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Bought a Trek Allant for cycling to work (ca 10 miles). Now, after exact 512 miles the chain is worn out and starts damaging the cassette and chainset. Cheap crap material! Is there anything out there that will last a bit longer? - SRAM-7 chain? Or shall I look out for an offer for a 8-gear set and change?

Thanks in advance.

Response to comments below:

Many thanks for your replies. I bought the Trek Allant brand new (2011) and I am using the bike for daily commuting to work, tarmac all the way. Most of it is flat apart from a bridge that has two 'medium steep' slopes. I clean the bike (incl chain) every two weeks and also give it a 'health check'. The chain gets lubricated with PTFE. I used the chain wear indicator (park tool) to check the chain and it's well over .75%. In addition the chain cassette shows signs of wear too. My cycle style is 'higher strokes' in a lower gear. I cycle for years and also have a Cannondale T1000 Touring bike that I bought back in the 90s. With that I do about 800-1200 miles on vacation, and have to change chains about once every two years.

I expect the parts used on the Allant being of somewhat lower quality than those of a high-end bike, but I was just very surprised that the chain life is that short. Apart from the hassle of changing, the price for a 7-gear SRAM chain and cassette comes to a total of ~$30 (together) here in the UK. I may build up some stock ;)

Thanks again for your comments.

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How do you know the chain is worn out -- did you gauge it? 512 miles is certainly on the low side for chain life -- around 2000 miles is more like it. I've had good luck with SRAM chains, so I'm doubtful that that's the problem. –  Daniel R Hicks Mar 11 '12 at 18:23
    
Have you got this bike new or used? Your road is asphalt or do you take unpaved roads? Do you clean the chain on a regular basis? Do you lubricate it afterwards? These are important elements to properly answer your question. –  heltonbiker Mar 11 '12 at 19:08
    
How would you describe your riding style in terms of cadence?Are you a gear masher, low strokes per minute in a higher gear or lots of strokes per minute in lower gear –  mikes Mar 11 '12 at 20:25
    
Shimano expects 800 miles to a chain. That is low, but not crazy low.. –  zenbike Mar 12 '12 at 12:28
    
First things first... how do you know that the chain is worn out? –  Mike Baranczak Mar 12 '12 at 15:57

1 Answer 1

First: based on your measurements, your chain is not worn out. The park tool gauge measures a 8 1/2" links, or 4 inches of chain. It looks for wear between .5 and 1mm of "stretch" in the chain.

If you read the label on the tool, anything up to .5 is what a new chain wil read. A chain is not worn out until it hits 1mm of wear, which is when it usually will skip teeth on a new cassette or chain rings.

To protect you old chain rings and cassette, it is usually recommended that you change the chain at around .75mm of wear.

Second: Shimano's recommendation is that a new chain up to the .75mm mark is good for 880 miles on average. I assume that recommendation is conservative, because it often goes to double that in my environment, but speed of wear is based on maintenance and environmental factors like heavy wet weather, and can vary wildly.

I hope that is helpful.

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It isn't as simple as using the park tool chain gauge for an accurate measurement according to Sheldon Brown (sheldonbrown.com/chains.html) - "There are also special tools made to measure chain wear; these are a bit more convenient, though by no means necessary, and most -- except for the Shimano TL-CN40 and TL-CN41 -- are inaccurate because they allow roller play to confound the measurement of link-pin wear." Chain upkeep is more of a religious issue, but you should be getting well over 1500 miles on one chain+cassette. You can rotate chains at wear levels if you have quick links too. –  Batman Oct 13 '13 at 5:02
    
While I appreciate Mr. Brown's take on many things, I'll stick with what Shimano says. Since they design and build the chains. –  zenbike Feb 26 at 13:44

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