Quantcast

Tempered Steel in chains

Muddy

ancient crusty bog dude
Jul 7, 2013
1,914
701
Bathroom Pull Cord Station
Does this become a benefit once above economy grade chains?

Just returning from a 85 mile Gravel event/race that crumbled apart in the first 15 miles. Had tuned the gravel bike ahead of the weekend then gave thorough cleaning to everything, it included ultrasonic bath of a fresh SRAM 1130 chain and SRAM Red cassette.

The B limit made the noises of being just out of adjustment enough to cause the chain to lift between the upper jockey wheel and the lower cogs and, stay hung up when shifting from the higher cogs. Ultimately wasted my start pulling off to fiddle with cable tension over a dozen times. Once around mile 30, noises diminished.

Grabbed a slew of 1130 chains over winter, if ultrasonic cleaning w/ hot solution wrecks economy chains, am going to have to stop and change maintenance routines.
 

Muddy

ancient crusty bog dude
Jul 7, 2013
1,914
701
Bathroom Pull Cord Station
It was the first time in all my years riding.
Not sure how swampy the gravel stages could be and wanted to test a new chain lube. Am really disappointed w/ myself. Besides utter shit result I may have ruined at least one new chain.

Before Drumpf was writing love letters to N. Korea, used to pickup bulk chains for nothing.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
17,141
15,373
Canaderp
I've never had a problem with cheap chains, though I don't totally clean out the factory lube, just clean it enough so it's gone from the outside. That stuff is like syrup and every little bit of grit will stick to it grind away on everything.
 

Muddy

ancient crusty bog dude
Jul 7, 2013
1,914
701
Bathroom Pull Cord Station
Heated or not heated, at the temperatures we'd be talking, makes no difference.
I just cannot explain it - there was no amount of cable tension adjustment up or down that would get back to solid shifting until well over an hour of riding through dirt and mud sections.

I have to think that the 140° bath somehow setup the metal in this chain in a bad way, making me wonder if there's heat treating involved on the more expensive chains, not just SRAM.
 
I just cannot explain it - there was no amount of cable tension adjustment up or down that would get back to solid shifting until well over an hour of riding through dirt and mud sections.

I have to think that the 140° bath somehow setup the metal in this chain in a bad way, making me wonder if there's heat treating involved on the more expensive chains, not just SRAM.
If you were talking 1,400° F, you might be on to something.

 

Muddy

ancient crusty bog dude
Jul 7, 2013
1,914
701
Bathroom Pull Cord Station
If you were talking 1,400° F, you might be on to something.

70°C/140°F in sessions totaling just over an 90mins. I know this is well below achieving a heat treatment, but if there's not any extra metal prep to be had and, alot of mating surfaces as with a bicycle roller chain, this is what seems to have occurred. If the 11 mile of use chain became just stretched enough to make the B-Limit hyper sensitive, once into the sloppier sections of the route some of the mud and water filled any voids and toned down the noise. Or, if it somehow contracted the chain - it took that long to reorient itself.

Either way, this chain is getting tossed in the rubbish and I hope the road bike did not suffer the same.
 

Muddy

ancient crusty bog dude
Jul 7, 2013
1,914
701
Bathroom Pull Cord Station
Other than cleaning the bike, am not going to do a damn thing to the drivetrain other than install another chain. There's got to be some logic to what happened.
 

Muddy

ancient crusty bog dude
Jul 7, 2013
1,914
701
Bathroom Pull Cord Station
First of all: username checks out :D.
Secondly, did you measure the chain with a chain tool just to make sure it really stretched?
Nothing to do for it now - this all manifested itself just into the start of a race event. Having missed my start time, was hanging onto a loose Elite/Semi Pro wave, had a rider go down hard middle of 1st for 4 timed segments to determine finishing. Stopped to help, got going, GPS was not active and rode off course for 1 1/4 miles. By that time, full solo effort and 17mph wind. I rode the bike into the ground.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
50,082
15,514
Sleazattle
Perhaps it isn't the chain. There are a few things that can manifest into shifting problems that can be hard to identify. I have recently had shifting problems that I couldn't solve only to find out that it was the bearings in the freehub had lost preload and the cassette was essentially moving around.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
17,141
15,373
Canaderp
Perhaps it isn't the chain. There are a few things that can manifest into shifting problems that can be hard to identify. I have recently had shifting problems that I couldn't solve only to find out that it was the bearings in the freehub had lost preload and the cassette was essentially moving around.
Those issues can be frustrating.

