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  1. #1
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    Chain Broke on SJ FSR Elite after 70 miles!

    Hi Everyone,

    First off, thanks in advance for any replies. I never take advice for granted.

    I was on a nice 20 mile roundtrip ride this afternoon(evening) and halfway down i started getting some gear skipping on the rear cassette. i figured it was cable stretch so I adjusted the tension at the shifters to no avail. at the turnaround point, I was able to diagnose that a few of the links were stuck. I busted out the trusty tool, removed a few links, and thought I was back in business.

    I took it easy on the chain, knowing that I had to "limp" home. 2 miles later, the chain went completely. I was unable to determine if the break was at my "repair" spot, or another part of the chain.

    Digging around through the reviews section of this forum reinforced what I had experienced on the trail, the SRAM PC-971 just isnt well received, and for most reviewers, prematurely failed, usually within a few hundred miles of riding.

    So my question is:

    1. What chain should I be looking into next? I have heard some good things about the Shimano HG-93, but want to know if anyone else has any other recommendations for a good, reliable chain.

    My bike is a completely stock (and chainless) 07 Stumpy FSR Elite. I found it slightly odd that Spesh would mismatch components (XT crank, XTR Derailler, SRAM chain).

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Happy Riding,

    Chris

  2. #2
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    You know I hear you about the mixing spec. Spesh and many other manf. seem to do that alot. When I got my expert I took the stock cassette off and put a sram 990 on to try to match it up more. I am having some drivetrain issues with mine but no stiff links. I am eager to hear what posters say about what chain. This is my second sram chain by the way. The first one I put on last fsr lasted about one week and I fought with it for about one month.

  3. #3
    local trails rider
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    Sometimes chains break, especially when new. Last summer the Shimano "LX" chain on my new bike lasted about 10 miles, before breaking. I fixed it on trail and it has been fine ever since (it was a little too long anyway so removing one link did not make it too short).

    I like Shimano's "XTR/Dura-Ace level" chains because they seem to be easier to keep clean, shift great, and stretch less.

  4. #4
    thecentralscrutinizer
    Reputation: mopartodd's Avatar
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    I've run both the Shimano and the Sram and can't say anything bad about either.
    2015 Kona JTS
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5
    2013 DeVinci Leo SL
    2009 SE Racing SoCal Flyer
    2008 SE lil Ripper
    2003 TiSport Gman

  5. #5
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    Sometimes chains break, especially when new. Last summer the Shimano "LX" chain on my new bike lasted about 10 miles, before breaking. I fixed it on trail and it has been fine ever since (it was a little too long anyway so removing one link did not make it too short).
    I hear you on that. I am a "realist" and can accept failure of components. The moral of the story is that I should probably start carrying an extra chain with me on trail rides. I think if I had daylight and the risk of wildlife wasnt as extreme (mountain lions, snakes, etc) I would have been able to do another repair to the chain on the trail.

    Can anyone think of anything else that needs to be in my bag? I live by the motto "always prepared" so i would like to avoid walking home again if at all possible. Flat kit, first aid kits, extra water, etc are already considered.

    I will also continue to watch this thread to see if anyone else has suggestions on a chain.

    mopartodd- seeing that you like both, can you tell me which models you went with? I dont have any resentment towards SRAM because of this chain (my Juicy 7 squeals are another story), but would also like to consider a shimano chain.


    Happy riding,

    Chris

  6. #6
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    I've used the stock Sram 971 chain that came on my Stumpy, but I swapped an old drivetrain from another bike that had a Shimano 7701 (dura ace) chain. I did however keep the powerlink on the Shimano chain.

    Try some organic pads for the brakes.
    2015 Kona JTS
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5
    2013 DeVinci Leo SL
    2009 SE Racing SoCal Flyer
    2008 SE lil Ripper
    2003 TiSport Gman

  7. #7
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    I picked up a Shimano CN-7701

    We'll see how she lasts.

    Chris

  8. #8
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    my BROKE CHAIN EXPERIENCES......

    First off,,,never ride a chain that has not been first vatted thoroughly with solvent. The goo on OEM bikes and new in box chains is rust prevention grease. It is not for lubrication...it is also a very powerful dirt magnet.

    OEM bikes rarely have a chain that is of proper length, usually too long. Here is my secret.....

