Worn drivers and new chains

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1/19/2018 10:45 AM

Yes this is a thing. All too often people ask how to fix their bike because it's making a horrible noise. Usually they blame the chain. But the problem gets worse with a new chain. That's because over time your chain WILL stretch, and as it stretches, it wears the teeth on the driver (one of the reasons I'm a believer in replacing your chain at least once a year).
I recently acquired this hub, haven't got a clue how old the driver is, but it's worn (and the guy I got it off refused to believe that's what caused the noise....) Photo
This is a pretty extreme case, but compare it to a brand new driver
Photo

As I mentioned above, as your chain stretches, it will wear your driver. It will also wear your sprocket. If you replace your chain (the cheapest part of your drive train) regularly enough, your sprocket and driver will last a lot lot longer.

You're welcome.

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1/19/2018 11:25 AM

Nice!
Thank you for this!

Some lbs tell you to also change the sprocket and the driver when you get a new chain (regardless of how worn they are) but after seeing this I think that's not necessary all the time.

Aren't there some tools that tell you how stretched your chain is?

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1/19/2018 11:33 AM

Holy...

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Hmmm

1/19/2018 11:47 AM

am-shaegar wrote:

Nice!
Thank you for this!

Some lbs tell you to also change the sprocket and the driver when you get a new chain (regardless of how worn they are) but after seeing this I think that's not necessary all the time.

Aren't there some tools that tell you how stretched your chain is?

Yeah there's chain measuring tools, but in all honesty I don't know how accurate they are with bmx. On a geared bike, you'd replace the chain and cassette/freewheel, as there's no way of knowing if the rider has a preferred gear. Plus the cogs are a lot narrower so will wear quicker. Whereas a driver is a lump of chromoly, it won't wear as quickly as a cog on a road bike

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1/19/2018 1:30 PM

grumpySteve wrote:

Yeah there's chain measuring tools, but in all honesty I don't know how accurate they are with bmx. On a geared bike, you'd replace the chain and cassette/freewheel, as there's no way of knowing if the rider has a preferred gear. Plus the cogs are a lot narrower so will wear quicker. Whereas a driver is a lump of chromoly, it won't wear as quickly as a cog on a road bike

Oh, that makes sense!
I always forget that in my town local bike shops don't really deal with bmx and apply what they know from road and mountain bikes.

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1/19/2018 1:45 PM

am-shaegar wrote:

Nice!
Thank you for this!

Some lbs tell you to also change the sprocket and the driver when you get a new chain (regardless of how worn they are) but after seeing this I think that's not necessary all the time.

Aren't there some tools that tell you how stretched your chain is?

grumpySteve wrote:

Yeah there's chain measuring tools, but in all honesty I don't know how accurate they are with bmx. On a geared bike, you'd replace the chain and cassette/freewheel, as there's no way of knowing if the rider has a preferred gear. Plus the cogs are a lot narrower so will wear quicker. Whereas a driver is a lump of chromoly, it won't wear as quickly as a cog on a road bike

am-shaegar wrote:

Oh, that makes sense!
I always forget that in my town local bike shops don't really deal with bmx and apply what they know from road and mountain bikes.

Yeah with other bikes, if you put just a new chain on and the cassette/freewheel is worn, it'll skip. But because we have our chains tight, it can't skip properly. So the only way of judging wear is by looking at the teeth. But even then it can be more worn than you realise. So, you'd judge it by the sound it makes.
Quite often a new chain will make a bit noise anyway, but that should go away after a couple of rides (or deliberately riding up a steep hill) when it bed's in a bit. But, if it continues to makes that horrible sound, chances are it's the driver.

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1/19/2018 3:16 PM

Yep. I always knew that replacing your chain is a good idea to do... I usually get a new one every 6 months.. so 2 a year if I don't snap any, which thankfully I haven't don't yet, but I also refuse to buy cheap Walmart chains because I don't ever want to snap one, but I know it's kind of inevitable, so I'm sure eventually I'll snap a chain... but I'm not too rough on chains tbh...

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I don't crash, I do random gravity checks...

1/20/2018 12:27 AM

I used to buy cheap chains with the logic I'm going to land on it and replace links every now and then. Then I tried a sram single speed chain, and it snapped while I was pedalling hard! I've got a bsd chain now and it's been pretty awesome, it's about time I got a new one though

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