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Chain/Cassette/Chainring wearout test for my Commuter bike

Part 41: The end.

It’s been a very long while since I last posted on the subject. But this has two reasons. First, I’m doing big construction on my house which takes a lot of time.

And second, the commuter bike has retired. I could not manage to maintain two bikes to a high level, for the cost. I found out the wheel set needed to be replaced and there were lots of other things that needed work. So the wear-out test came to a stop. Too bad because I could have driven a lot of more kilometres on it. I will try to do a good enough recap of what I have done.

The chains:

Starting with the chain that wore out the least, the KMC chain. This is also the chain with the most kilometres (4100km). I measured it at an average of 133.6mm. For further details see the picture below. This chain was good throughout the hole test. Now errors in shifting and very reliable. To clean this was also know problem. This is because the chain is smooth and polished.

The Shimano chain was in between, I measured it at an average of 133.6mm, with 3900km ridden with it. Cleaning of this chain was more difficult. I think this is because the raw metal so dirt and grease stick better.

The Miche chain was worn out the most. But this could be due to the effect that it was ridden 3 times in a heavy rain period. I measured it at an average of 134.2mm, with 4000 kilometres ridden with it. Cleaning was good on the chain since it’s completely polished.

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KMC (Top), Shimano (Middle), Miche (Bottom)

The Cassette:

When I first started the test I really was in doubt using a Shimano Dura-Ace. But it turned out pretty good. The cassette is worn but could have taken some kilometres. This shifting got a little worse in the last months, but that’s all. The cassette has had 13000km ridden on it.

The Chainring:

This was for me a little question mark. The Narrow wide chain rings are almost al made of Aluminium (hard anodized). The anodizing helps a little in the beginning in terms of wear. But after a while it wears of. The Wolftooth components chainring was really good. It never dropped my chain, even in the last months when the wear was visually more. The wear of the chainring surprised me in a positive way. It still could have taken a couple of more kilometres. The chainring has had 13000km ridden on it.

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Lube:

As for this test I exclusively used Pedro products. The Bio cleaner was nice to work with. Defiantly not aggressive and easy to use. For the chain I used the Syn-lube. A good lube, but one drawback I found that you have lots of access dirt on the chain sides. But more on this later.

Recap:

KMC chain 132.2mm (0km) > 133.6mm (4100km). That’s  1.4mm of wear.

Shimano chain 132.3 (0km) > 133.6mm (3900km). That’s  1.3mm of wear.

Miche chain 132.4mm (0km) > 134.2mm (4000km). That’s  1.8mm of wear.

All in all they are very close to each other with the most wear on the Miche chain. But this is also not a very good compromise due to the ever changing weather circumstances.

Conclusion:

So what is there to learn about this, I think the method of using 3 chains and cycle them can really help save money in the end. But this need further examine. That’s why I will start another test later this year. This will be with 1 chain, cassette and chainring. I’m currently testing other lubes methods for the chain which I will be adding to this test.

Unfortunately the MTB test with the 3 chains also stopped. I’ve had a couple of not so good experiences with the Miche chains as all 3 chains have broken on me and had several cracks on them.

And since my MTB is know my main bike for commuting and MTB I will blend the new test. So I will be back soon with the new test later this year.

Thanks for reading as this has been 1,5 year of collecting data.

 

Bye

 

 

 

 

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Part 40: KMC 3800km, Miche 4000km, cassette/chainring 11700km

Spring is already 1month on the go. But the temperatures are far from stable know. There have been days where it was 20°C and know it’s around 8°C here. There is one plus, it’s been fairly dry.

The test.

I have ridden the Miche chain for some more kilometers than I normally do. And It struck me how much more wear it has. I did had a few days with rain, but I didn’t expect these outcomes. See the picture below and you can see the big differences between the Miche chain(134.2mm) and the Shimano chain(133.5).The KMC chain was on my bike so not in this picture.

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Here’s a shot of how the cogs know look and also the chainring. Note on the chainring, some tooth are worn out more than the others.

Of course the test still continues. The chains still shift well, but you can feel the difference when riding with a fresh set. I don’t have any problem with the chains skipping over the cogs. And the chain doesn’t fall of my chainring as well. Currently I’m riding with the KMC chain.

Here’s a recap:

Shimano = 3750km (Measures, ±133.5mm)

KMC = 3800km (Measures, ±133,4mm)

Miche = 4000km (Measures, ±134.2mm)

Cassette & Chainring = 11700km

And here are some pictures, just to show you all what I’m currently doing for the commuter bike. Carbon brake (Magura) bracket for the back. And a carbon seatpost/saddle.

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Part 6: Chain 1 (500km), Chain 3 (680km), Cassette/Chainring (1560km)

After the new year started I haven’t got much time to ride my MTB. The winter season is always a time for me with less MTB hours, due to the short days (sunlight). I did however rode a very nice new MTB trail here in the east of The Netherlands. And I did some commutes with my MTB just for fun.

