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  1. #1
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    So I snapped my chain today...

    Well... this is a new one for me. I got a new trainer and got a little excited... I wanted to see how hard I could go and I snapped my chain. Thing is, the chain is less than 200 miles old!

    Its a SRAM 1071 10sp chain, taken off every weekend to clean and relube. It looks like it was the powerlink that blew apart. Should I just reconnect the chain with 1 less link or just be done with it and buy a new chain? Chain checker shows that the chain has little wear... (I mean c'mon... less than 200 miles?!)

    Is the lighter 1090 chain more or less durable? At this point, I don't really care about weight, just durability.

    On the plus side, I found out I could pull 35mph for 2 seconds... lol

  2. #2
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    Since it was the power link that failed, there's no reason to assume the chain has a problem, nor to cut it shorter. Simply replace the power link and you're good to go.

    Note: Sram says not to reuse 10s powerlinks, yet you say you remove the chain every weekend. Are you replacing the powerlink each time? Of how many times have you reused a use once-throw away powerlink?
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  3. #3
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    I don't reuse the powerlink. I break the chain somewhere else every time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member curbtender's Avatar
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    I don't get it...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by floatsinwater View Post
    I don't reuse the powerlink. I break the chain somewhere else every time.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by floatsinwater View Post
    I don't reuse the powerlink. I break the chain somewhere else every time.
    Who told you to do that? They were very very very wrong.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanwood View Post
    Did I miss something?
    You're only supposed to re-use the 10sp powerlink once for the initial installation. The first two posters thought I break the chain at the powerlink since I wrote I take off the chain for maintenance every week, so responded by saying I break it at a normal link.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Pick up a Park MLP-1 and you can easily remove the link and re-use it.
    The reason for the "non reusable" claim is political, no technical.
    Discard the link with the chain when they both are worn out.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by floatsinwater View Post
    I don't reuse the powerlink. I break the chain somewhere else every time.
    And you're surprised the chain broke?

    Do you add a new power link each time?

    Or if' you're resplicing (which is a strict no-no on 10s chains) I'm amazed that it was the powerlink that failed.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    Pick up a Park MLP-1 and you can easily remove the link and re-use it.
    The reason for the "non reusable" claim is political, no technical.
    Discard the link with the chain when they both are worn out.
    Well I thought the same thing, but I figured if SRAM didn't have enough confidence in their product to let me re-use the powerlink, then I probably shouldn't...

    @FBinNY
    read two posts above. Why is re-splicing? (I'm guessing you mean just putting the chain back together) a nono for 10sp chains? This is the first time I've heard this, and that's how I usually maintain my chains.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by floatsinwater View Post
    Well I thought the same thing, but I figured if SRAM didn't have enough confidence in their product to let me re-use the powerlink, then I probably shouldn't...
    Modern chains, anything from 8s and up plus some 7s chains cannot be reconnected by pushing pins back and forth they way their predecessors could. The pins end flush to the face of the outer plate, leaving no margin for the plate to spread. For that reason the rivits are spread similar to the way rivets are in things like bridge construction.

    When you push a pin out you shear the head off, so when you push it back the chain becomes vulnerable to the plate spreading beyond the end and coming off. That's why they make connector links or special pins (Shimano or Campagnolo) to reconnect chains.

    I'm impressed that even after almost 10years, folks still aren't aware of this, including people who didn't even start riding when chains were still spliceable.

    As for reusing power links, I suspect that they are reusable to a degree, but not sure how often. I rotate chains every 1,000 miles and keep the same connector (not Sram) with each chain so the connector's pins and all those of the chain have similar wear. That has me reusing the connector a number of times, but nowhere as much as you would if you remove a chain weekly, which IMO is excessive.
    Last edited by FBinNY; 03-30-12 at 11:36 PM.
    FB
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    All these mfgrs produce links of the same design:
    - Forster (Superlink)
    - SRAM
    - KMC
    - IRD
    The design is patented. The first few words of the patent abstract: "A *reusable* chain link for a derailleur chain..."

    Now how could I get around paying royalties on that patent? Lemme think...