Like a sticky shift cable - it might work in the repair stand, but the moment you get out on the trail or water touches it, game over. And its such a subtle and tricky thing to see, you can chase other symptoms of it easily..
 

Muddy

ancient crusty bog dude
Jul 7, 2013
1,914
701
Bathroom Pull Cord Station
The bike was fully sorted last Monday - did a short 11 mile/1k ft elevation trail ride on any new parts and then disassembled the bike, lube the chassis, and did that hot ultrasonic for an extended period. Again, bike was smooth.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
16,637
7,594
AK
Does this become a benefit once above economy grade chains?

Just returning from a 85 mile Gravel event/race that crumbled apart in the first 15 miles. Had tuned the gravel bike ahead of the weekend then gave thorough cleaning to everything, it included ultrasonic bath of a fresh SRAM 1130 chain and SRAM Red cassette.

The B limit made the noises of being just out of adjustment enough to cause the chain to lift between the upper jockey wheel and the lower cogs and, stay hung up when shifting from the higher cogs. Ultimately wasted my start pulling off to fiddle with cable tension over a dozen times. Once around mile 30, noises diminished.

Grabbed a slew of 1130 chains over winter, if ultrasonic cleaning w/ hot solution wrecks economy chains, am going to have to stop and change maintenance routines.
So at mile 30, you had adjusted it correctly?

Longer distances have a way of showing any tuning issue, ones that didn’t show up with shorter rides and cleaner drivetrains. The most common issue is the b-tension, but noises can just be some teething of the pulleys and chain (replace pulleys?). IME, when it’s nailed it’s nailed and the bike “wants to” go back to working right with any deviation. When it’s not dialed, you get issues showing up under the extremes, extreme load, distance, etc.

Most high end chains come with lube, but cheaper/bulk might still be packing grease? It’s been a long time since I found one packed in grease.
 

Muddy

ancient crusty bog dude
Jul 7, 2013
1,914
701
Bathroom Pull Cord Station
So at mile 30, you had adjusted it correctly?

Longer distances have a way of showing any tuning issue, ones that didn’t show up with shorter rides and cleaner drivetrains. The most common issue is the b-tension, but noises can just be some teething of the pulleys and chain (replace pulleys?). IME, when it’s nailed it’s nailed and the bike “wants to” go back to working right with any deviation. When it’s not dialed, you get issues showing up under the extremes, extreme load, distance, etc.

Most high end chains come with lube, but cheaper/bulk might still be packing grease? It’s been a long time since I found one packed in grease.
Around mile 30 noises became tolerable - the many, many stops during the first 20 miles never did anything. Just checked my ride analysis and, I stopped a whole mess of times...

The sound from 22-32T (4 sprockets) was that of having the B-Gap clear fully, but be asking from help from the leading teeth on the cassette before be able to drop fully. Capacity is on the mark. I have no explanation - it is what it is.

The 1130 chain was not in shipping grease but, since this was an endurance event I wanted to try and do a quality lube, fully clean any excess. Had the pipe cleaning bristles out even.


just thinking out loud - cheaper chains are most likely produced in larger numbers, and are thus more likely to have a manufacturing defect
You'd think? But - the one installed after taking off a Ratio 12speed conversion had been run for 1000miles and never gave a problem. Re fitted another and, it was all good so I figured all that's left is balance the new tires and detail the snot out of the bike.
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
4,983
3,058
No chance you contacted the chain on a rock on your initial short ride?
I have put used chains on inside out and have had some head scratching as to why it didn't work after cleaning.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
50,082
15,514
Sleazattle
Is this an old cassette? Could tune up just fine in a stand or casual pedalling then perform like shit under load until it breaks in a bit.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
17,141
15,373
Canaderp
No chance you contacted the chain on a rock on your initial short ride?
I have put used chains on inside out and have had some head scratching as to why it didn't work after cleaning.
I took the chain off one of my bikes the other day, cleaned and put it back on. Only to have the damn thing start skipping and jumping while I was spinning the cranks in the bike stand.


