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What causes this? Chain, cogs worn... something else?

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What causes this? Chain, cogs worn... something else?

Old 10-09-15, 05:17 PM
  #1  
bikerbobbbb
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What causes this? Chain, cogs worn... something else?

Normally I use the largest front cog (of three cogs on the front... 7 on the back cassette I guess). So this doesn't affect most riding I'm doing. I commute.

When I'm stopped and there's traffic I have to cross, I want to accelerate fast. So I put the gears on the smallest or medium cog on the front.

If my bike is on the smallest of middle cog on the front and if it's on the largest cogs on the back cassette, when I push down hard to accelerate fast, I frequently get some kind of chain skip. I think it's the chain skipping. I tested it out more today.

When it's in that range of gear, I press down hard. I hear a chain skip/pop sound. There's no push back on the pedals, so I end up tipping forward a bit. That gets annoying fast. Then when I pedal, there's nothing pushing back. I start messing with the gears, flipping them, and eventually it catch again. I'm pretty sure this is the chain being off the front cog set. That explains why there's absolutely nothing to push against. And also why I see the chain off and am looking at that later while flipping gears. Flipping gears works to get the chain back on.

Usually, there's a car heading toward me, so I'm pushing with my feet to get out of the way, swearing, and starting to flip the gears to get some traction with the pedals.

So the chain is "skipping off" the front cog set I guess in that scenario. Small or medium up front. Larger in the back.

I'm not really abusing it or stomping on it. I'm putting solid pressure on it. I messed with it a little today, more toward stomping, but if I put a certain amount of pressure on it in that set up, it will skip off.

What's the cause?
Gears are worn? And I can replace the cogs up front and that will fix it?
Chain is worn? And I can replace the chain? New chain, chains... That grips more, problem solved?
Chain needs to be tighter or something need to be adjusted so it can't slip off?


It's gotten annoying enough to look into more. I do have some pics on my other spoke thread with pics of the cassette at least. I should probably post the front cog set.... That probably involves removing the pedals, etc.... I wonder if I could do a repair like that myself, if it's the cogs that need to be replaced.

There are a couple roads that don't have a light or a stop sign. I need to cross near the middle, and that's doable. There would be time to walk the bike across the road. I want to just pop across on the bike though of course.

I lubed up the chain last weekend. I'm really doubting that it's though. It's been lubed before. I don't remember this happening when the bike was new. I'm leaning toward worn cogs or worn chain.

The bike is from 2009. I've been riding it a lot more over the last few years. I'd say.... about 6 miles/day on weekdays. Maybe 4 over the weekend. So probably ~10 miles/week, give or take.
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Old 10-09-15, 05:21 PM
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We can't really say what's the problem from our long distance but I'd speculate that the chain is well worn. I also suspect thet the cogs and rings are so unevenly worn that only some combos are miss matched enough to produce classic chain/tooth skip. A visit to some one who knows about these things (like LBS) should get you a very quick and more accurate assessment. As you're finding out this can be more then just frustrating, it borders on a safety issue. Andy.
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Old 10-09-15, 05:46 PM
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+1 on getting a new chain. It's the cheapest and best place to start. AND it may be time to replace your cables if you haven't done so in the last year or two.
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Old 10-09-15, 07:19 PM
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You are shifting down before you stop, right?
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Old 10-09-15, 09:53 PM
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Expanding a little on ltxi's post above... You need to shift while you're pedaling, under light-to-moderate load. If you shift while you're stopped (or while the cranks aren't turning forward), the chain won't actually move to another sprocket until you start pedaling. And when you start pedaling at that point, especially pedaling hard from a dead stop... well, that won't work too well. If you're lucky, you'll just get some skip while the chain moves to the selected chainring or cog. If you're unlucky, your chain could end up getting wedged where it's not supposed to go, causing some damage.

If that's not what you're experiencing, it's certainly possible that worn components are the culprit. Worn chains can cause slippage, like Andy described above. Worn freewheels/cassettes can cause slippage, especially when paired with a new chain. Worn chainrings (the gears up front) don't typically cause slippage like you're describing.
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Old 10-09-15, 11:13 PM
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Usually worn chain rings caused by a worn or stretched chain.

