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OPINION

Slipping chains, exploding bassoons

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I’m beginning to wonder if I made a rather expensive mistake last year.

In September I realised that my Campag Centaur chain, cassette and rings were wearing out so I treated myself to two TA Nerius 110 PCD chainrings (50 & 34) and a KMC 10-speed SL chain, together with a new Centaur cassette. 

Right from the outset I had shifting problems - specifically I kept losing my chain off the big ring when shifting up. Occasionally it would come off when shifting down too but that happened less often. I figured it must be an adjustment issue so I tweaked it as accurately as I could but still no joy - I'd lose the chain at least a dozen times every 50 mile ride. So I went to two separate LBSs and they tried to adjust it right but still the chain kept coming off. 

One mechanic said it's because they're not specifically designed to work together like my old all-Campag set-up and advised shifting more gently, but however gentle I am with it I still lose the chain at least four or five times a ride. This is particularly grating when I’m out on a club run and 20-odd cyclists are forced to wait while I fumble with my chain for the umpteenth time with oil-stained fingers. Not great for an outlay of nearly £200 (including the cassette).

Has anyone else had this problem? I've emailed the supplier, Dotbike, about it but I'm not really expecting them to do anything. 

Seems like I have to either live with it or shell out again - even though there's barely any wear on rings or chain. Or am I missing something obvious?

Seems to me it’s possible to learn some important lessons in life from cycling. Lessons like not messing with things when they’re not broken. Or that saving a handful of grams isn’t quite as important as things working properly in the first place. Or that, appealing though a change can be, it isn’t always as good as a rest. Or that wisdom after the event is sometimes about as much use as an exploding bassoon.

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine (www.simpsonmagazine.cc). 

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