Live and Learn

It’s no secret that I’ve been wrestling with this problem of ghost shifting on the Trucker since early last year.  I’ve tried making all kinds of adjustments here and there, only coming to the conclusion that my lack of ability to properly trim the friction shifting is creating the problem.

But I’ve also had this nagging sense that I need to replace the chain.  It looked fine, but I also remember that it’s the original one from 2007.  So today I added up my mileage records and discovered that the chain has over 6,000 miles on it.

Off to Pedal Pushers at lunch time, and into the garage tonight.

A good chain breaker is a must have for every tool box.

A good chain breaker is a must have for every tool box.

Replacing a chain is not hard, but I think the guys who do it regularly have a knack for doing it fast and cleanly.  I did neither, but I took my time and did it right.  The original had a Master Link, which allows removing the chain without a tool if you’re out on the road.  The new chain only had a typical press pin, so I made sure to move the Master Link over.  I also wanted the chain just a tad tighter since I had changed the big ring from 48 to 44, so I removed 3 links, taking it down to 113.

Once removed and checking the old chain for stretch, I’m downright embarrassed.

New chain on top, old chain on bottom.

New chain on top, old chain on bottom.

Now I don’t have to wonder why there was so much chatter and my inability to properly trim the shifting.  Those 6,000 miles were pretty obvious.

Once I got everything back together, I took it for a short spin.  It’s like a different bike.  The drive train is silent – no chatter at all, and the shifts are crisp and decisive.

There are storms in the area tonight so I doubt I can get in a longer ride, but now I’m eager to confirm if this has been my problem all along.  I sure hope so.

Master Link

Master Link

Next time I won’t wait so long.

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2 responses to “Live and Learn

  1. I love having a smooth shifting drive train. I’m pretty fanatic about replacing the chain. I measure 12″ of chain, confirming it in a few places. If the stretch is 1/16″ longer, then I replace the chain. I didn’t know you could reuse the master link. Doesn’t it stretch too?

    I bought a heavier Park chain tool just because for me the leverage is much better and I can easily manage breaking the chain without hurting my hands.
    http://anniebikes.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-trek-is-ready-to-ride.html

    • They do wear, but my logic is that it represents a minimal amount in relation to the other 113 links. I didn’t see anything to raise concern when I disassembled it, so it’s a chance I’ll take.
      That’s quite a chain tool. I had to lean on mine pretty hard to get the pins to move.

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