The smart way to keep the chainrings, and cassette from getting too worn is to keep the bike on a four chain rotation, from when everything is new. You swap chains every month or so (no more than 1000 miles), to keep everything at about the same level or chain life (stretch). This will just about quadruple the amount of life you can get out of your rings/cogs. What really truly causes ring/cog wear is not unlubricated chains or even mileage, but a stretched chain.
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Old 10-11-15, 05:15 PM
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Got some more information.

I need a chain. That's the short version. Also cheapest, like someone mentioned.

I'm having issues pulling pics off my camera. I'll have some tomorrow for sure or tonight maybe.

I'll still need a new chain, I'm pretty sure. Or else, that's where I'm start.

Relevant question -- Which chain for sure?
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Old 10-11-15, 05:24 PM
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It's not letting me update my last post...



Got some more information.
I need a chain. That's the short version. Also cheapest, like someone mentioned.
I'm having issues pulling pics off my camera. I'll have some tomorrow for sure or tonight maybe.
I'll still need a new chain, I'm pretty sure. Or else, that's where I'm start.
Relevant question -- Which chain for sure?

Nice...
2009 Raleigh Detour 4.5 - BikePedia
ChainKMC HG40, 1/2 x 3/32"
That's my bike. And that should be the exact chain. The front cog part and the rear one/cassette should be from the original bike (rear wheel was upgraded, but the bike shop reused the same hub and cassette I believe).
How to get a match for that? A nice, strong chain that matches this one or the bike, if I can get an exact match.
How to put it on? I did replace a chain on a bike before, but it was more of a throwaway bike. Chain broke. I bought one from a large retail chain store. Used that. Then then bike died later. I still have that around somewhere but it's probably crap.
Are there many differences in bike chains or is a chain a chain? I would image my bike chain is in the 90% standard bike chain group if there is one. I've got what nearly everyone else has. And I lucked out find the original bike specs, so that's it exactly.
On the other chain I replaced, there was an extra "lighter" chain link I attached. I remember seeing one video recently that had a chain tool of some type. That's what I need, right? Some kind of chain tool?

....

Just fishing for tools and chains...
Amazon.com : Topeak 2011 Update Universal Chain Tool : Bike Tool Kits : Sports & Outdoors
Topeak 2011 Update Universal Chain Tool
$15
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=sr_1_2&sr=8-2
Park Tool Mini Chain Brute Chain Tool - CT-5
$15
Probably I'd go with Park brand, in case it's like the spoke wrenches and I buy a cheap one that messes things up more.
And which chain tool like this again....?
Interesting... Would I need one of these?
Amazon.com : Park Tool Master Link Pliers : Bike Hand Tools : Sports & Outdoors
$15
Park Tool Master Link Pliers
Also interesting, but probably pointless at this point.
Amazon.com : Park Tool CC-3.2 Chain Wear Indica : Chain Wear Indicator : Sports & Outdoors
$10
Park Tool CC-3.2 Chain Wear Indica
And then which one for my specific chain...
If my chain is broken, or I just don't trust it now.... This tool won't tell me much... Not until next year when I'll have put some miles on the new chain.
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Old 10-11-15, 05:27 PM
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My bike specs again...
2009 Raleigh Detour 4.5 - BikePedia
ChainKMC HG40, 1/2 x 3/32"


