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Bicycle Chain Wear Rate History – An Owner’s Experience

Bicycle Chain Wear Check

Bicycle Chain Wear Check


This page was last updated on February 27, 2015. All reported kilometres are as at this date.


 

Bicycle chains and cassettes are both important parts of a bike’s drive train and hence maintenance of them can be time-consuming. Getting value out of your bicycle chain is important and a key aspect of that is understanding how well a bicycle chain wears. To get a handle on how my bicycle chains wear, I maintain this blog posting of my bicycle chain wear rates and my bicycle cassette wear rates.   I have tried out Shimano chains, KMC chains, Wipperman chains and SRAM chains and my current preference is for Wipperman 10 speed chains and SRAM 9 speed chains.

To put my bicycle chain wear rates in context I record all my rides in BikeJournal so I have an exact measure of the kilometres ridden. I also use BikeJournal to track my chain use. Cassette usage is done in a spreadsheet.

As part of my bicycle chain maintenance program and hence something to keep in mind with my bicycle chain wear rates is that I service my chains every 500 kilometres in the wet riding season (winter to spring) and every 1,000 kilometres in my dry riding season (summer to autumn).  My standard bicycle service is detailed here.

This post of my bicycle chain wear rates is updated approximately once a month to ensure the information is current.  I am always interested in your opinion on how you experience with your bicycle chain wear rates and general experiences with bicycle chains and cassettes so please do leave a comment below.

Bicycle Chain Wear Rates – Chains and Cassettes Currently in Use

Bicycle chains in use

Chain Brand and ModelLast Reported MileageOther Comments
Shimano Dura-ace CN-7801 10 speed chain1,953Fitted to my Look 555; Weekend
warrior and Audax ride
Shimano HG 93 9 speed chain1,953Fitted to my Giant
XTC 2 mountain bike
; touring
Shimano HG 93 9 speed chain695Fitted to my Giant Defy 1 Electric Bike
Wipperman 9SX 9 speed chain4,201Fitted to my Surly
Long Haul Trucker
; touring
YBN LG-7710 9 Speed chain1,448OEM fittment on my LoGo Lightning P-38

Bicycle cassettes now in use

Chain/Cluster Brand and ModelMilage (Kilometres)Other Comments
Shimano CS-HG50 11-34 10 speed
cluster
1,956Fitted to my Giant
XTC 2 mountain bike; touring
Shimano Deore XT CS-M770 11-34 9 speed cluster4,201Fitted to my Surly
Long Haul Trucker
at 9,676 km.
Shimano Ultegra CS 6700 11-28 10 speed cluster9,132Fitted at 13,575 km to my Look 555.
Shimano 9 sp695Fitted to my Giant Defy 1
Unknown - 11-34 9 speed1,448LoGo P-38>/a>

Bicycle Chains Wear Rates – Chains Retired (Archival Data)

Chain Brand and ModelNumber of Chains UsedAverage MileageOther Comments
KMC X10 10 speed chain14,240 kmFitted to my Giant CRX 1
commuter. In fairness to the chain I may have prematurely retired it
due to my incorrect use of my new Shimano TL-CN41 chain wear tool.
KMC X10L Gold 10 speed chain113,044 kmFitted to my Kinesis Racelight
Granfondo Ltd commuter
Shimano CN-5600 10 speed11,874 kmOEM chain fitted to my Giant CRX 1
Shimano CN-6600 10 speed19,606 kmOEM chain fitted to my Look 555
SRAM PC 991 9 speed chain13,843 kmRemoved earlier from my Surly Long Haul Trucker in preparation for the Dreaming Tour.
SRAM PC-971 9 Speed15,833 kmOEM chain fitted to my Surly
Long Haul Trucker.
Wipperman Connex 10s0
10 speed chain
111,147 kmFitted to my Look 555; Weekend
warrior and Audax ride

Bicycle Chains Wear Rates – Cassettes Retired (Archival Data)

Shimano 105 12-27 10 speed
cluster
1 18,672 km
Shimano Ultegra CS-6600 11-23 10
Speed
1 13,575 km OEM cluster fitted to my Look 555
Shimano Deore XT CS-M770 11-34 9
speed cluster
1 9, 676 km Removed earlier from my Surly Long Haul Trucker in preparation for the Dreaming Tour.

7 Responses to Bicycle Chain Wear Rate History – An Owner’s Experience

  1. Mick Allan February 14, 2012 at 6:41 PM #

    There is another way! I’d be interested to hear your opinion of it…

    http://www.cyclorama.net/blog/advice/51/

    All the best, Mick

    • Aushiker February 14, 2012 at 8:50 PM #

      You might convince me yet 🙂 Actually I have a 5,000 km + ride coming up where applying your suggested method will be a good test. I will be heading off with a new chain as well and will not have the option of cleaning and degreasing like I normally do. Will be interesting to see how it works out.

  2. Mick Allan February 14, 2012 at 11:45 PM #

    Me too! Looking forward to your impressions of ‘The Method’ with eager anticpation!

    Mick

  3. Michael Dufty March 27, 2012 at 10:24 PM #

    I wonder if the cheaper wippermann’s are much worse or I just got unlucky, I tried a 900 9 speed, and it not only stretched to 0.75% wear in only 3,000km, but wore out the middle ring and cassette. I’ve been getting typically 5000-7000 on shimano HG73 and HG53 and gettilng at least two chains out of a cassette.
    This is just commuting usage in perth, mainly dry weather, wipe and rock’n’roll lube only maintenance, no degreasing.

    • Aushiker March 28, 2012 at 10:37 AM #

      I haven’t used the other Wipperman chains so cannot comment on them but I would be double checking the reported wear rates if using a “standard” measuring tool. You may well be replacing the chains earlier than you need to.

  4. Ross October 1, 2013 at 11:12 AM #

    You don’t seem to get many kms out your cassettes and chains. I usually run DA 7801 chain and get probably 3 months (4000 – 6000km) before it is worn (usually just over .75, not worn right out) and a year/20000km, sometimes more out of a cassette (Ult or 105 – can’t see the value in DA). I usually clean the chain and cassette once a week, just leave them on the bike and scrub with kero, rinse, dry off and re-lube

    • Andrew Priest October 2, 2013 at 8:20 AM #

      Crikey. Last removed chain … Shimano Ultegra CS-6600 11-23 10 sp after 13,575 km. The chain and cluster on the Surly was removed early due to heading off at the time on what was a planned 5,000 km tour. That chain and cluster will go back on the bike eventually.

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