How many links?

by Al'76   September 7, 2013  

Chain replacement time has arrived and this will be the first time I will have done it myself. Slightly falling at the first hurdle in that I'm not really sure what length chain to order.....my gearing is a 52 / 36 chainset and an 11-28 cassette. The options are 114, 116 or 118 links.
Can I simply compare the new chain with the chain that's coming off? My understanding is that chain stretch is a wearing of the links, not a physical "stretching" of the chain, so the old chain should be the same length now as when it was new, right?
Novice questions I know, but if somebody would point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it.

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Sheldon's and plenty other websites will tell you how to determine right number of links.

But the sure fire way if your current chain was the right length is to count the links yourself. Tedious but reliable, providing door bell doesn't go or small child comes into room and shoves a toy in your face mid count. But how certain are you that your chain was the right length to start? If you aren't then head to Sheldon's...

posted by Ad Hynkel [46 posts]
7th September 2013 - 16:36

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The chain does stretch but not noticeably, measuring tools range from 1/4, 1/2, 1%. So just count the links on the old chain. If you have a chain splitting tool you can get the longer length and reduce, especially if you have an odd number. Fix up the same number of links and it will be all new, just tighter...

TIGHTER...

tigher.jpg

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1151 posts]
7th September 2013 - 16:36

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All you need to do is wrap the chain round the large chain ring and the large sprocket. Don't feed the chain through the derailleur. Line up the ends so the chain is taught. Add on two links. Then break the chain. If using SRAM you will have a power link so you should have two inner plates opposite each other to be attached. If Shimano then you will have a outer plate and inner plate ready to be attached with a rivet. Remember to feed shortened chain through dérailleur before joining. Hope this helps.

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posted by giff77 [1026 posts]
7th September 2013 - 16:44

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Thanks all. Had a nasty feeling I was going to have to count the links...

posted by Al'76 [126 posts]
7th September 2013 - 17:14

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Al'76 wrote:
Thanks all. Had a nasty feeling I was going to have to count the links...

You don't have to count, just lay both chains out on the ground straight. If the old chain is fractionally longer and the links are out of phase just nudge it a millimetre along until they are in line, keep the links side by side until you get to the end and the right number.

Or count them... is that such a hard task?

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1151 posts]
7th September 2013 - 18:23

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Counting them is right but what 'giff77' said is the way to do it.

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posted by cidermart [454 posts]
7th September 2013 - 19:12

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Well given that I only have ten fingers (ok, eight fingers and two thumbs) and ten toes, yes; it's a f^*cking nightmare Crying

posted by Al'76 [126 posts]
7th September 2013 - 19:21

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Another tip is if you get some heavy duty wire hook one end several links in and hook the other several links in on the other side. This will leave both hands free to fit power link or use chain tool with the rivet. The derailleur should move forward sufficiently to allow this.

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posted by giff77 [1026 posts]
7th September 2013 - 20:26

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You can count to 144 on your fingers:

http://www.t2ah.com/2012/03/count-to-60-or-even-144-on-your-fingers.html

or you know, just use your brain! St. Ambrose is documented as the first silent reader in the 4th century AD, counting is an abstract process, you don't need a reference point if you are sufficiently highly evolved.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1151 posts]
8th September 2013 - 12:07

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You can count to 1023 on your fingers and thumbs but it makes holding stuff difficult

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

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posted by jova54 [583 posts]
8th September 2013 - 13:21

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