A sprocket is a simple mechanical wheel with small teeth or notches used to rotate and engage the links of a chain or belt. However, to be compatible, both must have the same thickness and spacing.
The basic design of this device has long been used around the world. They look a lot like gears, but aren't designed to mesh. Sprockets are used for various applications such as bicycles, cars, motorcycles, tools and other machines. They are usually made of steel, which is strong and increases durability. They are sometimes made from aluminum as it is lighter, making it ideal for motorcycles or wheels, but it wears out quicker than steel.
The time to replace sprockets is not after the teeth have become severely crooked or worn to unevenness. Or when the chain starts skipping gears. To maintain top-notch, reliable performance from your bike and to minimize damage to other components, sprocket replacement should be done much sooner. But how do we know when these gears have reached their useful life? Here are some easy ways to tell if your last unit needs to be replaced with new components.
Just as it is better to see a doctor for a check up from time to time rather than waiting until you have a serious problem, it is good idea to check your machine regularly before things get bad (and expensive). If you spend just a few minutes each week checking these things, you can tell if you have a bad final drive.
Examine how well the chain meshes with the sprocket teeth. With a healthy chain and sprocket, each chain roller will line up perfectly with the gaps between the sprocket teeth and fit evenly into these U-shaped grooves.
Hold the chain at the rear of the sprocket and try to pull it off the sprockets. If there is a significant gap (assuming the chain is adjusted correctly), the chain is worn and the sprocket is likely too.
Look closely at the sprocket teeth to see if they are worn. You got sharp on the tips and/or slightly curly. The teeth of a new sprocket are straight and have a flat or dished shape at the top. If the teeth are sharp, the sprocket is worn.
Look for wear marks around the circumference of the sprocket above and below the teeth that match the shape of the chain. This "shadow" wear indicates a badly worn sprocket that should be replaced.
If you see enough sprocket wear, do not cut corners; Replace the front and rear sprockets at the same time. Oh, and don't forget to swap out the chain too to prevent your new components from wearing out quickly.
Swap out the old one for a new one. This is a good time to consider upgrading to premium components or changing your bike's gearing for better performance, better fuel economy or to avoid annoying vibrations.
How long do sprockets and chains last? Some riders will benefit from a chain drive system for years, while others will only see component lifespans of a few months depending on the riding environment, riding habits and frequency of use as well as maintenance history. Here are some things you can do to ensure long-lasting performance from your sprockets:
Constant throttle and harsh shifting will damage a chain drive system. Learn from the racers: smooth throttle transitions and seamless shifting are easy on the gear and are the hallmarks of experienced drivers.