I forgot to snap the quick link into place. Derp. :busted:
 

Muddy

ancient crusty bog dude
Jul 7, 2013
1,914
701
Bathroom Pull Cord Station
No chance you contacted the chain on a rock on your initial short ride?
I have put used chains on inside out and have had some head scratching as to why it didn't work after cleaning.
Had no issue on that ride other than settling on new tire pressures. If I do take off a chain to reuse, I've had good luck swapping PG1130 chains around once. Have been using them since 2019 on all 11speed bikes, main bike making for around 14000~ miles.
 

CrabJoe StretchPants

Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick
Nov 30, 2003
13,967
2,284
Groton, MA
Does this become a benefit once above economy grade chains?

Just returning from a 85 mile Gravel event/race that crumbled apart in the first 15 miles. Had tuned the gravel bike ahead of the weekend then gave thorough cleaning to everything, it included ultrasonic bath of a fresh SRAM 1130 chain and SRAM Red cassette.

The B limit made the noises of being just out of adjustment enough to cause the chain to lift between the upper jockey wheel and the lower cogs and, stay hung up when shifting from the higher cogs. Ultimately wasted my start pulling off to fiddle with cable tension over a dozen times. Once around mile 30, noises diminished.

Grabbed a slew of 1130 chains over winter, if ultrasonic cleaning w/ hot solution wrecks economy chains, am going to have to stop and change maintenance routines.
Was it a directional chain, installed wrong?
srams chains are not directional, but their quick links are.
Their road Force chains are directional.....
 

Muddy

ancient crusty bog dude
Jul 7, 2013
1,914
701
Bathroom Pull Cord Station
Took a short spin w/ some hill sprints and, other than slight noise (sounds like cross-chaining) there's no change since the issue righted itself Sunday. I'm convinced that there's either lower-grade steel and/or no increased hardness to the pin in each link and the heat I chose to use while cleaning just altered the state of whatever mish-mash of reclaimed steel was made use of.

Either way am going to replace it since there was no noise before.
 
Jun 5, 2022
19
3
OP, your chain should be relatively okay from your cleaning.

What may well have happened is that corrosion/rusting occurred in the roller bearings. And that can be recovered from.

From what I know is that to clean a chain well you have to soak it in a good oil based degreaser to first break down the grease, then wash with dish soap/washing up liquid and water rinsing well and drying. Possibly even placing in the oven on low to fully dry the chain between the roller bearings and other inaccessible places.

Then it's an IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) soak/wash to breakdown and clean all the remaining grease and oil residue from the chain.

And for lubing chains, hot waxing seems best. As it extends the lifespan of your drivetrain and is so much cleaner as it doesn't drip or make a meeting. Plus it doesn't attract dirt and dust the same as oils and greases.

You can either make your own wax with paraffin wax and micronised PTFE powder 1.6 or 3.0 micron, as a rough rule you use 10% PTFE powder in the mix.

Just heat the wax till it melts, keep the heat to the wax to keep it liquid, immerse clean chain and agitate to get the liquid wax in all the nooks and crannies, turn off heat and when the temperature of the liquid wax drops below 60°C you remove the chain and hang it somewhere to cool.

Once it's fully cooled you've got a waxed chain that you'd usually pay an excessive small large fee.
 
Jun 5, 2022
19
3
Here's a photo of the early stages of cleaning a chain, and this is a brand new KMC X10SL...

20220606_175329.jpg


At this point it had been degreased and then put through over an hour of heated ultrasonic cleaning with water and dish soap/washing up liquid at 80°C.

So this gives you an idea of how dirty a new chain really is folks, which isn't good for lifespan of the chain and drivetrain.
 
Here's a photo of the early stages of cleaning a chain, and this is a brand new KMC X10SL...

View attachment 177374

At this point it had been degreased and then put through over an hour of heated ultrasonic cleaning with water and dish soap/washing up liquid at 80°C.

So this gives you an idea of how dirty a new chain really is folks, which isn't good for lifespan of the chain and drivetrain.
What you're probably seeing is rust from the water and soap.