    Buy two or preferable three chains. Have someone vat them overnite and have each thoroughly cleaned and dry. Buy a couple SRAM Power Links. Have a knowledgeable wrench show you how he determines proper length on the bike and have him cut the chains to proper length. Count the number of links, save this somewhere for future needs. Go home and assmble each chain on the bike. Turn bike upside down and lube the proper bits of the chain. Patience, give your self a few minutes to do each chain. Remember that most visable parts of the chain do not need lubrication as they just act as dirt magnets. It is the "invisible interfaces" like pins, roller bearings, overlapping plates that need the anti friction Love.

    Once each chain is lubed but not overlubed, wipe off all excess, remove from bike let er dry and place lubed chain in ziplock with a power link for future use. Place next chain on the bike and lube away. DO NOT ride immediately, as someone mentioned you want the carrier liquid to evaporate leaving the lubrificating residue behind to do its magic. Wipe down all excess, ie any visable lube as it just attracts dirt.

    I personally relube after a couple rides, keep excess wiped off the chain and when the current chain gets too dirty I remove from bike, install the ziplocked ready to ride one, and take Mr Dirty Chain to LBS for a $3.00 vatting.

    Since I have been rotating chains like this I no longer break em. The power link is critical to my vat, lube, dry, backup scenario. I have been very satisfied witht he durability of Sheemano CN 7701. Each of us has a favorite personal lube, and mine is......well on my bike chains I use Triflow and Finish LIne Dry Teflo Lube as Sex Wax is great for your stick but not your chain.

    OK there's my secret...good luck.

    CS
    C.SPRINGS

  9. #9
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    Hey CCJUNG...

    I almost forgot...your broken chain.....take bike and chain to store where you purchased. Ask them to fix it properly, vat, cut to length, etc. They should only charge you for the power link. Be sure you know how to spin the cranks between gears, never mash with power whwn shifting. An easy habit to develop.

    As far as I am concerned they did not properly prepare your bike if the chain was not removed, vatted, cut to lenght , and lubed properly...Unless you got it from wallymart, target, or sears.

    Good luck
    C.SPRINGS

  10. #10
    Changed forever
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    Shiat happens. Try to get it warrantied

  11. #11
    bcs
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    Power link?

    Csprings,
    Is the power link an SRAM part? is it re-usable like a motorcycle master link?
    Does it work with a Shimano 9-speed chain (like the HG-93)?
    Well, I didn't expect the Spanish inquisition...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSPRINGS
    First off,,,never ride a chain that has not been first vatted thoroughly with solvent. The goo on OEM bikes and new in box chains is rust prevention grease. It is not for lubrication...it is also a very powerful dirt magnet.

    OEM bikes rarely have a chain that is of proper length, usually too long. Here is my secret.....

    Buy two or preferable three chains. Have someone vat them overnite and have each thoroughly cleaned and dry. Buy a couple SRAM Power Links. Have a knowledgeable wrench show you how he determines proper length on the bike and have him cut the chains to proper length. Count the number of links, save this somewhere for future needs. Go home and assmble each chain on the bike. Turn bike upside down and lube the proper bits of the chain. Patience, give your self a few minutes to do each chain. Remember that most visable parts of the chain do not need lubrication as they just act as dirt magnets. It is the "invisible interfaces" like pins, roller bearings, overlapping plates that need the anti friction Love.

    Once each chain is lubed but not overlubed, wipe off all excess, remove from bike let er dry and place lubed chain in ziplock with a power link for future use. Place next chain on the bike and lube away. DO NOT ride immediately, as someone mentioned you want the carrier liquid to evaporate leaving the lubrificating residue behind to do its magic. Wipe down all excess, ie any visable lube as it just attracts dirt.

    I personally relube after a couple rides, keep excess wiped off the chain and when the current chain gets too dirty I remove from bike, install the ziplocked ready to ride one, and take Mr Dirty Chain to LBS for a $3.00 vatting.

    Since I have been rotating chains like this I no longer break em. The power link is critical to my vat, lube, dry, backup scenario. I have been very satisfied witht he durability of Sheemano CN 7701. Each of us has a favorite personal lube, and mine is......well on my bike chains I use Triflow and Finish LIne Dry Teflo Lube as Sex Wax is great for your stick but not your chain.

    OK there's my secret...good luck.

    CS
    When do you find time to ride with all of that going on??????

  13. #13
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    bcs..
    YES ON ALL POINTS.
    C.SPRINGS

  14. #14
    bcs
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    I'm running shimano chain (HG93) and in my pak i carry a chain tool, four links of chain and a couple of the shimano chain pins (the snap-off type). When I get my new stumpy with a SRAM chain, those Shimano pins probably will not work.
    But if the SRAM power link will work with either SRAM or shimano 9 speed chain, then it sounds like that's the hot ticket to carry for emergency repairs.
    Well, I didn't expect the Spanish inquisition...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd
    I've run both the Shimano and the Sram and can't say anything bad about either.
    I know huh'

  16. #16
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    I broke my sram chain twice the other day - in fact I seem to break them quite regularly - I now take spare powerlinks with me and some spare chain.

