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  1. #1
    Senior Member clfjmpr44's Avatar
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    Chain Suck Sucks, Why do I get it?

    Do single track quite often here in Northern VA and have recently been getting major chain suck. Nothing hurts a climb more than pushing the crank and having it lock up. This occurs most frequently when my components get bogged down with mud, but I have also had it occur in dry riding conditions. Why does this happen and how do I fix? Is my chain too loose? too old? or is it not lubed properly? Any insight would be appreciated...
    A
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  2. #2
    Senior Member GreenFix's Avatar
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    Obvious reasons:
    The mud alone would do it.
    Insufficient lubrication would do it.

    Less Obvious:
    A friend of mine had a chain with a bent link that was giving him chainsuck. He would encounter it on almost every ride we went on. Once he discovered the chain problem and replaced the chain he never had chainsuck again.

    There are probably other reasons that I am not aware of.

    Happy riding.

  3. #3
    Senior Member clfjmpr44's Avatar
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    Thanks Greenfix, I will check the chain out. Anybody else have insight?
    2009 Salsa El Santo
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  4. #4
    mmm babaghanouj. rasheed's Avatar
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    if it was a problem you've been experiencing since you got the bike, i'd suggest to check your chain length or the chain tension. if it's too loose, it can cause chainsuck.

    but if i read what you posted correctly, you said this problem started fairly recently. i'd also check your cranks to see if there are any bent teeth in the chainrings that might be catching the chain.

    current ride: 2003 norco vps fluid 3.0 (custom build).



  5. #5
    DocRay
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    deraileur spring worn out?

  6. #6
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Are you riding a Trek or a Gary Fisher? They are famous for chain suck.

    Check your chainrings. If there are burrs on the teeth, that'll lead to chainsuck. You can get creative with a round file or a dremmel tool to knock the burrs off. I've also seen where some people with flip their chainrings over. I don't recommend this as the ramps and pins to improve shifting will be rendered useless.

    Another thing to try is to remove one link from your chain. Remember one link = two 1/2 links one inside 1/2 link and one outside 1/2 link. The shorter chain will provide a bit more tension on the rear derailleur spring.

    Keep your drivetrain clean and well lubed. Also make sure you're not in a "cross-chaining" situation.

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  7. #7
    Senior Member GreenFix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
    Are you riding a Trek or a Gary Fisher? They are famous for chain suck.

    L8R
    Why is that? It is funny you write that. The guy I was riding with that got chain suck rides a Sugar.

    edited for spelling.

  8. #8
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I worked at a shop that sold Gary Fisher's. The Sugar's and the Trek Fuel's are notorius for chainsuck. I think their chainline is "off". Their recommendation now that I think about it was to upgrade your chain to XT/Ultegra level.

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  9. #9
    Senior Member clfjmpr44's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice
    it is a 1999 Specialized Stumpjumper...what do you mean by "cross-chaining" situation?
    2009 Salsa El Santo
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  10. #10
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Cross chaining happens when the chain is forced to go from a large gear in the front chainrings to a large gear in the rear cassette (or vice versa). Cross chaining produces stress on the chain that it is not designed to handle. Too much cross chaining could actually break the chain.
    In short avoid big-big and small- small combinations as it puts the chain at an angle which can cause accelerated wear and chain suck among other problems

  11. #11
    Senior Member clfjmpr44's Avatar
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    Gracias Raiyn
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  12. #12
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clfjmpr44
    Gracias Raiyn
    De nada clfjmpr44

  13. #13
    Senior Member MudPie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
    Are you riding a Trek or a Gary Fisher? They are famous for chain suck.
    Before I bought my Fisher Cake 2DLX, I read it had major chain suck problems (www.mtbr.com). I contacted Fisher and they were aware of it and said they fixed the problem by using a thread locking compound on the rear suspension pivot bearing. This implied the drive line would get out of alignment and cause chainsuck.

    I did buy the Cake and in over 500 miles of riding the dry Southern CA hardpack, I've never had a chainsuck incident. I ride 60% fire road, 40% single track.

    I used to get occasional chainsuck on a Schwinn Homegrown hardtail in the mud / wet conditions; however, I learned that a clean and well lubed chain prevented chainsuck.

    I am a firm believer in a clean chain. I clean and lube my chain after every 2 or 3 rides.

    Chainsuck ain't fun.

  14. #14
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Clean the chain extremely well and lubricate, usually takes care of it. If it doesn't your chainrings are probably worn. Replace them, the cassette and the chain at the same time ideally.

  15. #15
    Senior Member clfjmpr44's Avatar
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    Thanks guys and gals, all good tips.
    A
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    "There comes a time in one's life, when you must take a risk, or live forever with your dreams." [Late Extreme Skier Trevor Petersen]

  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    Clean the chain extremely well and lubricate, usually takes care of it. If it doesn't your chainrings are probably worn. Replace them, the cassette and the chain at the same time ideally.
    It will only get rid of it temporarily. But chainsuck will return.
    Good crank rings will NOT suck not matter how muddy or poorly lubricated your chain is.

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