Only one choice on Amazon for HG40 (whatever that means for bike chains...)
Amazon.com : Shimano CN-HG40 Hyperglide Chain : Bike Chains : Sports & Outdoors
Shimano CN-HG40 Hyperglide Chain
$15
116 links?
And there are color options? Only silver in this case....
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Old 10-11-15, 05:31 PM
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ChainKMC is the brand I see... Or just KMC is the brand.
KMC Chain - Bicycle Chains - Road Mountain Cyclocross BMX Fixie Track
Hm. Also found this...
http://www.amazon.com/KMC-Bicycle-6-.../dp/B001CN6QAC
KMC Z50 Bicycle Chain (6-7-Speed, 1/2 x 3/32-Inch, 116L, Dark Silver/Brown) by KMC
But it's probably not right.
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Old 10-11-15, 05:48 PM
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The new information/story....
So I'm riding today. I thought the chain skip/jump/slide thing was a little worse. I watched the chain a lot more, looking down at the front cog part. Squeezing the brakes seems to work well enough to keep the bike moving slow so it picks up the slack with whatever gear I'm in.
The chain would jump/move to the left on the front cog.
And when the larger/left side gears were used in the back, that did it more. That makes sense. There's more of an angle, so it ends up pulling the chain over on the front cog part a bit. If I kept my hand pressing the front shifter, it seemed to stay in place a little better.
So I'm watching the front cog groups... Then I see something. Black, maybe a piece of road tar caught in the chain. I saw a youtube video about chain inspecting. I was thinking something like road tar, a leaf (except it was black), or stiff links in the chain.
Not quite. While looking down at the chain from the top, the figure 8 link part was off a bit. Pieces still in tact -- left, right, and the little silver crosspiece. Every time that part of the chain came up, the front cog part would skip the chain a little. If the large/left cog in back was in place, that was enough to kick the chain over the left on the front cog, down onto a smaller cog there.
I finger-pushed the chain figure 8 piece on as best I could. Pedaled gently back. Tried to coast as much as possible.

Back at home, I was wishing I had that chain tool that forces the little silver cross piece in. But I don't have one.
Pliers didn't work so well. I figured I'd probably end up botching things up more if I didn't have the right tools. They worked as well as they could, and the chain is currently better than it was, but I don't trust it.
Pliers -- Squeezed the chain, figure 8 side pieces. At one point I heard a pop sound. The silver cross piece pushed out -- in the wrong direction... So then I had that little piece sticking out. When I moved the chain for a better position, that little amount sticking out caught waaay more in the rear shifting parts.
Tried pliers. Not much help.
Tried a hammer with a allen wrench to use the allen wrench end to tap just that silver cross piece in. Not much luck.
Stuck a block of wood behind the chain, twisted it a little (I was thinking this might bend the chain, which it may have a bit). Hammered the chain itself with a block of wood behind it. I figured the little silver piece sticking out might push in more with the figure 8 parts held by the wood. Soft wood... I ended up denting the wood with the chain.
And still the little silver crosspiece was sticking out. It did go in a bit, but moved back out when I squeezed the pliers on it. The right figure 8 would become flush, but the silver crosspiece wouldn't actually go through the whole thing farther.
So.... I didn't try it, but I thought the bike wouldn't be very ridable, and the chain was probably a bit useless and would have to be replaced....
I took a solid metal dumbbell instead of the block of wood. Hammered the chain against that.
And it seems to have worked. I pinched up the figure 8 parts a bit with pliers. It spins around the shifter parts fairly well now.
But it's a bit tight... It will bend smoothly with the curves for going around the front cog, if that makes sense. But if I bend the chain the opposite way, it's stiffer that way.
Good enough for now I figured. I'll be gentle with it, have less confidence in it. And I'll replace that.
Did a quick street test with it. It works better than earlier today. Still a skip now and then. I just don't trust it. And I don't want a botched up chain on my bike (not if it's a $15 repair). I think the chain could get seriously caught in the shifter stuff and mess up that stuff. Until I did the metal dumbbell hammering I was considering just parking the bike until I got a replacement chain.
Except I rely on the bike a bit. I wonder if I should get a spare chain now that I'm thinking of it....
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Old 10-11-15, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by patoot View Post
+1 on getting a new chain. It's the cheapest and best place to start. AND it may be time to replace your cables if you haven't done so in the last year or two.
My cables I can usually tell when they're going. I *should* replace them, but I use them until they die. I've got two. I'm still safe enough if one goes, for brakes or shifting.
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Old 10-11-15, 05:52 PM
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Grr... Can't edit my replies...


