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Park Tool Chain Checker -- Any thoughts?(10 posts)

Park Tool Chain Checker -- Any thoughts?bill
Jul 19, 2001 2:08 PM
I thought it was a nifty little device that I would find easier to use and more consistent than measuring my chain visually with a ruler or even a ruler designed for the purpose (with the little holes in it). I wonder, though, how much force I should use when pressing the little cam measuring device. Sort of snug it up, or really cram down on it?
A Couplegrzy mnky
Jul 19, 2001 2:39 PM
The first one is "Why?" But that's not your question.

Second, measuring things are usually designed to be snug, not mashed. Take a fine measuring instrument and apply a lot of force and you can get virtually any reading that you want. Park Tools probably also has some advice - a developed sense of feel is a necessary thing in bike mechanics.
Part of the "why" is that, when I have used a ruler, I was neverbill
Jul 19, 2001 2:48 PM
sure that I was measuring the exact part of the fore pin to the exact corresponding part of the aft pin. And it seemed to me that the measurement would be different with just a little bit of tension on the chain versus no tension at all. And how do you put tension on the chain and still measure it all by your lonesome.
Other than that, it just seemed like a cool tool that removed the guesswork and minimized the effect of my human fallibility, which I am finding out is not to be so. Fallibility wins, every dam time.
Know What You Meangrzy mnky
Jul 19, 2001 3:10 PM
Yes, we humans are a pretty flawed bunch!

I use time/miles and shifting performance to gauge when to replace the chain. On the MTBs the chain usually suffers a quick but brutal death from chain suck or naughty chainrings. As soon as it gives signs of misbehaving I replace it. I also install a new one before a race. Been thinking that the chain checker would be a good thing to have on hand. I work on enough other people's bikes that I don't always have the full picture when I start wrenching. The checker would eliminate one uncertainty very quickly. Another trick I do is to hang the chain froma nail when it's off the bike and compare it to a new one - obviously this isn't as easy.
Park Tool's website says "tight" whatever that means.bill
Jul 19, 2001 3:12 PM
Part of my question is to learn what changes when your chain wears and stretches. Do the pins lose diameter? Do the pins just get loose in their sockets in the links (the holes in the links enlaren, so that the pins are looser)? What happens?
Here it is...Jofa
Jul 19, 2001 3:58 PM
...in all the sordid detail, from the RBT FAQ:

http://yarchive.net/bike/chain_wear.html
Good link (so to speak). Thanks. nmbill
Jul 20, 2001 9:28 AM
nm
Nice phrase, grzy--"a developed sense of feel"Retro
Jul 19, 2001 3:36 PM
If you have it, you know what it means. If you don't...
I think I'm getting there, though.
re: How accurate do you have to be?Spoke Wrench
Jul 20, 2001 8:18 AM
I like to use a chain checker on customer bikes because it gives the customer confidence to see me use a tool that is obviously designed for the job.

On my personal bikes I usually just use a ruler. Frequently I find myself replacing the chain while I'm messing with something else on the bike. Cassettes cost more than chains so, to make my cassettes last longer, I take the attitude that it's better to replace your chein while the old one still has a little life left in it.
Yupgrzy mnky
Jul 20, 2001 8:36 AM
Got a bucket of "half used" roadie chains. Usually throw them on the MTB to put them out of their misery quickly. Once they come off the MTB they go to that great bicycle compost pile in the sky. There is a risk that a messed up steel chain will raise hell with alloy chainrings so they get yanked as soon as they misbehave.