Chain/Cassette/Chainring wearout test for my MTB

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.

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.



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.


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.


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.








Part 5: Chain 1 (300km), Chain 3 (430km), Cassette/Chainring (1110km)

It’s been a while since I wrote a Blog about this subject. But I have done some great rides on some beautiful places here in the Netherlands.

The first ride was cold, with temperatures of -2°C and trails that where frozen. Beautiful sceneries and super nice single-tracks combined with some wide gravel roads through old Dutch city’s. Did ±30km that day.


The second ride, on a different trail, was a week later. Temperatures where higher around 7°C. These single-tracks where very nice, sometimes it was like riding a rollercoaster. But lots of fun. Wet and muddy on some places. Also did ±30km that day.


The third and fourth ride where both on my home track in the dunes. Great to be back here, it’s been a while since I last rode there. The track was dry and the sand was hard packed not loose like in the summer. It’s great to ride this trail this time of the year because you can ride so much faster. On the third ride I did ±40km and on the fourth ride ±30km.


These rides where all done on Chain 3, + another 50km because I took my mountainbike to work. That makes a total of 180km for Chain 3.

This week I used my MTB to commute to work because my commuter bike had some troubles. But I tried to ride some offroad trails through the dunes when coming from work. Had some rain and dirty roads but nothing big. So that’s another 150km for Chain 1.


Here’s the recap after these rides:

Chain 1 = ±300km (±132.6mm)

Chain 2 = ±380km (±132.6mm)

Chain 3 = ±430km (±132.6mm)

Top (Chain 1), Middle (Chain 2), Bottom (Chain 3)

And while you are here, you can read the reviews I did for Dynaplug and Showers Pass:


Previous >

Part 4: Chain 2 (380km), Cassette/Chainring (780km)

After I have ridden the 12hour MTB marathon, I haven’t rode my MTB. You can read my full Blog about this adventure here. As stated there I rode 230km, and all that was done using chain 2. The conditions weren’t that bad. There was dirt and mud but not as much as I expected. I did re-lubed my chain during the marathon, but that was after 200km. So here you can see how “dirty” the bike was after the marathon.


The measurements:

When I did found time today to put the chain on the “strip” I was amazed about the chain wear-out of chain 2. I thought it would be worse, but it was not. So here’s a picture of the 3 chains on the “strip”, and as a comparison the last picture of the 3 chains.


Part 4: Chain 1 (top), Chain 2 (middle), Chain 3 (bottom)
Part 3 as a comparison

The chain measured ±132.5 so here’s the recap:

Chain 1 = ±150km (±132.5mm)

Chain 2 = ±380km (±132.5mm)

Chain 3 = ±250km (±132.6mm)

In the coming months I have planned some nice MTB rides, so keep on reading my Blog.


Previous >

Part 3: Chain 3 (250km), Cassette/Chainring (550km)

It’s been a while since my last update on the MTB wear-out project. So far I have only ridden in dry circumstances. But since autumn has really started these last 3 weeks, the tracks I rode also changed. The went from dry (lots of loose sand) to wet and muddy. I have had the change to ride some nice new trails I have never ridden before.


I’m now packing up for my big challenge this year, riding a 12hour MTB marathon nearby Apeldoorn. So I cleaned all three chains and hooked them up on the “strip”. You can clearly see a difference in length. Chain 3 was used the longest (approx. 250km) and you can defiantly see that back in the global measuring.


Chain 1 (Top), Chain 2 (Middle), Chain 3 (Bottom)

Chain 1 = ±150km (±132.5mm)

Chain 2 = ±150km (±132.4mm)

Chain 3 = ±250km (±132.6mm)


I’ve got me some nice sealed bags, which I numbered, to store the chains in.



I will start the MTB marathon with Chain 2 and maybe will be switching during the race to Chain 1 but this will depend on the circumstances.

<Next      Previous >

This was last years edition, let’s hope for a little less mud ☺

Part 2: Chain 2 (150km), Cassette/Chainring (300km)

I had some really fun and nice MTB rides the last couple of weeks.

