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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am just curious how long I should expect a 10 speed chain to last. I currently have about 1800 miles on a Shimano Ultegra 6700 10 speed chain that I replaced at the beginning of the season. I also replaced the cassette at the same time with a Shimano Ultegra 6700 unit. I am just now beginning to notice some chain slippage on shifts. Is it time to start thinking about replacing the chain again? And as a side question, do people find that the SRAM 10 speed chains last longer than the Shimano units?

Thanks for your input.

Regards,

Jay
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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how long is a piece of string?

seriously, it's different for every rider. different riding styles, weights, power outputs will all influence chain wear. if your chain is 'skipping' only when you shift, it's not wear but a derailleur adjustment, i'll bet. a chain and cassette both installed new together would need a lot more than 1800 miles to skip due to wear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am sure hopping that this is the case. I have made an adjustment to my RD, and the skipping seems to have gone away for now. However, this is how it started the last time I needed to replace my chain and cassette, but that was after about 3000 miles and not just 1800.

I hear from some that they replace their chain at the beginning of every season, and from others that this is not necessary. I know that "every season" is going to be different for every rider, miles wise that is. Some may have ridden 1500 miles, while others may have 5000 miles + in the same period of time. I am just looking for a good rule of thumb to follow, like a mileage range or something like that.

Regards,

Jay
 

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Do a search on chain life. There's a lot of info out there. A chain should never slip after 1800 miles. When I tested a Shimano chain, I found it would be take about 3500 miles to reach .5% elongation, but the chain must be well maintained to last that long. A cassette should last through at least 3 chains with that mileage, but it varies a lot, depending on riding conditions and maintenance.
 

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I get about 3000 miles per chain with reasonable maintenance, though by no means meticulous. I could see someone getting 5000 miles with greater care. Like C-40, I'd expect to get through 3 chains before changing a cassette. Perhaps it would also be 3 cassettes before needing to change chain-rings too?

You might also want to check your shifter cables where they terminate at the shifter. In my experience it is common for Shimano shifter cables to fray after about 5000 miles right at the end cap. I'd replace at the first sign of any fraying.
 

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Chains last a lot longer than people believe. This is compounded by the myriad of chain wear tools that don't accurately measure wear and tell you to replace chains very prematurely (some even indicate that brand new chains should be replaced).

http://pardo.net/bike/pic/fail-004/000.html

I think chains can last 6,000 to 10,000 mi. I have had 3 chains in rotation since 2006 and should be getting a new measuring tool today (been using the ruler method until now). I have no shifting or other issues with the chains and ride about 1100 mi/month year round.
 

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Take a look at this YouTube video of a chain wear comparison test. Here's the updated test results. Very interesting. Two Connex Wipperman models, two Campy models and one Shimano model were top five while the five worst were four SRAM models and a Point(?) model.
 

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testpilot said:
Take a look at this YouTube video of a chain wear comparison test. Here's the updated test results. Very interesting. Two Connex Wipperman models, two Campy models and one Shimano model were top five while the five worst were four SRAM models and a Point(?) model.

Kinda ironic that both chains that were at the top of the list are from the company doing the testing?
 

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The test methodology seems very logical, well thought out and objective. Fudging test results would be stupid. Rest assured, no federal employees were involved in designing or conducting the tests.
 

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testpilot said:
Take a look at this YouTube video of a chain wear comparison test. Here's the updated test results. Very interesting. Two Connex Wipperman models, two Campy models and one Shimano model were top five while the five worst were four SRAM models and a Point(?) model.
Wipperman, how about some chains that people actually use. Point? Yaban? Shimano HG X-7? What the hell?

They need to test cross-chaining and shifting as well, that was a big oversight. Also I don't know about you but I don't ride in sand too often. And anybody who would put that much lube on a chain is just asking for trouble. Re-evaluate this test (done by a third party) with some conditions that more closely resemble real life and then I'll take heed of the results.
 

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Mine are generally toast around 2000 to 2500 according to those measurement things anyway
I'd be on the low end, I think, because: All my miles are hard riding (I have another bike for leisure rides and that's chain has been going forever), I have decent power and ride a lot of hills (I assume all that grinding up really steep hills has an impact), and I tend to cross chain more than I should. I am good about keeping it clean and lubed though.
 

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frdfandc said:
Kinda ironic that both chains that were at the top of the list are from the company doing the testing?
+1

Although I will say I have over 5k mi on my Wipperman with ~0.75% elongation.
My 1st Wipperman. FWIW- I generally get around 3,000-3500mi on Shimano Ultegra/DA chains (to 1%).
 

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My LBS owner (Bike Improve of Los Angeles, CA) told me that these are the rules with Shimano Chains:

105: Replace at 600-700 miles
Ultegra: Replace at 800 to 900 miles
Dura Ace: Replace at 1400 to 1500 miles.

He was firm on this.
 

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My LBS owner (Bike Improve of Los Angeles, CA) told me that these are the rules with Shimano Chains:

105: Replace at 600-700 miles
Ultegra: Replace at 800 to 900 miles
Dura Ace: Replace at 1400 to 1500 miles.

He was firm on this.
He must have stock in Shimano.
 

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My LBS owner (Bike Improve of Los Angeles, CA) told me that these are the rules with Shimano Chains:

105: Replace at 600-700 miles
Ultegra: Replace at 800 to 900 miles
Dura Ace: Replace at 1400 to 1500 miles.

He was firm on this.
BS to me too. I routinely get >3+k mi on Shimano chains with routine (not obsessive) lubing. I seem to get a bit longer life from DA or Ult vs 105, but no way is diff >100%.
 

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My LBS owner (Bike Improve of Los Angeles, CA) told me that these are the rules with Shimano Chains:

105: Replace at 600-700 miles
Ultegra: Replace at 800 to 900 miles
Dura Ace: Replace at 1400 to 1500 miles.

He was firm on this.
And you bought it?

I would find a new shop.
 

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My experience differs.....
I have been riding Durace/Ultegra 10-speed chains for last 8 years, they typically last me between 5000 and 6000 miles (up to ~8500km).
I replace both chain and cassette together - not based on any measures but based on when they start to skip, despite good lubrication and correct derailleur adjustment.
The current prices of Shimano 105 10-speed cassette (I avoid Durace or even Ultegra cassette - too expensive) and prices Durace/Ultegra chains these days are such that I just replace both every ~8000km.
It made sense to replace chain more frequently when price of chain was much less than price of rear cluster. In my LBS the price of Shimano 105-cluster is now low enough that I replace cluster and chain together. Your mileage will vary!!

Note this is mainly flat road riding in mostly dry conditions and I lube the chain every ~300 miles or after wet rides, whichever comes first.
 
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