Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Broke my chain and crashed hard

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Broke my chain and crashed hard

Old 07-26-03, 06:40 PM
  #1  
bikeman
Lovin' my Fixie
Thread Starter
 
bikeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Euclid, Ohio, USA (Near the Great Lake Erie)
Posts: 303

Bikes: Litespeed Classic, C-Dale MT1000, 80's Trek 770, 2005 Raleigh Rush Hour Pro, Fixed

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Broke my chain and crashed hard

I've been commuting to work on my mountain bike (slicks, fenders, lights, etc.) off and on for a few months since I changed jobs and increased my mileage from 10 to 32 (round trip). My bike has been used quite a bit (I've commuted on shorter routes for over 12 years) over the past few years and the bike has been maintenenced on a pretty regular basis. That is why I was so shocked when my chain snapped and I almost had a disaster on Friday evening.

I was riding home on a fantastic day and the traffic was manageable. I came to a intersection and there were quite a few cars inching up waiting for the light to go green. As the cars moved forward I accelerated to get up to speed. Just as I got going I stood to get some power and speed and my chain snapped clean and I went down hard. Because I'd lost balance so quickly I never had a chance to adjust or recover. Instead I was suddenly veering for the curbing and (luckily) the grassy berm area. I did a major face plant on the grass (glad I had my helmet on - only a slight bruise on my right forehead. The largest injuries were an abrasion on my right thigh and right shoulder (like a stingy rug-burn that looks nasty). A few inches to the left I would maybe not be here writing this. Hitting your face on a concrete curb or road surface would not have been pretty. I prefer not to think about the consequences to hard.

Of course a day later I'm feeling aches and pains like the bruise on my other inner thigh that the seat and top tube smashed against. Overall I'll live to ride another day (hopefully a club ride tomorrow). I didn't have a chain tool (who thought I'd need one - next time I will) so I called on the cell phone and my lovely wife came and rescued me (a half-hour drive through traffic).

Only one person stopped to see if I was alive or dead. The lady immediately behind me in traffic said she would go down the street and find the police station. Guess what? I was waiting on the side of the road for over 30 minutes and no rescue or police showed up. Hmmm?? Maybe a downed cyclist in a ritzy, affluent area didn't seem to concern them. I should have been driving a Mercedes and they would have rushed to help.

Final comment is. Check your chain more often than you think you should. Chain stretch, wear, low quality can all contribute to failure. I immediately went out today and bought a new chain for the commuter bike ($20.00) as well as another bike (single-speed fixed gear) that has some miles on it. Chains are cheap compared to plastic surgery, broken bones, brain injury, etc. I've learned a lesson after riding bikes for over 30 years. You are never too old to learn something new.

Be safe out there and check your stuff.
bikeman is offline  
Old 07-26-03, 06:52 PM
  #2  
Rich Clark
A Heart Needs a Home
 
Rich Clark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yes, you were lucky. Happy to hear you weren't seriously injured. Chain-breaks-in-an-intersection happened to me once, and I learned my lesson the same way. Of course it happens when you stand and hammer to accelerate, and when you're a commuter of course that means you're probably in an intersection when it happens.

And after that, where chain maintenance was once sort of an academic pursuit -- you do it because you understand why and everybody says you should -- now it's your neck on the line, and you know it.

The hematoma on the inside of my thigh persisted for months, got to be as big as a football, and then started to migrate southward. Very peculiar.

Start carrying a chain tool. I think it's a Law (like Murphy's) that people who are so chain-conscious that they pack a tool on every ride also never break chains because they maintain them so religiously.

But you might be able to help out another rider.

RichC
__________________
Training: 2002 Fuji Roubaix Pro (105 triple)
Commuting/Daytripping: 2001 Airborne Carpe Diem (Ultegra/XTR, touring wheels)
Commuting/Touring: 2000 Novara Randonee (Sora/Tiagra/LX, fenders, lights)
Rich Clark is offline  
Old 07-26-03, 10:47 PM
  #3  
Chris L
Every lane is a bike lane
 
Chris L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
Posts: 9,653
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 5 Posts
Some chains are just duds. All bar one of my chains have lasted forever (or at least until I replaced them), but I snapped one after just 500km or so. That was not good. Neither is crashing (I know, I did that this morning). I'm glad you weren't seriously hurt.
__________________
I am clinically insane. I am proud of it.

