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# of links to add???????(13 posts)

# of links to add???????PTG
Jul 1, 2002 5:19 AM
If I am switching cassettes from an 11-23 to a 13-26, approximately how many links should I add to my existing chain. The chain currently has around 150 miles on it.
might be okDougSloan
Jul 1, 2002 6:12 AM
While in the big ring, slowly shift up to the 26 cog. As long as the derailleur pulleys are not pulled straight, you should be ok. It depends upon how much chain you had to begin with. If not, I'd add one link (one outer plus one inner section).
Right way vs. my way.Spoke Wrench
Jul 1, 2002 6:21 AM
The right way is to run the chain around the big/big combination, bypassing the derailleur and add 1" of chain. That assumes you have matching links to add if necessary. That's what I would do for a customer bike.

On my own bike, I might be tempted to just let it go. I don't use the big ring very much and never with the big cog. Be aware, though, that the penalty for forcing the big/big combination with a too short chain can be nasty.
big, bigpukka
Jul 1, 2002 7:27 AM
why would you want to use the big big combitation anyway
big, biggrandemamou
Jul 1, 2002 8:55 AM
I don't ride in big,big but I have gotten there by accident many times when my oxygen deprived brain over shifted. You need enough slack to have the ability to pedal in that gear even if you don't do it long.
Do it "frequently"Kerry Irons
Jul 1, 2002 4:54 PM
My setup is '98 Campy Record, 53/39 and 13-23. It easily shifts into the 53/23 with no objections and no noises. I often find myself in this gear when I need "just one lower" to crest the hill and know that I will immediately be shifting to bigger gears as I go over the top.
Jul 1, 2002 7:48 AM
Doesn't it make a difference what sort of derailleur the bike has? A long cage or medium cage uses more chain than a short cage, doesn't it?

Why not determine the length based upon the actual conditions the chain will experience, that is, big/big and through the derailleur?

I once almost ripped my derailleur off the bike when I hastily shifted to big/big in a paceline in a double century. Luckily, I noticed it and stopped pedaling immediately. I had to stop and untangle the chain, though.

Jul 1, 2002 8:10 AM
The derailleur is a dura ace (short cage). The chain is a sram pc68. I was just planning on adding couple of links and then reconnecting with the powerlink. I'm quite the newbie to road biking got the bike 2 mos ago, did my first century (Elephant Rock) last month and now am stepping up to Dare the Triple Bypass. There could be a chance that I do accidently hit the big, big combo but not for any sort of duration. Just wanted to make sure that I don't cause any problems if I did.
Duration isn't the issue.Spoke Wrench
Jul 1, 2002 8:29 AM
When you shift down into the big cog, it's because you're looking for an easier gear and you're generally pushing pretty hard on the pedals. If you shift into the big/big and don't have adequate chain length, you're leg power can twist your derailleur cage into the spokes. Only takes a second.
Nope.Spoke Wrench
Jul 1, 2002 8:22 AM
Type of derailleur doesn't matter. When you're in the big/big, regardless of cage length, the cage rotates forward to take the most direct line it can from chainring to cog. I think that this is the method recommended by Shimano and Park Tool.

The benefit I can see over the method you proposed is that I can size the chain before it's joined, so it's usually going to be faster. I always check it using your technique after it's connected, but the only time I ever had to make an adjustment in the chain length was when I made the stupid mistake of subtracting insted of adding 1" of chain.
Jul 1, 2002 9:44 AM
I just run the chain through the der. in the big/big combo and bring the ends of the chain together. It's pretty easy to see exactly the right length, pop the pin, join the chain and go on to the next thing.

Even if you don't suck the rear der. into the spokes with too short a chain you can twist the mechanism enough that it becomes unusable for good shifting. You can also bend the hanger.
re: # of links to add???????Chen2
Jul 1, 2002 2:14 PM
The technique that works for me, I read about it here, but don't remember who posted it, is to set the chain on the smallest chain ring and smallest cog. Route the chain through the derailleur and shorten it just enough so that the derailleur is taking the slack out of the chain. In other words the chain should be just short enough so that the derailleur is applying some tension to the chain and is not all the way back to its limit. Then make sure you can shift to the big ring and biggest cog smoothly, just to be sure you can, to avoid damage as the others have said.
Maybe you don't have to add any.Paul
Jul 3, 2002 3:41 AM
Big chain ring, smallest cog. The center of the pulley bolts should be 90 deg. to the ground. Big/big, your der. should be about 45 deg to the ground. should have about 1 inch of slack as measured to the chain stay in big/big. I switch from 12-23 to 12-27 and have never added any links. In general, most road bikes have 106 links to begin with, and this will handle those combos. Of course frame size, chain stay lenght should be accounted for. Too many links, and you will get chain slap. Try the above measurements before adding any links.