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SOS! my chain snapped today!

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SOS! my chain snapped today!

Old 09-04-06, 07:03 PM
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Snicklefritz
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SOS! my chain snapped today!

My chain snapped on my training ride today. This is the first time I have EVER had this problem with any of my bikes. I have no idea why this happened and am hoping someone can give me some insight into this. Given that it's a holiday the bike shops aren't open. I'm in a bind because I'm in Salt Lake City right now, don't know any of the shops very well and have LOTOJA this saturday so I have no time to screw around.

Anyone know of a good shop in downtown SLC or in Murray who could take care of this ASAP?

I'm wondering if there is something else weird going on. Here's some history...maybe someone has some ideas on what precipitated this. My bike is a Specialized Ruby Pro with full Dura-Ace that I bought back in February of this year. I've been putting 175-200 miles per week on it since then. I'm estimating that the chain probably has about 5000 miles on it. I was planning to replace the chain sometime at the end of the season, before the typical (or so I've heard) lifetime of 10,000 miles for the dura-ace chain. In light of my race, I decided just to put a new chain on in advance rather than to wait until after it.

My bike shop back home put the chain on last wednedsay. I've had several training rides since then which have included some sprinting, some very long endurance rides as well as lots of climbing. I did not have ANY trouble whatsovever with it until tonight when BAM! it just snapped and fell off. About 15-20 minutes prior to snapping the chain started acting strangely. I would have it in a certain gear and then the chain would make a clunking sound as if it weren't actively engaged on the cogs. It didn't do this in all gears however. It wasn't doing it consistently either. It would clunk around for a few seconds and then stop. Then start up again later.

I don't have a digital camera right now to take pictures, but the chain really looks torqued in the place where it snapped. I wasn't cross-chaining in case people were wondering about that. It also looks as if the rear derailleur is also bent slightly.

I'm a small female, 5'3", ~130lbs, so it's not like I'm a huge behemoth that breaks things even though I can put out the watts.


What happened**********? This really freaks me out because it was a new chain that was getting replaced ahead of schedule and all of the other components are the same agte (new since feb). However the crankset (FSA mega exo compact) has been on only 3 months.
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Old 09-04-06, 07:15 PM
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Hmm... my thoughts are that it sounds like a out and out failure/defect. It sounds like you only changed the chain and not the cassette though? At 5k I might have considered changing the cassette and the chain together, but your pretty small and light, so depending on the condition of the teeth/cogs...that may not have been necessary.

Perhaps the connecting link was improperly installed by your LBS? It is possible.

I personally use SRAM chains with the power links on all my bikes. Suggestion; Carry a park chain tool (very small) and a spare power link and you can fix almost any chain problem in a pinch. i.e. remove broken link with tool, use power link to put the cahin back together and finish the ride/race etc...

Also, I think there have been threads about others having issues with Dura Ace chains snapping.

Glad you didn't fall or jam your leg into the chainring when this happened. I've seen others do that.
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Old 09-04-06, 07:17 PM
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5000 miles 10,000 mile service life Where did you get these numbers?

Do you still have the old chain? Measure it and see how much stretch it has:

Put the begining of a ruler on the center line of any chain pin. Then look at the 12 inch mark - if it is a new chain or one that is not worn, then the 12 inch mark will line up with the centerline of another chain pin. If it reads 12 1/8. It is time to get a new chain. How far past 12 1/8 is yours?

You may also have damage to your cog and chainrings. I may be off base here but I didn't think these dinky DA chains were meant to go much past 1500-3000 miles. i.e. start watching closely after 1500.
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Old 09-04-06, 07:22 PM
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yeah... I think 3000 km (2000 miles) is about the max you can go on a 10-speed chain without risk of catastrophic failure. 9 speed can maybe go to 4000k. In any case, I wouldn't be surprised. Just buy a new chain & ride!
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Old 09-04-06, 07:31 PM
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I personally use SRAM chains
+1

changed the chain and not the cassette though?
+1 I have 4900 on mine but plan on replacing the cassette since it's hg50 anyway.
Also I am not planning on going far until I do.

didn't think these dinky DA chains were meant to go much past 1500-3000 miles.

Yep, even most that love Shimano believe the chains they make do not deliver.
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Old 09-04-06, 07:32 PM
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I think she was saying she just chaged the old chain with a new one. But I agree that 5k seems like way too much on a chain. My 9spd SRAMS I monitor very closely and seem to be able to get about 3500 miles out of one. And I'm 195lbs. 5k seems like a lot if to me. But I think this was a new chain that broke.
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Old 09-04-06, 07:40 PM
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Get a SRAM next time.
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Old 09-04-06, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cycle17
I think she was saying she just chaged the old chain with a new one. But I agree that 5k seems like way too much on a chain. My 9spd SRAMS I monitor very closely and seem to be able to get about 3500 miles out of one. And I'm 195lbs. 5k seems like a lot if to me. But I think this was a new chain that broke.
YES!!! It was a new chain that broke! Also, the 5k is an estimate of the upper limit of the miles I have put on it. It's probably more like 4k in reality. I'm just surprised that the new one broke...especially after the first 5 days of riding it seem completely fine under a variety of riding conditions, under load, while climbing, etc.

