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Old 05-10-06, 02:34 AM   #1
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Should a chain snap?

Hey,

I was at the exact halfway point of my 10mile commute home last night, when the chain on my Giant Terrago mountain bike snapped, in the worst area of the ride (where the past-time for kids is throwing rocks at powerlines, to see what happens...).

Needless to say, as the bike is only 2 months old, I wasn't happy. In fact, I was a 'little' rude to the guy at the place i bought it from when he said it would be two to three days before they could look at it. I didn't swear or anything, just said I'd got to a rival, and hung up in the middle of one of his sentences. (For which I'm very sorry...) But still, two month's old, a chain snaps - I've had bikes for 10 years that I've dropped off the back of car, and nothing like that happened. What happened to customer service? Or is it just a grumpy morning for John again??

Anyway (sorry, got a bit off topic there).

My commute is along a canal track, so there's very little hills and it's a relatively smooth ride. I do like to push it, and ride fast, but I'm very careful about choosing the right gear for hill/leg work effiicency, so I don't try to take a bit steep hill in 24th gear or something daft like that. There's no off-track downhill nastiness to contend with, nothing got stuck in the chain at the point it went, and I smacked my nuts off the handles bar as it snapped.

Which wasn't good...

Anyway... my question is this. As I was only going up a small inclince, and was in an appropriate gear (middle crank on the front, 4 on the back (out of a total 3x8 gears)) the chain wasn't sufferering any untoward stress, so why/how/should this happen? And should I be worried about this happening again??

I'm going to take it to another store (as I seem to have burnt my bridges with the other one for the time being) to get it repaired now, but I don't want to think this could happen again. Hell, if it had happened the time I was 30 miles from home - it would have REALLY sucked...

Any advice, comfort (or ice!!) would be very much appreciated.

Oh, and for ages, I read posts on this forum talking about LBS, and wondered where i could find a store called LBS. It was at the nut-cracking point that it came to me, Local Bike Shop... I would have shouted Eureka, but I think it would have come out as more of a squeal, and all the local kid hoodlums would have started throwing stones at me instead...

Have a nice day.

John
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Old 05-10-06, 02:53 AM   #2
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John,

If your bike is only 2 months old, the whole thing should be covered by guarantee. It sounds like you have a defective chain, but quoting 2-3 days to replace it is hardly customer service. After all, this is a 5 minute job, unless they intend to give the bike a thorough check-up - in fact many places offer this service on new bikes, since things like cables do settle in over the first "few" miles.

Go back to the shop and have them fix it!

Cheers,

Ed
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Old 05-10-06, 05:41 AM   #3
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What does the chain look like at the broken link? Plates spread apart a bit? As for the customer service part of your post, did you speak to the owner or manager? Did you suggest, calmly and quietly, that replacing a snapped, new chain--a simple job, as Ed points out--sooner than 2-3 days would be in the LBS's interest to maintain customer good will in the local cycling community...especially if there's competition nearby.
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Old 05-10-06, 06:36 AM   #4
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If the chain was original to the bike it was factory installed, not by the LBS, so they shouldn't be accountable for the mistake but they should replace it under warranty.
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Old 05-10-06, 07:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider
If the chain was original to the bike it was factory installed, not by the LBS, so they shouldn't be accountable for the mistake but they should replace it under warranty.
Is that true? I've never received a bike-in-the-box from the factory, so I don't know -- I always thought that it was part of assembly. I could see how they might have failed to push the pin quite all the way in during assembly, and it might fail, although I would have thought that it would happen before 2 months had elapsed...
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Old 05-10-06, 08:23 AM   #6
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First of all, any time you have a bike problem, walk it into the store wearing full cycling gear acting like you are on a ride, and need it fixed to get home, regardless of if thats the case. Also, carry a master link, and this problem can be solved very easily. I carry a master link as well as a whole new chain in my backpack while I go on longer rides. Lastly, I should point out that in my experience, the more expensive a chain is, the more likely it will snap. The heavy and cheap chains have been far more reliable for me.

JC, as a former builder of Trek and pre **** Schwinn, I can tell you that the chains come already set up. NIB bikes need very little complicated assembly.
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Old 05-10-06, 08:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider
If the chain was original to the bike it was factory installed, not by the LBS, so they shouldn't be accountable for the mistake but they should replace it under warranty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzy_cyclist
Is that true? I've never received a bike-in-the-box from the factory, so I don't know -- I always thought that it was part of assembly. I could see how they might have failed to push the pin quite all the way in during assembly, and it might fail, although I would have thought that it would happen before 2 months had elapsed...
It's true.

