Cyclo Chain Wear Indicator
The tool and it's packaging does not look fancy or attention grabbing but it doesn't need to be. This is a product that will most likely be bought by people who know they want a chain wear gauge before they enter the shop or search online. For a simple product such as this, price is more important than shelf appeal so by keeping it simple the price remains low and this would be the deciding factor if I was choosing between different products.
Have you used this product before
I use the product regularly as I run several bikes with expensive drivetrain components so I like to protect them from damage due to excessive chain wear. I also run several single speed bikes which cause chains to stretch quickly due to pulling high gears uphill. As a result I tend to use cheaper chains so a tool like this is a useful item to have as the chains dont last very long.
Would you know how to use the product without instructions?
Yes, however less experienced mechanics may not. A small diagram engraved on the tool would be sufficient. Also it may be benefical to put a warning next to the 1.00% mark advising to change the chain if 1% stretch has been reached as loose intructions will soon be lost.
Are the instructions easy to follow/could they be improved?
For such a simple tool the supplied instructions and diagrams were fine.
Would you buy it or recommend it to your friends?
Absolutely, a lot of my friends are not mechanically inclined at all and tend to bring me their bikes if work needs doing. Often it is because the gears are slipping due to wear on the drivetrain but a tool like this is easy to use and would help save them a fortune in cassettes and chain rings even if they couldn't replace the chain themselves.
Describe your own knowledge/experience of this product
I've had a chain wear gauge in my toolbox for years. It just lays in there with my other cycle specific tools and as I'm working on a bike, I'll spot the tool lying there and think "I'll just check my chain while I'm at it". I consider owning the tool one of those things that mark the difference between a normal rider who can fix their bike when it breaks and a cycle mechanic who expects to never have to fix break downs as their bike recieves regular maintenance.
RRP £5.99 value for money?
Absolutely, the tool will pay for itself the first time you find a stretched chain and save yourself ruining a cassette and chainrings. Alternatively your can save yourself money by not replacing a chain you think is worn when it is still ok to use.
Pros? What have we got right?
Simple, cheap and easy to use. Exactly what you want in a tool like this.
Cons? What can we do to improve it?
No cons I can think of but would it be possible to change the design of one of the bridged ends so you could use the tool as a "third hand" when connecting a new chain? i.e. Hold to two ends together so your not fighting the spring in the rear derailleur whilst you put the pin in the chain.
Overall rating out of 10
It's got to be a 10 out of 10 as the tool is priced well, easy to use and should last a lifetime.