What I was trying to get at is WHY would a NEW chain snap like this? I thought maybe the cassette needed to be replaced as well, but then I didn't notice any skipping problems the first couple of days and neither did the LBS
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Old 09-04-06, 07:46 PM
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Those Shimano 10spd chains seem like a menace. Go with SRAM or Wipperman. The break off chain pins seem to fail far too often (I am guessing that is what failed, anyway). Installation seems to often be the problem (and the fact that installation can be so easily botched). I have a few Shimano chains, but I always equip them with a SRAM masterlink.
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Old 09-04-06, 07:55 PM
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You put a brand new chain on a very worn cassette and worn chainrings. Theres your problem. Sounds like the chainrings are pretty new, so you should just get a new cassette and chain.
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Old 09-04-06, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by iansir
You put a brand new chain on a very worn cassette and worn chainrings. Theres your problem.

Well what makes you say the cassette AND chainrings are very worn? The compact crankset is relatively new...I thought if the issue had to do with a worn cassette that one would have seen skipping right away, which did not happen in this case. It was delayed by almost a week of riding before I saw a problem
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Old 09-04-06, 08:06 PM
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I edited when I saw that your chainrings are relatively new. It's not anything to do with skipping on shifting, its just that you are using a cassette that is all worn in from a chain that is stretched out a bunch. Jam on a chain that is brand new and shorter between links, its going to be under a lot of stress. You should change cassette and chains together if possible, especially if they both have high mileage (5k is pretty high).
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Old 09-04-06, 08:09 PM
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Yes, everyone understands this is a new chain that broke. What we're saying is, with 5k on the old chain it's probably very much the case that the dishing in your cogs and chainrings caused some quick damage to the new chain and it took the easy way out *SNAP*. You should have noticed skipping depending on how much torque you can produce. Can you get a close up CLEAR picture of your cog and chain ring? Dishing is very easy to spot if it's worn enough.
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Old 09-04-06, 08:24 PM
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I live in Salt Lake City, UT and here is a list of some local bike shops.

Spin Cycle (This is currently my LBS)
Hours are Monday - Saturday, 10am - 6pm
4644 S. Holladay Boulevard
Holladay, UT 84117
801.277.2626
888.277.SPIN

Also, here a few other LBS that may be closer to your location:

Bicycle Center
(801) 484-5275 2200 S 700 E
Salt Lake City, UT

Contender Bicycles
(801) 364-0344 875 E 900 S
Salt Lake City, UT

Guthrie Bicycle (Located in downtown SLC)
(801) 363-3727 156 E 200 S
Salt Lake City, UT

Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck in the LOTOJA!

-Scott
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Old 09-04-06, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Doggus
Yes, everyone understands this is a new chain that broke. What we're saying is, with 5k on the old chain it's probably very much the case that the dishing in your cogs and chainrings caused some quick damage to the new chain and it took the easy way out *SNAP*. You should have noticed skipping depending on how much torque you can produce. Can you get a close up CLEAR picture of your cog and chain ring? Dishing is very easy to spot if it's worn enough.
I don't have a digital camera handy...can you describe what to look for? or do you know of a website that has pics of a good and bad cassette so I can compare mine? ugh. ugh. ugh. It was soo easy when my boyfriend did all of the bike maintainance but now since he is an ex-boyfriend I have to do everything myself. I did ask LBS about the cassette and they said not to worry about it, but now I am thinkiong that wasn't such good advice....based on what you guys are saying it sounds like maybe it was the issue
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Old 09-04-06, 08:35 PM
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seems like theres a borken 10 speed chain thread almost weekly. i've got 10 speed too, but i think chain breakage comes with the package unfortunately.
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Old 09-04-06, 08:47 PM
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I would tend to agree about replacing the cassette after 5k with the chain. But it depends on how the cogs look. Likely the old cassette caused this problem, but I'd still recommend a new SRAM Chain and a new cassette.

The love Shimanos components...except for their chains. All my SRAM chains are hollow pin models and I've never broken one or the power links that come with them. Once you start using the SRAM chains and power links, you'll be hooked!
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Old 09-04-06, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Surferbruce
seems like theres a borken 10 speed chain thread almost weekly. i've got 10 speed too, but i think chain breakage comes with the package unfortunately.
I been trying to spread the word...10 speed is junk! take a look at the june 13 tech report on velonews.
http://velonews.com/tech/report/articles/10011.0.html
on my campy 10 speed shifters I can shift a 9 speed cassette. the chains don't break and they last longer...9 speed chains are alot cheaper too.
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Old 09-04-06, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cycle17
I would tend to agree about replacing the cassette after 5k with the chain. But it depends on how the cogs look. Likely the old cassette caused this problem, but I'd still recommend a new SRAM Chain and a new cassette.

