At 9,606 kilometres I decided it was time to replaced the original equipment (OEM) Shimano CN-6600 10 speed chain that was fitted to Froggie my Look 555. The chain was showing 1% wear according to my Park Tools CC-3 chain wear indicator and based on this article on the accuracy of the chain wear indicator tool, it was the right time to replace it.
Even though I had nearly 10,000 km of life from the Ultegra chain, I had heard really good things about Wipperman Connex chains so decided to give the Connex 10s0 10 speed chain a go.
The Connex 10s0 is a steel 10 speed chain which is 1/2â€œ x 11/128â€œ with a pin length: 5.9 mm. According to Wipperman the chain weighs in at 275 grams (110 links) and it ships with 114 links plus the Connex link.
Removal of the old chain was pretty straight forward using my Topeak Super Chain Tool. From there I counted the links on the old chain twice to be sure and confirmed it as 104 links.Â I then counted off 104 links on the new chain and then broke the chain at this point to remove the excess links.
From there I thread the chain on the bike and fairly quickly fitted the Connex link. I must admit I thought at first that it was not fitted properly as it seemed such a simple process, but driveway testing suggests all is okay.
The installation instructions that came with the chain where not the helpful, however, Wipperman do have a instruction sheet on the Connex link which is clearer and easier to follow. Just click on the link to download.
I installed the chain as supplied, i.e., have not added any lube nor have I removed the lubricant that came on the chain, however on the next day, I completed a 78 km ride in the hills with the Freo Wheelers and had problems with the shifting and the chain dropping off the innermost sprocket.
The cause of my dilemma in the hills was the incompetent mechanic, i.e., me.Â Being a right idiot I had not thread the chain through the pulleys correctly.Â Once I fixed this, I found I need to adjust the H-Limit and L-Limit screws and the index adjustment.Â I am not sure if this is a result of the new chain or my stupidity but.Â As I was doing these adjustments I took the opportunity to degrease the chain and lube with Rock â€˜N Gold, so will not get an idea as to the effectiveness of leaving the manufacturers lube on until the first service.Â Adjustment and indexing was relatively straight forward (I am still a green horn bike mechanic for sure).Â On positive note I got to check out the functionality of the Connex link and it was simple as to remove the chain, but still a bit fiddly to get it reinstalled. More practice needed for sure.
Finally, one other point to note is the rear cassette was not replaced nor where the chain rings, just the chain.
Life on the Road
As the Connex 10s0 is a steel chain and at the bottom of the rankings in terms of Wipperman 10 speed chains, I am not expecting to get as good a life out of it as I did the original Shimano Ultegra CN-6600 chain, but it will be interesting to see how it goes.
In terms of maintenance, I degrease and re-lube the chain approximately every 500 kilometres from June to December (winter services) each year and between December and May (summer services) every 1,000 kilometres.Â This is the same regime applied to the Shimano Ultegra CN-6600 chain.