Chain Ring Life?
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  1. #1
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    Chain Ring Life?

    I’m replacing the big ring on my SRAM group and I was wondering, do manufacturers impact durability? My SRAM big ring has, say, 5K miles on it. What is on yours? I’m sure you are exceeding 5K? Are there ways to lengthen big ring life? My teeth are obviously curving...
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    11 speed drivetrain parts do not last for me. Road/gravel mix last year, with some mud, I got around 3500 miles out of everything. Either 3 or 4 chains.

    I went back to 10 speed this year.

  3. #3
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    Keep everything clean. Keep the chain lubricated correctly. Replace the chain more often. I have never replaced a chainring on my road bike due to it wearing out. Not once. I've either upgraded or changed bikes. That's in nearly 40 years of riding. I also can't remember that last time I changed out a chainring on any of the team bikes due to wear.

    And I'm sure you were probably trying to post in 'components/wrenching' but just missed by one.
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    I've got just over 18,000 miles on my go to bike, 3 chains that I rotate every 1500 miles and everything is original. I've got another bike whose drivetrain has just over 17,000 miles the only difference is I've been rotating 2 chains. 18,000 is 11spd and 17,000 is 10spd, all Campagnolo chains, which ever are on sale. The teeth on my go to aren't showing hooking but they are showing wear but everything is running smoothly and I'm aiming for 20,000 miles before I look at things a little closer.

    I don't think that 2 chains were enough so I was going to rotate 4 onto my go to bike but I started with three and by the time I had another chain I figured it was to late to start a new chain into the rotation. I wipe and lube the chain maybe every 300 miles, after any ride in wet conditions or if it's looking particularly dirty. About a 50/50 home brew.

    What could possibly go wrong.
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  5. #5
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    I have never replaced a chainring on my road bike due to it wearing out. Not once. I've either upgraded or changed bikes.
    Same here.
    If you're not getting 15-20k miles from a chaining you're doing something wrong.
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    I replaced my 7900 DA big ring at 30K. It could have used it around 25k though.

    That's with limited rain riding, decent chain lube habits, replacing chains when they need it and I assume DA is tougher than most if not all so my experience might be best case scenario.
    I pretty much ignored what they looked like and replaces with chain suck started getting fairly frequent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    I have never replaced a chainring on my road bike due to it wearing out.
    same here...

    replaced the big ring on my DA8 bike at about 50K, but for cosmetic reasons, not because of shifting issues.

    bought a used DA10 group that had 18K miles on it, and I've added another 25K...still works fine. have a new 53T in the parts inventory if there's a need for it.
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  8. #8
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    sumthin' wong with your setup that's causing the chain to eat into the aluminum teeth of the chainring thus wearing them down prematurely?

    (I've seen cassettes wear down unevenly due to improper rear deraileur setup)

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    My experience is the same as CX's. Keep your chain clean (free of grit) and well lubed and your stuff should last a lot longer that 5k miles. I can't specifically speak to SRAM, but I have something like 18k miles on the Ultegra 6800 50/34 chainset on my old BMC GF-01 and it still has plenty of life.

  10. #10
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    Thanks all! This is what I was thinking... So I was getting skipping, once or twice a ride under a sprint or standing climb, or just starting off from a stop. Brought it to the LBS thinking loose press fit BB. BB was fine. Mech said likely the chain ring. You can def see some wave shape in the teeth... Is SRAM Rival part of the issue? I’m pretty good about maintaining my chain. I’m not fastidious, every 250 or so. Wipe it down, a drop each... Finish Line Dry ATM. Wipe it down next day and ride. Chain is done immediately after every rain ride. I never wait for noise or functional impact. No shifting issues and LBS mech is reliable so I think things are adjusted properly... I mean maybe I have more moles than that, maybe 6K+ but not 25K!! Is there a riding form implication?
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    I mean maybe I have more moles than that, maybe 6K+ but not 25K!! Is there a riding form implication?
    You’re obviously cross-chaining too much. (Excuse me while I duck for cover, run away and grab some popcorn)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ogre View Post
    You’re obviously cross-chaining too much. (Excuse me while I duck for cover, run away and grab some popcorn)
    I doubt this is the case. I cross chain with great regularity and have, like I posted earlier, 18,000 miles on my go to bike with no issues. If anything I would say that cross chaining wear will show on the side profile, a thinning of the teeth, before showing shark tooth wear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    I doubt this is the case. I cross chain with great regularity and have, like I posted earlier, 18,000 miles on my go to bike with no issues. If anything I would say that cross chaining wear will show on the side profile, a thinning of the teeth, before showing shark tooth wear.
    Read my second sentence. And I was referring to PBL's chainring anyway.

  14. #14
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    I think a gritty chain is the most likely cause of short lifespan on chainrings and cassettes.

    You have a steel chain with what amounts to a grinding paste on it, under tension, grinding away on your alloy rings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Keep everything clean. Keep the chain lubricated correctly. Replace the chain more often. I have never replaced a chainring on my road bike due to it wearing out. Not once. I've either upgraded or changed bikes. That's in nearly 40 years of riding. I also can't remember that last time I changed out a chainring on any of the team bikes due to wear.

    And I'm sure you were probably trying to post in 'components/wrenching' but just missed by one.
    Not being gripped by the need to upgrade, I do get to replace chainrings. I run Campy and typically see a worn ring in the 50K to 60K miles range. That said, I have seen poorer quality rings wear out much faster. 5K miles? No way assuming a reasonably clean drive train.

