Chain drive fixed on Roadie

Had to put in a fair few hours maintenance this weekend. Drive chain on both bikes gave up the ghost. Totally my fault. I underestimated the deterioration the bikes had suffered over a year where they had each done over a thousand miles. Not during dry summer weekend rides but through all season weather in and out of the city most days. I hadn’t realised just how badly the chain had stretched and how badly the big chainrings in particular had worn. A lot of lessons learned this week. I managed to install everything myself on the roadie over the weekend. The only difficulty was removing the cassette lock ring which had corroded solid. At one point the missus was literally standing with her entire body weight on cassette removal tool while I held the chain whip in place. I gave up in the end and took it to Evans down the road. Unlike most outspoken cyclists I love Evans. Their staff are brilliant, they know their stuff, they will get me anything I want and most times price match too. They stuck it in a vice in their incredibly well equipped workshop, and had the corroded lock ring off in seconds. For free of course as they always do with something quick and simple for regular customers. I swapped the chain for a Shimano N-HG71  8 Speed chain which Halfords price matched to a bargain £6.14. I swapped the chainring like for like for a cheap Shimano Claris 50t. There was no 11-32t version of the Shimano HG-41 or HG-50 cassettes in Halfords, Evans or the local bike shops. I decided to try an SRAM PG 850 road cassette for the first time. I’ve got to say first impressions are good. Smooth changes this morning and it has the longer lasting chrome coating similar to the Shimano HG-50. Only thing wrong with the roadie now is the back brake. Replacement pads are already on order. The mountain bike is next. It is getting a new chain drive and a new wheel which should arrive soon. Have you had any positive experiences or disasters whilst installing your own cassette, chain and chainrings? Any experience of SRAM cassettes and components? If so let me know by commenting below…

New chain, cassette and chain rings.

Had a bit of a nightmare with both bikes on Friday. Several weeks ago I stupidly left my mountain bike unwashed for a fortnight. After riding it every day for a week on salted roads. I will never do it again. A lesson learnt the hard way. I was shocked at how badly my chain, cassette and chain ring were all corroded. The chain was so bad it was a complete write off. I was using dry lube and it looked like the dry lube had actually attracted the salt out of the splash and accelerated its corrosion properties. I bought a new chain this week and fitted it Thursday night. I used my mountain bike for my commute Friday morning and soon realised I wasn’t going to get away with changing just the chain. I had to return home as the chain constantly slipped off the old and corroded cassette. I took my adventure road bike instead which had also been giving me some slippage in the week. Its cheap chain drive components have needed replacing for months. I had stupidly and lazily ignored that fact. On my way home Friday night it finally gave up the ghost. I couldn’t even ride the bike and had to get my girlfriend to come pick me up. You can see from the photo above just how badly worn the big chain ring is compared to the smaller one. I always ride the big ring and never use the small one. I live in a flat region with very few hills. My next bike will definitely be a single chain ring for this reason and easier maintenance. I went to my local bike shop on Saturday morning and ordered new big chain rings for both bikes. I also purchased a new cassette on the mountain bike to replace the old corroded one. The chain rings will take a few days to arrive but for now luckily the mountain bike with its new chain, new cassette and lesser worn chain ring is rideable. It felt brand new this morning. I never realised until this week the importance of replacing the entire chain drive. Chain, cassette and chain ring instead of just individual singular parts. Its not the cheapest thing to replace all at once but its not the most expensive either. It is by far the best way to give your bike the feel of brand new efficiency. Have you had any good or bad experiences when it comes to your chain drive or replacing it. If so let me know by commenting below…