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Thread: Chain broke

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051

    Chain broke

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    My chain broke on my way home from work this morning. (Yeah, rats don't take weekends off, but I've got students now so after this they'll be doing the Sunday rat runs.) I was only ~1/4 mile away so I walked home.

    No bike shop in town. Fortunately I have a friend who has a chain tool and a spare chain. I'm going to order a chain tool and two chains (one to replace his and one spare chain for me). I thought I'd just order a master link, but I didn't see that option on Nashbar. Anyway it was getting close to time for a new chain.

    I guess it's good that I'm learning to be more independent about my bike maintenance but I really miss the bike shop.

    And the clutch is going out on the car again. What's next--a sprained ankle? That'd take care of all my forms of transportation! lol
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Belle, Mo.
    Posts
    1,780
    No bike shops in Kirksville? What's that all about? I had that very same thing happen to me a couple of weekends ago. Fortunately Red Wheel Bike Shop was halfway on the Jeff City Greenway. And then it was mostly downhill to it. Luck was with me. (I will never, ever forget my chain tool again!) They even put the new chain on for me. I was due for one... Highly recommend Red Wheel.

    Which shop did you use in Columbia? I bought my mountain bike from Cycle Extreme. Love them. I have had nothing but friendly excellent service there.
    Claudia

    2009 Trek 7.6fx
    2013 Jamis Satellite
    2014 Terry Burlington

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    I used to go to Cycle Extreme and then my friend who worked there had a falling out and I moved to Walt's. I've heard some stories about CycleX, but nothing awful, so I think they're a decent shop, at least to shop at if not to work for. I really love Walt's now.

    I want to start up a collection for a Community Grant for a bike shop. Maybe we could pay for the set up and a couple months' rent, and talk Walt's or someone into starting up a Kirksville branch. I know so many people who go all the way to Columbia for a bike shop, I know there would be plenty of business for it. I heard there used to be a bike shop downtown but it closed in 1991.

    My friend's spare chain turned out to be SRAM. I had no idea what that meant. The master link on a SRAM chain is one that you can pop open and closed with your fingers. You don't need a chain tool and you don't break the link to take it off. However they cost a little more, and a chain tool is so cheap, that I think I'll just buy the old kind and a chain tool.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    983

    Chain broke

    SRAM makes very good quality chains, and I would NOT hesitate to leave the chain on your bike and use them continously from now on. You mentioned the link that they have with their chains, one thing that I always recommend to customers is to carry a spare link... if you should break the chain you can use the link to repair it. AS you can see, they are much easier to take off, to clean, repair broken links etc... We have sold SRAM since the early 90's and I wouldn't hesitate to use them at all... very good quality and much easier to repair(if you should have to).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Technically you're not supposed to reuse the PowerLink.

    I know a lot of people do, and I'm sure that it's one of those things that's just specced that way out of an abundance of caution ... but the bottom line is that I, and a lot of people I know, have NEVER been able to get one off intact. And I have to say that I've never even HEARD of someone using their fingers!

    What's the secret? (Not that I really have any burning desire to save $5 and risk breaking a chain ... just curious.)



    Also, in my area SRAM and Shimano are comparably priced (if anything, Shimano is slightly higher), but just like their "permanent" componentry, there are levels. I'm surprised that you found SRAM to be more expensive ... are you sure it wasn't a lower level chain than the one you took off? I think their cheapest (Shimano 105-equivalent) chain is 1050.

    Also ... if I were doing a whole lot of it I think I'd invest in a quality chain tool, and they certainly are not cheap. A portable chain tool will get the job done, but it sure takes some finesse.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 09-21-2010 at 04:49 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    I work in a bike shop, and we routinely remove and replace SRAM Power Links with fingers only. You may need to squeeze the side plates together to help the link come apart. We reuse them because they wear with the chain and you want all the links with even wear. To install a new SRAM chain, and possibly to add a new Power Link to a broken chain, you need a chain tool to shorten the chain to the proper length.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Seriously though, what's the secret? I can't even get them apart if I squeeze the side plates with my chuffiest needlenose pliers.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    Sorry, I was just watching. He made it look really easy.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,845
    I think the earlier powerlinks (8 speeds?) were made to be reusable. The 10 speeds aren't, but while I definitely haven't figured out how to do it with my fingers only, I have managed to jury rig something to get the powerlink apart and reuse it several times (it usually involves balancing one end of it on a ridge (the ridge sits on the inside part and not on the outside) and then using something else with a ridge to push down the top part of it only on the inside, squeezing it together. sometimes jeweler's screwdrivers or tiny needlenose pliers get used. )

    I switched to using sram chains & powerlinks once after my chain broke at about sunset when I was 7 miles from home. It was a long walk home (I didn't think I was going to be able to jury rig something in the middle of nowhere while it was getting dark). While I had a chain tool & a spare pin on my bike tool - it was either an 8 speed or 9 speed pin and the chaintool was for bigger pins than 10 speeds - so it was useless anyways. So now I always carry a working chain tool and a spare power link.

 

 

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