Author Topic: Chain Length  (Read 1679 times)

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Offline awbikes

Chain Length
« on: March 10, 2012, 08:17:53 pm »
I just put on a new SRAM 971 chain and expected to need to remove at couple of links. To my surprise the new chain was the exact length of my existing chain. I have 440 mm chain stays and did not think that was overly long. I have a triple ring in the front (50 tooth is largest) and my largest rear sprocket is 32 teeth. I would think there are alot of bikes out there that would requie a longer chain. Just curious, is my situation unusual? Also the new chain has a grease type lube, can I ride it as is. What if I change to my dry lube can I just add it now and go. I would not think the two are compatable.

Joe B

  • Guest
Re: Chain Length
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2012, 08:52:04 pm »
Don't know how unusual it is but on the 56cm Surly LHT I just built using Campagnolo Triple in front (50/40/28) and a SRAM (12-36) in the rear, I needed to ADD links to get the length correct. Buying a second chain was an unwelcome expense but now I have a nice chunk left over for repairs.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Chain Length
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2012, 09:08:08 pm »
The SRAM chains I buy have 114 links. My touring bike needs 114 links, and my road bike needs 106 links. Shimano DuraAce chains have 116 links if you need a bit more.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Chain Length
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2012, 12:00:46 pm »
"The grease  type lube is intended to protect the chain against rust until used. Some say that lube is also the best for running. I am not sure about that. It will attract more grit than a dry lube. Chain lube is most important between chain parts. If spaces are filled, additional lube won't get in. If spaces are not filled, I don't see much harm if added lube is different.

Offline PeteJack

Re: Chain Length
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2012, 04:12:11 pm »
See Sheldon on chain lube He reckons factory lube is good stuff and you shouldn't use your own until the chain needs it

Offline John Nelson

Re: Chain Length
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2012, 04:39:43 pm »
See Sheldon on chain lube He reckons factory lube is good stuff and you shouldn't use your own until the chain needs it
A couple of years ago I acted on Sheldon's advice in this area, and I left on the "factory lube". It did not work out for me as Sheldon advertized. My new chain started squeaking in no time.

Offline PeteJack

Re: Chain Length
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2012, 06:17:14 pm »
The trouble is that anything to do with chains is as bad as politics or religion. Like these two there seems to be a lot of faith involved and everyone's experience seems to be different. I've just met a mechanic this morning who claims to have worked on the Tour de France who reckons chains are only good for 500 (that's five hundred) miles and that expensive chains are no better than cheap ones. My own experience inclines me to agree with him. I look on chains as a consumable to be changed sooner rather than later; cleaning, different lube regimes etc. doesn't seem to make much difference. Mind you on the Tour I suppose they toss chains pretty quickly, probably a new one for each stage it's not worth taking the risk of them starting to jump gears or you won't be a mechanic for long, so he may be a bit biased.

So, if a rigorous cleaning and lubrication regimen plan brings you peace and contentment, do it. I'll bumble along my way.

To answer the original query I have found SRAM chains to be just the right length, other brands I've had to remove a link. Be careful shortening chains if it's too short and you accidentally go into the big-big gears (which we all know you're not supposed to do) the chain can lock up solid. I know whereof I speak.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Chain Length
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2012, 08:11:20 pm »
A couple of years ago I acted on Sheldon's advice in this area, and I left on the "factory lube". It did not work out for me as Sheldon advertized. My new chain started squeaking in no time.

I run new chains until they squeak.  I got a few SRAM chains a couple years back that just barely had enough lube on them to rust-proof them in their cellophane package.  The others I've bought, including the two on my bikes now, typically run 500-700 miles before they need re-lube.  I guess their ISO QC caught up with the penny-pinchers.