  16. #16
    pmf
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    I'm with everyone else here -- I can't remember ever changing out a chain ring because it's worn out. PBL450 -- Maybe you ought to ask another mechanic. I really doubt your chain ring it toast after 5k miles.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    I'm with everyone else here -- I can't remember ever changing out a chain ring because it's worn out. PBL450 -- Maybe you ought to ask another mechanic. I really doubt your chain ring it toast after 5k miles.
    Hmmm. Maybe. I have used the shop for a while and they have been good. The teeth were visibly curving to the naked eye. Not like crazy, but noticeable. My chain protocol isn’t meticulous but is pretty consistent with plenty of RBR posters when the topic (often) comes up. Maybe I should post a “how best to clean your chain” thread? Haha. I run the chain through a rag until the rag is coming up kinda clean. Then a drop per link. Rag again. Chain usually looks very clean. After an overnight rest another trip through the rag before a ride. Not for nothing, I do cross chain a lot, 50/28. Never little ring. But I climb the steep short stuff around me in 50/28 all the time. I like to get up and attack the climbs.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    Hmmm. Maybe. I have used the shop for a while and they have been good. The teeth were visibly curving to the naked eye. Not like crazy, but noticeable. My chain protocol isn’t meticulous but is pretty consistent with plenty of RBR posters when the topic (often) comes up. Maybe I should post a “how best to clean your chain” thread? Haha. I run the chain through a rag until the rag is coming up kinda clean. Then a drop per link. Rag again. Chain usually looks very clean. After an overnight rest another trip through the rag before a ride. Not for nothing, I do cross chain a lot, 50/28. Never little ring. But I climb the steep short stuff around me in 50/28 all the time. I like to get up and attack the climbs.
    Hard to imagine a big ring being worn out w/ that kind of care. Really hard. Like impossible.
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  19. #19
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    1. New teeth start life as curve shaped and gradually turn to pointy triangular shape as they wear down. I'm curious how your chainring teeth become more curvy as they wear. Maybe you could post a pic of chainring

    2. chain skipping is probably happening at the cassette or rear hub area. Very hard for chain skipping to happen on the big ring due to more chain wrapping here. Besides, a chain skipping event here would go of like a bomb because you'd have like half the number of teeth (in your case 50/2 = 25) of the chainring skipping. The noise and feeling to the feet would be intense and violent and may even cause some broken teeth too if you were torquing down on the crank (as in sprinting up a climb like you say you do).

    You sure the issue is the chainring? or maybe it's the cassette/rear hub? Like everyone in here already said, hard to imagine your chainring wearing down with that kind of care to it you do. So..

  20. #20
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    Hmmm. Maybe. I have used the shop for a while and they have been good. The teeth were visibly curving to the naked eye. Not like crazy, but noticeable. My chain protocol isn’t meticulous but is pretty consistent with plenty of RBR posters when the topic (often) comes up. Maybe I should post a “how best to clean your chain” thread? Haha. I run the chain through a rag until the rag is coming up kinda clean. Then a drop per link. Rag again. Chain usually looks very clean. After an overnight rest another trip through the rag before a ride. Not for nothing, I do cross chain a lot, 50/28. Never little ring. But I climb the steep short stuff around me in 50/28 all the time. I like to get up and attack the climbs.
    Can you compare your chain ring with a brand new SRAM chain ring? It might be that the new one also has visibly curving teeth. Or maybe SRAM stuff just sucks. I don't know ... never used it. Sounds like you take good care of your drive train.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Can you compare your chain ring with a brand new SRAM chain ring? It might be that the new one also has visibly curving teeth.
    Regardless though, I wouldn't replace a chain ring based on a visual. You're either having problems and/or eating chains prematurely or not and that's what I'd base replacement on.

    I asked about this here in the past when I first noticed my big ring clearly looked different than a new one. Pretty much everyone said there was no harm in using it as long as it wasn't causing problems. And that was my experience. I kept using it for at least 10K miles after there was visual differences in tooth shape and it was perfectly fine.....until it wasn't 10k miles later and I started getting chain suck.
    I'm guessing on the miles. The point is replaced based on function not appearance. It's not like using a worn chain that still works fine but you are damaging other parts. If you're not eating chains and it works fine it is fine.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    1. New teeth start life as curve shaped and gradually turn to pointy triangular shape as they wear down. I'm curious how your chainring teeth become more curvy as they wear. Maybe you could post a pic of chainring

    2. chain skipping is probably happening at the cassette or rear hub area. Very hard for chain skipping to happen on the big ring due to more chain wrapping here. Besides, a chain skipping event here would go of like a bomb because you'd have like half the number of teeth (in your case 50/2 = 25) of the chainring skipping. The noise and feeling to the feet would be intense and violent and may even cause some broken teeth too if you were torquing down on the crank (as in sprinting up a climb like you say you do).

    You sure the issue is the chainring? or maybe it's the cassette/rear hub? Like everyone in here already said, hard to imagine your chainring wearing down with that kind of care to it you do. So..
    I think this is pretty much the case. Remember that on a chain ring, some teeth will look worn even when new. They are designed that way to make upshifting smoother.

    My guess is that the skipping you are getting is from the rear, not the front. If you are getting skipping in the front, it could be from a misadjusted front derailleur. Or the skipping could even be due to a stiff chain link.
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  23. #23
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    I'm guessing my bike that has the most miles is at around 12,000 miles. The rings are working fine. I ride in good weather year round but I also wipe down my chain after every ride and keep all parts of the drive train properly lubed and clean.

  24. #24
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    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    Sorry, my pics post randomly in terms of how they are turned. But on really looking at this ring it looks OK? I had the shop order the replacement so I will replace it. I may also replace the shop... But I won’t welch. I did find some pretty negative reviews, one on RBR, of Rival chain rings, but it’s the Internet, you will find what you want to find... It skipped yesterday starting off from a stop uphill. If the skips stop, I guess I’ll keep the shop, haha.
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

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