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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-03-09, 09:31 PM   #1
TheCappucinoKid
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Flinstoning it back home.

Actually, I was on my way to a friend's house tonight (in the city) in another district, enjoying the ride on my Minelli quasi-mountain bike, when my gears caught and I heard an unusual sound from my chain that didn't sound like a good sound, and pretty much stopped me cold (but thank God it didn't happen when I was speeding downhill!). The chain had broken (a link came loose). First time that's happened to me. Maybe its because I'm undoing my chains now to properly clean them, and it weakens links, I'm not sure why this happened. But it meant having to walk the rest of the way, so.... I invented a new sport. "Curb surfing". It consisted of scraping my Crocs against the sidewalk the rest of the way, to help push the bike along. Where I couldn't use the curb to propel myself, I had lowered the seat and used the pavement directly, to push my foot along. It certainly wasn't biking, but it worked out a lot better than walking the rest of the way! I got there faster than I otherwise would have.

So.... if you see people biking "strangely", they have no chain on their chainring, and their seats are lower than you'd expect, and they're pushing themselves along the curb.... well, that's me that started that.
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Old 09-03-09, 09:42 PM   #2
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Old 09-03-09, 09:55 PM   #3
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Glad you made it home ok. Why are you taking your chains apart to clean them? I suspect messing with them like that would compromise the overall strength of the chain in the long run.
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Old 09-03-09, 10:48 PM   #4
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Yabba dabba dooooooo.....
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Old 09-03-09, 10:51 PM   #5
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zch1oNB-nGc
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Old 09-03-09, 11:33 PM   #6
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Gee, that brings back memories..... Well, obviously, they stole the idea from me. Except I wasn't going that fast on my newly converted "kick bike", much less fast enough to race another biker who lost his chain. I don't know if they're being powered by refried beans, or what. Still can't quite believe people actually -want- to ride around on a bike without a chain. I wasn't smiling as much as they were in the video, either. I imagine when faced with a hill, the ol' "kickbike" becomes a "tugbike", or a "lugbike".
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Old 09-03-09, 11:35 PM   #7
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Glad you made it home ok. Why are you taking your chains apart to clean them?
I suspect messing with them like that would compromise the overall strength of the chain in the long run.
That might've been it, yeah, but I'm not sure I remember if I took the chain apart on this bike or not. I take them apart because its the best way to clean and derust them (even if I wasn't too cheap to buy a special chain cleaner).
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Old 09-04-09, 05:54 AM   #8
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Wouldn't one of those sram master links on your chain prevent it from weakening if you are thoroughly cleaning a chain?
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Old 09-04-09, 06:00 AM   #9
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That's what I recommend. (There are other "master links" available for non-SRAM chains, too; at least, the local REI bike shop sold me one that works.)
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Old 09-04-09, 06:16 AM   #10
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It consisted of scraping my Crocs against the sidewalk.
Crocs for the lose
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Old 09-04-09, 06:18 AM   #11
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I've had that happen to me too. I also take the chain off to clean it, because my chain gets so filthy so fast that dumping it into a jar of mineral spirits and shaking is about the only way to get it clean.

On the day it happened to me, I only had to go about 2 miles then I got to an Ace hardware store; they had master links for 99 cents; I actually buy my master links there now since they're as good as anyone else's master links (actually better in many respects) and at bike places they sell for $5.

I just carry a spare master link now.
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Old 09-05-09, 11:10 PM   #12
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Crocs for the lose
I take it English is not your first language. Could you translate that into English please?
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Old 09-05-09, 11:16 PM   #13
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I've had that happen to me too. I also take the chain off to clean it, because my chain gets so filthy so fast that dumping it into a jar of mineral spirits and shaking is about the only way to get it clean.

On the day it happened to me, I only had to go about 2 miles then I got to an Ace hardware store; they had master links for 99 cents; I actually buy my master links there now since they're as good as anyone else's master links (actually better in many respects) and at bike places they sell for $5.

I just carry a spare master link now.
Yeah, master links are a good idea, but after fixing my chain, it happened again under load when going up a hill (though I didn't have to "kick bike" my bike too far this time, as I was closer to home and could get another bike...), so I decided I'm going to bite the bullet and just buy a new chain!
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Old 09-06-09, 01:02 AM   #14
imi
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Have I understood this correctly? you can put an SRAM powerlink on a Shimano chain (if their the same width? (sorry if this was dumb)...
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Old 09-06-09, 05:23 AM   #15
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I look forward to a revival of the "Dandy Horse." What a simply dashing idea to enhance a Sunday stroll; quite like a parade, I'd surmise!

Depending on how far you have to go, couldn't you keep one of those chain tools in your bag and fix it on the spot, especially if you're comfortable taking it apart? I don't think you even need a master link in a bind.

Like you said, I'd look at the cost/benefit of getting your chain extra clean vs. the wear and tear of taking it apart so often. I've seen bikes on the commuter rack with chains so rusty and dirty that I want to clean them myself; but those bikes are there every day just like mine. I'd say keeping it clean and lubricated without removing it should be enough, except maybe once or twice a year.
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Old 09-06-09, 11:07 AM   #16
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Depending on how far you have to go, couldn't you keep one of those chain tools in your bag and fix it on the spot, especially if you're comfortable taking it apart? I don't think you even need a master link in a bind.
If you're asking me, yeah I could have done that had I remembered to bring my chain tool with me. But it would have only lasted until I put a heavy load on the chain again. Particularly if I don't bring my pliers along as well, to do a better job of securing the pin. A replacement link would have been better, because it would fix it right. In fact, that just made me realize I don't really have to buy a new chain, it'd be cheaper if I can purchase a new link!

BTW, I've only taken my chains apart -once-, not "so often". I think there are a lot of assumptions being made here about why it broke. I'm not at all certain I had taken this particular chain apart (I have several bikes I work on, so trying to keep up...), or that it was this particular link I handled. I only take them apart if the chain is well rusted, to properly restore the chain. The pin was loose in one of the links, hence the problem. This could have happened on its own. I have always had plenty of resistance when screwing the pin back on a link, so never noticed any time when my handling permanently loosened the pin.
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Old 09-06-09, 02:11 PM   #17
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I commute 32 miles a day, and have 18000 miles on my Trek 7000 over the four years I've been commuting. I work 2-3 jobs, have animals, and am very active in community organizations. I simply have no time for bicycle repair or even much maintenance. I try to oil the chain fairly often, but mostly I just resign myself to buying a new one every 3000 miles or so. A tune-up at my LBS every Autumn (or whenever I crash and burn) seems well worth the expense.
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Old 09-08-09, 02:25 AM   #18
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Your chain breaking is punishment for riding a bike in Crocs. Joke. I guess your method of getting home under the circumstances was a bit faster and comfortable than just walking the bike.
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Old 09-08-09, 05:22 AM   #19
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Your chain breaking is punishment for riding a bike in Crocs.
When I brought that point up I was accused of English not being my first language.
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Old 09-08-09, 07:34 AM   #20
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Have I understood this correctly? you can put an SRAM powerlink on a Shimano chain (if their the same width? (sorry if this was dumb)...
Yep, you understood it correctly. No, it wasn't dumb. Inexperienced, perhaps, but not dumb.
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Old 09-08-09, 07:43 AM   #21
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Yep, you understood it correctly. No, it wasn't dumb. Inexperienced, perhaps, but not dumb.
Won't work on an IG Shimano chain tho, found that out from experience. Will work on a HG Shimano chain.
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Old 09-08-09, 07:45 AM   #22
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In my case, a KMC master link, not an SRAM one.
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