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Old 09-15-08, 08:34 PM   #1
jchabalk 
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Chain FAIL! (with pix)

Chain FAIL (w/Pics)

I figure some of you guys might find this interesting.

I bought this bike used 5 years ago and rode it for a few months. It sat idle for the last 4 and half years or so and then i started using it pretty heavily. Pretty much no maintenance was done on it until about 6 months ago when i replaced the fork (surly rigid fork for the old shock fork), put city-slicks on it and started using it for commuting, grocery getting and all that. I don't know if it would matter or not but i'm about 230# and routinely carry ~50# in panniers.

Anyway. Over the last month or so the drive train has started behaving oddly. It was most evident while spinning over smooth ground but noticeable at other times as well. It felt like variable resistance to some degree, like it was missing a gear every now and again, but mostly silent. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it was while riding. At first i suspected the bottom bracket but i overhauled it a few weeks ago to no avail. I've removed the cassette and chain-rings checking for imperfect teeth and/or bent cogs but not found anything. I've checked for chain stretch in various places around the chain and never found a problem.

Today i tore it all apart again for a clean/lube and inspection and found what i think is the root of the problem. It was a bad chain! I found 3 missing rollers and a few cracked ones. (see pix). I ran down the the LBS and picked up a new chain, installed and lube'd it and am waiting to try it out tomorrow.

The cogs didn't seem to be negatively impacted at all. The bike in total has about 500 miles on it, much of that in the last few months.
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File Type: jpg BadChain2.jpg (57.8 KB, 256 views)
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Old 09-16-08, 10:41 AM   #2
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What brand of chain? (Should be stamped on the end plates.)
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Old 09-16-08, 10:48 AM   #3
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check your cassette-- each cog--- wickedly ramped teeth ---- snarling bent chainrings---
ooooo scary........
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Old 09-16-08, 04:39 PM   #4
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i checked the cassette and chainrings when i had everything torn down.

After checking the level of the chainrings while on the crank i removed it, found a level surface and check it again. The outer ring was perfectly flat and the inners appeared to be as well. 95% of the time i'm on the outer (largest) chainring. The teeth on the cassette were in generally good condition. There was some old grit, and dead bee lodged in between the cogs but they all seemed to be in good shape.

I'll check the make of the chain this evening when i get home and let you know. How do you guys dispose of those sorts of things? regular trash? recycle?
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Old 09-16-08, 04:51 PM   #5
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dead bee lodged in between the cogs
OOOooooo... Dead bees are great luck!
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Old 09-16-08, 04:56 PM   #6
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Unless you're a farmer...
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Old 09-16-08, 05:47 PM   #7
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It kinda appears that the rollers themselves failed. Could be just a bad batch of rollers used by the chain maker. Just a guess mind you
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Old 09-16-08, 05:49 PM   #8
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make art projects from what you throw out--- halloween is coming-- incorporate old greasy
bike parts in your costume and it is VERY LUCKY to find a bee in your cassette... congrats.
post: i am using chainrings for my pumpkins this year....
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Old 09-16-08, 07:37 PM   #9
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My own city has dumpsters for recycling metal stuff. I toss all the metal from projects and cleanups in that. This chain would be a prime candidate. Never seen one that cracked the rollers like that before.
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Old 09-16-08, 08:50 PM   #10
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my chain fu is not what it could be, but i just dug it out of yesterday's recycling (which is scheduled to hit the curb tomorrow morning, so excellent timing) and it says KAZ USA on each link.

I'm not going to be able to make a decent picture of it, but there's an oval, and contained within the oval are the letters "kAz" along the bottom of the oval is a very small USA.

The bike is a Trek 6000 mountain bike that's probably between 5 and 8 years old, i'm pretty certain this is the original chain (i bought it used), again the bike's probably got about 300-600 miles on it, most of them in the last 6 months or so.

Does that ring a bell? If not let me know and i'll try to find more information on it. I left it near the grill and i'm about to be standing next to the grill drinking beer and watching burgers cook so i've got nothing but time
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Old 09-17-08, 11:05 AM   #11
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Rings no bells with me. If it really is "USA", might be a good reason to buy Chinese (though one wonders where the rollers actually came from).
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Old 09-17-08, 12:51 PM   #12
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This reminds me of an failure with a Sedisport chain. The symptom was a stiff link, but it was intermittent. Visual inspection revealed a split roller. It worked most of the time, but occasionally the parts rotated against each other, effectively increasing thickness, stiffening the link. I carried that link on my key ring for quite awhile as a reminder to expect the unexpected.
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Old 09-17-08, 08:03 PM   #13
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i looked a little more at the chain just now and there are no other markings on it. Every couple of links instead of the kAz markings it says, "M 8" which i'm assuming is an indicator that it's an 8-speed chain (at least the bike has an 8-speed drivetrain).

Maybe i'll de-grease it and make cat collars out of it
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