Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Bent chain... Call of shame

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Bent chain... Call of shame

Old 09-19-21, 03:16 PM
  #1  
jayp410
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Germantown, MD
Posts: 357
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 14 Posts
Bent chain... Call of shame

So I dropped the chain off of the crank inner ring, and it got wedged between the crank and the bottom bracket. The chain bent probably 30 degrees, making it unrideable. Fortunately, I didn't try to power through it, it was a safe spot, and my wife was home to come pick me up. Unfortunately, the chain still dug into the bottom bracket area pretty badly. I believe it's still safe to ride, but it sucks, especially as the frame is only 3 months old. I rarely (almost never) drop the chain off of the crank, but I had just made an unplanned U turn to go uphill and was still on the large ring / middle sprocket and probably shifted front and back too quickly together.

Bending a chain is a new one for me, but no doubt it has happened to others. This could have turned out worse than it did, so I'd rather not have this particular mishap happen again. Thoughts?

jayp410 is offline  
Old 09-19-21, 03:50 PM
  #2  
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 7,326

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2741 Post(s)
Liked 1,520 Times in 740 Posts
Shame on you....Carrying a chain tool and few spare chain links would of avoided a call of shame.
wolfchild is offline  
Likes For wolfchild:
Old 09-19-21, 05:04 PM
  #3  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 3,259
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1538 Post(s)
Liked 1,645 Times in 1,048 Posts
Can't say I've ever done that in 40+ years of riding and I've dropped a fair few chains in that time.
PeteHski is offline  
Old 09-19-21, 06:21 PM
  #4  
jayp410
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Germantown, MD
Posts: 357
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 14 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Shame on you....Carrying a chain tool and few spare chain links would of avoided a call of shame.
Interesting idea. A few links would not be heavy like a full chain, although the tool itself weighs something. This is one of those things like carrying a spare shifter cable, that could come in really handy in the rare case when it's needed.
jayp410 is offline  
Old 09-19-21, 06:44 PM
  #5  
drlogik 
Senior Member
 
drlogik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,531

Bikes: '87-ish Pinarello Montello; '89 Nishiki Ariel; '85 Raleigh Wyoming, '16 Wabi Special, '16 Wabi Classic, '14 Kona Cinder Cone

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 576 Post(s)
Liked 275 Times in 172 Posts
In 50 years of riding I've drop a few chains but none have bent. I used to carry a chain tool and 3 or 4 links in my bag for years, because, well, you just need to carry a chain tool and links, everyone said. I stopped doing that 20+ years ago.

However, I change my chain out probably more often than necessary because, well, it's relatively cheap insurance. I also keep my mechs adjusted, I'm anal about that and my brakes.
drlogik is online now  
Old 09-19-21, 07:05 PM
  #6  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,406

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2013 Post(s)
Liked 1,098 Times in 665 Posts
To bend a chain, you need not only to drop it, but to slam on the pedals as well.
chaadster is offline  
Likes For chaadster:
Old 09-19-21, 11:03 PM
  #7  
Canker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,553
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 260 Post(s)
Liked 113 Times in 67 Posts
Chain Catcher is the answer

As a fellow chain dropper and bender that has stopped it from happening anymore. My worst one I bent the chain in two section and had to cut about 6 inches out and limp home being very careful about gear selection to keep from ripping my RD off.
Chain tool on your multi-tool and a quick link is good enough for emergencies.
Canker is offline  
Old 09-19-21, 11:35 PM
  #8  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 26,876
Mentioned: 213 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15677 Post(s)
Liked 3,125 Times in 2,328 Posts
I have broken chains up to 9-speed, but so far have never broken an 11 speed chain.

