Here is a bummer for you: I need to put $$$ into my bike to get it to run well. Okay, so that is not really a surprise, is it? First, I did not realize that I had my bike as long as I have. Second, even though I already knew this, it didn’t really sink in: you can’t usually buy a new chain without getting new chain rings and maybe new cogs. Well, “usually” means if you do not wait too long, like I did. Theoretically, if you replace your chain in a more timely fashion you can get two, three or maybe even four chains through the cogs and chain ring sets. Chains are the cheapest part of the drive train, so even for a cheapskate like myself; I now know to replace the chain more often.
I ride in all weather and sadly do a minimal amount of maintenance. Therefore my wear and tear is substantial and I definitely waited too long to replace my chain. I thought I was going to purchase a chain and be on my way. Unfortunately, I was advised that I need at least one, probably two chainrings and the new cog set. That added up in a hurry. On top of that, the original estimate did not apparently include labor. Isn’t that a bit like selling car tires without air valves, or printers without printer cables?
So now, my bike is at the local bike shop awaiting parts. I hope the work is completed quickly so that I can ride the bike in the MS Finger Lakes Challenge ride in July. (By the way, you can sponsor me at http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/Simmons)
My chain ring looked like shark’s teeth, very intimidating! GRRRR! However, the teeth should look a lot more square on top, instead of pointy. This same phenomenon happens to chainrings, cogs, sprockets and even the pulley gears in your derailleur to varying degrees.
The primary symptom that I experienced is chain slippage under load. I didn’t notice it too bad because I apparently use my gears pretty well. Pat pat pat (that is the sound of me patting myself on the back). But, sometimes there just sn’t enough time to shift, or a large amount of force is needed reagrdless of what gear you are in. For me, it manifested itself most frequently when starting from a stop at intersections. Yeah. Bad time to slip! Oh! And the noise it makes is horrific, too.
My bike is for sale. It will be worth more than what I am asking as soon as it comes out of the shop. You can check it out at https://rochester.craigslist.org/bik/6180835973.html.
Why do you have to replace the chainrings, chain and cogset? When they are in new condition, the chain fits nicely in the valley between the teeth of each gear. As the chain wears, it actually stretches. After a time, the chain no longer fits in the valleys between the gear teeth and occasionally hits the top of the gear teeth. At this point, if enough pressure is supplied, the chain slips (actually the chainring spins freely beneath the chain).
If you simply replace the chain, the new chain will not fit the worn chainrings as they should. This also holds true at the other end of the bike mainfesting itself at the cogset. Just replacing the chainring and not the chain would result in a similar situation. The two are designed to work together. Mixing old and new is similar to purchasing both new but not in the correct sizes to work together. All of this holds equally true with replacing either the chain or cogset. Essentially, you want tot replace all three at the same time. The only caveat to this is if you replace your chain early enough; in this case you might get two three or even four chains through the set before you need to replace all three components.
Therefore, replacing your chain early is actually the cheapest way to go. But, it just doesn’t feel right replacing the chain before it is completely worn… so that is why I get burned.