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hail to the redskins
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About five miles into my ride yesterday, my chain split into two. Pedaling hard right after a green light at the bottom of a moderate-size hill, my chain snapped. The power link also disengaged, so the chain actually divided into two parts. Luckily, I was carrying my multi-tool, so I just removed the broken link, reconnected the chain, and re-engaged the powerlink.
My question is why did that happen. I had already removed a link from the chain due to a previous mishap, but I had already ridden on the chain uneventfully. The day earlier, I did put in that powerlink for the first time, so maybe that was the problem. But as I mentioned, the chain split at a different spot; the powerlink seems to have been fine.
I think I am going to get a new chain today, but I am curious what for opinions here.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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time for a new chain
 

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It happens and usually it's just a matter of a worn out chain. It might have snapped because of the high torque of getting back up to speed, and it was just an act of fate. Was it at a different location to the first break? If it wasn't there's the possibility that the pin wasn't seated correctly and it took a little bit before it gave.
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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Chain usually break because of improper installation.
 

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Steaming piles of opinion
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You've received good advice thus far. One thing I'll add is that frequent crosschaining (especially small-small, because of the higher relative chain tension) can contribute to the problem. Not necessary that it was right at the moment of breakage, but is a contributing factor for loosening pins.
 

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Captain Obvious
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MR_GRUMPY said:
Chain usually break because of improper installation.
i like that reasoning better for why i've never broken a chain, rather than saying i have weak little legs.
 

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hail to the redskins
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The chain broke at a different spot from previous chain issues. I may have been in small-small (maybe the second or third highest in the back), so that may have been the issue. I know that you're never supposed to that - I always try to avoid it - but I have on occasion been there and have never had a problem. I like the too powerful legs theory:D
 

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back to pedaling
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I am going with the idea that your chain is past its life expectancy. There could be more to this than just replacing the chain though. You should make sure your chainrings and cassette are not worn out before replacing the chain. If there is noticable wear replace them too. Each time I replace my chain I usually have to replace at least one chainring.
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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skiierx said:
I am going with the idea that your chain is past its life expectancy. There could be more to this than just replacing the chain though. You should make sure your chainrings and cassette are not worn out before replacing the chain. If there is noticable wear replace them too. Each time I replace my chain I usually have to replace at least one chainring.
wow, if you're replacing a chainring w/ every chain you're letting the chains go way too long. what about your cassettes? if the chainring is cooked, you must have some seriously worn cogs, too.
 

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I know every chain is different...but how long should a chain last if proper cleaning/lubing has taken place over the life of the chain?
 

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nathanm said:
The chain broke at a different spot from previous chain issues. I may have been in small-small (maybe the second or third highest in the back), so that may have been the issue. I know that you're never supposed to that - I always try to avoid it - but I have on occasion been there and have never had a problem. I like the too powerful legs theory:D
It's less a question of what you were doing at the moment, and more of what you do habitually. Small rings increase chain tension for a given load, and the lateral bending cross-chaining creates work together to weaken those connections over time.

Or you might just have a bad chain.

You do know about lube, right?:D
 

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back to pedaling
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cxwrench said:
wow, if you're replacing a chainring w/ every chain you're letting the chains go way too long. what about your cassettes? if the chainring is cooked, you must have some seriously worn cogs, too.
I mostly use the middle ring up front and wear those out pretty quickly (I am not the smallest guy). On my mtb I go through 1 chain, middle ring and cassette each season. I know I do not have to replace all the rings on the cassette but it costs about the same as I normally wear out 3-5 rings. I was trying to make this person aware that he should evaluate the rest of his drivetrain when replacing a chain, as you know most people wait too long to replace a chain and if the rings are not replaced when they are worn it will ruin a chain in no time.
 

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What kind of chain was it? I've only had one chain break on me. It was a Wipperman stainless steel. They had a bad batch of them a few years back. I won't use them again.
 

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Now you know why multi-tools, at least decent ones, have a chain link tool. I've broken a new (<500 miles) chain twice, in different spots. Not sure what you were using, but the current version of Shimano chains seem to break too easy for me. I'm a Shimano guy and run Sram chains on the mountain bikes and KMC on road.
 

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I pack a chain tool

yakky said:
Now you know why multi-tools, at least decent ones, have a chain link tool. I've broken a new (<500 miles) chain twice, in different spots. Not sure what you were using, but the current version of Shimano chains seem to break too easy for me. I'm a Shimano guy and run Sram chains on the mountain bikes and KMC on road.

I pack the smaller Park CT-5 Chain tool. When I broke my chain it meant I could put my chain back together and ride home. I also helped another roadie who broke his chain. If nothing esle, it's peace of mind.
 

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info...

nathanm said:
I had already removed a link from the chain due to a previous mishap, but I had already ridden on the chain uneventfully.

Modern flush pin chains have no way to remove a link and rejoin it except by using a master link or special joining pin. If you pushed a pin out, removed a link and rejoined it with the used pin, you have your answer. Improper installation.
 

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C-40 said:
Modern flush pin chains have no way to remove a link and rejoin it except by using a master link or special joining pin. If you pushed a pin out, removed a link and rejoined it with the used pin, you have your answer. Improper installation.
The one time I broke a chain was shortly after the bike had been in to the LBS for an overhaul, back in the days I did it that way. I'm pretty certain my situation was a chain re-connection error. Danl1's comment about habitual habits has a corollary: What non-habitual thing did the OP do to the chain shortly before the break?
 

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hail to the redskins
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
PdxMark said:
Danl1's comment about habitual habits has a corollary: What non-habitual thing did the OP do to the chain shortly before the break?
I try to maintain proper chain care: avoid large-large and small-small gear combinations (although, as mentioned earlier, I believe I amy have been small-small at the time), and I keep my chain regularly lubed (although I may have gone a little longer than usual since the lube-but not too long).
In terms of non-habitual things, I can't really think of any. Since it was a warmer day here in NYC, I went on a lnoger ride than I have gone on in several weeks, but the incident happened only 5 miles into the ride...
Good thing I had that Crank Bros multi-tool. Never thought I would need a pocket chain tool though
 
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