To limp home, you don't need a bunch of spare links. Shorten the chain as needed and be careful. Possibly add a quick link.
CliffordK is online now  
Old 09-20-21, 05:00 AM
  #9  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 3,259
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1538 Post(s)
Liked 1,645 Times in 1,048 Posts
Originally Posted by jayp410 View Post
Interesting idea. A few links would not be heavy like a full chain, although the tool itself weighs something. This is one of those things like carrying a spare shifter cable, that could come in really handy in the rare case when it's needed.
Definitely worth carrying a couple of quick links and a lot of mini multi-tools have a chain breaker tool built-in e.g.

https://www.topeak.com/global/en/pro...40-MINI-20-PRO

I've never actually had to use it out on the road/trail, but I have used the chain breaker a few times to shorten new chains at home without any issue. It's not like a workshop tool that you would be using hundreds of times.
PeteHski is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 07:06 AM
  #10  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 7,443

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1847 Post(s)
Liked 1,106 Times in 701 Posts
Impressive! I've dropped and jammed chains, but I don't ever remember bending one like that.

Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Shame on you....Carrying a chain tool and few spare chain links would of avoided a call of shame.
Fixing that would take a good bit of surgery. First, I see the bend, but I'm not sure it's localized to one or two links. Second, I normally carry one (1) master link; how many links would that take to fix? This looks more like a Monday morning quarterback call -- if this is the exact problem you expect to see, here's a workaround. Keep that up for a few years (especially with internet anomalies) and you'll be carrying around a spare bike and an extra trailer on a trailer to fix all possible events. But then, of course, you'll have to worry about the same thing happening on the spare bike, so you have to carry two bikes on the trailer, ad nauseam.
pdlamb is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 07:30 AM
  #11  
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Posts: 12,107

Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, Catrike Speed

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1375 Post(s)
Liked 537 Times in 349 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Shame on you....Carrying a chain tool and few spare chain links would of avoided a call of shame.
You should carry tools for the types of failures you can reasonably expect to see. For the most part, that's tires/tubes, loose bolts, and *maybe* a lost quick link. Chain tools are not part of my normal travel tool kit because a mishap like this is pretty rare.
BlazingPedals is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 07:42 AM
  #12  
jayp410
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Germantown, MD
Posts: 357
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 14 Posts
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
To bend a chain, you need not only to drop it, but to slam on the pedals as well.
Momentarily perhaps. However once I realized that it wasn't just a messed up shift, I stopped pedaling and didn't try to continue pedaling to fix it by shifting up.

Originally Posted by Canker View Post
Chain Catcher is the answer

As a fellow chain dropper and bender that has stopped it from happening anymore. My worst one I bent the chain in two section and had to cut about 6 inches out and limp home being very careful about gear selection to keep from ripping my RD off.
Chain tool on your multi-tool and a quick link is good enough for emergencies.
Thanks. This one weighs 12g, which is a small price to pay to avoid this issue, especially with a carbon frame. https://absoluteblack.cc/road-chain-catcher-braze-on/
Ordered!

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
To limp home, you don't need a bunch of spare links. Shorten the chain as needed and be careful. Possibly add a quick link.
Good point, I hadn't thought of just shortening it, but also wasn't carrying a chain breaker.

Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Definitely worth carrying a couple of quick links and a lot of mini multi-tools have a chain breaker tool built-in e.g.

https://www.topeak.com/global/en/pro...40-MINI-20-PRO

I've never actually had to use it out on the road/trail, but I have used the chain breaker a few times to shorten new chains at home without any issue. It's not like a workshop tool that you would be using hundreds of times.
Thanks. Ordered. This is 60g heavier than my current multitool but it seems a chain breaker could be essential to carry.
jayp410 is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 08:08 AM
  #13  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,406

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2013 Post(s)
Liked 1,098 Times in 665 Posts
Originally Posted by jayp410 View Post
Momentarily perhaps.
That’s all it takes. Good shift habits go a long way towards protecting equipment, and avoiding front downshifts under power— or applying power too early, ahead of shift completion— is a good way to prevent bending the the chain, I think. Drops happen; a road bump coinciding with the shift can send the chain bouncing off unexpectedly even on a properly adjusted derailleur system. It’s rare, but to bend a chain from a drop is simply operator error, so you can virtually eliminate it from happening again by being careful to make sure the shift is complete before dropping the proverbial hammer. I always unweight the pedals as the chain moves down to the inner ring, so I plan and execute that shift well before I need to be putting power back through the pedals.
chaadster is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 08:51 AM
  #14  
BobbyG
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 5,523

