handlebar tape and the zipties to reduce rub on the tubes.
                              Ideas I'd never thought of.
                            • David Chase
                              Update, with more riding in. 1) I simplified the spoke assembly, keeping only the upper spoke, and bending it so that it would not rub the edge of the pulley
                              Message 14 of 24 , Mar 8, 2011
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                                Update, with more riding in.

                                1) I simplified the spoke assembly, keeping only the upper spoke, and bending it so that it would not rub the edge of the pulley (it did that sometimes, made noise).

                                2) My shoe sometimes caught the lower spoke.

                                3) Not too much rubbing, though long term, I think I will want to cut away a little more of the chainguard, and somehow attach something that is slightly bowed (I imagine, aluminum flashing, perhaps attacked with pop rivets or small nuts and screws) to protect my pants and also give chain clearance.

                                4) Not much noise from the pulley, certainly not compared to the (snow) tires and the stretched chain in tension on the rear cog and front chainring. That's getting a little disturbing, to the point that I went and found the new chain that I intend to install "real soon now".

                                5) NO CHAIN SKIP AT ALL. This had been a problem, sometimes, intermittently, with the old chain especially, when I stomped hard on the pedals.

                                David
                              • Cara Lin Bridgman
                                I ve got fenders (Planet Bike, I think; via Xtracycle several years ago) with mud flaps with additional mud flaps cut from 2L soda bottles and I still get
                                Message 15 of 24 , Mar 10, 2011
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                                  I've got fenders (Planet Bike, I think; via Xtracycle several years ago)
                                  with mud flaps with additional mud flaps cut from 2L soda bottles and I
                                  still get spray up as high as my knees.

                                  I only do 'road' biking, but the road is sometimes dubious. The road is
                                  always some sort of paved, but it always has construction, and always
                                  has all sorts of grit. When I bike home, I have to wash the grit from
                                  my face and from my nostrils. I always wear a bandanna so I don't have
                                  to wash the grit from my hair. And, I always have to wear glasses or
                                  sunglasses--just to keep the grit out of my eyes. One source of the
                                  grit are dust storms from China's deserts.

                                  So, conditions here in Taichung, Taiwan, are just bad for chains (not to
                                  mention we're a coastal city with salt air). I've always admired the
                                  photos of bikes with beautifully shiny chains and wondered--how do they
                                  use these bikes AND keep the chains and gears shiny like that?

                                  I guess you could say I replace my chain whenever it starts breaking.
                                  Reading all these emails inspires me to clean it more and to replace it
                                  more.

                                  I'd appreciate some way to do a chain guard, so David Chase's photos are
                                  inspirational. Maybe I'll try cutting up a few more soda bottles...

                                  CL

                                  TeamJT wrote:
                                  > VikB suggested fenders with mud flaps as part of the
                                  > solution, and I thought that maybe a chainguard would further protect
                                  > the chain from front tire splash.
                                • David Chase
                                  I got that chain guard from Velo-Orange, and it was not cheap. I use the rule that when I spend money on my car, I get to spend money on my bike. Keeps the
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Mar 10, 2011
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                                    I got that chain guard from Velo-Orange, and it was not cheap. I use the rule that when I spend money on my car, I get to spend money on my bike. Keeps the car running, and the bike nice.

                                    I rather wish the idler wasn't necessary, but to clear the kickback, it is, and the kickback is a rather large win, too. Makes life a little better with a really worn chain, too.

                                    One possibility, I suppose, is to run the drive train straight, and position the return chain directly underneath. This would cut back a little on the chances for guard rub and greasy pants, but it would then be somewhat more likely that I would lose the chain from the front ring (this has happened). OR, buy a second idler mount, and run them one above the other. ($pend, $pend, $pend).

                                    On 2011-03-10, at 8:49 AM, Cara Lin Bridgman wrote:
                                    >
                                    > I'd appreciate some way to do a chain guard, so David Chase's photos are
                                    > inspirational. Maybe I'll try cutting up a few more soda bottles...
                                    >
                                    > CL
                                  • Andrew Kreps
                                    ... I m pretty sure they never ride in rain. I have to lube up my chain about every other day this time of the year, and you can forget about cleaning. It s a
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Mar 10, 2011
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                                      On Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 5:49 AM, Cara Lin Bridgman <shokulan@...> wrote:
                                      I've always admired the
                                      photos of bikes with beautifully shiny chains and wondered--how do they
                                      use these bikes AND keep the chains and gears shiny like that?


                                      I'm pretty sure they never ride in rain.  I have to lube up my chain about every other day this time of the year, and you can forget about cleaning.  It's a lost cause.  :)   
                                    • David Dannenberg
                                      I use Planet Bike fenders--29ers, not ones for 26 wheels--per Vik s or Pheadrus s recommendation. They have a mud flap and I have them mounted close to my
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Mar 11, 2011
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                                        I use Planet Bike fenders--29ers, not ones for 26" wheels--per Vik's or Pheadrus's recommendation. They have a mud flap and I have them mounted close to my 2.5" Hookworms. I ride in mud, silt, rain, dust, even light snow and salt and I remain almost dry completely spray-free. Something isn't right if you have fenders and experience wearing so much road during your ride.

                                        David

                                        When I bike home, I have to wash the grit from 
                                        my face and from my nostrils. I always wear a bandanna so I don't have 
                                        to wash the grit from my hair.
                                      • Cara Lin Bridgman
                                        I ve got the Planet Bike fenders (or whatever it was Xtracycle was selling about 5 years ago)--but for 26 wheels, so I added the soda bottle mud flap. Maybe
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Mar 11, 2011
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                                          I've got the Planet Bike fenders (or whatever it was Xtracycle was
                                          selling about 5 years ago)--but for 26" wheels, so I added the soda
                                          bottle mud flap. Maybe something softer and more flappy will do better,
                                          maybe something cut from a car inner tube...

                                          What's not right is Taichung air quality! A lot of that grit is wind
                                          blown. Taichung is Taiwan's Windy City. A lot of that grit is kicked
                                          up by passing cars, trucks, and motorbikes. Taichung is in a fairly
                                          constant state of construction and renovation. Most of Taichung's
                                          energy comes from coal burning and garbage burning plants. Taichung
                                          also gets grit from dust storms beginning in China's deserts.

                                          It's mainly the grit from the knees down that gets kicked up by my own
                                          bike's front wheel. The rest of the grit is just just out there. I get
                                          the same grit in the same places when riding my husband's 150 cc Yamaha
                                          motorbike.

                                          CL
                                          who wears her rain gear tight around her face because passing cars can
                                          kick up ear-cleaning tsunamis.

                                          David Dannenberg wrote:
                                          > I use Planet Bike fenders--29ers, not ones for 26" wheels--per Vik's or
                                          > Pheadrus's recommendation. They have a mud flap and I have them mounted
                                          > close to my 2.5" Hookworms. I ride in mud, silt, rain, dust, even light
                                          > snow and salt and I remain almost dry completely spray-free. Something
                                          > isn't right if you have fenders and experience wearing so much road
                                          > during your ride.
                                          >
                                          >> When I bike home, I have to wash the grit from
                                          >> my face and from my nostrils. I always wear a bandanna so I don't have
                                          >> to wash the grit from my hair.
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