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Old 06-14-03, 07:06 AM   #1
primeowl
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the chain breaks... and then??

Question,

This has never happened but what if...

the chain breaks??

What do I do?

What should I have on hand?

how do I fix it?

Any suggestions??
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Old 06-14-03, 07:11 AM   #2
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you could carry a powerlink or 2 for when your on the road, and keep some links and pins at home, or on the road.
you can scroll thru barnets manuals theres probably a section on replacing links in there. or if your friendly with your lbs, buy the stuff there and ask them if they'd mind showing you how to replace them, and if there nice enough to do it be sure and tip the mechanic .
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Old 06-14-03, 07:14 AM   #3
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I guess it depends on how old the chain is. Is the chain near the end of its useful lifespan? Perhaps it is worthwhile replacing the chain as a whole.
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Old 06-14-03, 09:46 AM   #4
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I would carry a spare powerlink and a chain tool. Depending on how badly the chain broke (i.e. a pin snapped/sideplates are badly bent), you could probably just pop a powerlink in or remove a damaged link or two with the chain tool before reinstalling the powerlink/extra link you brought with you. If you've removed links, you will probably just need to ride with slightly limited gear choices.

I remember reading in Bicycling or in a repair book that you could actually "tie" a link to another link in an emergency using wire or something, requiring you to stay in a single gear and pedal very easily. Never tried it, and I couldn't see it working well.

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Old 06-14-03, 10:07 AM   #5
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Os! Besides my basic flat repair kit and an extra tube, I carry a tiny chain tool and a couple extra links, just in case.

Ja-ne....mata...
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Old 06-14-03, 02:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by primeowl
Question,

This has never happened but what if...

the chain breaks??

What do I do?

What should I have on hand?

how do I fix it?

Any suggestions??
Here's what I'd do:

1 - stop bike
2 - retrieve cell phone
3 - Call home
4 - say "Honey, I'm at the corner of x and y streets. Would please come get me"
5 - Hang up and wait for pick up


Zack
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Old 06-14-03, 03:15 PM   #7
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The minimum for on-road repairs is a PowerLink and either a chain tool, pliers, a small punch, or some other technology to enable you to remove the remnant(s) of the broken link.
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Old 06-14-03, 04:15 PM   #8
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I know this happened to me on the trail, about 3 miles from my car. So callign someone on cell phone would not have been beneficial. I did not have a powerlink on me (I carry one now). I used my chain tool in my bat to remove the bad link and put chain back together. Then continued my ride, since I can't remember last time I used large chain ring did not effect my ride at all.
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Old 06-14-03, 05:25 PM   #9
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carry a chain tool. if your chain breaks, turn your bike into a singlespeed.

wrap the chain around your small ring, and a medium sized cog. shorten as necessary. dont forget to bypass the derailler.

it'll get you to a bike shop where you can pick up a new chain.
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Old 06-14-03, 09:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by fore
carry a chain tool. if your chain breaks, turn your bike into a singlespeed.
No need to be that drastic. Just remove a full link. You may not be able to shift into the big-big gear, but I'd bet the rest of them would work OK.

I stopped carrying a chaintool for a while but recently the chain started to separate and I was lucky it didn't completely fall apart before I got home.
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Old 06-14-03, 11:19 PM   #11
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drastic? hardly. some of us actually choose to ride with only one gear, believe it or not.
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Old 06-15-03, 12:38 AM   #12
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But SteveE is right! There is no need to remove that much chain to convert to a single speed because: 1) it's the same amount of work to go from a single speed to at least being able to use most of the gears, and 2) you have to store the removed section of the chain in your saddlebag-if you have the room!! Of course if your a pig, you could throw the excess chain on the side of the road like some moroons where I live do with CO2 carts!!

Personally I don't even carry any spare links or pins, if the chain breaks just use the pins from a removed link. I wouldn't even carry a chain tool if it didn't come with the mini tool because I never broke a chain in over 200,000 miles, nor have I ever raced with anyone nor personally knew anyone that broke a chain on a road bike. I have worn out a few chains, but never broken. But what the heck, better to be prepared I guess.
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Old 06-15-03, 10:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by primeowl
This has never happened but what if...

the chain breaks??

What do I do?

What should I have on hand?

how do I fix it?
if the chain brakes...

1. try to stablize the bike and not wreck (I did this once)
2. attempt not to wreck any riders around you (was sucessful at this point)
3. stop the bike and avoid traffic (first hand experience)
4. carry a chain tool with you, just remove the boken link and at least you have a temporary fix enough to get you home... (for me it actually was enough to finish 55 miles of a 60 mile ride )
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Old 06-15-03, 08:54 PM   #14
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Chains don't break very often, but they do break. If your chain breaks and you are far from home, it can be pretty catastrophic. Carrying a cell phone is one plan. Carrying a chain tool and a master link of some sort is another, better, plan. But never, never carry a tool that you don't know how to use.

Go down to your LBS, but a small chain tool. My current favorite is made by ToPeak but I also like the ones that are made by Pedro's and Park. You can also buy a mini tool with a built in chain breaker. Get yourself a master link, too. Then ask the LBS guy to take a minute or two to show you how to use the tool. If he won't do it, leave the shop in a snit and go to another shop to buy the tool.

I've never seen a drive train that wouldn't function adequately with one less link. I also believe that, in a dire emergency, even Shimano chains will work for a while with the pin driven back in.

When you do arrive safely home, buy a new chain.
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Old 06-16-03, 03:05 AM   #15
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Get your LBS to demonstrate the use of a chaintool, and practice on some old chain. Relinking chains using a chaintool will always weaken a chain, so dont do it for fun. Use a master-link for normal removal of chain.
There is no need to carry a master link or spare links, unless you are on an extended tour. Just remove the damaged link and rejoin.
I have had one chain snap on me, and another wrap around the spokes inside the freewheel, after my plastic rear mech cracked. The former was an easy repair, the latter was a workshop job.
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