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 2007 Dahon Boardwalk, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International

Mentioned: 53 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1239 Post(s)
Liked 1,194 Times in 599 Posts
jayp410 Bend it back! I've had this same problem for the same reason a few times on my hodge-podged '97 Nishiki Blazer MTB/commuter. Although I carry a chain-break tool in my commute bag, one time I stuck a thin allen wrench into the link and twisted it the other way until it was straightened enough to work without issue. This has worked for me twice, but not the last time, even after also using a needle nose pliers I carry, so I had to remove the link. It's worth a try unless you feel it may damage the gears or the deraillers. While I've been through many, many chains over the decades, my bike still has the original 1997 gears and deraillers. Your mileage may vary.

24 Years...Same gears and deraillers...still in love.
BobbyG is offline  
Likes For BobbyG:
Old 09-20-21, 09:47 AM
  #15  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 22,546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 2,102 Times in 1,500 Posts
I agree with bending it back. A friend dropped his chain and it was skipping. In that case, it was a tight link. I just twisted it back and forth a couple of times and it freed it up. He's probably still riding on that chain.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 09:56 AM
  #16  
rsbob 
Sniveling Weasel
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 2,270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 815 Post(s)
Liked 1,436 Times in 847 Posts
Another solution is buying a chain keeper which will prevent the chain from falling into the Valley of Death. They usually attach under the front derailleur.
__________________
Immoderate Cyclist “No regerts”



rsbob is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 09:59 AM
  #17  
jayp410
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Germantown, MD
Posts: 357
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 14 Posts
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
That’s all it takes. Good shift habits go a long way towards protecting equipment, and avoiding front downshifts under power— or applying power too early, ahead of shift completion— is a good way to prevent bending the the chain, I think. Drops happen; a road bump coinciding with the shift can send the chain bouncing off unexpectedly even on a properly adjusted derailleur system. It’s rare, but to bend a chain from a drop is simply operator error, so you can virtually eliminate it from happening again by being careful to make sure the shift is complete before dropping the proverbial hammer. I always unweight the pedals as the chain moves down to the inner ring, so I plan and execute that shift well before I need to be putting power back through the pedals.
Yeah, the situation in this case could be operator error. The whole sequence of events was unusual. I was going downhill, but passed by something that looked interesting that I wanted to check out, so did a quick U turn... but then, realized that I was in the wrong gear for uphill and had very little speed to fix it and maintain balance, so did the quick double shift and that's when the chain fell off. At low speed, just the chain changing sprockets in the back can give some resistance, and thinking that's all it was, I did mash the pedals for a sec. But then after realizing that the chain had actually dropped, stopped pedalling.

I've had chains come off in the past, but they just skated across the bottom bracket and didn't dig in like this. Maybe it's the shape of the BB, closer spacing, or difference in material (carbon vs. metal), but for whatever reason, it got wedged. As much as adjusting technique might help prevent most other occurrences, I think the best answer on this thread is really the chain catcher, to keep it from falling off 100% of the time even if something unexpected happens. At 12g (0.5 oz) it seems like a no brainer to use one, especially with a carbon frame where the chain could damage the frame.
jayp410 is offline  
Likes For jayp410:
Old 09-20-21, 10:11 AM
  #18  
jayp410
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Germantown, MD
Posts: 357
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 14 Posts
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I agree with bending it back. A friend dropped his chain and it was skipping. In that case, it was a tight link. I just twisted it back and forth a couple of times and it freed it up. He's probably still riding on that chain.
Yikes! For a barely bent chain (where a link is tight) that doesn't sound too bad, but one like mine where a link was bent almost 30 degrees, bending it back would never get it back into its exact original shape, and riding on that would most definitely harm the entire drive train.
jayp410 is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 10:18 AM
  #19  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 26,876
Mentioned: 213 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15677 Post(s)
Liked 3,125 Times in 2,328 Posts
My Wippermann chain broke my generic multitool.

