Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    16
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Chain too short - can't get into top chain ring

    Hey folks, First off I ride a 2008 Specialized Hardrock. Last summer I was out on a long ride and messed up a few links on my chain. Since I was in the middle of nowhere I had to remove the damaged links and reattach the chain. I didn't notice it recently - now I'm having trouble getting into my top chain ring because the chain is too short.

    I know I shouldn't replace the chain because it will likely mess up my drive train so I'm wondering about maybe just adding a couple links back into the chain. If so I'd need to buy the same type of chain that I already have but I'm not sure how to identify the make/model of the chain.

    I need some advice here, I really don't want to have to replace my entire drive train because I'm a couple of links short in my chain. HELP!!!

  2. #2
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,121
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You really shouldn't ride your bike with a too-short chain. It's a big liability, because trying to shift into a large-large combination can cause a catastrophic failure of your drivetrain.

    Unless your sprockets are worn, you can replace your chain without replacing anything else. This will help to identify sprocket wear: http://sheldonbrown.com/chains.html#wear Worst case you have to replace your cassette and chainrings, but chainrings last a long time. So a chain, and maybe cassette, probably not crankset/rings.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  3. #3
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    4,203
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Suggest you set your limit screw on the FD to prevent you from even trying to shift over till you get your chain worked out.

    I can understand that you might not want to buy a new chain just for a couple links, but unless the chain is almost new - thats really the best course of action.

    For maximum drivetrain life you might want to be rotating chains anyway.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    358
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dave_mac View Post
    I know I shouldn't replace the chain because it will likely mess up my drive train...
    That's crazy talk. Replace the chain. They're not that expensive.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Up
    My Bikes
    Masi (retired), Giant TCR, Eisentraut, Jamis Aurora Elite, Zullo (trainer bike), Cannondale, Stumpjumper, Waterford(N+1), Tern D8 (N+1)
    Posts
    2,844
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dave_mac View Post
    I know I shouldn't replace the chain because it will likely mess up my drive train ....

    I need some advice here, I really don't want to have to replace my entire drive train because I'm a couple of links short in my chain. HELP!!!
    I just don't understand this. Unless your cogs and chainrings are worn out.

    Go get a chain for the same number of speeds as the rear cog.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Rochelle, NY
    My Bikes
    too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
    Posts
    22,407
    Mentioned
    66 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    You're very lucky that it wouldn't shift into a too short combination. The chain is vastly stronger than any other part of your bike, and if it succeeds in looping two sprockets it isn't long enough (or even tries) you could face expensive consequences.

    If you're lucky you'll bend an axle as the chain tries to pull the cassette forward. It might also rip off the derailleur if the cage cannot come above the straight line lower loop, beyond those minor annoyances, it could tear off the right dropout, or buckle your chainrings or bend the right crank.

    In summary a too-short chain can destroy your bike.

    You have a simple way to avoid this. Replace the chain now, today, before you ride this bike again. It probably isn't as urgent as I make it sound, but consider the potential expense if your luck turns sour.

    Also don't let misplaced concern about chain/cassette issues deter you from doing what needs to be done. Chains are replaced every day, and most of us can go through 3-5 chains before the cassette needs replacing. if it turns out your cassette is worn, you'll need to replace that, but a worn cassette would need replacing soon enough anyway.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    16
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ok, first off I haven't been riding it, I'm just getting everything tuned up before I start riding again (we still have snow on the ground here in Toronto and I'm a bit of a cold weather wimp). I'm still on my first cassette/chain so it sounds like it's safe to just replace the chain. Thanks very much for the advice.
    Last edited by dave_mac; 03-30-11 at 11:39 AM.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    3,134
    Mentioned
    45 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You're past due to replace the chain, expect replacing the cassette,
    and maybe the chainrings too .

    all are drivetrain consumables.. they wear with use.

  9. #9
    Senior Member AltheCyclist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    679
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't understand -- why wouldn't you just replace the chain? It won't mess up anything...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •