By Ed Pavelka
This one is a no-brainer. The Park CC-3 Chain Wear Indicator could be the perfect tool. it’s so helpful, affordable and easy to use that it belongs in every roadie’s tool box — even if it’s the only thing in there because you’re so mechanically
You won’t have any trouble mastering the CC-3. Just hook the curved end inside a link with the 0.75% scale on the bottom edge. Lower the tool to the chain. If the flange doesn’t drop in, keep smiling and go for a ride. The chain is practically as good
If the flange does drop in, you know that the chain has stretched at least 0.75%. If you’re fastidious about bike maintenance, go no further and replace the chain.
Otherwise, flip the tool. Now the 1% scale is on the bottom edge. If that flange drops in, too, you are overdue for a new chain. If it doesn’t, stretch is borderline and you can milk a few more miles if you’re the type (as I am) who likes to get their
With chains, however, there’s such a thing as being penny wise and dollar foolish. The CC-3 can prevent that.
Running a chain That’s stretched 1% or more accelerates wear on everything it touches. A good-quality chain costs much less than replacing chainrings and cassettes because their teeth have worn. Once appreciable wear happens, chain replacement is too
late. A new chain will skip and slip.
THere’s another benefit. Your bike will shift better and run smoother and quieter with chains that are between new and <1% stretched. Of course, keeping a chain clean and lubed helps performance and extends its life, too.
One Tool Fits All
The CC-3 is 5 inches (13 cm) long. It works on any bicycle chain, according to Park Tool. it’s made of laser-cut steel for precision and durability. It doesn’t seem likely to wear or be damaged by a lifetime of use.
Nice touch: When you flip to tool over to try the opposite scale, the lettering and number are still right-side up.
Nicer touch: The CC-3 retails for $9.95. I can’t imagine a better investment for the money. With it, the age-old question — “Is it time for a new chain?” — has a simple yes/no answer. It’s a no-brainer.
Park Tool does not sell consumer-direct. You can find a dealer locator on the website.