I'm not an expert at adjusting cables, so if they're working... why mess with them if it might screw things up?
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Old 10-11-15, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bikerbobbbb View Post
Except I rely on the bike a bit. I wonder if I should get a spare chain now that I'm thinking of it....
If you get a decent quality chain like a KMC it is unlikely you will ever have this problem again.
Just chalk it up to the mfg using the cheapest chain they could find.
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Old 10-11-15, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
Usually worn chain rings caused by a worn or stretched chain.

The smart way to keep the chainrings, and cassette from getting too worn is to keep the bike on a four chain rotation, from when everything is new. You swap chains every month or so (no more than 1000 miles), to keep everything at about the same level or chain life (stretch). This will just about quadruple the amount of life you can get out of your rings/cogs. What really truly causes ring/cog wear is not unlubricated chains or even mileage, but a stretched chain.
I think I follow... A stretch chain will hit the cog teeth a little bit more than an unstretched chain? Over time it will wear away the cog teeth?

The chain gear/cogs may be worn. Bike's from 2009. About six years of riding it so far. Although money-wise, the chain has lasted this long.... If I want to be cheap, I can just get a new chain and then... maybe replace it in another six years or so. Although I would image the cogs are wearing too. Probably the opposite would be true... Worn cogs might wear out a chain? ...Maybe not. No teeth on the chain.
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Old 10-11-15, 06:03 PM
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Is my current/soon-to-be-previous bike chain worth saving?

I'm not finding my old chain from 10+ years ago. I probably left it on the bike when I threw it out. Not that I'd even reuse it now.

But that's the point.... Is there any reason to save my bike chain now if it's worn out? I've got enough crap I've collected over the years. Too much. This is why I got rid of the rear wheel when I upgraded it. Except later it turns out I could have actually used that. Lessons learned. But a bike chain? What am I going to do with a greasy, old, stretched-out, and now slightly bent up chain in the future?
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Old 10-11-15, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bikerbobbbb View Post
The new information/story....
So I'm riding today. I thought the chain skip/jump/slide thing was a little worse. I watched the chain a lot more, looking down at the front cog part. Squeezing the brakes seems to work well enough to keep the bike moving slow so it picks up the slack with whatever gear I'm in.
The chain would jump/move to the left on the front cog.
And when the larger/left side gears were used in the back, that did it more. That makes sense. There's more of an angle, so it ends up pulling the chain over on the front cog part a bit. If I kept my hand pressing the front shifter, it seemed to stay in place a little better.
So I'm watching the front cog groups... Then I see something. Black, maybe a piece of road tar caught in the chain. I saw a youtube video about chain inspecting. I was thinking something like road tar, a leaf (except it was black), or stiff links in the chain.
Not quite. While looking down at the chain from the top, the figure 8 link part was off a bit. Pieces still in tact -- left, right, and the little silver crosspiece. Every time that part of the chain came up, the front cog part would skip the chain a little. If the large/left cog in back was in place, that was enough to kick the chain over the left on the front cog, down onto a smaller cog there.
I finger-pushed the chain figure 8 piece on as best I could. Pedaled gently back. Tried to coast as much as possible.

