Monday, July 13, 2009

from my bike expert with over 35 yrs experience

We were all confused last night about when to change a chain and the gear set in back. So I posted to my guy and this is his take on chains and gear sets......

Back in the old days when chains and freewheels were $10 each I changed them together every year. Now with cassettes going for $80-200+ that would get expensive fast. The common advice is to change chains every 1500-3000 miles, It depends on how clean you keep the chain and the quality of the chain. They will stretch over time and can start to wear the cassette. I have a Park tool that measures the stretch but I just change the chains every year on the new bikes and every 2 years on the old bikes. With clean chains that haven't stretched too much a cassette should last 5000-10000 miles.

I've used the chain cleaners but I don't think they're necessary anymore with the new dry lubes. They do work well but they're messy and I worry about the degreaser getting into the bottom bracket and derailleur pulleys. If you have a chain with a master link it's just as easy to take the chain off and soak it in degreaser off the bike. The cleaners are also good for mountain bikes where the chains get covered in mud and dirt.

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