Monday, October 15, 2012

Brahma gets new chain and cogs

I bought Brahma roughly 1.5 years ago. And, I have put 1500-odd miles on it. I recently noticed that changing gears using the derailleur was getting to be a bit problematic. I adjusted the derailleur as best as I could, but it still would act weird.

So, I put the El Chain Stretch-O-Meter on it and found that it was 80+ in a few links and 100 in a few. So, I said I would get the chain replaced.

Having never replaced a chain on the Brompton before, I decided I would go to the LBS; went to REI and had Jerry take a look at it.

Jerry and I agreed that it was time to replace the chain. So, we replaced the chain with a 3/32" SRAM PC 1071 chain.
So, the chain is replaced. All is well, right? Not really!

I read on the Brompton Forum on Facebook that I should also replace the cogs and the chainring at the same time, when I replace the chain. So, I ordered 2 sets of cogs and a spare chain from Foldabikes. I ordered the 2nd chain, as a back-up. The chain at REI wasn't cheap. I don't complain about REI, because of their exceptional service, but the chain was a bit pricy - $53. So, in a few days, the cogs and the spare chain arrive. Foldabikes has a SRAM chain that will work for this purpose, a 3/32" chain, for about $20. The saving grace is that REI does not charge a lot for the installation. Plus, I like the techs at REI. Now, if I only had a car mechanic that I can trust...:)

Luckily not enough wear in the chain ring to warrant replacement.

Off to REI again. Only this time, it is to get two things taken care of: 1) install the new cogs and 2) take some links off the new chain, so that there is less slack.

Jerry and I measured the rear cogs, the old ones, using another widget for indication of wear; they were worn. So, we replaced the rear cogs, with the new ones from Foldabikes.

Jerry took 4 more links off the chain. Now, I think I have about 98 links. Now, there is very little slack when I fold Brahma.
You would think I would be done, right? Well, all is well, for the most part. There are two other things that I noticed that I am investigating:

  1. When in the lowest gear, I was told that the chain tensioner should be at about a 20-degree angle from the chain stay.
  2. There is a slight kink in the SA indicator chain. I think this is making chaining to the highest gear a bit difficult. I have to push harder than usual.
I am not certain if #1 above is a must. If you know, please leave me a comment.

I plan to get a couple of spare indicator chains ordered and replace the one that's bent and keep one as a spare.

I have to wonder if the quality of SA has gone to the dogs. I have a 30+ year old bike, the Raleigh Twenty, which also has a 3-speed SA hub, with the same kinda indicator chain. That old indicator chain is rock solid.

Finally, some arithmetic to keep my mind sharp :)
Have a Great Week!

Peace :)

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