SRAM flat top chain checker reads brand new chain as worn?

I just bought an SRAM flat top chain checker, see pic with brand new chain (only stripped and waxed) , it reads worn


Don’t you need to be pulling the chain up within the gap at the lower end when you take the measurement (to take all the slack out)



thanks, that’s it

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My old chains that my old wear tool marked as worn even have some live left in them according to the flat top chain tool

Assuming your other chain tool is designed for the “normal” chain used forever, that makes sense. Many of them will incorrectly assess the Flattop chains due to the change in the roller diameter which affects the “inner roller gap” as most do.

There are a small number of those old style checkers that can work for Flattops, but they must be used correctly to do so.

I knew they had different rollers, that’s why I bought the sram tool when I stumbled upon it and it was on sale. Fortunately the traditional chain tools err on the safe side, so if you already have a chain tool, there is no need to get a new one unless you go through an enormous amount of flat top chains but these flat top chains seem to last forever and ever anyway compared to the KMC or Shimano 11/12 speed chains

Interestingly a visual inspection would have been enough, bottom worn, top not quite worn yet. Especially the inner plates seem to get darker when worn

Pedro’s Chain Checker Plus II is SRAM approved - thats the one I bought.

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if you have not done so try hanging them side by side. It is interesting to see the difference between a new and used chain with the same number of links when they are hung beside each other and how much longer the used chain will be. It blew my mind the first time I did that.

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haven’t shortened my new chains yet but I can put them side by side, it’s around half a link on a 106 link chain

Also, diagram on the checker and in the video shows the two prongs going between the links, not through them.

Are you talking about placing the checker pins inside the Inner Side plate section (graphic and video) vs the wider Outer Side Plate section (OP’s pic)?


Got it. That makes sense on a basic level to me and seems best practice since they show that specifically in both cases.

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vs Pedro’s Chain Checker Plus II (SRAM approved):

that has always confused me.

A couple years ago I went into the LBS, played around on a new bike, and took this picture:

which happens to match the SRAM chain checker tool & video.