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My chain is ready to be replaced according to gauge, but, my shifting is flawless. Should I replace the chain or squeeze another few hundred miles out ? It currently has about 2500 and is a CN6701. Thanks !

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    Replace it. If you wait you will cause too much wear on the cogs. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 29 '15 at 20:43
  • @DanielRHicks make that an answer and I'll vote it up. – BSO rider Jul 29 '15 at 21:15
  • You can pretty much destroy a cassette and chain and still have it shift near flawlessly, since they'll wear together. When it gets really bad it will muck up then, but at that point you need both of them. That being said, some gauges are better than others, and 2500 miles is pretty low for a chain for road use unless its all in bad weather. – Batman Jul 29 '15 at 21:29
  • @Batman -- I figure 2000-3000 miles is about what I get. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 29 '15 at 21:38
  • If the gauge says it's worn, replace the chain. Nice shifting might indicate a worn cassette! – Carel Jul 30 '15 at 8:19
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You didn't mention what gauge you used, but there are many kinds. Take a look at that link; it is worth reading, as is this thread.

The current smoothness of the shifting isn't usually the deciding factor regarding when to change, but rather the cost of the other components that wear faster when the chain is worn: the cassette, and the front chainwheels. The idea is to replace the chain (relatively cheap in comparison) before it starts to damage the more expensive cassette and front chainwheels.

In my experience I get about 2,000-2,500 miles out of a CN-6701, and I'm riding in near-ideal conditions (Southern California weather). I'm pretty careful about keeping my chain clean and properly lubed. I typically replace the cassette about every three chains, and the front chainwheels (Ultegra as well) are still OK.

  • the first link is dead! – Carel Jul 30 '15 at 15:02
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    Working for me right now. – Zippy The Pinhead Jul 30 '15 at 20:30

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