Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,644 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a year since I purchased my Cervelo and with it you get a free service. So I drop it off today and they do a quick look and tell me my chain is worn. I have Ultegra components on the bike and probably put 1,200 miles on it this year, maybe a few more. The chain was slipping last week, so I did have an adjustment made from another bike shop while on my ride and the guy just adjusted the front dreailleur, but did not say the chain was worn and he looked at it much longer than the guy who did a quick check at the shop today.

I am beggining to feel the free one year tune up isn't really free; add the labor to replace the chanin and the other $30 they expect for replacement parts; this free visit could be about $120. I went in for a free adjustment after I purchased a new saddle (from somewhere else) and ended up paying $26 for some chamois cream (I could have said no, but they did a good job with the fitting).

Fortunately I have signed up for a 6 week Park Tool course and look forward to keeping the bike tuned myself. So what I want to know is:

1) Did the chain slipping have something to do with the chain being worn?
2) Is it standard practice to find something wrong with the bike when you get free service?
3) Should I bring the mechanics a six pack tomorrow when I pick the bike up?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,713 Posts
a dissenting view

2cflyr said:
chains do stretch, and can stretch in one year.

as a wrench, get one of these. worth the $

https://www.parktool.com/products/detail.asp?cat=5&item=CC-2
Don't get one of those. They'd be worth the $ if they worked worth a darn, but they're inherently unreliable.
Get one of these:

measure the span between 24 pins. Should be 12" exactly. If it's 1/16" too long (.5% elongation), replace your chain. Simple, and more reliable than the checker tool.

Your chain could be that worn after a year and 1200 miles, but I'd bet not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
Have you performed any maintenance on the chain over the last year?

A properly maintained chain should last thousands of miles - 1,200 is nothing. Maintenance means regular lubrication. Chain lubricant also has a cleaning agent that helps get stuff out of the chain.

Every 150 miles, I clean my chain with a wet rag of mineral spirits, let the chain dry, and then put on lubricant. That keeps the chain nice and clean and prevents wear on the chain and cassette. I have 4,000 miles on my current chain and cassette and neither is slipping at all. I just bought a chain checker to measure the stretch but I am noticing no skipping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
599 Posts
Could be luck of the draw on the chain, I clean my chain, cassette, and chainrings regularly, and my last chain lasted less than 1000 miles.
 

·
Rub it............
Joined
·
3,833 Posts
Optimus said:
Could be luck of the draw on the chain, I clean my chain, cassette, and chainrings regularly, and my last chain lasted less than 1000 miles.

This could be an issue why your chain lasted less than a 1000 miles. Too much cleaning can kill a chain due to lack of lubrication inside the rollers where its needed. All depends on the cleaning methods.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,644 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
sbindra said:
Have you performed any maintenance on the chain over the last year?

A properly maintained chain should last thousands of miles - 1,200 is nothing. Maintenance means regular lubrication. Chain lubricant also has a cleaning agent that helps get stuff out of the chain.

Every 150 miles, I clean my chain with a wet rag of mineral spirits, let the chain dry, and then put on lubricant. That keeps the chain nice and clean and prevents wear on the chain and cassette. I have 4,000 miles on my current chain and cassette and neither is slipping at all. I just bought a chain checker to measure the stretch but I am noticing no skipping.
I have cleaned the chain about 7 times over the past year. I do lube it about every other weekend. I was expecting to get over 2,500 miles on the chain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,160 Posts
probably not...

frdfandc said:
This could be an issue why your chain lasted less than a 1000 miles. Too much cleaning can kill a chain due to lack of lubrication inside the rollers where its needed. All depends on the cleaning methods.
The idea that you can damage a chain by cleaning it is nonsense, for the most part. The only exception is if a citrus/simple grean type degreaser is used and not rinsed off. This could leave the initial relube consisting on some nasty mix of citrus cleaner and oil.

Any oil applied to a chain will pentrate inside the rollers and on to the pin in a matter of seconds, unless you're using something as thick as molasses, like STP. Even stright 90W gear lube is flow fairly fast.

A really poor oil can also accelerate. Some spray lubes, like WD-40 and many others like it have plenty of oil content (15-25%), the oil is not good enough to withstand the high pressures at the pin. I proved this by using nothing but WD-40 for about 1500 miles and got far more than the usual amount of elongation.

As for the chain "slipping", that is quite unusual. It can happen, but the cause is extreme elongation of the chain, on the order of 2% or four times the amount normally recommended .5% before changing. The more common occurence is chain skip, when a new chain is first installed on a worn cassette, where the previous chain(s) were left in service too long before being changed. Cogs eventually wear out no matter how often a chain is changed, so it will happen at some point. I like to get at least 3 chain's worth of wear from a cassette or 12-15,000 miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,644 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
C-40 said:
As for the chain "slipping", that is quite unusual. It can happen, but the cause is extreme elongation of the chain, on the order of 2% or four times the amount normally recommended .5% before changing. The more common occurence is chain skip, when a new chain is first installed on a worn cassette, where the previous chain(s) were left in service too long before being changed. Cogs eventually wear out no matter how often a chain is changed, so it will happen at some point. I like to get at least 3 chain's worth of wear from a cassette or 12-15,000 miles.
My chain was slipping after I had cleaned it fairly well, it was happening when I went from the small chain ring to the large chain ring. I really think it was a front derailleur adjustment, as I stopped by a bike shop on my ride and had it adjusted, then everything was fine. The mechanic didn't say anything about the chain being worn, quite frankly, after he fixed it my shifting has been very smooth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,474 Posts
Definition of terms.

