another tip, this ones for chains.

a few notes before i get into this. this particular tip works best for folks who use SACHS chains. the Power Link that is included with SACHS chains makes it possible to break a chain without the use of a tool. breaking a standard chain will make that given point the weakest. if a non-SACHS chain needs to be broken a second time it should be opposite the last break.

at some point your chain is going to hit so many hundred miles that shifting will get fickle, chainsuck will occur, and you'll hear odd noises even after you've cleaned/lubed the chain. for 8 sp. chains, this point tends to be in the 700-900 miles range (in normal conditions that is, so take off a hundred after a couple of muddy months when you shot the finger at ma nature and rode anyway). for 9 sp. its in the 600-800 range (again, in normal conditions). also, just because your drivetrain is free of shifting problems doesn't mean the chain has not stretched. most shops have a chain checker so its a good idea to have it checked if you're not sure. if it is worn out, here's a good tip that will keep you from having to buy a chain for an entire year, keep the wear on your drivetrain minimal, and prevent passing the chains milage limit and ending up having to reassemble the chain in the middle of a ride with your trusty chain tool. you do carry a chain tool, no?

ok, so ya toss the old chain, and buy TWO, yes two, identical chains. ya break Chain 1 to length and install. run Chain 1 for 3 months. at the end of three months, remove Chain 1, clean, lube, and pack it away in a plastic bag.

get Chain 2 out and break to length. run Chain 2 for 3 months. at the end of three months, remove Chain 2, clean, lube, and pack it away in a plastic bag. reinstall Chain 1.

reapeat the procedure three times. on the third chain cycle of Chain 1, replace Chain 1 with a new chain (Chain 3). when Chain 2 comes around on that same third cycle, replace Chain 2 with a new chain as well (Chain 4).

once you get the cycle going you'll probably never hit the chain's milage limit which is usually the time where pins start to fail. also, since you're slapping a less stretched chain each time the wear on the cogset and chainrings is reduced. finally, ya buy two chains at the begining of the year and ya don't buy another 'til next year.

you can also change the number of months in the cycle to accomodate milage.

questions? confusion? comments?