When to replace a chain?

So I’ve been using an Izumi nickel-plated 1/8 chain for about 1 & 1/2 years on my commuter bike. It’s performed really well and is rock solid reliable.
I probably ride 150km a week on it.

At what point do you replace the chain? I can feel tight and loose spots forming in the chain (maybe it’s the chainring), and it feels like the whole drivetrain is getting worn.

Is 1 & 1/2 years a good timeframe to replace it?

Depends what type of person you are. Some people
Replace it when it feels shit
Replace it when something snaps
Get a chain stretch tool and check it with that and replace it when its over stretched…

So as with many things in life, its up to you

My understanding was that chain wear tools are more relevant for geared chains. Fixed should be a lot more forgiving, especially given its 1/8?

Isn’t it something like, 12 inches centre rivet to centre rivet? Anything more and it’s stretched.

Chain wear tools aren’t really going to work on a 1/8 track chain. There’s less wear due to the bigger size, wider cogs, and lack of shifting.

Personally, I swap my chain every year. I ride brakeless, so I figure it’s better safe than sorry. I’ve currently got an old chain being used by a kid who rides DJ/park and he hasn’t had any issues with it, so it’s not like it was worn out.

Swap it when it feels right.

Seriously? Maybe if it’s worn you should replace it :roll:

Buy a new bike chain/cog/chainring, because if the whole thing is worn, you waited too long to replace your chain…

Don’t they just measure chain length stretch, which would be the same fucked/non-fucked length no matter what width? The pitch is the same.

Note to self: never ask spud a simple question… :wink:

cog/chainrings are fine.

The chain is the consumable right?

A chain wear tool will work just as well on 1/8" as on 3/32". All they do is measure the length of a taut chain either by a go/nogo or a scale to indicate the degree of wear. The more the rollers/pins have worn, the longer the distance from pin centre to centre.

If you have an even-even drive train (eg 44-16) and you keep the same teeth aligned with the inner/outer chain links (I’m guessing you don’t due to puncture frequency :stuck_out_tongue: ) you can use Sheldon’s extended wear method and run the whole drivetrain into the ground:

Check the load bearing surface on your sprocket for wear, if it’s got an arc worn into it, it’s time to replace it. Likewise your chainring, see if it’s shark-toothed. More frequent chain cleaning/replacements means you can run your sprockets/cassettes/chainrings for much longer.

PS: They’re all consumables, but a chainring should last 10-20000km with proper chain replacement. YMMV.

Guess if you don’t mind the wear on the rest of the drive train you can change 'em whenever you like, more costly to wear out a geared set but same principle.

Recommended is to change when 10 links exceed 107.6mm,gauges work to the same measure, Prolink my preference. This is a slightly used Kool 1/8th - And yep, the same for 3/32.

Here are some closeups Blakey:

There’s a flaw in measuring wear this way (same as Park / Progold etc gauges). Jobst explains it better than I can, once I can find the link…


Your chainring looks fine, the sprocket seems to have some wear, but not too much. Hard to tell without getting up close and personal.

Getting a new chain is like putting on new socks and underwear. Feels so good, i think you should treat yourself to a new one sooner than a year and a half.

I might got buy a new one myself.

Yeah sorry, bad wording. So long as you’re not swapping up chainrings and cogs, and worn 1/8 track chain isn’t going to cause the same issues that a worn 3/32 chain on a geared system is.

Yep :sunglasses:

I call BS. Chain wear tools work fine on 1/8" chains (like Blakey said), they will still indicate when your chain needs replacing. A 1/8" chain on a fixie will typically take longer to wear out than a 10sp chain on a gearie, that’s difference.

I run 3/32" on my comuter fixie and with regular cleaning (and checking now and then with a Park CC-3) got nearly 4 years of regular use out of an 8sp connex. If only they lasted that long on my roadies…

Yeah, we worked that out five posts ago.

A stitch in time saves nine. I should have just taken the effort to write my first post properly. Apologies for getting the local forum population up in arms! Haha.

Well done.