Chain installation

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Dirtrider...., Sep 19, 2018.

  1. Dirtrider....

    Dirtrider.... Member

    Location:
    Tustin
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley v2
    I'm changing the cassette on my mtn bike and will install new chain. the chain ring looks fine. I usually take the bike to a shop to have them change drivetrain items. I want to learn more especially since these are wear items and will be replaced in the future.

    How straightforward is it to measure up a new chain for a home mechanic with average skills?
     
  2. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Piece of cake. Lay the new one next to the old one, break it to match.

    If the old one is stretched you'll notice misalignment of the links over the length of the chains, just allow for that.

    If your new cassette has a significantly larger cog, you'll need to account for that also.
     
  3. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    I have no skills and I usually manage! :p

    Can't you just take off the old chain and hold it up to the new one to get the length? That's what I usually do...
     
  4. Dirtrider....

    Dirtrider.... Member

    Location:
    Tustin
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley v2
    Sorry i should have clarified... the new cassette will have larger big cog.
     
  5. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS
    Let the air out of the rear shock.

    Put the chain on the biggest cog and ring. Cycle the rear suspension to the point where the chain stretch is the most. Confirm there is still enough movement that the lower cage can still move forward. Remove links as necessary.


    Make sure the cage doesn’t move too far forward....thinking it like your knee...straight out is good, over extended is not good.

    If the chain is too long, the chain will drag on the upper pulley when in the smallest cog.

    https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/chain-length-sizing
     
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Yeti ASR5c, SC Hightower
    ^^^This^^^
    Discovered I cut my chain too short on my Hightower because I did not cycle through rear suspension. Not hard. Take your time. Cut long when it doubt.
    :thumbsup:You can do this!:thumbsup:
     
  7. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS
    Realistically you don’t have to cycle the rear suspension, since you are not likely to bottom out your suspension on a climb, nor will you run DH in the biggest cog. But it’s a safe way to get it dialed in.....just in case.
     
    stevers, bvader, Danmtchl and 9 others like this.
  8. Dirtrider....

    Dirtrider.... Member

    Location:
    Tustin
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley v2
    Thanks for the info... that video makes it look fool proof. :thumbsdown:
     
    Danmtchl, Cyclotourist and mike like this.
  9. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS

    It's not as difficult as it sounds.

    You can always start long and remove a link at a time til you get it right.
     
  10. Dirtrider....

    Dirtrider.... Member

    Location:
    Tustin
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley v2
    Last question... is the Shimano XTR/Dura-ace chain worth the cost over just the XT/Ultegra chain?
     
  11. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS

    Nope.
     
  12. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Get a KMC. :thumbsup:
     
  13. Dirtrider....

    Dirtrider.... Member

    Location:
    Tustin
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley v2
    KMC chains are that much better? so far i haven't had any issues with the shimano chains.
     
    Danmtchl, Cyclotourist and mike like this.
  14. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona
    Shimano and KMC are both good. I've been using KMC for several years. IME, they seem to last a little bit longer than Shimano but they both last a long life.
     
  15. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    KMC makes Shimano chains. For 11 speed, you need to purchase a quick link for the Shimano, it's included with the KMC.
     
  16. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Edward Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO Plus
    IMO the XT isn't worth the cost over the SLX either.

    As far as KMC and Shimano goes I had 2 bikes that came with KMC chains. Neither one lasted more than 3 months. They wore enough to where I had to replace the cassette as well. Shimano chains have lasted a minimum of 6 months and I usually replace them just for peace of mind.
     
  17. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Edward Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO Plus
    Shimano chains come with a quick link now. They are a bitch to remove though. Ask me how I know.
     
  18. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    We just got a shipment of chains, XT /Ultegra level, with only pins. Shimano sent us the quick links but they charged us for them. We pay, you pay... Ha!

    KMC is just a better deal.
     
  19. Dirtrider....

    Dirtrider.... Member

    Location:
    Tustin
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley v2
    This is from the Jenson website for the chain I was looking at... says the quicklink is included. Am I missing something?:

    Shimano CN-HG701 11 Speed Road/Mtb Chain Features

    • HG-X11 special asymmetrical design specifically for 11-speed drivetrains
    • SIL-TEC surface treatment increases durability.
    • Includes Quick Link for easy installation.
      Specifications
    • 11 Speed Chain for mountain or road use
    • Quick link included
    • 116 Links
    • 257 Grams
    • 2 Year Warranty
     
  20. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS

    That's fine.......

    or this:

    https://www.jensonusa.com/KMC-X1193-Chain-11-Speed-Chain
     
  21. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    No. The cheap ass owner probably got a deal on the older pinned chains... They can be like that...
    That is a fine chain. Notice that it is directional when you install it.
     
  22. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Chains are kinda funny. Manufacturers make these milled out, hollow links to make them lighter, and the holes immediately and constantly fill with grime, making them functionally heavier than one with a solid plate. The hollow ones look cooler though, when clean. Spend a hundy!
     
  23. Dirtrider....

    Dirtrider.... Member

    Location:
    Tustin
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley v2
    Well now you have me wondering... how do we know which chains come with solid plate versus milled out hollow links??

    Good thing my eagle++ 60tooth cog is still at the welder being built up so i can get the chain sorted out :rolleyes:
     
  24. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Basically, the higher-end, or more expensive chains, tend to have more work done on the plates, pins, and rollers. Chamfer, nicks, slots, hollow pins, Ti-Nitride coatings. All in the name of making you faster by lightening your wallet.
    Don't get me wrong, I love the bling chains too. They even work better, at first, and then they get dirty.
    The slots and holes get packed with chainlube-infused grit ala @herzalot . Keeping the chain clean becomes a chore. The performance suffers and you got a sweet $100 chain that's as black and greasy as the one on a homeless guy's Motiv.
    I get deals on chains while working in the shop, so occasionally, I'll be sporting a gold Ti Nitride KMC X11 SL. For now, I'm using the X11. 93.

    http://kmcchain.us/chaintype/11-speed/
     
  25. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS

    I’m happy to see that KMC finally came out with the x12.93

    Now I can ditch the SRAM that came with the bike.
     
  26. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona
    To be a business owner is to be a “cheap ass owner”. Believe me I know. I am a business owner. Being a cheap ass is a useful tool for maintaining a business. A more professional term would be “cost effective”.
     
  27. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    I'm pretty happy with SRAM. I know there are SRAM failures documented on here, but my only chain failure was Shimano where it broke at the pin. SRAM has been good to me, although I've used KMC a few times as well.
     
  28. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    According to KMC, where I have attended seminars, the number one cause of chain failure is improper installation.
    At least that's what the manufacturer says...
     
  29. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Wouldn't disagree...
     
  30. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Lack of proper chain care and lube probably ranks right up there.
     
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