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Old 03-23-09, 10:00 PM   #1
Mojo Slim
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How can you lose your chain?

So, 7 of us are barrelling down a nice hill we often ride. As is our tradition, the first one down stops at the bottom at a turn out and makes sure everyone gets down safely. Fred pulls over and we all pass by as he waves to us.

We don't see him again.

I get a call on my cell. It's Fred. Bad connection and a car goes by, but I think he says, "I lost my chain. It's not on my bike!"

We head back to where we last saw him, waving to us as we pass at 25 mph. He has apparently headed back up the hill looking for his chain. But lo, I see it in the road, not 100 ft from his original spot. We call him and he coasts back down to us.

Apparently, the Quik-link on his chain broke and the chain slipped out, quietly, just before he stopped. When we all passed him, he tried to pull in behind us, but without a chain, he found it difficult. We were going to fast to hear his frantic cries.

He was lucky the chain didn't get caught up in his wheel. It would have been ugly. ALL of us had extra Quik-links with us, and we were soon on our way. But we will not let Fred forget this. It was Karma because he made us pound up a bunch of hills today.
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Old 03-24-09, 01:25 AM   #2
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There are better ways of knobbling a fast riders bike that do not get noticed. Just face it- when you lose a chain- you do notice it but a bit of brake rub or 60psi in the tyres just slows him down to your pace.
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Old 03-24-09, 06:28 AM   #3
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Is his name really Fred?
Every time I've lost a chain, I felt it happen, and heard it as it exited the bike. His chain must be very well oiled.
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Old 03-24-09, 08:16 AM   #4
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Every time I've lost a chain, I felt it happen, and heard it as it exited the bike. His chain must be very well oiled.
I agree, and I'm having a difficult time understanding how this could happen. I've broken several chains, but never actally "lost" one. And each time a chain failed on me, it was under tension, so I knew it the second it happened.

The OP implies (but doesn't state) that the Quicklink may have faileld while coasting (he says "barrelling") so I suppose it's possible that the link came apart when the chain went from tension to slack . . . but the OP says the Quicklink "broke" (different from it coming apart, as it would if it were being removed on purpose).

Was this a SRAM Quicklink, or Wippermann, or some other brand? If possible, Mojo Slim, please advise exactly what failed about the link. I use these links (mostly Wippermann) on several of my bikes, so this is scary stuff!

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Old 03-24-09, 08:23 AM   #5
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I never use quick links. I install a chain and don't take it apart until it's time to replace. Cleaning is easy with citrus cleaner and a rag.
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Old 03-24-09, 09:51 AM   #6
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I had a problem two years ago. I'd been experimenting with lubes and I found one that was too slippery. Lost 3 QLs in as many rides. I quit using that lube, and haven't lost another one since. Go figure. At least I always knew when I lost my chain, so I didn't have to go searching for it.
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Old 03-24-09, 04:39 PM   #7
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Feeble excuse... It's not the chain, it's the engine!
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Old 03-24-09, 10:05 PM   #8
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Happened to me once with a brand new Sram chain. Definitely knew right away & I don't see how you could lose a chain & not know it. My QL came loose when I coasted around a corner downtown & couldn't find the piece but I was only a block from my favorite LBS & they had me going again in no time. I always carry extra links now but its never happened again. Don
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Old 03-24-09, 10:15 PM   #9
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Update: I asked Fred (yes, that's his real name) what brand he uses. KMC chain and quik-link and a very light grade of oil.
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Old 03-25-09, 08:01 AM   #10
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Feeble excuse... It's not the chain, it's the engine!
That's just what I was thinking. 15 or so years ago we held our last BBB ride (bicycling, beer & bar-b-q). This is an event that my wife and I held for neighbors and friends. We mapped out three routes ranging from 20 to 100 miles all ending back at our home for the beer and bar-b-q portion of the event. During this last event, a female neighbor got caught by her husband deliberately slicing her rear tire's sidewall with a small pocket knife.... so, the sag wagon would have to come and pick her up.
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Old 03-25-09, 10:38 PM   #11
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Here's a little post script, not worthy of a new thread, but you may find it interesting or helpful.

While riding today, B3 (the third "Bob" in our group) broke his chain. It didn't completely come off. The pin on just came out enough to let one side of a link come out and get bent. Here's the interesting (at least to me) part: We fixed his 9-speed DA chain with a 10-speed Quik-Link. He rode home 30 miles on it.
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Old 03-26-09, 08:17 AM   #12
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&& if his bike had only rear coaster brakes,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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Old 03-26-09, 10:26 AM   #13
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Next time this happens, reassemble the chain, put it back on the road, and then call out "Hey, Fred, here it is! -- Hey, that's weird..."
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Old 03-26-09, 11:55 AM   #14
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Here's a little post script, not worthy of a new thread, but you may find it interesting or helpful.

While riding today, B3 (the third "Bob" in our group) broke his chain. It didn't completely come off. The pin on just came out enough to let one side of a link come out and get bent. Here's the interesting (at least to me) part: We fixed his 9-speed DA chain with a 10-speed Quik-Link. He rode home 30 miles on it.
Hmmm, I'm not surprised. Sheldon often mentioned how many bike components worked quite well together regardless of manufacturers claims. To quote Elmer Fudd: " thew's something awfwy scwewy going on awound hew".
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Old 03-26-09, 08:43 PM   #15
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I use SRAM chains exclusively, but I assemble them with my rivet press, without the master link. I do carry a master link for emergencies, but I have never broken a chain. I do not remove the chain for cleaning, and I do replace it before it hits Sheldon's magic 1/2% elongation. I have heard of several instances of broken 9-speed and 10-speed Shimano chains -- there was a reason old-school chain rivets were designed to protrude slightly through the sides of the outer links.
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