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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 11-07-08, 01:08 PM   #1
uspspro
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Snapped Chain!

Last night we snapped or first drive chain (not the timing chain).

The chain was a Dura-Ace 9-spd chain, it snapped when we hit the first hill in our night ride last night. (Had to go home and do the ride on the solos... luckily we were close to home).

Anyway it sucked because I didn't have any of the joining pins. So even with a chain tool, there was nothing that I could do (this time).

I was wondering what everyone's preference is for 9-spd chains. KMC or SRAM with master links maybe?

Lightweight, strength and smooth shifting are all important to me.

My cassette is a 9-spd SRAM 11-32 my chainrings are made by FSA.
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Old 11-07-08, 01:50 PM   #2
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I like HG93 chains. If you're running Shimano, you should always carry spare pins, if not for you, for someone else. And a quicklink. If you're really cool, you'll have both 9 and 10 speed quicklinks. They don't weigh anything. I've fixed Shimano chains by just reusing the pressed out pin. That's gotten people home so far. KMC chains don't seem that great.
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Old 11-07-08, 01:51 PM   #3
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We use a ten spd. dura ace chain on our tandem,..but I use a whipperman link.
I like them,..makes it easy to get the chain off,..and if we ever are in the same
situation, it's a pretty easy fix. I don't feel there is any sacrifice in shifting, but
not sure about the strength thing, but I am sure it won't affect your weight in
any meaningful way.
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Old 11-07-08, 01:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I've fixed Shimano chains by just reusing the pressed out pin. That's gotten people home so far.
I've done that before too, but being close to home, it was no big deal. However, you're right. If I was just trying to get home, I would have done that (although I still should have had a pin).

I wouldn't trust the pressed out pin re-pressed in for finishing this ride (at night no less) considering we had just started and had all the fun stuff (hills) ahead of us.

See profile in bikely link. This is our night time training ride, everything is steep (not necessarily too high). Steepness was the goal in choosing a route. (4100 feet in just 33 miles, and it start and ends in the same place!).

http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...d-Long-Version
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Old 11-07-08, 02:19 PM   #5
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I would say your best bet is to tell your stoker to lay off the "flaxseed oil".

Oh, and maybe carry some spare pins. Not that I ever have.
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Old 11-07-08, 02:25 PM   #6
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My philosophy on fixing snapped chains:
1. I never trust a chain that has snapped. That being said, pushing an old pin back in, possibly removing a link is an acceptable fix, since I know that I will be throwing the chain away as soon as I finish the ride. With continued use the chain will definitely snap at the reinstalled link but it is not likely to happen in just one day of riding. I do however avoid out of the saddle riding and also any cross chaining that could be a problem from shortening the chain. If you have a pin to install, especially if you have a lot of miles left to go, then use it, but still throw the chain away when the ride is over.

2. I have talked with a few people who have had chain breakage that lead to a fall and the conversations all begin the same way. "It just happened! No warning whatsoever!", but on further questioning, their drivetrain didn't really sound all that perfect. Before chains snap, a pin will usually pull out far enough to catch a tooth on the cogs. This will produce a slight click that might feel similar to a loose bottom bracket click however unlike the BB click, it will not allign with any particular orientation of the pedal stroke and will not occur on every pedal stroke. It will however occur at regular intervals. The sound may also disappear when in the lowest cog on the rear as there will not be a lower (bigger) gear for the separating link to catch on. This is what I have experience happen on a Shimano chain at least. I have seen Whipperman chains that developed hairline cracks in the links and these might actually fail without warning.

3. If you hear this or any new sounds coming from you bike, you should try to find the cause. Most creaks and clicks are due to "non critical" issues such as seat post/seat rail creaks. While these sounds do not indicate an impending critical failure, they do tend to mask the impending critical failure noise should one occur.
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Old 11-07-08, 02:41 PM   #7
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Chains... Shimano DA/XTR bought on sale or other 'better' chains from Shimano (Ultegra/XT) or SRAM.


Superlinks...



I've used Forster SuperLink / re-useable links for the last 10 years as well as the SRAM PowerLinks (because the latter came with new chains) and the Superlinks are, well, super.

The SuperLink III (Green Card) works with 10spd; SuperLink II (Pink Card) works with 8/9 speed, SuperLink I (Yellow Card) works with 8/7 speed, but are hard to find.

They are available at Branford bike for $9.98/ea (ouch). http://www.branfordbike.com/chains/chains4.html#item5

Or you can save $3 or $4 by buying them from Lickton's: http://www.lickbike.com/productpage....9;0338-10'
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Old 11-08-08, 04:03 PM   #8
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It may be a mountain bike and we may be a powerfull team but the only chain I have ever broken on the Tandem was a Dure Ace 9 speed chain.

I always use XT chains and never had a problem- but for some reason I bought a Dure Ace for the annual replacement. Fitted it and ran it for an hour to take the stretch out and cleaned and lubed it in preparation for a Long offroad ride. 10 minutes into the ride and the DureAce chain broke. Luckily I had last years XT chain that I had replaced the week before in the top bag. Finished the ride and looked at the Dure Ace chain. A side plate had snapped and it was not on the rivet link. On top of that- There were several side plates that did not look good to me so I don't think it was the fitting of the chain at Fault.

Then like a fool- as I always buy chains in pairs- I fitted the other New DureAce to the Tandem. It lasted 3 rides before it snapped again. Once again on a side plate. Since then I have stayed with what I know and it is Shimano XT Chains.
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Old 11-08-08, 04:11 PM   #9
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Superlink

Never seen a Superlink before. Looks like you can install these without a chaintool (once you've removed pins from adjacent links). Is it easy to install? Do you feel it's a long-term fix?
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Old 11-08-08, 04:20 PM   #10
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Never seen a Superlink before. Looks like you can install these without a chaintool (once you've removed pins from adjacent links). Is it easy to install? Do you feel it's a long-term fix?
Yes, it's a no-tools re-useable link. They can become hard to remove if a chain gets gunked-up; however, a shot of WD40 frees them up. Of course, this is also true of all the other re-useable links.

Long term fix? They're pretty much installed on all of our bikes and have been for the past decade. I'm not sure I've ever worn one out and always have one or two in the seat pack of our tandem.
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Old 11-08-08, 05:18 PM   #11
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All good suggestions from everyone. Just another thought from a prevention standpoint. I'm wondering if you shifted when there was too much tension on the chain. When I first started riding tandems, I didn't realize that the speed scrubs off pretty fast when you hit a hill. As a consequence I had too much pressure on the chain and blew it apart when I shifted. Also a long walk home and not a lot of fun
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