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when to replace campy 10speed chain(12 posts)

when to replace campy 10speed chainishmael
Mar 4, 2003 6:06 PM
Isn't it possible to get away with replacing chains frequently so as to avoid replacing the cassette? My chain is a bit over 1/16 streached(in 12 inches). Also, I'd say it is a bit noisier than it had been; could this be a sign of wear?. Also, could the streach be responsible for the cracking noise I experience sometimes(about once an hour or so)? Or could it be the quicklink?
questions and answershackmechanic
Mar 4, 2003 8:43 PM
I don't understand why people don't just go to their LBS and ask these questions. You've obviously dropped a couple of bucks on a bike if it's Campy 10, don't you trust your LBS to answer this question for you?

Here's your answer anyway.

1/16" stretch between links on the outside plates of your chain is an obsolete means of checking chain for wear. Skinnier chains will wear on the rollers faster than it manifests on the outside pin to pin measurement. What you need to do is invest in a Park chain checker (most others don't work with the new skinnier 10spd chains) and trust the guage on the tool. Anything under 0.5 and you can replace the chain without replacing the cassette. Anything more and you need to do both. If you keep your chain clean and lubed and ride in dry conditions you can typically expect 4000 to 5000kms out of a chain but dirty chains ridden in the wet will be worn in under 2500kms. If you're not keen on the maintenance and live in a wet area it's typically better to ride a single chain and cassette until it's worn off the scale. Otherwise you'll spend more on chains than on a chain/cassette combo. If you have several sets of wheels with different gearing (hill cassette on a light wheelset vs. tight cassette on time trial wheelset etc.) then you should change your chain frequently, every 2500kms or so, to ensure that it will work with all your wheelsets.
no I dont trust the LBSishmael
Mar 5, 2003 4:56 AM
They're not sure, but they told me Campy recommends replacing chain and casette. I know that isn't necessarily the case.
advice from a mechanicrussw19
Mar 5, 2003 12:30 PM
Ishmael, if your shop is telling you to replace the cassette and you are thinking it doesn't need it and you think they are only doing it to sell you a new cassette, then try this approach with the shop.

Ask them to first replace the chain, then test ride it and see if the chain skips. If so, see if it only skips in certain cogs, then you can replace the cassette, or just the affected cogs.

The truth is that the shops only survive by making money, but shops make the most money on labor. They love working on your bike and trying new things, as long as they can bill you for it. But if they are giving you advice, they generally know what they are talking about. If you feel they don't, find another shop.

When I do this repair at the shop, I will always explain that the cassette and chain wear together, but not at the same rate. If you replace your chain often enough, you can get away with not replacing the cassette. Here's the trade off though, and I tell people this too. If you have a $50 Campy Chain and you have to replace it every 3000 km, and you do that 4 times, you really could have just riden the one for 12,000 km and replaced the chain, cassette, and chainrings and pulleys for about the same price. I would not recommend you do that, but at what point does it become cost effective to think that route. It sucks to think this, but sometimes riding it till it dies is better for your wallet. Or you can try replacing the chain and 2 or 3 cogs off your cassette (an option I often do myself, being I live in Florida where it's flat and ride in a 16, 17, or 18 90% of the time)

Bottom line, replace chain first, test ride, look for other problems and deal with them accordingly. The shop may charge you more in labor to go back and do the cassette then if they did it the first time, but it may save you more money in parts too.

don't totally agree...C-40
Mar 5, 2003 6:24 AM
The park tool is fine, but it does the same thing as a scale. It's measuring the change in length. If you want more accuracy, measure a longer length. Wear on the bushings and pins both make the chain longer.

With a 10 speed chain, I'd consider 1/16 inch elongation over 12 inches well worn. Mine typically have only 1/16 inch elongation over 48 inches, after 3000 miles. I usually find that these chains suffer a significant amount of side wear, which degrades shifting, before they are stretched 1/16". I change mine at 3-4000 mile intervals just to maintain the best possible shifting.