That is all.
Chris L is offline  
Old 07-26-03, 10:56 PM
  #4  
bandaidman
go wake forest!!!!
 
bandaidman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 312
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally posted by Rich Clark
The hematoma on the inside of my thigh persisted for months, got to be as big as a football, and then started to migrate southward. Very peculiar.
that is dependent ecchymosis and is pretty common....and normal
bandaidman is offline  
Old 07-27-03, 03:56 AM
  #5  
MichaelW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,949
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ive snapped onmme chain at the very end of a long off-road ride, as I rode up a bank of grass onto the driveway. I dont know how you can predict chain breakage, and whether it has any relation to general chain wear.
MichaelW is offline  
Old 07-27-03, 10:30 AM
  #6  
FOG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I only havebroken one chain, standing to pedal, but was fortunate enough not to have fallen. The chain was practically new, so I think it was either my installation, or the fact that I had put a huge amopunt of force into the chain
FOG is offline  
Old 07-27-03, 11:53 AM
  #7  
cyclezealot
Senior Member
 
cyclezealot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Fallbrook,Calif./Palau del Vidre, France
Posts: 13,193

Bikes: Klein QP, Fuji touring, Surly Cross Check, BCH City bike

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1261 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I buy only top end chains, change them every 3,000 miles even if they have a little more time left, and use a chain checker regularily.
cyclezealot is offline  
Old 07-27-03, 04:27 PM
  #8  
bikeman
Lovin' my Fixie
Thread Starter
 
bikeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Euclid, Ohio, USA (Near the Great Lake Erie)
Posts: 303

Bikes: Litespeed Classic, C-Dale MT1000, 80's Trek 770, 2005 Raleigh Rush Hour Pro, Fixed

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Despite being really achy this morning I went on my Sunday club ride and did 46 miles with 7 long climbs. The thing that is bothering me the most is the back of my biceps. I must have strained them without realizing it on my fall. Even though it was an pain to deal with, I'm really glad to immediately get back on the bike.

The chains have been replaced on my commuter and my fixie too. My race bike has a new Whipperman Stainless which is quite new. I should be OK for now.

I made an announcement to the club riders this morning at the ride and made them all aware of the hazards of chain breakage. I hope they were all listening.

Last edited by bikeman; 07-28-03 at 06:33 AM.
bikeman is offline  
Old 07-27-03, 11:37 PM
  #9  
Rowan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,750
Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1432 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 16 Posts
There is a thought that chain breaks really can only occur where (1) the chain has been joined and the rivet is not right (either the wrong type for the chain or not inserted properly through the sideplate which then gives way) and (2) the chain has suffered a catastrophic occurrence such as chain suck that has twisted it.
Rowan is offline  
Old 07-28-03, 01:15 AM
  #10  
khuon
DEADBEEF
 
khuon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Catching his breath alongside a road near Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 12,234

Bikes: 1999 K2 OzM, 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally posted by Rowan
There is a thought that chain breaks really can only occur where (1) the chain has been joined and the rivet is not right (either the wrong type for the chain or not inserted properly through the sideplate which then gives way) and (2) the chain has suffered a catastrophic occurrence such as chain suck that has twisted it.
Chain suck was most likely the cause of my last chain break. I was going through sand at the time too.

http://journals.neebu.net/khuon/archives/2001_05.html
__________________
1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte
"Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122
khuon is offline  
Old 07-30-03, 06:50 AM
  #11  
Max
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 493
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I changed recently not only the chain, but the whole Shimano system too. It was not that expensive.

It took 2 workers in the LBS about half an hour. They advised me this. They told me that the new chain on the old system is not good.
Max is offline  
Old 07-31-03, 05:20 AM
  #12  
greywolf
aka old dog
 
greywolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: tauranga New Zealand
Posts: 1,173
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
bikeman , thanks for sharing your experiance ,sorry you were hurt but as you say it could have been worse ! touch wood I hav'nt had a chain break on me , yet !!. I've never even thought of it till now .I'm going to check the links on mine to-morrow , thanks for the warning :thumbup:
greywolf is offline  
Old 07-31-03, 05:41 AM
  #13  
ridealot
Cyclist and village idiot
 
ridealot's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Amelia Oh
Posts: 486

Bikes: 2005 Gary Fisher Nirvana S 2001 Trek 2200 1999 Schwinn Mesa 1989 Mangussa?

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bikeman, thanks for the heads up on checking your chain.

Glad to hear that you are mostly ok.
__________________
Fear is never boring
ridealot is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Gary Fountain
Classic & Vintage
16
07-02-11 09:44 PM
iforgotmename
Touring
1
02-13-11 01:49 PM
mzeffex
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing
0
01-13-10 08:15 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.