Interbike 2010: Feedback Sports Chain Wear Gauge Sep 25, 2010


Ever go into a bike shop for a simple adjustment only to have them say “you need a new chain” and that usually means new pulleys, cassette and chainrings. It’s happened to me before and I’ve declined knowing in my heart that all my bike needed was a derailleur adjustment. Luckily for those of us who don’t work at a bike shop, Feedback Sports have developed, with the aid of KMC, a bike chain wear gauge.

Check out more information and photos below.


The gauge works by measuring the amount of “stretch” that a chain has. Sure, Sheldon said that chains don’t “stretch” per say but that’s the best word to describe the condition of a chain’s aging process. Three grades denote whether or not your chain is “Good”, “Fair” or “Bad”.


By setting the gauge to Zero, the chain gauge works on all chains. BMX, road, track and even the big-daddy Whippermans.


Good chains fall within 0.00mm and 0.40mm and fair chains fall within 0.40mm and 0.60mm.


If the gauge reads greater than .80mm, it’s time for a new chain.


Not a bad little product development! The Chain Gauge is available through Feedback Sports and was in high demand at Interbike!

  • Steamroller

    It’s fairly easy to recognize a worn out chain, so, I think this product isn’t necessary for single speed applications. And any experienced BMX/FGFS rider should already know to replace his chain every 3-4 months…

  • Dan

    thats pretty cool, but I feel it’s kind of gimmicky. the park tools cc-3 is much more palatable at 8 bucks, compared to 70, or one could purchase a standard digital caliper for 20-50 bucks and have a more versatile tool to use for other tasks too!

  • It’s really not when you’re talking performance road…

  • catpoo

    hey prolly take a 2$ ruler, and count 24 pins. If it is over 1/16 of an inch off measuring exactly 12 inches its time for a new chain. boom, save 70$

  • nick

    what do you mean “It’s really not?” cmon, the cc-3 is the industry standard. i saw this on the feedback sports website today (no joke) and looked at it, tilted my head and said to myself: is that really necessary?

    if it doesn’t also check chainring wear, derailleur cog wear and underwear, it ain’t worth it.

    i am a firm believer in “don’t knock it before you buy it” but i’m with dan on this one.

  • Dean

    Been using this daily in the shop for a month now and it works great.the cheap park checker is good for home use but in a shop environment the park will wear and give false readings.I’m surprised it took this long for someone to come up with this.

  • I hate you guys.


    Thanks Dean, finally some perspective.

  • aboogie

    you have to check some ones chain at least once a day? i call bull shit.

  • After some discussion at the shop one day, I compared several CC3s, two new and two used, on the same chain and got a fairly wide range of readings.

    I switched to the less expensive, and more accurate, Rohloff and so far, so good.

  • Seriously?

    The whole supposition of this post is faulty, because this tool (which is an updated version of a product KMC has made for years), along with a half-dozen others, are exactly what shops are using when they tell you that you need a new chain. Further, I don’t know what crooked shop you are visit, but unless you’ve been using the same chain for 15,000 miles or something, rarely will a shop suggest replacing pulleys, as pulleys typically outlive the useful life of a derailer used is normal riding conditions. As for replacing chains and cassettes, these are typically replaced when customer’s come in complaining of shifting issues and wear is apparent (shark-finning on the chainring, and skipping on the cassette). Bike shops measure your chain and suggest replacement precisely so that you don’t have to replace the aforementioned items.

    Further, by measuring roller wear, which doesn’t affect drivetrain life of chain performance, rather than pin wear, which is where the damage occurs, this tool will give you the same faulty measurements as other chain-wear indicator tools.

    Finally, how is this any different than a digital caliper? Who in their right mind would buy this over a decent digital (or extremely high-end analog) caliper, which is useful for things other than giving you inaccurate readings of chain wear.

  • Look, I write all my copy. Companies don’t supply it to me and I don’t have an editor. Doing 20+ entries a day can get a bit tiring and sometimes I write stuff that in hindsight I should have omitted. That’s life. Oh well! You put it best. No need to get all heated. In the end, it’s my site and I leave the comments open for people to express their opinion. No need to be malicious.

  • Christopher

    OK, I was biting my tongue but…
    1) Stretch is still not the best word, why cant we just say “wear”? Its whats going on. Or sometimes I say “elongate” for the double word score…
    2)If you cant trust your mechanic not to be honest about what is worn out on your bike, you should consider finding a new one. We aren’t ALL trying to stick you with a new drivetrain every year, but if you commute on a 10sp rear, and wait till its not working to stop in, sadly its not unheard of to wear these parts down to the bone pretty quickly. Keep in mind, 10 speed is about freaky high performance and winning races, at the expense of durability and low maintenance.
    3) In the shop we use the Park CC-2, which is like $20 and works really well. Its not just a go/no-go, it shows a range of wear. Even on 1/8th”, 10 and 11 speed chains. I highly recommend it. (remember to replace 10sp chains at or before .75 wear)
    4) Thanks for sticking your neck out, Prolly. Its a great blog you have here.

  • That copy was the result of 0 sleep and a lotta jetlag. Should I just edit it already?!?!

  • Super-Tunes

    I was blown away once I received this tool in my shop! Finally a tool that identifies a more accurate level of wear in a way so that the consumer can actually understand. Every other tool works fine but as soon as a customer inquires how the mechanic got to this result it becomes difficult to explain. Give a customer a measurement in a readable display, reference it to a chart and anyone can understand it. I have noticed that our shop has saved a lot of time by selling the customer what they need in the beginning as opposed to having to call back because the gauge reads in the grey area. WAY TO GO FEEDBACK! Thanks for the best racks and digital measuring tools. The Shop guys THANK YOU

  • @prolly Good post man, and excellent blog. Keep up the good work. This tool would be great for shops to help customers understand chain wear. It would also be nice for those with some high performance 10 speed gear.

    @Christopher; Nice response. Sometimes people just wait until it’s a mess before seeking help with their bike. My commuter is an internal 7 speed and the ‘go / no go’ tester is fine, but on the expensive equipment I like to know how much wear is in the chain.

    Not all chains wear the same. Aachen University in Germany has been commissioned by Wippermann to run chain wear tests. I’ve been posting all the latest testing procedures and wear results on our website. Brands being tested are Connex, Shimano, Campagnolo, SRAM, KMC, Yaban, and Point.

    Thanks again for the great blog prolly.

    Cantitoe Road