Saturday, May 09, 2009

check that chain

There is a wonderful, inexpensive little tool by Park that you can use to check chain stretch. It gives you a go/no go check for whether or not to change your chain.

The basic premise is that your chain, cassette and rings all wear together. The chain stretches over time and the cassette and rings wear down too though not at as much.

At some point the chain stretches enough that if you keep riding it then when you do change you will have to change both the chain and cassette at the same time. But if you change the chain first you can eek out much longer life from the cassette and rings.

You will learn this first hand the first time you change your chain after a long long time and don't change the cassette, you will go to stand to hoss on the pedals and you'll get a kaaa-chunk, kaaaa-chunk as the new chain slips on the cassette. Also there is a much higher chance of getting some serious chain suck when using a new chain and an old chainring.

With this chain checker you can identify when it is time to change the chain out. I like that you don't have to think too much about it, just try to stick it on the chain and at the .75 setting and if it fits you're still ok, but if it fits with the 1.0 setting than you gotta change.


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