  17. #17
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    When everyone is saying they broke a chain and then took some links out....why ?

    I'm I missing something here ?

    I haven't a clue which chain Im using, just the OEM one that came with the bike (9 speed Shimano cassette and gears). Never experienced a broken chain on this bike but have had it happen on a roadbike.

    So, chain breaks..........usually happens at a link pin as the chain flexes the side plate pops off the rivet head because it was not properly riveted.

    Bring out rivet tool and back rivet out of chain too edge of side plate. Wiggle roller into place (the rivet should be just proud of the inside of the side plate). Re rivet chain, then you need to use the tool to open up the link as it will now be pretty stiff. make sure that the rivet is proud of both sides of the side plates and is equal. Check the link is free. Ride bike !!

    Its one of those jobs I do absent mindedly, on total automatic.

    Surely the only time you need to carry links of chain is if by some unfortunate chance the link broke in two places at the same time........pretty rare ?

    Apologies if im missing the point here, but I have read several posts on people struggling with chain breakage and getting all heated about it. To me it is just like getting a puncture, a minor annoying inconvenience.

  18. #18
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    Thank you everyone for their advice.

    I didnt mean to post the "70 miles" as a slam at the product, so if it came out that way, I apologize.

    I was really just trying to see if it was as common of a problem now, as it seems to have been based on reviews of the 971 on this sites review page. Bear in mind I can understand that most people will only post if there is something bad to say, but when you see 15-16 negative posts, it makes you wonder if it was a quality issue with the chain.

    I will definately listen to everyones advice and suggestions on avoiding future chain issues.

    meatpuppet - The problem was that a link was stuck and it had looked like it had been damaged rolling through the teeth. I removed the offending link and reinstalled it. 2 miles into the ride, the condition persisted, possibly from another link or at the site of my reinstallation.

    I got back into the sport after about a 15 year break (as a 12 year old, i was hooked on maintenance, would do everything from truing my own rims, to complete head installs. not a huge deal, but for a youngan, i felt accomplished). More than likely, i f'd up on the reinstallation of the pin during my first repair.

    When it went, it was sundown, and I had a 600 ft climb ahead of me through sycamore canyon (newbury park). Its mountain lion territory, so I just decided it would be prudent to keep moving.

    Luckily my riding buddy came back after I insisted he go (i WAS planning to just limp home). We tried to do another fix when we got back onto the fire road, but the lighting was too low, and I just wanted to keep moving.

    I solicited the forum to see if they had similar problems, or if they have other suggestions. I understand how crucial maintenance is, so I appreciate all the advice. The LBSs near me are pretty knowledgeable, but I have alot of the DIY nature in me, and can never have enough tools.

    CSPRINGS - can you tell me how vatting works? Is it something I can do on my own?



    Chris
    Last edited by ccjung; 05-12-2007 at 04:39 PM.

  19. #19
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    Vatting....

    ccJUNG,
    Vatting has absolutely nothing to do with the Vat Tax.
    Vatting is like a metal tub with special fluid inside it that can liquefy grease. The fluid usually circulates, one soaks the chain and then uses a wire brush to scrub it and loosen the dirt etc. It is an industrial cleaning station, a parts cleaner.
    C.SPRINGS

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by heythorp
    When do you find time to ride with all of that going on??????
    No kiddin. Holy overkill.

  21. #21
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    Im suspicious that these chain failures are the result of the LBS being hamfisted at chain installation. Do bikes arrive at the shops without the chains attached ? It would make sense if they have a bad bike mechanic that cuts the chain to length and then finds its too shory so re-attaches the links, so there are now two stiff links.

  22. #22
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by meatpuppet
    When everyone is saying they broke a chain and then took some links out....why ?
    When my chain broke, the "side plate" of the chain actually broke next to the joint that the LBS had done. This is a bike that the shop built from parts. The chain was longer than it really needed to be so removing the damaged piece and leaving it that way was fine, IN THIS CASE.
    (If your chain is too short, you run into problems if you try to use the big chainwheel and big rear cogs. If there is too much chain, the chain has more opportunities to slap against the chainstay.)

    edit: at the shop they said that their chain tool may be damaged or something.

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