KRANX CHAIN WEAR INDICATOR
The tool is made from chrome-plated heat-treated steel, and reminded me of a whale.
The shallower “horns” are a link joining function, holding chains together, so you can just drive joining pins home with your chain tool. Look closely and you’ll notice two centre drillings. These are designed so it can hang conveniently on the tool board but by lucky coincidence, successfully removed some valve cores.
I’ve also carried ours on my Univega’s magnetic Fidlock bottle holder. Now the chain checking function couldn’t be simpler and this is both pro and con in equal measure.
Very simple to use, although the chain checking pin is less refined compared with similar designs we’ve used in the past. If you’ve not used a checker before, slot the shallower pin into the links and see how far the pins sink.
If the tool lies flat, your chain needs replacing. Checked periodically, chains can be pensioned before they reach this stage and eat into other components. Especially 9,10, 11 and 12 speeds, which work to closer tolerances.
Depending upon conditions, season and lube(s) used, I typically get 1250 useful miles from a 10speed chain before microscopic wear causes shifting to go slightly “off”. Replaced at .75, wider component wear is swerved, and money saved.
Detecting this on the Kranx requires a keener eye, so not for lazier/time poor mechanics. Otherwise, it has given good insight into chain health across the fleet-single speed, 6,7,8 and 9 speed. The chain joining “horns” are similarly effective, at least on the 1, 6,7, 8, 9 and 10 speeds I’ve tested.
Finish quality is better than I was expecting. I’ve left ours in slightly soggy wedge and frame packs with no signs of tarnish. Oily residue and periodic wipe-overs with faintly oily rags have probably helped.
There is no doubt it will quickly recoup the ticket price when the price of drivetrain components are taken into account. However, there are more refined/precise models, some costing quite a bit less and in my mind, offering more bang for buck. The BBB Chain Checker retails at £7.95 but is a good illustration of this.
It features a .75 and 1.0 pin, 5, 6 and 8mm spanner slot, valve tool, chain hooks and a durable nickel-plated finish. At the other end of the scale, the Torque Chain Checker is similar to the BBB but comes in at £4.99. The KRANX is cheaper than the IceToolz Chain checker (£8.95) that forgoes the chain hooking component.
Ultimately, the KRANX Chain Wear Indicator is simple, effective and represents reasonable value for money. However, it faces stiff competition from cheaper models offering greater refinement/precision.