When I shifted to Shimano Ultegra, minor matters, like the cost of a chain, suddenly took on new meaning. $40-$90 for a chain?
I purchased a Park CC-3.2 chain wear-indicator tool and started cleaning my chain with Simple Green more often. I also purchased a second chain so I’d be more inclined to clean my chain, some KMC master chain links and Park MLP-1 master pliers. I read up on the best way to clean a chain as described by Sheldon Brown. I especially like putting the chain in a container with Simple Green and shaking well.
I’m pleased to report that the chain is wearing longer than I expected. Worn chains will more rapidly wear freewheel sprockets, adding to the cost of maintenance.
The Shimano CN-6600 has about 4,000 miles, but it won’t last much longer. Park has two settings, .5(%) and .75(%). It’s at .5 but being the cheapskate that I am, I’ll let it go to .75, which is about 1/16 inch and the recommended wear point for chain replacement according to the experts.
While Pardo and others mention that most chain-wear indicator tools push the rollers apart and are therefore “inaccurate” it’s easy enough to measure your chain when the chain-wear tool indicates it’s worn, just to confirm. Of course, measuring with a ruler is subject to error as well.
Park no doubt accounted for the roller spread when making the tool and from what I can tell it’s spot-on accurate. Now back to your regularly scheduled bike riding.
Follow Up (April 30, 2013)
About 550 miles later the chain wore down to the 0.75 setting. Your mileage may vary.