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Thread: Chain question

  1. #1
    Hazardous biker Ricardo's Avatar
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    Chain question

    Guys,
    last night I was riding through my neighborhood, and while I was going a steep uphill, I changed gears while the chain was under load. From then on, I started hearing my chain make a clicking noise but I ignored it for about 15 mins.

    A while after that, the chain started to go off the crank and the gear changing had become mediocre. I decided to do a visual inspection and one of the links in the chain had a missing outer plate. It just fell off.

    1. Is this normal?
    2. Should I take that link away and reassemble the chain?
    3. Does the warranty covers this kind of problems?

    Any word of advice is highly appreciated.

    Ricardo

  2. #2
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Not normal. Was this a power link or other removable type that may have been assembled wrong? Just taking the link away may make the chain too short.Read your warranty. If it's a new bike,the shop may make it right.

  3. #3
    Hazardous biker Ricardo's Avatar
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    No it was not a powerlink. Just a regular one on a Shimano chain.

    Ricardo

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    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo
    No it was not a powerlink. Just a regular one on a Shimano chain.

    Ricardo
    had a rider on this past Sat 'training' ride blow his chain apart on a misshift. He's luck he didn't auger into the road. Hez a bit sketchy to begin with and on an uphill he wasn't payin attention and tried to shift under load.
    Chainline was crossed over quite hard - lrg ring to #7 cog
    HEz lucky he only fell over sideways...

    There's not a lot of pinhead protuding on any of these modern chains (compared to a 30 yr old Regina). When you force a cross-chainline shift like that the plates can get pretty twisted. Considering that you likely twisted a number of other plates, before that one popped off, I wouldn't chance ridin that chain anymore - spring for a new one and call it a lesson learned... do your uphill shifts early or unload the chain before you shift.
    and check your derailleur alignment - it may also need some attention

  5. #5
    Fattest Thin Man Az B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo
    Guys,

    1. Is this normal?
    2. Should I take that link away and reassemble the chain?
    3. Does the warranty covers this kind of problems?

    Any word of advice is highly appreciated.

    Ricardo
    1: Apparently. This just happened to me a few weeks ago. Hammering up a hill and the chain falls off the front chainring. After a painful fall, I noticed that one of the outer plates of my Shimano chain (with less than 300 miles on it) had broken. This allowed that link to have about an angle of 20 degrees or so which caused the chain to fall off the chainring when it got to it.

    2: I would buy a new chain. You can eliminate a link to get home, but you will need a chain tool and you may not be able to use all the gears available. Especially the larger chainrings and larger cogs together.

    3: I would imagine that it would.

    Az

  6. #6
    Hazardous biker Ricardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Az B
    1: Apparently. This just happened to me a few weeks ago. Hammering up a hill and the chain falls off the front chainring. After a painful fall, I noticed that one of the outer plates of my Shimano chain (with less than 300 miles on it) had broken. This allowed that link to have about an angle of 20 degrees or so which caused the chain to fall off the chainring when it got to it.

    2: I would buy a new chain. You can eliminate a link to get home, but you will need a chain tool and you may not be able to use all the gears available. Especially the larger chainrings and larger cogs together.

    3: I would imagine that it would.

    Az
    Im starting to think we both own the same crappy Shimano chain...

    Ricardo

  7. #7
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Some people must get all the bad luck.Use lots of shimano chains and never a bad one.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydney
    Some people must get all the bad luck.Use lots of shimano chains and never a bad one.
    Same here. I've installed over 50 Shimano chains (6, 8 and 9-speed types) on my own and friends/relatives bikes over thew years. Some of them have been ridden 10,000 miles and all of them have been ridden in hilly terrain and not one has ever failed.

  9. #9
    Bike Builder ruppster's Avatar
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    Same deal with Shimano chain on my Trek 1000. Shifted under load (not cross chaining), chain flew apart. Luckily, I unclipped and caught myself before crashing. I replace the broken link with a WalMart link and have put over 2000 miles on the chain. It seem to work fine. Maybe the chain just wasn't assembled properly?

  10. #10
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    I wouldn't blame it on the branding. Modern shifters and cassettes/freewheels make it easy to shift to shift while under full load - having just upgraded my old commuter from a mid-80s twist-tooth to a Hyperglide freewheel, I can attest to this. This is very stressful to ANY chain, even newer and stronger ones (that old Regina would probably do even worse than a modern Shimano chain). Anyway, you can fix the chain with a new link or get a new chain. Who knows why sometimes the chain survives this kind of stress for a thousand miles, while other times it breaks at 200? Sometimes you just get lucky, I guess...

  11. #11
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    We broke the timing chain (SRAM) on our tandem once, but that was due to operator error. I also broke a side plate off my chain BMX racing. Chalk that up to operator error was well. The spacer in the middle of the chain ring was not seated properly, so the chain went tight at a bad moment, under torque. Other than that, I've never personally had a chain problem in about 30 years of riding.

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