Back at home, I was wishing I had that chain tool that forces the little silver cross piece in. But I don't have one.
Pliers didn't work so well. I figured I'd probably end up botching things up more if I didn't have the right tools. They worked as well as they could, and the chain is currently better than it was, but I don't trust it.
Pliers -- Squeezed the chain, figure 8 side pieces. At one point I heard a pop sound. The silver cross piece pushed out -- in the wrong direction... So then I had that little piece sticking out. When I moved the chain for a better position, that little amount sticking out caught waaay more in the rear shifting parts.
Tried pliers. Not much help.
Tried a hammer with a allen wrench to use the allen wrench end to tap just that silver cross piece in. Not much luck.
Stuck a block of wood behind the chain, twisted it a little (I was thinking this might bend the chain, which it may have a bit). Hammered the chain itself with a block of wood behind it. I figured the little silver piece sticking out might push in more with the figure 8 parts held by the wood. Soft wood... I ended up denting the wood with the chain.
And still the little silver crosspiece was sticking out. It did go in a bit, but moved back out when I squeezed the pliers on it. The right figure 8 would become flush, but the silver crosspiece wouldn't actually go through the whole thing farther.
So.... I didn't try it, but I thought the bike wouldn't be very ridable, and the chain was probably a bit useless and would have to be replaced....
I took a solid metal dumbbell instead of the block of wood. Hammered the chain against that.
And it seems to have worked. I pinched up the figure 8 parts a bit with pliers. It spins around the shifter parts fairly well now.
But it's a bit tight... It will bend smoothly with the curves for going around the front cog, if that makes sense. But if I bend the chain the opposite way, it's stiffer that way.
Good enough for now I figured. I'll be gentle with it, have less confidence in it. And I'll replace that.
Did a quick street test with it. It works better than earlier today. Still a skip now and then. I just don't trust it. And I don't want a botched up chain on my bike (not if it's a $15 repair). I think the chain could get seriously caught in the shifter stuff and mess up that stuff. Until I did the metal dumbbell hammering I was considering just parking the bike until I got a replacement chain.
Except I rely on the bike a bit. I wonder if I should get a spare chain now that I'm thinking of it....
You really need to take your bike to a bike shop. Your chain repair is dangerous, it could jam and damage all kinds of things, including you. At the shop you can get a good diagnosis. Much better than you can get here.
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Old 10-11-15, 06:26 PM
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This all now be gettin' seriously troll funny.
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Old 10-11-15, 06:54 PM
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From my experience, maximum chain life is about 3000-4000 miles. Less so If you weigh over 185ish lbs.or so and/or MUCH less if you ride the chain dry. I realize a lot of folks will say they've gotten more mileage wise, but this is a pretty good average best case. After the chain wears, it wears out the cassette/freewheel to match the chain profile, and a new chain will only skip over this profile. Chainrings wear a little slower than cassettes, unless you just keep in in one ring most of the time. Sight unseen, I'd say you need a chain and cassette minimum. A good bike shop can/will measure your chain for free, but if you don't have one nearby, measure the chain with a ruler starting at one of the pins. Each pin should be exactly 1/2" apart. Over the course of 12", if the pin is more than 1/8", the chain should be replaced.
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Old 10-11-15, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bikerbobbbb View Post
Is my current/soon-to-be-previous bike chain worth saving?

I'm not finding my old chain from 10+ years ago. I probably left it on the bike when I threw it out. Not that I'd even reuse it now.

But that's the point.... Is there any reason to save my bike chain now if it's worn out? I've got enough crap I've collected over the years. Too much. This is why I got rid of the rear wheel when I upgraded it. Except later it turns out I could have actually used that. Lessons learned. But a bike chain? What am I going to do with a greasy, old, stretched-out, and now slightly bent up chain in the future?
Just as a stretched chain causes the teeth on chain rings and cogs to wear prematurely, worn teeth will wear out a chain.

Check for chain wear with a ruler while the chain is on the bike or pulled taut if off the bike. Put the 1" mark of the ruler on the exact middle of a link-pin. The 12" mark should also be at the middle of a pin if the chain is new. As the chain wears, the 12" mark will be slightly before the middle of a pin. Once the mark is 1/16" before the middle of the pin, the chain should be replaced.

Worn-out cog teeth or chain ring teeth are no longer symmetrical. They look like shark's teeth, with one side more worn than the other. You can find pictures of this condition if you search online. If your cogs or chain rings show this condition, or if any teeth are chipped or otherwise deformed, it's time to replace that component.
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Old 10-11-15, 09:25 PM
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First try a new chain (any 8 speed chain). KMC chains are easier to connect and remove because them come with a split link unlike Shimano chains which use a pin to connect. If it still skips then you may need a new cassette too because chains and cassettes wear and mesh together over time. This is normal. After 6 years of riding its probably likely they both need replacing.

If the problem still persists then you may need new chainrings too.

other possible reasons for the skipping is a mis-adjusted rear derailleur or a problem with your freehub on the rear wheel. The cassette may be loose or the skewer or wheel bolts may be loose. Its also worth check that the derailleur fixing bolt is tight. And the cable fixing bolts are tight.

