Chain Stretch

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#1
Hi there.

I bought a DID ERD MX chain when I changed sprocket.
Thing is the chain keep stretching and week after week, I have to pull the rear wheel back to reduce chain slapping against the swingarm...

Why is my chain stretching so much? I have it sag about 1.5 inch when I'm on the bike. This is already the 4th week I'm on the chain.

Or will getting O-ring chain reduce this chain stretch?

Please help.
 
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#2
Not sure what ERD range is but you get what you pay for & you’d be mad to run a non o-ring chain in the dirt. False economy I’m afraid.

Manufacturers produce several ranges of chain to suit different consumer markets. Sadly this means they all have nasty bottom end stuff.

Same goes with sprockets. Some are so badly machined & they wear chains quicker.

DID is not a bad brand, infact I won’t use anything else, but try the DID VM x-ring next time, but sadly the sprockets will be toast now a stretched chain has cut them out.
 
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#3
Why would a non-Oring chain be bad?
I always keep a clean drivetrain and lube my chain after every ride!
That is if lubrication is the issue.

Never thought about the sprocket issue though....

Is the drivetrain supposedly to be adjusted to take up slack when using a new chain as the chain will stretch?

Never had this issue on my bicycle though... :confused: :think
 
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#4
If you are using it off-road the dirt will destroy it quickly. In Singapore maybe you aren’t? Saw a lot of trail bikes on the road over there which is uncommon these days in most places.

The budget models of chain won’t be solid bushed & the plates will be thinner.

The sprockets & chain wear together so if the chain is stretched it will cut out the sprockets & visa versa.

How much power were you putting through your bicycle?
 
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#5
I'm from Singapore alright. Those road bikes are "enduro" models which most people use for transport and trailing in our neighbouring country, Malaysia.
Of course, there are some who don't even trail at all...just use it strictly for transport. 8)

I do trailings on every weekend. At this rate, I think I have to change the chain like once every month?!?!?
 

Jaybird

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#6
Dave,
I see you as one of the most informed persons on here, but on chains I have to take acception to your advise.

A non ring chain can and will last every bit as long as a ring chain, if not longer. I cannot speak specifically about a DID chain, as I've never owned one, although I have seen many of them and I don't think they are marketing any low end 520 chains to the public. Nor does Tsubaki. Actually, the care and proper lubrication is far more important than the brand.

This mans problem was definately not because of using a non ring chain on a dirt bike. I would bet money it's too tight. OR proper cleaning and lubrication have not been followed. Many do act like they have a ring chain and never lube or clean proper.

I agree that the chain and sprocket both are shot now, so new of each is in order. Once you have a new chain and sprockets, go through the mfg's recommendation on how to install it. Then put the bike on a stand and lift the rear wheel until the swingarm is parallel to the ground, or even a bit more. You should still have a bit of slack at that point if it is properly tensioned.

Wash the chain after each ride. It's best to use a pressure washer. This will not only take the gunk on the outside off but will allow any dirt that has found its way inside the link to be washed out. Now spray WD40 or any brand of an aerosol water displacement fluid to push the water out from the links. Now you have to properly lube the chain. I'm biased at this point, but I recommend NOT using any of the conventional dirt bike chain lubes including waxes. These will most definately complicate things by attracting unwanted dirt and grit. I would choose a dry-film, molybdenum disalfate type lube. Honda makes one of these. It is usually a transparent black in color and a very low viscosity similar to water. It takes very very little of this type of lubricant to be effective as it is not really an oil, but an evaporating carrier that will deliver moly to the friction surfaces of the chain. The moly will then adhere to each crater that is present in the metal friction surfaces (these are microscopic and you cant see them...even a ground/polished shaft has them).
Moly is a very tenasious material and WILL find its way to all the friction surfaces by just placng one drop on each roller.

Now, you can use a lubricant that uses oil to carry the load with good success, I just preffer the moly. I have been experimenting with different lubricants on roller chains for many years and found moly to be a far superior method.

Now, once you have done everything proper, you need to make it a habit. Wash the chain as above after each day of riding. Also, If I am riding on days that I will use more than one tank of fuel, I will spray the chain down with the WD40 to rid any dirt that may have gotten in, then re-lubricate.
If you follow that procedure you will never have a chain that seems to disintigrate on you.
O-ring chains were designed for running in the most adverse of conditions like deep mud, or dirt. MX track and trail riding on nice days will not favor one chain over the other. In fact, o-ring chains can cause damage to themselves and sprockets because folks get the idea that they are maintenance/lube free, which they are not. Also when grit enters a ring chain (damaged ring, etc...) it is most likely to stay there and do its damage for many rides to come. Bad part is, it may just be one or two links recieving damage and you won't know it until your sprockets start showing the slightest bit of wear. You may also think your chain hasn't really stretched, but that the sprockets are crap. This would be due to having very few of the links chewing on the sprocket each time it goes round, and when you measure it the chain looks good and within spec. I recommend using an o-ring chain for what it is designed for, for all other times keep the non ring chain on.
 

Layton

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#7
Jaybird,

IMO if all things were perfect then you may be right about a non o-ring chain lasting as long as an o-ring but things aren’t perfect.

