Sprocket Science

When the teeth of a sprocket become pointed, hooked or worn (as shown above) they must be replaced. It’s always a good idea to replace both the countershaft (front) and drive sprocket (rear) at the same time. If the rear sprocket is worn, the countershaft sprocket more than likely needs replacement too, because it is under a lot more load as it directs power to the rear wheel.

When replacing worn sprockets, it is vital to install a new chain. Worn sprockets can cause premature wear on a new chain and vice versa.

Although sprockets are virtually maintenance free, they must be kept in alignment with each other. Careless rear wheel alignment will throw the countershaft and rear sprockets out of plane, causing the sides of the teeth and the inside of the chain’s sideplates to wear unevenly. Aside from the wear factor, there’s also the problem of adverse steering to cope with. Thanks to the flexibility of the roller chain, however, the sprockets can be out of plane to a certain extent without the danger of immediate chain failure occurring.

Use a chain alignment tool when installing chains and sprockets!

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