The conditions where really dry. The MTB track I usually ride is located in the dunes near the beach. And in the summer season there are 2 things that make the track bad. Dry and warm weather, and tourists (because they brake too much☺). These last past weeks the track was really sandy. Almost to the point when riding MTB on the track isn’t fun anymore. We need some rain.


The chain did well in the conditions, I had an email conversation with Pedro’s about the Syn-lube which was interesting.

My question was:

I noticed something when I was doing rides on my MTB. The formula Pedro’s is using (according to the website) is a synthetic oil that creates, when in contact with sand or dirt, a film between the chain and the dirt. So that it can’t get to the chain and also the chainring and cassette. But I noticed, and this can be logical, that after riding through lots of sandy trails that there is oil film left on the chain. So I think that this is caused by the sand which comes in contact with the oil and creates a black past which then is pressed to the outside of the chain onto the chainring and cassette. But this leaves the chain dry with no oil film on it and can create the chain to wear out faster. 

There reply was:

I think what you experience is partly what we engineered the product for. Our lubes contain a small amount of cleaners, purpose being the the lube shall clean the chain while riding and to make it easier to remove the dirty oil after a ride. It is a balance, the lube for wet dirty condition needs to be sticky to last but not impossible to remove with degreasers.  

For what we hear from keen followers of the syn lube – the balance is right the way the product is now. To reduce the dirt build up I recommend to wipe the outside of the chain when new lube is applied to reduce the amount of oil on the chain and thereby also reduce some of the dirt build up. 

The measurements:

The chain (2) measured ±132.2mm, and here’s the picture of the 3 chains on the measuring strip.

Top = 1, middle = 2, bottom = 3 (not been used, fresh chain as a reference)

< Next     Previous >

Part 1: Chain 1 (150km), Cassette/Chainring (150km)

The start of this test was not how I planned it. On the first ride I damaged my THM Clavicula crank and could not ride my MTB for 2 weeks. I changed to another crankset for the time being. The THM crankset is now under repair.

Did a couple of rides on the MTB, total of about 150km. All in dry conditions. But all on sand, as I mentioned before I live near the coast of the Netherlands. The MTB course I ride is in the dunes and riding on these surfaces can be bad for your chain.

The measurements:

Here are the first measurements, nothing shocking on these first kilometres. The Miche chain measured a 132.2mm when I mounted it. After 150km it’s ±132.25mm.


No up to the next kilometres of off-road fun.

< Next

Start of a wear-out test for MTB

It’s been more then 6 months that I now since I have started the chain/cassette/chainring wear-out test on my commuter bike. After I had some questions about, when I was going to start the same kind of test for the MTB, I decided to start another one as well.

The Chainring

I contacted Wolftooth Components if they could deliver me a Drop-Stop Elliptical chain ring. They where more then happy to cooperate again. I got a 38T because that’s the smallest chainring you can get in a 110BCD 5arm. The chainring, as usual, look great and look very pro on my THM carbones clavicula Crankset.

The Chain and Cassette

Since everyone in MTB land always grabs Shimano, KMC or Sram chains and cassettes I decided to take another brand. I got some very good results with Miche. So I contacted Verwimp and Nico’s Fietsplus (my local bike shop) and they where more then happy to supply me with 3 chains and a cassette. One of the big advantages of Miche is that you can customize your cassette. They have every cog between 11T and 29T in steps of 1.

I got these steps, 12-14-16-18-20-22-24-26-29. The chains are 10speed chains. I had some great experience with the 9speed chain on my commuter bikes so I’m very happy I can use these chains for this test.

The test

This test will be a little different. Of course I will cycle the 3 chains. But not after 500km, I will use my experience of my other test and cycle them between 100km and 200km depending on the wear-out. After every MTB ride I do (50km) I will clean the chain fully or give It just a quick rub, depending one the circumstances I rode in. For now Pedro’s will be used as cleaner and lube.

For this test I will also include a chart each time I Blog of the weather I rode in and if I rode in dry conditions or wet. And of course there will be pictures.

I really would like to thank my sponsors Wolftooth Components, Verwimp and Nico’s Fietsplus.

I will Blog about this topic every 2 weeks.

Maak een gratis website of blog op WordPress.com.

Omhoog ↑