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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I just got back from a 6000 mile ride in 11 days. On my last day and a half, when I decelerated, I heard a noise from the chain. And when pulling up a steep hill near my house, it actually jumped a tooth or two.

Upon getting home, I noticed the chain has quite a bit of slack (I would guest-a-mate 1.5" - 1.75" un-laden on the center stand). I will get an actual measurement tomorrow.

So my question is, how can I tell if the chain needs to be replaced? When I bought the bike (used) in February it had 18,300 miles on it, and I have put another 8,700 miles on it since then and its just over 27,000 miles now. I believe it is the original chain. What is the frequency of replacement. I did lube the chain ever 1000 or so miles while on the road. The sprockets where replaced by the previous owner at 13,000 miles (I believe). They seem to look in fine shape. I am just not sure what constitutes a worn chain? Is it ok to just adjust the rear tire out some more (currently right about in the middle of the chain tensioner)?

Any direction someone could give me would be of great assistance.. thanks

Stuart
 

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If the PO replaced the sprockets he should have replaced the chain.
If he didn't, the old chain probably accelerated wear on the new sprockets and if you've skipped a tooth I think the bike is trying to tell you something.

Measure the centerlines between the pins on 21 links of your chain in several places. If any section measures more than 12.57 inches, the chain is beyond it's service limit.

I've got over 20,000 miles on my current chainset and have lubed it (500 miles) and cleaned it (as req'd) pretty religiously. So far it's within it's service limit without any sticking links.

If you decide to change the chain, replace the sprockets, too.


Think of it this way:

Replace the whole chainset now, and you won't have to worry about it for 20,000 miles or so.
 

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More ways to identify a worn chain...if there are any stiff links, or if you can pull the chain away from the rear sprocket at the 3 o'clock position, or if there is any rust coming from the inside of the rollers. Take a close look at the sprockets. If there is any difference in the shape of one side of the notch or tooth vs. the other side, they're dying.
 

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Chains stretch as they age. That's why there are adjusters, and it's why adjusting the chain is a maintenance item that needs to be checked. 1-3/4" of freeplay is about 5/8" over the maximum allowed. Adjust your chain tension per the method outlined in the owner's manual, and check it from time to time. Check the length to see if the service limit is exceeded using the method described above, and also documented in the owner's manual.
 
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