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  1. #1
    train safe buelito's Avatar
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    one more reason for riding a fixed-gear bike

    Had a bit of a quirk going home last night. As I stood on the pedals to power over a little bump and hill, I heard a crack down near the bottom bracket. I kept pedaling, and everything seemed to be OK. I glanced down, and the chain was still taught, no loose feeling in the bottom bracket… figured I’d look at it when I got home. Then I started noticing a grinding sound every second pedal stroke. I figured it was something with the chain, but I was still 18 miles from home, so I figured if I rode sitting down, there would be no undue strain on the chain, and whatever it was would work until I got home. The noise was nerve-racking. I found myself counting how many times I heard it… I would reach the mid 500’s and start again. I rode over the hills to home sitting in the saddle. I was a little slower than usual, but it was on purpose.

    Once I got home, I looked at the bike to see what was wrong so I could fix it. At first I couldn’t find anything. Then I turned the bike upside down and turned the pedals. There was something with the chain. It looked a little out of whack on one link. I looked closely, and at first thought I had lost half the master link. Then I realized I had broken a link. One of the sides had disappeared, and it was being held together by the two rivets and the other side plate.

    One more good reason for riding a fixed gear bike… since the chain line is straight, there is no lateral pull on the chain, so even missing a plate, the chain was able to stay attached. I rode it like that for 18 miles. Also, the constant pedaling meant there was no slack in the chain (not that there is much anyway), so the chain held together. Obviously I need a new chain, but I think this time, I will change it sooner than the 8000+ miles I had on this one.

    Train safe-
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    avatar is on Flagstaff Mtn, Boulder, Colorado--on the fixie--

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buelito View Post
    I rode it like that for 18 miles.
    That's really remarkable! If you'd have asked me to bet on whether the chain would hold up that long, I'd have lost.

    Uh - What kind of chain was it? That's a pretty strong recommendation.

  3. #3
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    I'm at a loss for understanding how that side plate disappeared. Since it wasn't there for inspection there is no way to know, but I wonder if the plate failed or worked it way off the pins. The crack you heard makes me think there was a sudden failure of some sort, or perhaps something kicked up into the chain? Interesting mystery. I must say that I'm not sure I would have risked a continuation with the ride without getting off to inspect while out on the road. Have had a chain snap and coming down hard on the top tube, and having had a rear chain stay snap, ripping out the rear wheel, I stop to check whenever I hear a noise I shouldn't be hearing. Glad you made it home without incident. I think you got very lucky.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

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    Although you remained seated while climbing, I'm surprised it didn't let go completely. Did you, by chance, eat "Lucky Charms" for breakfast?

  5. #5
    Gilpin County Wheelman SKYLAB's Avatar
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    and how was it riding that fixie up Flagstaff? Thats a haul on any bike.
    And you know that notion just crossed my mind.

  6. #6
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Amazing. It speaks well for the other half of the link doesn't it????

  7. #7
    train safe buelito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Uh - What kind of chain was it? That's a pretty strong recommendation.
    SRAM--

    The mystery still remains as to why it failed... Maybe something got into it--it did rain on Monday, so there was debris on the trail...

    I agree I was very lucky. Standing was qiuckly ruled out, as if something fails when you are standing, you will fall and can hurt yourself. Sitting I felt pretty comfortable.

    As to the question on how it was riding up Flagstaff sitting-- as you can tell in the avatar, I was standing

    train safe-
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  8. #8
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Do us a favor a measure the length of that old chain. After 8k miles, I'll bet it has stretched by more than Sheldon's standard of 1/2 percent = 1/16" per 24 half-links.

    I have never experienced a chain failure, but I did break out the roller on one chain, which made it clatter every time it came around on the cogs.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  9. #9
    Has opinion, will express
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    There is a maxim that says chains most often fail where they are joined when fitted. Of course, there is no way to mark the rivet used

    I am presuming this one was joined by the original rivet rather than the SRAM proprietory link. Is that so?
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  10. #10
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Instead of "one more reason for riding a fixed gear bike," I would say this is "one more reason for having two brakes on a fixed gear bike."
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  11. #11
    train safe buelito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    There is a maxim that says chains most often fail where they are joined when fitted. Of course, there is no way to mark the rivet used

    I am presuming this one was joined by the original rivet rather than the SRAM proprietory link. Is that so?
    It failed at another rivet-- I used the proprietary link (which was still attached well).

    As to the other comments, yes the chain was stretched-- by over the 1/16th inch as mentioned in a post above.

    ALso, I like what you said about the title-- that it should be one more reason for having 2 brakes on the fixie.

    It is back together again with a new chain--I was away for the weekend-- two of my siblings are now old enough to join this forum (twins, born on July 4)--and we spent the weekend celebrating their combined century of years.

    train safe-
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  12. #12
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    One more good reason for riding a fixed gear bike… since the chain line is straight, there is no lateral pull on the chain,
    No need to go overbaord. The chain line is straight on bikes with internal hub gears, like the Sturmey Archer.
    Then you can still stand on it, but with 3 or 7 speeds you most likely won't need to.

  13. #13
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    I'm amazed that the links didn't slide off from the pins with no side plate. Presumably that last sideplate would have bent from the pedalling force and angled the pins so it should have been easy for the inner links to slide off.

    I'm amazed it didn't fall apart.

    It's also a good story to convince me to carry at least an extra SRAM power link or a bit of chain and a chain breaking tool ALL the time instead of just on longer day rides or trail rides.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  14. #14
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    My luck riding the single speed yesterday morning was not so easy to repair as yours. I was climbing a steep hill when the tire hit the chain stay. I thought I had broken a spoke but I had torn the drive side spoke flange right off the coaster brake hub!
    [SIGPIC]http://www.bikeforums.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=57360&dateline=1197386754[/SIGPIC]
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  15. #15
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=n4zou;7035051]My luck riding the single speed yesterday morning was not so easy to repair as yours. I was climbing a steep hill when the tire hit the chain stay. I thought I had broken a spoke but I had torn the drive side spoke flange right off the coaster brake hub!QUOTE]

    WOW,

    You must be extremely strong to do that! I've never seen a whole flange come off a hub before.

    Rick / OCRR

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