The shop should replace or fix the chain under warranty, and quickly (doesn't take long at all, of course), but don't get angry at them because it snapped.
Of course, as Michigander points out, if you carried a spare link, you could do this yourself on the road. Worth having with you while riding, along with a chain tool.
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Old 05-10-06, 10:19 AM   #8
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I'm pretty sure they didn't install the chain correctly.
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Old 05-10-06, 11:31 AM   #9
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Oh, and for ages, I read posts on this forum talking about LBS, and wondered where i could find a store called LBS.
*lol* best quote ever.

Replacing a snapped chain is honestly a 10 minute job at most, if not 5.
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Old 05-11-06, 02:00 PM   #10
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Hey,

Thanks to everyone for their posts. I took the bike my LBS (s******) rather than the place I bought it from, and like everyone here said, it was a quick 5 minute job to stick on a different style of link (which the helpful chap said would now actually be the strongest link in the chain) and I'm back on the road.

He figured that the pin between two of the links had falled out. Whether it was due to build error, or just an unfortate event, who knows - but either way, I'm not going to back to the place I bought the bike from. It's funny how customer service can be so important, and in these days of the internet, where all you have is customer service to know how good somewhere is, even if a brick and mortar store cocks up, they're still just as evil.

Anyway, thanks again to all, I really appreciate your help and advice. I'd name and shame the store, but that's no very nice. Let's just say it's one of the biggest bike stores in Glasgow.

John
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Old 05-11-06, 03:50 PM   #11
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So what does happen when one hits a powerline with a rock?
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Old 05-11-06, 08:04 PM   #12
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So what does happen when one hits a powerline with a rock?
I believe that it causes electromagnetic vibrations that can cause sudden failures to occur in linked metal objects like chains and stuff.

Steve W.
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Old 05-11-06, 08:10 PM   #13
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So what does happen when one hits a powerline with a rock?

Not much unless you are holding a wire tied to the rock. Now if you hit a brittle ceramic insulator and break that fireworks happen. Just pray those little idjits near Glasgow do not tie a long piece of bare wire to the rock.
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Old 05-11-06, 08:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I believe that it causes electromagnetic vibrations that can cause sudden failures to occur in linked metal objects like chains and stuff.

Steve W.
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Old 05-11-06, 08:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Not much unless you are holding a wire tied to the rock. Now if you hit a brittle ceramic insulator and break that fireworks happen. Just pray those little idjits near Glasgow do not tie a long piece of bare wire to the rock.
I don't know how I missed that the kids were aiming for the insulators. I heard rumors about stuff like that when I was a kid. Oddly enough, that one of the few dumb things that I didn't do as a kid.

I thought that they were hoping to knock bare wires into each other with a rock.
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Old 05-11-06, 08:26 PM   #16
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Come to think of it, I did once shoot a powerline, but it was purely accidental -stupid, but accidental.
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Old 05-11-06, 08:28 PM   #17
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And I know somebody that once got drunk and made it his business to shoot down each and every one of the utility lines near his house.
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Old 05-12-06, 07:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzy_cyclist
I could see how they might have failed to push the pin quite all the way in during assembly, and it might fail, although I would have thought that it would happen before 2 months had elapsed...
If the pin wasn't seated all of the way in, the bike would've had a slight "hitch" in it's "getalong".

IME, the pin will fail more often if the link that the pin was installed in was tight and someone tried to loosen it by pushing the pin back and forth until the link loosened up.
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Old 05-12-06, 08:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider
If the chain was original to the bike it was factory installed, not by the LBS, so they shouldn't be accountable for the mistake but they should replace it under warranty.
A seller should be accountable for everything it sells. Warranty should get front of the line. Phone answerer should be fired. No, it should not have broken.
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Old 05-12-06, 08:42 AM   #20
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By the way, I tried to type in 'snig ger' but apparantly, as there's a REALLY bad word contained in that, Bike Forums doesn't like it. I guess it would be the same for Suspi cious too.

I bet it lets me type country though.

And in answer to the "What happens when you throw a rock at a power line" question, apparantly, you end up living in one of the worst areas in Glasgow, wearing a shell suit, drinking Buckfast and getting a fat bird pregnant at 14. Then you raise your kid to have no manners, and throw rocks at stuff.

Still, the little gits can still afford quad bikes to knock me off the bike on the canal path.

Sorry... on a rant. Have a good weekend!

John
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Old 05-13-06, 11:39 AM   #21
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lucky you're not from s****horpe
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Old 05-13-06, 11:41 AM   #22
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blimey, the censorship on this site is incredible. Apparently even Scun thorpe is forbidden!

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