Back at home, I was wishing I had that chain tool that forces the little silver cross piece in. But I don't have one.
Pliers didn't work so well. I figured I'd probably end up botching things up more if I didn't have the right tools. They worked as well as they could, and the chain is currently better than it was, but I don't trust it.
Pliers -- Squeezed the chain, figure 8 side pieces. At one point I heard a pop sound. The silver cross piece pushed out -- in the wrong direction... So then I had that little piece sticking out. When I moved the chain for a better position, that little amount sticking out caught waaay more in the rear shifting parts.
Tried pliers. Not much help.
Tried a hammer with a allen wrench to use the allen wrench end to tap just that silver cross piece in. Not much luck.
Stuck a block of wood behind the chain, twisted it a little (I was thinking this might bend the chain, which it may have a bit). Hammered the chain itself with a block of wood behind it. I figured the little silver piece sticking out might push in more with the figure 8 parts held by the wood. Soft wood... I ended up denting the wood with the chain.
And still the little silver crosspiece was sticking out. It did go in a bit, but moved back out when I squeezed the pliers on it. The right figure 8 would become flush, but the silver crosspiece wouldn't actually go through the whole thing farther.
So.... I didn't try it, but I thought the bike wouldn't be very ridable, and the chain was probably a bit useless and would have to be replaced....
I took a solid metal dumbbell instead of the block of wood. Hammered the chain against that.
And it seems to have worked. I pinched up the figure 8 parts a bit with pliers. It spins around the shifter parts fairly well now.
But it's a bit tight... It will bend smoothly with the curves for going around the front cog, if that makes sense. But if I bend the chain the opposite way, it's stiffer that way.
The chain is now unsafe to ride. Do not ride that chain. Do not try ever to fix a chain with pliers,pieces of wood,dumbbells,hammers,allens keys,snakes,teapots or magic lanterns. Ever. Full stop.

I was considering just parking the bike until I got a replacement chain
Good idea.



Park Tool Masterlink pliers are for opening and closing KMC (or Sram) split links. They are not to be used on Shimano chains.

Last edited by trailflow1; 10-13-15 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 10-12-15, 07:25 AM
  #22  
bikerbobbbb
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Here's a pic of the chain from yesterday when I discovered it on the the road. The other pics didn't turn out that well.

The silver crosspiece stuck out from the opposite side (although that's hammered back in place for now).

The bad part is how it's coming off faces forward, so if it did open up more, it would get caught in everything. But it's hammered back on.... for now.


I just need to find the right chain that will replace this.
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Old 10-12-15, 07:26 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by andr0id View Post
If you get a decent quality chain like a KMC it is unlikely you will ever have this problem again.
Just chalk it up to the mfg using the cheapest chain they could find.
??? I think it is a KMC chain. But it's been used for six years.
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Old 10-12-15, 07:31 AM
  #24  
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KMC HG40, 1/2 x 3/32"

I still want to see if I can get that exact chain. It sounds like KMC is a decent enough brand.

It's not an Amazon for sure....

And then which tool would I need possibly with that....?

And does the number of links/length matter at all? I saw "116 links" for one on Amazon. Do I need a certain length or need to adjust it (remove/add links) when I get a new one?


http://www.kmcchain.com/en/product.php?act=view&id=35
That must be it, except mine's not brown.

This one keeps showing up in searches...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=sr_1_1&sr=8-1
Shimano CN-HG40 Hyperglide Chain

$15
But is that a close enough match and decent quality?


Found it... on Ebay though. Who knows...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/KMC-HG40-cha...-/281090814712
110 links? Do I need to count links on my current chain....?

Last edited by bikerbobbbb; 10-12-15 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 10-12-15, 07:34 AM
  #25  
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And then later... Finding a matching cassette and replacing that too I guess...



http://thebicyclechain.com/how-to/chain-replacement-and-repair-pg80.htmd




If I buy the chain.... Do I need to buy some extra connectors too or are they normally included?

Last edited by bikerbobbbb; 10-12-15 at 07:44 AM.
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