I wouldn't change a cassette unless their is some chain skipping detected immediately after a new chain is installed. Then you have to decide if it's more econmical to change the cogs that skip, or the whole cassette. With the cogs pinned in groups, two groups of cogs will cost about as much as a whole cassette. Better to get all new cogs unless the worn ones are confined to a single group.
Mar 5, 2003 8:47 AM
The Park tool measures the wear on the rollers independently of the chain plates. 10spd rollers are narrower and wear faster than 9 or 8spd rollers (handles the same amount of drive forces over a smaller area.) The method you describe, measuring plates over 12 inches, was common practice when chains were 6 speed and had even wider rollers. I've measured chains off the scale with the Park tool that would conisdered only moderately worn on a link to link basis.
sorry but you're wrong...C-40
Mar 5, 2003 3:49 PM
First of all, 10 speed rollers are not narrower than 9 speed. Both measure the same .082-.083 inch thickness. There is absolutely no reason for the 10 speed chain to wear faster. The width of the chain also has nothing to do with the amount of wear (change in chain pitch) that is tolerable. 10 speed cogs are only 3% (.002 inch) narrower than 9 speed cogs, so narrow cogs can't be blamed for higher wear rates either. I've been using campy 10 for 3 years and have not noticed any significant difference in chain life.

Chains get longer due to wear on the rollers and pins. The distance between two pins on each end of the INNER plates gets longer due to this wear. This increases the pitch of the chain. The distance between the two pins on an outer plate is fixed at .500 inch (nominal) and never changes.

The park tool does NOT "measure the wear on the rollers independently of the chain plates". It is nothing but a metalbar with one fixed pin and one pin mounted on a rotating disc. As the disc is turned, the length between the two pins increases. When the indicator is in the red, the length between the two pins is about .040 inch longer than when centered in the blue. This device merely measures a short length of chain with a reasonable degree of accuracy. If the blue and red sticker attached to the thumb wheel in not properly centered, the park tool will produce a different reading depending on whether the wheel is turned to the right or the left.

The park tool performs exactly the same function as a scale measuring a chain that has been laid out straight on a bench and pulled tightly or one that is mounted on the bike and under tension. The park tool does have the advantage of producing an easily readable result.
depends on the LBSmmaggi
Mar 5, 2003 6:31 AM
In my neighborhood, ALL LBs are Shimano friendly, but not all are Campy friendly. For those that are Campy friendly, their knowledge of Campy isn't anywhere near Shimano.
If you are going to replace the chain, which ...Live Steam
Mar 5, 2003 7:17 AM
it sounds like you should, I highly recommend the Wipperman Connex 10X1. It gets rave reviews all around. This is the best investment you can make in a bicycle component. The master link is just plain "masterful". The design is simple and reliable. It is so easy to remove and replace that your chain will always be clean. You will have no qualms about removing it, even once a week, to keep it clean and thus keeping the cogs and rings shiny and new looking. The chain itself is machined to impeccable tolerances and I believe yields more miles than stock chains. I actually put the master link on the Campy chain I already had to avoid using the Campy sub pin.
Wipperman chain...hackmechanic
Mar 5, 2003 8:41 AM
wears faster than Campy. While not emperically conclusive I've compared half a dozen of each and found the nickel plated ones to wear about 20% faster. I haven't used a stainless steel one so I can't comment on that.
Wipperman chain...Live Steam
Mar 5, 2003 8:53 AM
I am sure you must be right about the nickel plated version. I have been using the SS. Wouldn't use anything less than SS. I haven't been able to judge which lasts longer, a Campy 10 or the Wipperman, but the master link is super and shifting with the SS Wipperman Connex is quick and precise.
Wipperman chain...tarwheel
Mar 5, 2003 9:04 AM
I got absolutely terrible wear from two Wipperman nickle chains, less than 1000 miles on the last one and the chains prematurely wore out a cassette. I do, however, love the Wipperman/Connex link. So, I'm now using the best of both worlds -- a Campy 10 chain coupled with a Wipperman link.