After months of soaking rains, and ruined trails, progress on the chain wear challenge is finally being made. Never in my life would I have expected to not be able to put in any serious miles until nearly the start of June, but it seems that weather patterns nation wide have been a little off this Spring.
While the two endurance riders in the test are nearly halfway finished as expected, the rest of the crew has been struggling to rack up the miles. Currently, everyone in the test is at least to 50 miles which is great, but not where we really need to be. However, there were high hopes for improved riding conditions after a week of 90+ temperatures and no rain, as most of the trails were drying out. But, that didn’t last long as local spots just received 4.5 inches of rain in less than 24 hours….
Even though 50 is the only milestone everyone has reached so far, trends are all ready starting to emerge.
What chain group has taken the early lead? Find out after the break!
While it is clearly early in the test, based on the average of all chainwear measures after 50 miles, so far 10 speed group holds the lead for the least average wear. With less than .01 between the two groups though, it is still anybody’s game. I will say though, that based on the numbers of those riders who are currently past 50 miles the trend is continuing. Although, once the remainder of the data from the remaining riders comes in though, that could easily change.
For the purpose of testing the chain lube that comes stock on Shimano chains, all chains were not lubed until it was felt that it was needed (basically dry and rattly). Like clockwork, just about every chain reached the point of need right about 50 miles in. It was at this point that all of the chains were cleaned, and then lubed with Dumonde Tech Original chain lube.
What’s amazing, is that when I first set out to perform this test, I considered myself to be fairly knowledgeable regarding chainwear based on my years in a shop setting. Though, after scrutinizing the chains and their wear for even this short of time, I have noticed quite a bit I would never have expected. For instance, the initial difference in wear of the chain from 0 to 50 miles is 2, sometimes 3 times the wear when compared to subsequent 50 mile intervals after the initial break in.
When it comes to measuring the chain itself, that too, was a learning experience. Apparently, the Feedback Sports digital chain gauge is so accurate that if you don’t at least clean the chain thoroughly before you measure, you will get incorrect measures. It seems that the dirt between the rollers may keep the chain gauge from spreading the links adequately and results in a low measure. When you think about it, the gauge measures down to 0.01mm so it’s really not that surprising that bits of dirt could throw off the reading. This is illustrated in the graph above due to the fact that both Bob and Chris had a few measurements before I realized the discrepancy. You will notice in the future that at about 150 miles, at least Bob’s numbers jumped sharply catching up to, and surpassing any of the 10 speeders at 150 miles.
With the bulk of summer ahead of us, you can count on the mileage coming on faster than ever, but until next time, stay tuned.