  13. #13
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by floatsinwater View Post
    Well I thought the same thing, but I figured if SRAM didn't have enough confidence in their product to let me re-use the powerlink, then I probably shouldn't..
    They give you the PowerLink so you won't be breaking and reconnecting the chain anywhere else.
    Last edited by ThermionicScott; 03-30-12 at 11:42 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post

    ....Now how could I get around paying royalties on that patent? Lemme think...
    There's no reason to try to get around paying royalties, the patent has expired. Note also that Sram used to list 8s and 9s powerlinks as reusable, and the 10s is the first one they list as use once only. I agree that it probably can be reused a bit, but it has something of a latch, and repeated use stresses the plates, and I suspect Sram wants to buy themselves a bit of legal protection in the event of excessive reuse leading to failure.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    The 10s link was introduced prior to the patent expiration.
    I'm sure if they were to introduce it today they would not bother adding that tiny stepped area that makes it latch.

    Update:
    Actually, the patent has not expired. Expiration is 17 years from date of issue *or* 20 years from date of filing, whichever is greater. It was filed 09/03/1993, and issued 11/09/1994, so it expires 09/03/2013.
    Last edited by Shimagnolo; 03-30-12 at 11:52 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Modern chains, anything from 8s and up plus some 7s chains cannot be reconnected by pushing pins back and forth they way their predecessors could. The pins end flush to the face of the outer plate, leaving no margin for the plate to spread. For that reason the rivits are spread similar to the way rivets are in things like bridge construction.

    When you push a pin out you shear the head off, so when you push it back the chain becomes vulnerable to the plate spreading beyond the end and coming off. That's why they make connector links or special pins (Shimano or Campagnolo) to reconnect chains.

    I'm impressed that even after almost 10years, folks still aren't aware of this, including people who didn't even start riding when chains were still spliceable.

    As for reusing power links, I suspect that they are reusable to a degree, but not sure how often. I rotate chains every 1,000 miles and keep the same connector (not Sram) with each chain so the connector's pins and all those of the chain have similar wear. That has me reusing the connector a number of times, but nowhere as much as you would if you remove a chain weekly, which IMO is excessive.
    Interesting... I've been doing it the "old-fashioned" (outdated?) way since I was a wee little kid. I usually get around 3-5k miles for my chains, so I was really surprised when this guy broke so fast. Is using a rag the best way to clean 10sp chains then?

    @Shimagnolo, ThermionicScott
    SRAM specifically states that the powerlink for the 10sp can only be used once. =/ I might try another brand that has a "more" re-usable link for my next one...

    So anyways, back to my second question: are the cheaper, heavier chains more durable than the lighter counterparts? I don't really care about weight...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by floatsinwater View Post
    Interesting... I've been doing it the "old-fashioned" (outdated?) way since I was a wee little kid. I usually get around 3-5k miles for my chains, so I was really surprised when this guy broke so fast. Is using a rag the best way to clean 10sp chains then?

    So anyways, back to my second question: are the cheaper, heavier chains more durable than the lighter counterparts? I don't really care about weight...
    Old habits die hard. We all continue to do many things the same way even though the technology changes. In your case you probably get away with it more than others might because you're an experienced rider who doesn't shift aggressively under load, which is the thing that pushes the plates out.

    Older chains are more durable, but I wouldn't call them stronger. The rated breaking load hasn't changed much even as chains got narrower because they've made up the difference with stronger alloy steels and more precise heat treating. But narrower chains do wear faster. Unfortunately you don't have the option to go old fashioned with 10s, since the narrower sprocket spacing requires the narrower chain.

    As for cleaning, I'm the wrong guy to ask, because I'm not a great believer, and developed my oil specifically to reduce the need to clean and re oil so often. However, I'd suggest dry wiping as needed or desired (no harm there) and pulling the chain for an off the bike serious clean at a longer interval, maybe 2-4 times over it's life, if that.

    If you keep the frequency down you could probably reuse the power link, or if you went with a KMC chain, reuse wouldn't be an issue.

    I never used to clean chains at all, but these days I'm rotating multiple chains on each bike, and since they're off anyway they get solvent cleaned and oiled between rotations.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    So I'm still confused.

    The OP has been breaking his 10spd chain and reconnecting and has only used the powerlink just once or twice and instead of breaking at a reconnected link, yet I think I read that the chain broke at the powerlink.