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But its spring time and the days are getting longer so this gives me the opportunity to ride my MTB more again. Last Sunday night I could ride my home trails again. It was great to be back there, I have seen lots of deer and rabbits. It’s so nice to enjoy nature on the MTB.

The chain.

I have ridden some commutes on chain 3, and did the last MTB rides on chain 1. The conditions on the trails (ridden with chain 1) where not bad, some muddy/wet sections. Tried to clean the drivetrain after every ride. But on the image below you can clearly see chain 1 has had a hard time.

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Chain 1 (top), Chain 2 (middle), Chain 3 (bottom)

I’m also giving this new lube a try. It’s from Boca Bearings. Let’s see if it works for MTB riding.

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The chainring.

The Wolftooth chainring did very well. I did however dropped my chain twice on a difficult descent. The wear on the chainring is normal for the miles ridden with it.

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The cassette.

The cassette is doing good also, shifting is still smooth. You can clearly see my third cog from bottom is used the most.

Because the cassette is chromed dirt does not attach to it as much. My commuter bike with the Dura-ace cassette attracts a lot more dirt.

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Recap.

Chain 1 = ±500km (±132.8mm)

Chain 2 = ±380km (±132.6mm)

Chain 3 = ±680km (±132.6mm)

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Part 39: KMC 3800km, Miche 3150km, cassette/chainring 10950km

Birds are singing, the flowers pop out of the ground. Yes finally Spring is coming. I love it when this happens. You can just smell it. It’s so much nicer to ride your bike in the early mornings. The last 2 weeks been like this. Only one rain ride last week. Other than that it was completely dry. I had some problems with my bottom bracket. The bearings had gone bad. So new ceramic bearings for the USA are on its way.

The chains.

I started last week with the KMC chain, but after the very wet ride I changed to the Miche chain. The Miche chain still rides the smoothest. In wear it’s the same as the Shimano and KMC but there is something what this chain has that feels smoother.

The measurement.

The Miche chain only needed a quick rub with a cloth and no re-lubbing. It measured ±133.5mm so still the same as it’s last measurement. I will continue riding the Miche chain for another 500km.

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Miche (Top), KMC(Middle), Shimano(bottom)

So here’s a the recap:

Shimano = 3750km (Measures, ±133.5mm)

KMC = 3800km (Measures, ±133,4mm)

Miche = 3250km (Measures, ±133,5mm)

Cassette & Chainring = 10950km

Be sure you check my latest Blog on Showers Pass Skyline Pants.

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Part 38: KMC 3700km, cassette/chainring 10450km

2 very windy days (winds between 60-70km), 6 days of rain and very wet roads and 2 days of sunny rides. And all that in 2 weeks’ time. It’s been really “Dutch” like weather.  But you don’t hear me complaining. I love to ride, no matter how the weather is. As I always say, there is no bad weather, just bad clothing.

Luckily my knee is getting better, although I have to be careful not to ride with a big gear. I like to ride in a big gear but this is also killing for my knee. So as long as I’m not doing that too much it’s okay.

Here’s an update on the bike to, I have build my own Carbon saddle from scratch. Still needs some work as this was straight out of the mold. I’m building my own seatpost too.

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As these 2 weeks been very demanding for bike and drivetrain I took extra care for it. Checked if the chain needed to be rubbed with a cloth (removing the water and dirt) and if it needed some new/extra lube. Al that to ensure the chain was doing okay and there was no extra wear caused by bad lubrication or dirt.

The Pedro’s Syn lube is a great lube for wet circumstances I did need to apply new lube after very wet rides. Other lube have that as well so I’m not worried here.

The measurements:

After putting the KMC chain on the strip I was surprised that it was still shorter than the Shimano and Miche chain. I think that had to do with the way I kept the chain lubed. The chain measured 133.4.

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Shimano (top), Miche (middle), KMC (bottom)

So here’s a the recap:

Shimano = 3750km (Measures, ±133.5mm)

KMC = 3700km (Measures, ±133,4mm)

Miche = 2850km (Measures, ±133,5mm)

Cassette & Chainring = 10450km

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Part 37: Shimano 3750km, cassette/chainring 10000km

It’s been since a while since I Blogged about this subject. That had its reasons. The Commuter bike needed some changes. My Mavic Crossmax wheelset broke down on me and I didn’t like the colour of the bike anymore. And since I was already started making parts for the big cosmetic change I started re-painting the bike. I also wanted to ride with 700c wheels. I have bought some nice Tubular cyclocross tyres (33mm wide) which fit the frame. But unfortunately I haven’t found a wheelset or rims to my liking and wallet jet. So I made a clincher set with DT-Hugi 240 hubs and some old Wobler rims and used 23mm road bike tyres for now. All these reasons caused that I started riding the Commuter bike to work again 2 weeks ago. Still work in progress, because I have lots of plan for this bike. Currently I’m making a customized front fork with the Magura clamps attached to it, and I’m also making a handlebar/stem combo again with integrated lights. So stay tuned for more on this bike, it’s going to be great I promise.

