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  1. #1
    Senior Member davin1023's Avatar
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    Did my first walk of shame this afternoon...

    Well my Sunday afternoon ride was cut short today, about a mile and a half from home I shifted gears and heard a loud pop, suddenly my crank is free spinning. I pull over and find the chain broken. I lost at least one link from the looks of it.

    Just not sure how it happened. I did not shift under load, and in fact I was headed downhill when it happened. It is still under warranty, though I'm not sure if it will be covered. I'm more worried about what caused it, and making sure it does not happen again.

    I also did not think I cross chained it, I was in the low (small) end of the cassette in the back and was going from the middle to the large in the front.

  2. #2
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    glad to hear you didn't get the chain wrapped in the cassette! you definitely avoided a catastrophe on the downhill!

    a chain tool would have helped, but it's good you were close to home...

    chains usually don't break like that - make sure to examine your ride for any other damage? a clean break of a link? no broken teeth on the crankset or cassette?

    a master link in the tool bag might be a cheap investment as well...

  3. #3
    Senior Member davin1023's Avatar
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    On closer inspection one of the teath on the middle gear in the crankset is chipped. It looks like its only half the usual thickness. Guess I better have that fixed too.

  4. #4
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    No shame in equipment failure, if you walked because you were just to tired that could be shameful.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesspal View Post
    No shame in equipment failure, if you walked because you were just to tired that could be shameful.
    that just means you didn't turn around soon enough.


    i've had the chain break in front of my house, less walking but still no big deal. Mechanicals happen.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right

  6. #6
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesspal View Post
    No shame in equipment failure, if you walked because you were just to tired that could be shameful.
    I would disagree with this second part... It would only mean that someone pushed themselves to their limit... What would be the shame in that?

  7. #7
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    How far did you walk?

  8. #8
    Senior Member davin1023's Avatar
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    About a mile, though I did free wheel down the one big hill near my house.

  9. #9
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    Well, chains are cheap. I think that some bike shops assemble them wrong, seems like a lot of new riders break chains. Are you sure you chipped a tooth in the chainring? Usually some of the teeth are shaped differently to help shifting.

  10. #10
    Bikezilla Mazama's Avatar
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    Damn. I often wonder about my chain. It is over a year and 3,000 miles old. When will it go?
    14,000 miles and rolling...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammond9705 View Post
    Well, chains are cheap. I think that some bike shops assemble them wrong, seems like a lot of new riders break chains. Are you sure you chipped a tooth in the chainring? Usually some of the teeth are shaped differently to help shifting.
    As I was cleaning my bike this afternoon I noticed some of the gears on the cassette were what i thought bent of mishsaped. So from what your saying this is normal and not to worry. They were not grossly mishapen, but there was a difference.

  12. #12
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    I would disagree with this second part... It would only mean that someone pushed themselves to their limit... What would be the shame in that?
    None at all. A man's reach should exceed his grasp, otherwise what's a Heaven for?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    I would disagree with this second part... It would only mean that someone pushed themselves to their limit... What would be the shame in that?
    If you can physically walk you can ride, so you are not at your limit.

  14. #14
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesspal View Post
    As I was cleaning my bike this afternoon I noticed some of the gears on the cassette were what i thought bent of mishsaped. So from what your saying this is normal and not to worry. They were not grossly mishapen, but there was a difference.
    Yeah, they ramp the teeth to assist in a crisper shift.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  15. #15
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    Chains can be used and abused for years and 1000s of miles before having any problems, and generally do not break due to simply being worn out. And I have never heard of a person so big or so strong they could break a good chain through sheer crank torque. Chains break because they are damaged - either by rough shifting under load or by a mangled tooth on the cogs. Or they break because they were not properly installed in the first place.

    On new bikes, the shop where you buy the bike very rarely actually installs the chain - it is installed in the Taiwanese or chinese factory where the bike originated.

    And the half-width chainring tooth is probably a 'shift gate' - a tooth with some material removed to allow the chain to pass up onto the next chainring.

  16. #16
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesspal View Post
    If you can physically walk you can ride, so you are not at your limit.
    Not true. Your muscles are used differently when riding.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    Not true. Your muscles are used differently when riding.
    Thats right. And you can walk at ~0 mph if you have to... there is a minimum speed for riding so you don't fall over.

    No shame in walking. Walking is not giving up - sitting is.

  18. #18
    Senior Member davin1023's Avatar
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    The tooth that I mentioned being broken is also a different color on the "Broken" side. The ring is anodized or painted black, the broken part is raw metallic.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    Yeah, they ramp the teeth to assist in a crisper shift.
    Yes ramping that was a good description of what i was seeing. Glad to know it is normal.

  20. #20
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    sram power links are great for situations like this ... carry a spare and a few links along with your multi tool (mine has a chain breaker) chain snaps you toss on the link and off you ride...
    mtbr clyd moderator

  21. #21
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Glad you weren't too far from home when I happened. My first walk of shame was 7 miles, 95 degrees, no wallet, and the cell phone was conveniently located on my kitchen counter.

    I'd second (or third) the recommendation to buy a multi tool with a chain breaker. Just be careful not to push the pin all the way out.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Wavy's Avatar
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    I LOVE JRO stories

    I was just riding along, innocently minding my own business...
    “Next time you're in your car, at 80 Kilometers per hour, strip down to your underwear and jump out. That's what it's like to crash in a professional bike race.” - Jonathan Vaughters

  23. #23
    triathlete? roadie? MTB? caelric's Avatar
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    Broken chain is not a walk of shame. Walk of shame is a flat tire, AND you are too much of a weight weenie to carry a spare tube. That's a walk of shame.

    Or, if I remember correctly from my college days, the walk of shame was when a girl went to a frat party, got drunk, ended up sleeping with one (or more) of the frat boys, and then had to walk out of the frat house the next morning, in her party clothes from the night before, in front of all the frat brothers.

    Disclaimer: I was never in a frat, I was just told that was what a walk of shame was.
    Go Fast By Any Means, my triathlon/motor sports blog

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    Chains can be used and abused for years and 1000s of miles before having any problems, and generally do not break due to simply being worn out. And I have never heard of a person so big or so strong they could break a good chain through sheer crank torque. Chains break because they are damaged - either by rough shifting under load or by a mangled tooth on the cogs. Or they break because they were not properly installed in the first place.
    <SNIP>
    I was reading an article the other day that was going over the changes to the SRAM Redline Grouppo. One of the changes was to strengthen the chain as the pros were breaking them. The author quickly mentioned that "normal" riders would never see this problem and was only a problem for top pro riders.... So chains can fail but you've got to be pushing it with the kind of power Lance Armstrong can deliverl. For us mortals the previous poster mentioned the most likely reasons.

    For me a chain lasts about 2000 miles on my hybrid. That gets me from Spring through an entire Buffalo winter. By the next spring my chain has seen some serious abuse from all the Winter slop (salt, slush + road grit) that I ride through on a regular basis. For my road bike I'll find out how its holding up in the future. So far I've only got 1000 miles on it, but that is pretty much only on descent weather days.

    Happy riding,
    André

  25. #25
    Flying Under the Radar X-LinkedRider's Avatar
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    I have more than 2000 miles on my stock chain with no adjustments, just regular lubrication.
    12' SuperiorLite SL Pro w/ Sram Rival | 10' SuperiorLite SL Club w/ Sram Force | 06' Giant FCR (Dropbar) w/ Shimano 5700 | 10' GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc

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