Chain/jockey wheel not meshing

Odd clicking from gears noticed today after adjusting the mech, after closer examination, I can see on some links it takes a bit further before the roller drops into the jockey wheel.
The chain was removed and put back on (was very grim so removed for cleaning) ~2 weeks ago, both the chain and mech were replaced at the same time (Oct 2019) so have done the same number of km, which considering the lockdown and it was winter can’t be more than 1500km.

When it doesn’t mesh I can see the jockey peak contacting the inner plate of the chain. Only happens on a select link so I don’t think it’s the jockey but equally I can’t see anything wrong with the chain.

Video on gdrive

In all my time breaking my bikes I’ve never seen it behave like this.

Looked at the video 5 times, didn’t see much. It’s either a) pulley mounted backwards, b) sticky link, or c) grimy pulley (should have cleaned that at the same time as the chain, not much of a point in cleaning a chain without doing the pulleys, cassette and chainrings at the same time).

Chain is the same way as before remembered the text was on the inside, jockey never removed.

Just a slight click as it drops into the valley on the jockey.

Will clean and refilm tomorrow day. It’s surprisingly hard to film and turn cranks!

Did you take the chain off? If so, do you have a quick link, or you used a chain tool?

Took chain off, it was a quick link (the same one used when putting on).

better video

Ok, that’s a better view indeed. Does it only do that with an extreme chain line, or even if well aligned front chainring/rear gear?

So that was little/big. Got me thinking it might be the gear shifting, I did have to undo cable and start afresh so maybe I messed up.

Will check other gears before my tr session tomorrow (turbo will allow me to move cranks and watch).


A few things to check: a) derailleur mounting alignment (using one of these), and b) derailleur cage straightness (that’s a bit harder, although a trainer helps - you have to ensure the roller plate is parallel to the wheel plane).

In other words - if the jockey wheel is not coplanar with the cassette and chainrings, that’s one of the symptoms. And you get there by bending the derailleur mount point (hence the DAG-1) or the derailleur itself.

I’m assuming it’s not shifting issues, these are seen between the top pulley and the cassette as the chain rides up on the cassette cog. You’d see the pulley pair jumping as a result.

Have you checked the chain stretch? Try in a bunch of places, especially including links that skip. I agree 1500km doesn’t seem too bad, but worn out cassettes and chainrings can wear down a fresh chain much faster.

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Yeah it kinda looks like chain wear. 1500km does seem a bit low. Is 1500km only the outdoor miles but you’ve also done indoor miles? or were a lot of those 1500km in wet and gritty conditions without being cleaned well between rides? because 1500 is reasonable if the chain had a hard life and wasn’t looked after.

Majority of it will be turbo, hence why I discounted chain wear. But as in my day job you should always check the basics first, seems I forgot.

I guess worn front rings could accelerate the chain wear, I’m never sure when to replace front rings.
Will do some checking.

And its important to remember that, for what ever reason, specific links can wear more than others and in different ways (roller, pin, etc). So it’s possible that that one section of chain has worn more than the others and that’s why only that one part is causing you issues.

Jockey wheels tend to be quite tolerant to chain wear, as tension on the chain return path is limited to that generated by the derailleur springs.

Chain wear looks fine, just the tip of 0.75 drops in. Will find the random clicking link and test that on the stand in the morning, and look at the gears in case as suggested it’s only in 1st.

Big ring isn’t too shark toothy.

Is it the same link every time or does it do it on random links? I will be honest…your chain looks pretty worn.

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Same link each time.
I’ve tried it in different gears now, little front ring:

  • 1st and 2nd it doesn’t mesh most (~4 times per complete chain revolution)
  • 3rd once or twice
  • 4th once
  • 5th gear onwards none

This makes me think it’s the angle it comes into the jockey wheel somehow. I am going to order a new chain wear checker that does 0.5 for 11 speed chains.

You just need to try a new chain…obviously something going on with that one link…worn roller or a slight kink.

That’s my thoughts too.
Thanks y’all, this is the best place for training, kit advice and chats.