Tommy Walker said:
My chain was slipping after I had cleaned it fairly well, it was happening when I went from the small chain ring to the large chain ring.QUOTE]

"Slipping" generally refers to a worn chain remaining on the cog, but actually riding up and over a tooth—jumping it, so to speak. If this happens under lots of power, you hear a loud pop or crack. Is this what you refer to when you say "slipping"? Or is it the rattling or grinding you hear when a chain can't quite decide which cog it needs to be on? It's important to make that distinction because those two symptons have very different causes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Is that slipping or not shifting? everyone here reads slipping as the chain comes unseated form the cogs teeth - usually something you only see at the cassette. To wear a chain to the point that it slips on the front rings would be fairly spectacular, especially in just 1200 miles.

Methinks you had a shifting problem up front - that has likely nothing to do with elongation.

Dura Ace chains are $50 at Performance Bike. Also the Wippermann Connex 10S1 10-speed Chain Connector is great as it requires no tools to get the chain on or off. Also check out the Performace coupon thread in Hot Deals for latest discount codes.
 

·
Cheese is my copilot
Joined
·
3,876 Posts
Measure the chain with a ruler as JCavilia says. If its stretched, replace it. If not, don't sweat it if the bike is working properly. If the chain isn't stretched and the bike isn't shifting properly then something else is wrong.
 

·
25.806975801127
Joined
·
9,790 Posts
Chain shouldn't be worn that early in its life.
Contrary to the opinion of one on here, cleaning a chain too much CAN cause problems. No lube can lubricate the rollers as well as the original lube from the factory. IME, Chain-L comes the closest.

The ruler method is susceptible to human error. Get the Wipperman go/no go chain checker. If the tool lays flat on the chain, it's replacement time.

Unless something has been broken, I don't try to sell anything on a free tune up. Of course, I don't try to sell anything that isn't needed anyway...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,644 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
wim said:
Tommy Walker said:
My chain was slipping after I had cleaned it fairly well, it was happening when I went from the small chain ring to the large chain ring.QUOTE]

"Slipping" generally refers to a worn chain remaining on the cog, but actually riding up and over a tooth—jumping it, so to speak. If this happens under lots of power, you hear a loud pop or crack. Is this what you refer to when you say "slipping"? Or is it the rattling or grinding you hear when a chain can't quite decide which cog it needs to be on? It's important to make that distinction because those two symptons have very different causes.
No loud pop or crack, actually it happened three times and I really didn't know it had "slipped" or "jumped" off the cog. When I started to pedal it just didn't go because it was off the cog.
 

·
Rub it............
Joined
·
3,833 Posts
C-40 said:
The idea that you can damage a chain by cleaning it is nonsense, for the most part. The only exception is if a citrus/simple grean type degreaser is used and not rinsed off. This could leave the initial relube consisting on some nasty mix of citrus cleaner and oil.

Any oil applied to a chain will pentrate inside the rollers and on to the pin in a matter of seconds, unless you're using something as thick as molasses, like STP. Even stright 90W gear lube is flow fairly fast.

A really poor oil can also accelerate. Some spray lubes, like WD-40 and many others like it have plenty of oil content (15-25%), the oil is not good enough to withstand the high pressures at the pin. I proved this by using nothing but WD-40 for about 1500 miles and got far more than the usual amount of elongation.

Didn't mean for it to sound like cleaning a chain is the devil. But I think that over cleaning with citrus cleaner can be a bad thing. A light cleaning - dry rag to the chain - after every ride goes a long way to keeping a drivetrain clean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
When I had access to an unlimited supply Diesel was my preferred cleaner - solvent and lube all in one, nicely scented too :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
647 Posts
Tommy Walker said:
1) Did the chain slipping have something to do with the chain being worn?
2) Is it standard practice to find something wrong with the bike when you get free service?
3) Should I bring the mechanics a six pack tomorrow when I pick the bike up?
So to answer your questions...

1) Possibly...50 variables, though.

2) No. It's standard practice to prevent big problems from arising. Riding a worn chain can become a big problem.

3) No. $$ is always better than beer. Money pays for beer, food, race entries, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,644 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update: bike is finished, just the chain needed replacing. Bike looks great, hopefully I can ride it this afternoon if the boss doesn't have any questions on this report that is onhis desk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,644 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
2cflyr said:
another question, that i'm not sure was addressed: do you cross chain frequently?
Not frequently, but occaisionally. I did the Philly Gran Fondo and it was hills out of the gazoo, so for 63 miles I did some pretty unsmooth shifting. I ride on the big ring and try to keep in the mid cogs on my rear cassette.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top