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Old 08-17-12, 09:56 PM   #1
NewbieWithBikes
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Chain problems.

Well, Let me lay it down for you, I'm new to bikes basically, I can ride em and what not, but not too great a fixing them.

Okay so, My chain decided to break on me. I have a 5 speed Roadmaster mountain bike from like, Walmart.. I can't really afford a whole new bike and it was a good bike until this happened, I suppose I was just peddling too hard and the chain was old. It has a uh... shimano system? Anyways, I measured out the chain and it came to ABOUT 53 1/4th inches, Just over 53 inches anyways. And I have no clue what size chain or anything to get to replace it, There is no fixing the chain I had, It just died, we'll leave it at that.

Okay, enough rambling, main details - 5 speed Roadmaster 26" Mountain bike. 53 inch chain, and I need to know what kind of chain I need to get, and where I can find a chain breaker too, any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-17-12, 10:08 PM   #2
Bill Kapaun
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You can use the same chain for 5-8 speeds.
The cheap chain tools from the box stores will work for awhile IF you are careful and separate/join the chain in small steps, resetting/aligning the tool each time.

A 53" chain should be 106 links. Best to see how to properly size a chain at the Park Tool website or elsewhere.
I wouldn't count on the chain on a Walmart bike being "properly" sized.
Your new chain will likely have to be shortened a few links.
DON'T shorten in the WRONG spot. You must have an inner link joining an outer link.

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help
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Old 08-17-12, 11:56 PM   #3
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When you measure the replacement chain, you'll cut it at the 53" (106 link) point. The other 1/4" being due to wear on the older chain which allowed the links to move apart slightly at the pins (aka"chain stretch").

Based on the wear (1/2% stretch) you should not need to also replace the freewheel, but that's always a risk. If the new chain engages poorly and skips under load, you'll need the freewheel, but as I said the odds favor you won't.

Chain tools are readily available, and there are also plenty of turorials on chain repair and replacement so you should have no issues.

BTW- while you can use any chain for 5-8 speed, you're slightly better off if you can find one marked for 5s or 6s, since these are slightly wider and will shift smoother on the 5s spacing of your freewheel (5s and 6s are the same width, while 7s and 8s are slightly narrower).
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Old 08-18-12, 01:04 AM   #4
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Okay, thank you both!
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