Does standing up while pedaling increase chain wear (lengthen chain) faster than pedaling while seated?

  • 1
    Chainwear, or rather chain-stretch is proportional to the applied power, so very strong riders could well do that when seated. – Carel Jul 19 '20 at 7:41
  • Chain wear is caused by friction and grinding in the rollers. The force tensioning the chain does increase it somewhat, but the state of your chain is more important. – Vladimir F Jul 19 '20 at 12:27

The amount of force required to plastically deform a steel chain is much more than a human can exert, even if you embedded the rear wheel in concrete so that all the force went into stretching the chain, rather than turning the wheel.

Chain "stretch" is 100% caused by wear, with grit in the chain grinding down the rivets and sideplate openings. Standing up to pedal has nothing to do with it. If the chain is dirty and its parts are moving relative to each other, the parts will wear down.

  • 2
    The tensioning force does change the grinding somewhat similarly to pushing more when using a sandpaper or a file. – Vladimir F Jul 19 '20 at 17:45
  • 1
    On the other hand, using lower gear increases the number of times each link is bent. Think about using less force on the sandpaper or file but using it more. Does it even out? I don't know. – ojs Jul 19 '20 at 19:02
  • Practically the difference is none. I am sure someone can find some theoretical reason or laboratory experiment that proves things one way or another (in theory or lab conditions only) – mattnz Jul 19 '20 at 20:16

Chain wear should be roughly proportional to the transmitted power. You can either achieve that power with high rpm and low torque or low rpm and high torque (e.g. when pedalling out of the saddle).

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