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The weather.

The weather was bad on the bike and me also. I’m having a knee injury for 3 weeks know, which is getting better everyday. Last week we had temperatures above zero. Due to the melting ice and a little snow, the roads where wet in the beginning combined with the salt from the weeks prior to this. I had to keep good care of the bike and the chain also. Tried to rub the access dirt of the chain every day, and check if the chain needed lubrication again. This week it was cold again with temperatures around zero, cold winds and rain. Not very pleasing but I think it’s still better to ride my bike every day then going with the car.

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The chain.

Because of the weather the Shimano chain had a hard time. But it’s still not more weared out as the Miche chain. But that one was ridden through 2 weeks of rain almost every day. The chain rode very well though. I had to re-lube it a couple of times.

The Measurements:

Looking at the picture you can see the Shimano chain is closing in on the Miche. The averaged measurement was 133.5mm for the Shimano. Next up is, you guess?? Yep the KMC because it is the shortest know.

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Top (KMC), Middle (Miche), Bottom(Shimano)

So here’s a the recap:

Shimano = 3750km (Measures, ±133.5mm)

KMC = 3250km (Measures, ±133,1mm)

Miche = 2850km (Measures, ±133,5mm)

Cassette & Chainring = 10000km

Be sure to check my latest Blog about Winforce nutricion.

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Part 36: KMC 3250km, cassette/chainring 9500km

Its been fun this year. Almost at the 10000km mark. And that only from riding to and from work.  I’m closing my commuter season for this year. Currently  I’m having time of. A well deserved 2 weeks rest from work. Having fun around my home, spending time with my wife, playing with my kids and mountainbiking just to have fun.

The last 2 weeks where a little demanding on the chain. The roads here where very dirty. We had some rain but also fog which both caused wet roads. I change the quick-link again gor a fresh one since I had that annoying thick again. Once replaced that was gone.

The Measurements.

The KMC chain still works well, you see some rusty sides but I didn’t firmelly cleaned it.

The chain ring works really well. There is also some wear but for a aluminium chain ring it will last several kilometres. Same for the cassette. Still going strong.

Top (Miche), middle(Shimano), bottom (KMC)

So here’s a the recap:

Shimano = 3250km (Measures, ±133.1mm)

KMC = 3250km (Measures, 133,1mm)

Miche = 2850km (Measures, 133,5mm)

Cassette & Chainring = 9500km

I think I will get to 15000km with this set. That will be around the summer season. So for now I want to thank everybody  who has taken the time to read my stories and wishing you all a very blessed new year.

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Part 35: Shimano 3250km, cassette/chainring 9100km

Again two weeks passed by, and it’s time to do a Blog about the subject. As the last few weeks where mostly dry, I was curious how these circumstances affected the chain this time.

The roads, I mainly ride on, are still dirty and full of leaves. We had some days of frost, and this always causes our local congregation to strew salt on the road to prevent glazed frost. This salt is really bad for both bike and chain. But this is better than falling with my bike.

The measurements: 

So after cleaning today I put the chain on the “strip” and long and behold, the Shimano chain didn’t wearout that much. You can clearly see the difference with the Miche chain. Do this is not because the Miche chain is bad but it was ridden in very bad and wet conditions for about the 2 week prior to these.

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So here’s a the recap:

Shimano = 3250km (Measures, ±133.1mm)

KMC = 2850km (Measures, 133,1mm)

Miche = 2850km (Measures, 133,5mm)

Cassette & Chainring = 9100km

 

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Part 34: Miche 2850km, cassette/chainring 8850km

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you combine the Netherlands and Autumn? Besides windmills, and cheese ☺. Yes, RAIN…. Well that’s been the case the last 2 weeks. Almost every day I encountered rain. The roads where very dirty with a combination of falling leaves, dirt and rain. I could clean my bike every day, which I didn’t do, and did however lubed my chain a couple of times more than normal. But I never heard my chain running dry.

The measurements:

This was striking for me. Since I started the test I have never ridden through rain for 2 weeks straight. So I was very curious how this would turn out for the chain, and also the cassette and chainring. What I have noticed that after ±500km (weeks of riding for me) the chain “stretch” was around 0.1mm measured between 5 links.

When I was done cleaning the chain and put it on the “strip” next to the Shimano and KMC I noticed a big difference.

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KMC (Top), Shimano (Middle), Miche (Bottom)

And after measuring it with a digital calliper the outcome was ±133.5mm. So riding through these kind of conditions really took there toll on the chain but also on the cassette and chainring.

For the next two weeks I will ride the Shimano chain and I’m very curious, if the conditions/weather stays the same, how this one will hold up. One thing I will do is look closely if the chain is not in need of lube.

So here’s a the recap:

  • Shimano = 3000km (Measures, 133.1mm)
  • KMC = 2850km (Measures, 133,1mm)
  • Miche = 2850km (Measures, 133,5mm)
  • Cassette & Chainring = 8850km

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