A long time ago, before o-ring chains were invented, a rider would have to stop and adjust his chain halfway though a typical enduro. They would get maybe four or five races out of a chain and sprocket set. Now you can ride numerous events without even adjusting an o-ring chain.

This spring my son bought a new 125 Husky that didn’t have an o-ring chain on it and my stepson got a new 250 Husky which did come with an o-ring chain. In three races and the chain and sprockets were shot on the 125 while the 250 continued on until mid August. Yes he did clean and lube them on the 125.

Admittedly I am looking at how a chain lasts under mid-western enduro and hare scramble conditions but I am positive that a regular chain will not last nearly as long as an o-ring chain under these conditions. Perhaps your riding conditions aren’t as harsh as ours, which accounts for your longer chain life.

Besides that, while you are doing all of that cleaning and lubing, I am out riding. ;)
Actually, I do use WD-40 on mine after washing the bike and then an 0-ring chain lube before each race.
 
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#8
The rate of wear of a chain is determined by two things, not counting the abrasiveness of the dirt. Roller hardness, and tensile strength of the side plates are the two key areas to check when shopping for a chain. A cheap chain will have a lower tensile strength, and a lower degree of hardness, than a more expensive chain (yes, I know this is generalizing, there are exceptions to everything;) ), and thus, if care and use are equal, the cheaper, weaker chain will wear faster. The advantage of an o-ring chain is that it minimizes one of the wear factors, that being dirt getting into the rollers and abrading the chain from the inside out.

Chains are one area in which, as a general rule, you truly do get what you pay for.
 
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#9
Jaybird I’m glad you take acception of my advise, this means you are agreeing with me, well it would if it was a word. Think you mean exception.:cool: :cool:

You may be right with your rigorous chain maintenance schedule but one thing is for sure; I will always be too lazy to ever find out. With my present chain, its first outing was a meet in a potato field. I naively took along a can of lube. It was so wet & muddy I couldn’t SEE the chain. I don’t think the lube was causing the mud to stick.

Cheaper chain ranges use rolled bushes & pins & thinner sideplates etc to reduce the price as many people want the cheapest chain. They learn to their peril that they will be replacing it so often that it is the most expensive.
 

Jaybird

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#10
Thanks, Dave for correcting my grammatical error. However, if you continue to proof my posts, you will have a full time job ahead of you.:)

Those muddy potato fields are exactly why we have ring chains. :D

I agree with you guys that you get what you pay for. Inferior builds will most definately cost more in the long haul. Tensile strength is definately a tell-tale of the quality of a chain.
I currently am trying a chain I got with recommendation from Mr. Krause. The sideplates and rollers are stainless. However the bushings and pins are chrome-moly due to cost. This was no cheap chain, costing close to $100.
It has oversized sideplates and was proof-stretched at manufacturing to reduce initial stretch. (Tsubaki and D.I.D. are also doing this) The Sidewinder Stainless chain has an ultimate strength of 14,000 lbs. I have ran this chain since early Feb. and have had to turn my adjusters a total of 1/2 total turn since then. I don't think Krause is advertising this chain, but I highly recommend them. Give him a call.
I agree that the materials used are a big factor in the integrity of a chain, but just as important are the tolerances that the manufacturer uses.
 
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#11
Is there any "sure" way to check whether the chain is toasted or not?
In the case of my bicycling experience, every link on a bicycle chain is 1 inch long. Therefore, if the whole chain length measures exceeds an extra 1/8-1/4 of an inch, it's time to get a new chain.

Any similiar method for motorcycle chain?
 
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#12
In the bad old days the test was to try to pull the chain off the back sprocket. If you could see half the teeth of the sprocket then they were both shagged.

But an equally worrying fault is the dreaded ‘tight spot’. If the links become totally crud infested they seize up & refuse to make sharp turn in an orderly fashion, such as around the front sprocket. Spin the wheel slowly & check the tension at all points.


Can I just add here -& this is more a problem with road-bikes but it is worth a mention for those that think “Hey why don’t I start the bike on my stand & lube the chain using first gear?”

I know a few people who now know better & the skin grafts are a reminder. At least they still have fingers. Spin by hand, preferably in reverse & use that extension (until you inevitably loose it). Those rear sprocket guides remove most of the danger but chains & fingers. . . yueergh!
 

Jaybird

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#13
Homer,
Measure 10 link pins center-to-center(taught). Once that measurment reaches 6 inches...replace the chain and sprockets.
 
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#14
Originally posted by Jaybird
I currently am trying a chain I got with recommendation from Mr. Krause. The sideplates and rollers are stainless. However the bushings and pins are chrome-moly due to cost. This was no cheap chain, costing close to $100.
It has oversized sideplates and was proof-stretched at manufacturing to reduce initial stretch. (Tsubaki and D.I.D. are also doing this) The Sidewinder Stainless chain has an ultimate strength of 14,000 lbs. I have ran this chain since early Feb. and have had to turn my adjusters a total of 1/2 total turn since then..
I am currently running a Regina chain with a tensile strength rating of 19,000 psi. It has been on my bike for a year now. When I put it on, i started with the snail adjusters in the 1.5 position. After about 14 rides, the adjusters are now in the 2 position. The only time I get slack in the chain is when it is time to replace the lower chain-guide rub block.
 

Jaybird

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#15
:D