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ThunderGuts
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Joined: 13 Nov 2018
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PostPosted: 13:33 - 20 Nov 2019    Post subject: Chain life Reply with quote

Any ideas on how to prolong it beyond the basic clean/oil on a regular basis? I seem to chew through a chain in 1200-2000 miles, which when I'm cycling 100 miles a week doesn't last long. My bike is a singlespeed so it does have to tolerate high stresses through the chain (hilly around here) and it gets ridden whatever the weather, but even so it's a straight driveline so I'd expect a bit more life out of it.

I've thought about cleaning it in paraffin (taking it off, inside a coke bottle, shake, empty, fill with clean, shake etc.) until it's really clean then saturating it in motorcycle lubricant (Castrol Racing is what I use on my motorised cycles) before wiping off the excess. I'm aware that soaking as opposed to wiping in a solvent will also strip oil out of the inside of the rollers, but I expect there's also a lot of crud in there too contributing to the wear?

Any other thoughts?
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stinkwheel
Bovine Proctologist



Joined: 12 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: 15:24 - 20 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

You using a single speed chain? Not sticking a flimsy 10-speed on there? What brand you using? I presume you're on 1/8"?

I'm a fan of KMC Z1 chains. It'll cope with my 17 stone stomping on it on my SS 29"er MTB and that is geared 23-21 with 175mm cranks. Keep going uphill until it simply wont go any further. That's a lot of force. I had to buy a white industries freewheel because I was killing a shimano one every 3rd outing.

I see no reason you couldn't fit an automatic chain oiler like a loobman? You know how well they work for motorbikes.

Or there is the fully -old-school putoline chain wax. Clean the worst of the yad off the chain, stick it in the tin of solid graphited grease and stick it on top of the stove to melt. Deep cleans and lubes. Very effective.
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“Rule one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.
I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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ThunderGuts
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Joined: 13 Nov 2018
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PostPosted: 08:00 - 21 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:
You using a single speed chain? Not sticking a flimsy 10-speed on there? What brand you using? I presume you're on 1/8"?

I'm a fan of KMC Z1 chains. It'll cope with my 17 stone stomping on it on my SS 29"er MTB and that is geared 23-21 with 175mm cranks. Keep going uphill until it simply wont go any further. That's a lot of force. I had to buy a white industries freewheel because I was killing a shimano one every 3rd outing.

I see no reason you couldn't fit an automatic chain oiler like a loobman? You know how well they work for motorbikes.

Or there is the fully -old-school putoline chain wax. Clean the worst of the yad off the chain, stick it in the tin of solid graphited grease and stick it on top of the stove to melt. Deep cleans and lubes. Very effective.


Yep, 1/8" chains all the way - the cogs are designed for those anyway so I couldn't use a narrower chain even if I wanted to. Chains are good quality too, I did have a KMC (510 I think) on it originally, switched to Izumi track chains lately.

Switched a new chain onto it last night and it's noisy as feck now . . . urgh, probably needs new chainring and cog now. I think I worked out somewhere that in terms of maintenance upkeep, a bicycle isn't dissimilar from a motorcycle as components on bicycles, while generally cheaper, tend to wear out much more quickly too
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stinkwheel
Bovine Proctologist



Joined: 12 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: 11:01 - 21 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rear cogs can hook badly too, more a concavity on the drive face of the tooth where the roller touches. The one on Mrs stinkwheels fixie was horribly hooked when we compared it to a new one (looked fine on the bike). You can flip miche-type track cogs on the holder to use the unhooked side... but you're single speed, not fixed right?

A mate of mine who does moon-mileage on his Rohloff hub-ed abortion of a bicycle (be a funny world if we all liked the same things, but it's effectively single-speed in terms of chainline) swears by the putoline chain wax. Used to be called linklife. He says the thickness of the grease prevents dirt getting into the links in the first place.
____________________
“Rule one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.
I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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ThunderGuts
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Joined: 13 Nov 2018
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PostPosted: 14:41 - 21 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. The cog is on a cassette type freehub so there's a chance I could swap the cog around (it should be symmetrical as it's a single speed / fixie cog, so no grooves/lips etc. for gear changing). Unfortunately I have a bigger issue in that I think the bearings on the freehub are tired . . . not sure. I don't have the specific tools to get the thing apart unfortunately, but it sounds poorly. Frustratingly the freehub body appears to be one of a kind - singlespeed specific (i.e. much shorter than a normal freehub) yet splined. Going to call into the LBS later to see if they've got any ideas.

Starting to look at a Sturmey Archer 3 speed . . . not particularly light, but the middle gear is 1:1 giving me my singlespeed for most of the time, then the bonus of an overdrive for those (rare) days I get a tailwind and a slightly lower gear to climb the steep bits when I'm feeling less energetic. The only problem is I've read hubgears aren't very partial to hard riding . . . who'd have thought cycling could be so tricky.

I'll look into the chain wax - I like the concept. I'd love a Rohloff but I can't justify that kind of spend on just a hub!
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stinkwheel
Bovine Proctologist



Joined: 12 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: 15:40 - 21 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

While stripping and servicing freehubs is in theory doable, it is no errand for the impatient, numb-fingered or poorly sighted.

charliethebikemonger does a lot of ss specific stuff.

I always thought hub gears were pretty robust. Sturmey Archer also do a fixed-gear 3-speed.

If you want to be super oddball, how about a 2-speed kick-shift hub? Marketed as "duomatic". That's what's going on my pub bike when the shonky rim I have on it finally eats itself.

Geared 1:1 and 1:1.38

If you are going 3-speed, I'd suggest you get one with the rotary gear selector rather than the conventional 3-speed chain.

I built my brother a bike with an 8-speed hub that covers a higher range of gearing than most 20-speed bikes.

Remember shimano also make hub gears.

EDIT. Pics attached of sturmey archer 8-speed hub.

https://www.bikechatforums.com/download.php?id=102931

https://www.bikechatforums.com/download.php?id=102930
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“Rule one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.
I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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ThunderGuts
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PostPosted: 16:11 - 21 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting stuff. I've read somewhere that there's a difference in the way gear changes are actuated between those "old style" hubs with a chain selector running through the hub and all other types of hub (typically using an arm I think instead); the former is apparently more robust, whereas the latter can be prone to odd things happening if you do things like apply pressure to the pedals when the hub is turning backwards (e.g. if trackstanding).

Not sure about the idea of a kick-change! I tend to ride pretty fast so like something simple and efficient . . . hence the singlespeed in the first place, but if I end up having to swap out the entire hub (which is likely if not now, then in the not too distant future) then I want to consider other options.
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