    Is this true? Shouldn't the OP be reporting the chain broke at the link pin he pushed out? But it sounds like it's breaking at the powerlink. So it sort of refutes every claim by manufacturers and warranties that he should be using the powerlink, since if the pushing out and back in of a regular pin theoretically weakens the chain, shouldn't the break have happened at one of those links?

    Can the OP please clarify?
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  19. #19
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    I found that i had to change my riding style to fit in with a 9 spd chain. I used to ride a 7 spd, and changing gear under load was never a problem, but with a 9spd sram chain i found that changing gear under load would sometimes tear the chain apart (the cogs would rip the chains plate off). I tried a different brand chain, a YBN, thinking it was the sram chain that was the problem, but the chain was still ripped apart during gear changes under load, albeit not as often as the sram chain was, so now i try never to change gears under load, and the chain has been fine since.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gyozadude View Post
    So I'm still confused.

    The OP has been breaking his 10spd chain and reconnecting and has only used the powerlink just once or twice and instead of breaking at a reconnected link, yet I think I read that the chain broke at the powerlink.

    Is this true? Shouldn't the OP be reporting the chain broke at the link pin he pushed out? But it sounds like it's breaking at the powerlink. So it sort of refutes every claim by manufacturers and warranties that he should be using the powerlink, since if the pushing out and back in of a regular pin theoretically weakens the chain, shouldn't the break have happened at one of those links?

    Can the OP please clarify?
    Yeah that's pretty much what happened. I used the powerlink once during the initial installation, but then I found out I can't re-use it when I read the instructions, so I broke the chain at normal links for maintenance. The link that blew happened to be the powerlink, not a regular link.

    However its less than 3 weeks old, so the chain's been only taken off twice. The chances of me pushing out the same pin twice is fairly slim. Either way it looks like the powerlinks aren't as strong as normal links, but it could have just been bad luck too...

    @lobstermike
    I have to agree and I'm finding that the 10sp chains are much more fragile than my 8 or 9 speed chains. I don't shift under load, but I was trying to do a sprint on my trainer. Now that i think about it, I think the inertia from the flywheel and me suddenly sprinting led to the chain failure, since it was only after the 4th sprint that the chain snapped.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by floatsinwater View Post
    Either way it looks like the powerlinks aren't as strong as normal links, but it could have just been bad luck too...
    I have been using master links from Superlink/SRAM/KMC since the 90's and *never* had one break.

  22. #22
    Senior Member curbtender's Avatar
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    I've seen one fail, not my bike. I keep a link from a retired chain in my tool pouch, just in case...

  23. #23
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by floatsinwater View Post
    The chances of me pushing out the same pin twice is fairly slim.
    Once is enough. If it were me, I'd get a new chain, and start doing it right. Chalk up the cost as a lesson learned.
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  24. #24
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    1. Throw that chain away. 10S chains should not be broken and re-joined as you've done. They must only be joined with master links or the (stupid) one time use special Shimano pins.

    2. 10S chains are narrower and wear out faster, but they are plenty strong. If they weren't, the pros would be breaking them during races all the time. I run SRAM chains but all my bikes are 8S... If you aren't happy with SRAM try a KMC or Shimano chain.

    3. How many miles/what conditions are you running that you need to take your chain off every week to clean it?
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  25. #25
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    My Wipperman Connex link has at least 10,000 miles on it. It's extremely easy to remove and replace with no tools. To remove it, just slide the plates sideways so the pins go to the center of the plate's hole. No squeezing or pliers needed.

    When reinstalling, make sure that the asymmetric side (bottom of this photo) is away from the chainring.

    It's not a one-time only connector. They work great.

    I use Campagnolo ultra narrow 10 speed chains, which are also very good: I get at least 4,000-5000 miles from a chain.

    I remove my chain about every 60 days (about 1000 miles) to clean it, rinse and thoroughly dry it, then lube and reinstall. It's probably not really necessary. Riders here on BF have had good results with only wiping down and re-lubing, and others like to clean with solvents off the bike. Just keep the chain lubed.

    I still like the Connex link so I don't have to be careful when installing the chain. The 10 speed pins have to be installed correctly.

    Last edited by rm -rf; 03-31-12 at 02:40 PM.

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