The wear of the chain is insidious. It is not felt in the early days and when the signs appear, it is often too late…
To measure the wear of your chain, whether it is its brand, you will need a gauge, or your hands. But to cut your chain, if it is not equipped with a fast link, you will also need a solid chain drift.
Pictures © Frédéric Iehl
Time and difficulty
It will take you about ten minutes to control your chain and remove it if necessary. After that, count as much time if you need to clean your transmission. The measurement is very easy, the disassembly sometimes a little less but it remains accessible.
From the eye you can see that there is play in the links, but that’s all… If the roller is worn out it’s a bad sign, anyway…
The gauge is easy to use, it does not fit, the chain is good. If the gauge comes in, it’s worn out! Make the measurement on about ten points, a single measure is not authentic!
Without a gauge, it is enough to surround the large chainring with the chain and squeeze it by hand to tender it.
With the other hand, we try to take it off the chainring opposite the tightening. We squeeze at « 9 hours », we control at « 3 hours ». If it rises like this with a new tray, it needs to be changed.
If there is no fast link, the chain is cut anywhere. It has finished it career, it will not be reused. Except on a chain whip!
If you have a fast link, you must press the pads against each other.
The two pads are then slided on each other to open them. Sram fast link chains cannot open… If the fast link is difficult to open, there are specific clamps to make them move. To see if the investment is profitable!
Fast links are often reusable, but they should not be reassembled on a new chain. We can keep them to have them in troubleshooting to repair if we break our chain… But these links wear out, like the others, so we must not forget the rule: the strength of a chain is equal to that of its weakest link!