Assessing wear is a simple matter. A chainring needs to maintain a healthy profile to its teeth. Those that become narrowed, flattened, bent over, or curved in the opposite direction of the chain travel, can become ineffective. Slippage, or the sudden unshipping of a chain, could have dire consequences.
The photograph above contrasts the ‘shark-fin-tooth‘ profile of a worn chainring against that of a new ring. This chainring should have been replaced a while ago. The chain wasn’t in much better condition.
A worn chain will massively accelerate wear on your bike’s components, especially those made of softer alloy. It’s worth remembering that a new chain replaced early is a lot cheaper that replacing a chainset and or cassette. If you cannot do it yourself just ask at your local bike repair shop.
A well maintained Trek xcaliber 9 with a worn out chain and front chainring.
Being made of steel, There was very little wear to the rear cassette, however the chain and alloy front chainring were very worn.
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