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This past spring brought Canyon Endurace8 with just under 400 miles on it in for a tune up to get it good to go for a bike fit and to fix anything I may have not done properly when I assembled it, which according to them wasn't the case. They replaced my chain ($50). I didn't maintain the bike as much as I would've liked to during the 1st 400 miles.

Can a chain get to the point of needing to be replaced that quickly? Could the way I ride (shift) have made this possible?

I may be a novice, but I avoided cross-chaining and I try to shift at the proper pedal strokes, though admittedly maybe during the first hundred or so miles I didn't as I learned from the internet and riding w/others. Most of my rides don't involve much elevation change.

Also, is it normal for a shop to do a $50+ item without giving you a call?

I would've like to have had some input on the chain used to replace mine, though I'm assuming since they didn't ask they used one comparable to what was on there. Just like with my car, trusting the people at the shop is just as, if not more, important than what they charge for service/parts.

Thanks.

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    Was any other transmission part changed? Cassette or jockey wheels etc? Are you riding in winter, possibly with road salt or sands?
    – Criggie
    Jul 7, 2023 at 22:11
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    I like to wrench on my own bikes, so I’ve not been in this position but they should not have done that without your preapproval. Always ask for the old chain back, there are all sorts of non-offensive reasons for a customer to want their old chain. Such to put it on a beater bike or use as a spare if the main gets damaged or breaks.
    – jqning
    Jul 8, 2023 at 4:04
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    A repair shop should never change a part without first getting permission and they should always be willing to provide the original item back to you to prove that it was broken or damaged. If they're replacing things and disposing of the repair item, you should strongly consider disputing the repair and certainly find a different shop
    – Richard
    Jul 8, 2023 at 10:20
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    @Richard Yup, that's just foul play. I wonder if it has to do with the D2C Canyon myth and shops being reluctant to service them like their own brands but nevertheless, throwing off a chain without any feedback feels like a cash grab on a novice rider... Never go back to that shop and clarify the scope before leaving the bike at service.
    – DoNuT
    Jul 8, 2023 at 14:47
  • Frankly, kilometres are a pretty useless way of measuring chain lifetime. A chain that's used for racing in a flat, good-weather place with good maintenance can easily survive 10 000 km, but the same chain might last only for 500 km of use in a cold/rainy/salty city or for enduro MTB. Jul 8, 2023 at 15:33

3 Answers 3

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400 miles is really on the lower end of what to expect from a chain on a modern bike. Not sure what the Endurace 8 features but I get 4000-5000 kilometers out on my 105 groupset, I would give myself a 7/10 in terms of care.

That being said, good care is way more important than riding style, in my opinion. I haven't done it (wearing a chain so fast) but I wouldn't say it is impossible by going for long distances on a totally gritty chain or without lubrication, or possibly due to lots of riding in the wet.

It's hard to judge without any pictures and detailed information on your "imperfect maintenance". A good shop would discuss the condition of the bike and what might need replacement. I assume, you mentioned it is a rather new bike that realistically isn't as old so that it would need any replacements. If the mechanic had found that the chain is unexpectedly worn, they should have mentioned that and gave you some tips on maintenance to proactively keep the next one in better shape for longer because it's for sure not normal.

If all of that hasn't happened, I would consider a different shop for next time. Looking up some tutorials for good chain care and buying a chain wear gauge to assess your chain's wear before getting it to service and have a bit of leverage on that subject might also be a good idea. Just measuring wear before and keeping track of the distance it has run since last replacement...

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Several likely possibilities:

  1. You have ridden your bike in very poor conditions (lots of rain), which has washed out the chain lubricant. Then you continued riding the bike. However, if this was the case, the chain would have been squeaking like hell so it should be evident it requires relubrication.
  2. Someone (you or the shop/person who sold you the bike) was a believer in so-called dry lubricants, and removed the factory grease and replaced it with a dry lubricant. They need to be re-applied constantly. If you don't re-apply, it could destroy the chain in 400 miles. However, the chain would have been squeaking like hell in this case so it should be evident it requires relubrication.
  3. If the bike was bought used, it may have been ridden more than you were told.
  4. The shop just had excess compatible chains in the stock and wanted to quickly convert them to money. This is inhonest. If this is the case, you should not ever go there again.
  5. The shop used an improper chain measuring tool. The proper tools are 1-foot inch ruler, Shimano TL-CN40, Shimano TL-CN41, Shimano TL-CN42, Park Tool CC-4 and Pedro's Chain Checker Plus II. The older Shimano tools (everything except TL-CN42), Park Tool CC-4 and Pedro's Chain Checker Plus II can be identified by them having three measurement points. Shimano TL-CN42 has two measuring points, but one out of the two is a tensioned point, so the metal in the tool is split into two "fingers". To find out if this is the case, find images about the "good tools" online and learn to identify if a tool is good. Then go again to the shop and ask them could they please show you the tool they used to identify that the chain was worn. If you identify the tool to be bad (I suspect 90-99% of the tools out there are bad), don't go to the shop again because they will continue using the bad tool, costing you a lot of money because it may happen that everytime you go there they will replace your "worn" chain even though it was perfectly fine.

To understand more about the "bad" vs "good" chainwear indicators, read this: http://pardo.net/bike/pic/fail-004/000.html

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    FTR, there's nothing wrong with "believing" in dry lube. When applied often enough, it does work well and avoids dirty-greasy-sticky-mess-chain syndrome. Jul 8, 2023 at 15:37
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In bad conditions (dirty and wet), with bad maintenance (insufficient lube and cleaning) and high power output it might just be possible to reach 0.5% elongation in that kind of distance. 0.5% elongation is the earliest point in time where it can make sense to replace it.

A worn chain an accelerate wear of the other drivetrain components, so it’s generally a good idea to replace the chain somewhat early because it’s much easier and cheaper to replace than cassettes and chainrings. The more worn the cassette and chainrings are, the longer I’d use a chain. I usually get 2000 to 3000km out of a chain (11 speed chains, replacing at 0.75% elongation, riding in all kinds of weather, 66kg rider weight, usually 150–230W power output and around 95rpm cadence) and have to replace the cassette after 4 chains for good shifting performance.

A chain wear gauge is cheap and replacing chains is not that difficult, so you might want to get the tools to do it yourself or at least measure chain wear yourself so you know when it’s time to go to the bike shop.

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