The love Shimanos components...except for their chains. All my SRAM chains are hollow pin models and I've never broken one or the power links that come with them. Once you start using the SRAM chains and power links, you'll be hooked!

Thanks for the post. Ok, so I don't look like a total doofus when I go to a shop tomorrow,
how to you pronounce "SRAM" ?
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Old 09-04-06, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
how to you pronounce "SRAM" ?
http://www.sram.com/en/service/sram/...5d38e6d163e820

Q.What does SRAM mean?

A.SRAM is the conglomeration of our founder's names, Scott, Ray and sAM. The initials provided a simple way to come up with a corporate name that could be trademarked and directly translated into languages other than English. It is not pronounced S-RAM, SchRAM, or SkRAM. Just SRAM.
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Old 09-04-06, 09:13 PM
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while we're on the topic, should I be looking for a new LBS if I said I was concerned about the wear
and asked them to take a look at this stuff and they just replace the chain, but say nothing other than the
cassette is ok? I've got a lot more info here from you guys than I got whn I went in there...
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Old 09-04-06, 09:51 PM
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I'm no expert, but it sounds like they made a mistake during the installation. If the cogs were worn enough to hurt the chain, you should be able to see the hook shape in the teeth, plus, there would be noise right away. If there was clunking, like once every rotation of the chain,that sounds like a tight link, or a link that wasn't flexing properly.
I saw a friend break a fairly new chain by shifting while climbing a steep hill. I think the chain can get damaged that way.
I carry a Ritchey multi-tool that has a chain breaker on it, it works.
I also suggest inspecting your chain when lubing it, just look for anything unusual, anything sticking out, etc.
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Old 09-04-06, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
while we're on the topic, should I be looking for a new LBS if I said I was concerned about the wear
and asked them to take a look at this stuff and they just replace the chain, but say nothing other than the
cassette is ok? I've got a lot more info here from you guys than I got whn I went in there...
Possibly. There's a reason a brand new chain broke. They should do everything necessary to make it right and insure that your bike is in proper mechanical condition. They should take this seriously. You are not some 20 mile a week cruiser, you're a serious rider, putting real miles on your bike. You want it to be right!

FYI... I've now got a little over 3k on the rear cassette on my training bike, and it's the second chain on this cassette. When I put the next chain on, I'm putting on a new cassette, since the "climbing gears" on the cassette are starting to show some real wear. So this winter it's a new SRAM chain and a new cassette.

BTW...Everyone at my LBS pronounces it "SchRAM." With the Sch sounding like "Schwin" And have them show you how easy the power link is to get on and off.

One last thing...if you get a Park Tools CT-5 mini chain tool, you can learn to do your own chains and then the next time, you just buy the new SRAM chain, measure the length, take off the un-needed links and put it on yourself in about all of 2 minutes. The tool is small enought to fit in your saddle pack as well. you might also consider a spare SRAM Power Link. Works great in a pinch(if not for you...a fellow rider).

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-04-06, 10:33 PM
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Contender Bicycles
(801) 364-0344 875 E 900 S
Salt Lake City, UT
I highly recomend this shop. They carry Orbea, BMC, Scott, Ridley, Litespeed, Trek, Look, and a few others I can't remember off the top of my head. Their shop is fantastic and they always have a full staff often with same day service. I take my Specialized there even though I live approximately 20 miles and pass a number of shops. Stay away from Bicycle Center out of the ones that were listed.

Good luck at LOTOJA and also let me know if you have any other questions.

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Old 09-04-06, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
Well what makes you say the cassette AND chainrings are very worn? The compact crankset is relatively new...I thought if the issue had to do with a worn cassette that one would have seen skipping right away, which did not happen in this case. It was delayed by almost a week of riding before I saw a problem
If you have worn cogs well outside of working limits, they will skip. Not skipping doesn't mean they're not worn to where they can cause further premature chain wear. But neither situation will cause a chain to fail, especially within a week of use. That chain failure is gonna be either a defect or not properly installed chain. Do you still have the broken chain? Did it break at the connector (or at a normal link)? Are all the parts still there?
A lot of reading seems to show consistent problems with both Shimano and Campy 10 spd connectors, much having to do with the installion issues - not all having to do with poor tech work, some being problem pins.
Ask the tech who did the chain replacement how he decided your cassette cogs were okay. To come to that conclusion he would have had to measure the chain and found less than a 16th of stretch. And even with 5K miles that might have been possible.
Best buy I made last year was getting a Park Tool CC-3 chain measure tool - $10 - and real simple. Before I used to do the ruler measure thing, and what a PITA that was! Now I measure every week and it's foolproof and easy.
Maybe you might learn to do the chain replacement yourself. Easy enough to practice on an old chain and then you know its done well, with full attention.
It's obvious from the Shimano Tech Document that the 10 spd chain installation needs good focus and care when doing the job. Even though I like the techs at my LBS, I don;t think I'd trust anyone else to install my chain, given all the cautions Shimano puts in their doc...
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