That Topeak tool looks very nice, and hopefully has some QA. Are the spoke wrenches functional?

I like the Park CT-5 Mini chain tool. I use it for most of my work, and it isn't too bad to carry.

CliffordK is online now  
Likes For CliffordK:
Old 09-20-21, 07:49 PM
  #20  
MNebiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: MN
Posts: 224
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 143 Times in 76 Posts
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
To limp home, you don't need a bunch of spare links. Shorten the chain as needed and be careful. Possibly add a quick link.
I did the "limp home" a couple months ago. Snapped a chain on a long hill - cut out a a few links and rode home. I have carried a chain tool since the 80s but this is the first time I ever needed it.
MNebiker is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 10:43 PM
  #21  
rsbob 
Sniveling Weasel
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 2,270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 815 Post(s)
Liked 1,436 Times in 847 Posts
Originally Posted by MNebiker View Post
I did the "limp home" a couple months ago. Snapped a chain on a long hill - cut out a a few links and rode home. I have carried a chain tool since the 80s but this is the first time I ever needed it.
do you know its manufacturer?
__________________
Immoderate Cyclist “No regerts”



rsbob is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 11:33 PM
  #22  
zandoval 
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 3,021

Bikes: Univega, Peu P6, Peu PR-10, Ted Williams, Peu UO-8, Peu UO-18 Mixte, Peu Dolomites

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 414 Post(s)
Liked 589 Times in 404 Posts
Was ridding with a guy years ago that hit a curb on his road bike. He bent his chain and large ring on his crank. Luckily we had my little Park chain braking tool. We took out the damaged links and continued the ride without difficulty using the smaller ring and three gears due to the shortened chain. We were both surprised at how easy it was to continue with just three gears. Of course he had friction shifters on the down tube... Ha
__________________
No matter where your at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
zandoval is offline  
Likes For zandoval:
Old 09-21-21, 03:54 AM
  #23  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 3,259
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1538 Post(s)
Liked 1,645 Times in 1,048 Posts
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
My Wippermann chain broke my generic multitool.

That Topeak tool looks very nice, and hopefully has some QA. Are the spoke wrenches functional?

I like the Park CT-5 Mini chain tool. I use it for most of my work, and it isn't too bad to carry.

It is a nice multi-tool and a good compact size for use on the road. I've used the chain-breaker a few times at home and it seems plenty strong enough for the job. I haven't used the spoke wrenches, but they look fine to me.
It's the only tool I carry with me out on the bike, but I trust it enough for any roadside repairs.
PeteHski is offline  
Old 09-21-21, 12:41 PM
  #24  
MNebiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: MN
Posts: 224
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 143 Times in 76 Posts
Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
do you know its manufacturer?
No - bought it so long ago, probably some generic item that I picked up at the local Schwinn dealer back then. But it did the job when I ran an old chain too many miles. New chain, new cassette and all is well again.
MNebiker is offline  
Likes For MNebiker:
Old 09-21-21, 01:20 PM
  #25  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 26,876
Mentioned: 213 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15677 Post(s)
Liked 3,125 Times in 2,328 Posts
I wonder how easy it would be to tweek on the road.

Take say 5 or 6 links on one side in a straight line. Then one link across, and 5 or 6 more links either back in the same direction, or in the opposite direction, and tweaking it. I like to carry some electrical tape, so perhaps some tape around a stick to keep the chain segments straight.

If you are in the middle of the ride, and tossing the chain when you get back home, there is very little that you can lose.

You did mention drivetrain wear, and that would certainly be an issue, but you should be able to tell how it is working by sound and feel.
CliffordK is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.