Sram powerlink=deathtrap?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Seeeriously easy Livin
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    Upset Sram powerlink=deathtrap?

    I'm wondering if anyone else has had a few too many bad experiences with powerlinks?

    I've had far too many fly apart on me, and today was the last straw. My powerlink popped right in the middle of a busy intersection as I was making a left turn. I probably put a little more gas on the pedals than usual, because I had to trackstand at the light for about two minutes before it turned green, and there were at least a few cars behind me. The chain wrapped up in my rear wheel locking it and making me skid to the ground. Luckily I had already gotten far out enough and to the left of the intersection that I didn't block traffic.

    This was definitely the worst time a powerlink has opened up on me, the rest have been on trails, or on the street with no traffic around. The chain probably had around 300 road miles on it, and was far from worn out. Is there anything I should be doing to avoid this problem. As of now powerlinks are regulated to emergency repairs.

  2. #2
    Stay thirsty my friends
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    Peen your chain dude, I gave up on them a long time ago. I haven't had a broken chain since I started peening them. I still keep one in the bag for emergencies though.

  3. #3
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    I've got thousands of miles on them with no problem. I ride both on and off road, summer and winter. Now I'm going to be nervous for a few days after that statement.

  4. #4
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    Zero problems on or off road. I put almost 4000 miles on my chain...and its still going strong. Just remember- new chain = new power link too. Once anything used gets into the equation...problems occur.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  5. #5
    occupation : Foole
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    Hmmmm ....have logged thousands of miles on several of them, never a problem - perhaps OP is freakishly strong ??? ... dunno

  6. #6
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak
    I've got thousands of miles on them with no problem. I ride both on and off road, summer and winter. Now I'm going to be nervous for a few days after that statement.
    x2. By design, they should never come apart unless they break or not installed well. I usually struggle getting them apart.

    OP, I hope you figure it out.
    .

    I may not have the best of everything, but I have the best everything that matters.

  7. #7
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    Never had a problem with mine, thousands of miles on and off road. You're using a sram chain right?

  8. #8
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    No problem on or off road with the powerlink, single, 9spd or 10 spd. Actually I guess the SS chain is that poploc thing but whatever, no issues there either.
    :wq

  9. #9
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    No problems here

    No problems on or off road for 8 years here. Now I'm even using them on shimano chains with no problems. You're not using an 8 speed link on a 9 speed chain or something like that are you? The only issue I've ever had is getting them back apart when they are new but after a hundred or so miles they are butter.

  10. #10
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    I've had failures of SRAMs, KMCs and Wippermans. Some can be attributed to daring power-shifting, but some failed under light load too. Some were quite new, some took thousands of miles. "Your mileage may vary"

  11. #11
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    I've never had one fail either. In fact my mountain bike's chain has 4 or 5 on there now.

  12. #12
    Drinkin' the 29er KoolAid
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    Use fingers only to disassemble

    I've probably got 10,000 or more miles on and off road with SRAM chains and the only time I've had a power-link fail was climbing a paved hill. In that case I think I may have contributed to the failure by previously using needle nose pliers to encourage that particularly tight power-link to open. Since then I've made a point of only using my fingers to get them open and not seen another fail.

    Oh, these have been 8 speed PC-68 chains if that makes any difference.

  13. #13
    responsible zombie owner
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    What's the trick to getting them to open?

  14. #14

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    park makes a pair of pliers that is great for breaking powerlinks Called the MLP-1

  15. #15
    Drinkin' the 29er KoolAid
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    Quote Originally Posted by EHCRain
    park makes a pair of pliers that is great for breaking powerlinks Called the MLP-1
    oooooh, I like that! Definitely going on my next parts order.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by EHCRain
    park makes a pair of pliers that is great for breaking powerlinks Called the MLP-1
    I have one of those and it makes taking my chain off an absolute breeze now.

  17. #17
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    Push both pins toward each other, while "bending"(rocking side-to-side) the chain laterally will get them quickly apart.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  18. #18
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    kind of like a bra strap...push plates together and slide apart/push pins together

  19. #19
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    Sort of sounds like a defective chain or user error. Hearing comments about using "pliers" to open these chains leads me to believe the latter. I have used these chains for quite some time and have not had a failure. I run them on single speed mountain bikes in the front range of Colorado, so you can be assured they are being "worked". The only times I have had broken chains has been a long time ago when I used to use "spirits" to clean shimano chains.

  20. #20
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    I have well over 5000 miles on them on several bikes and never 1 problem

  21. #21
    WooHoo Biking!!!!
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    I have also thousands of miles on them and No problem. I have even put one on my Shimano LX 9 speed chain.
    I have had issues getting the master links apart, but I purchased the MLP-1 and it works aweome. It separates the master links easily.

  22. #22
    aka dan51
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    Powerlink is the greatest chain invention ever.
    I've only had one problem in many years, and that was due to me not connecting it correctly.

  23. #23
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    Wow just my bad luck then. The links arn't snapping, just opening up. I think its happened 4 times, and I've never used tools to take apart or put the links back together.

    Btw how do I peen my chain?

  24. #24
    aka dan51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flystagg
    Wow just my bad luck then. The links arn't snapping, just opening up. I think its happened 4 times, and I've never used tools to take apart or put the links back together.

    Btw how do I peen my chain?
    If they aren't snapping together, then your chain is probably too wide. Kind of like using a 9spd link with an 8spd chain. Did the link come with the chain you have, or did you buy the link separately? Or you have a bunch of gunk in there preventing them from getting close enough together.

  25. #25
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    I've been using Sram powerlink chains on my bikes for years mountain, road, rain and shine and have never had a failure. On the other hand, a mechanic friend I trust swears by shimano chains because they cannot possibly fail due to a master link undoing itself. Everytime I hear of a powerlink failure it makes me wonder when and where it will be my turn.

    I just put a new 10 speed Sram chain on my road bike and I noticed the powerlink has morphed into a "one time use only" affair for some reason ? ? ?

    Hmmmmmm. . .

  26. #26
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    It sounds like your problem is using a it on a fixed gear. Sometimes they just don't work since you can backload the chain on a fixed gear.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flystagg
    Wow just my bad luck then. The links arn't snapping, just opening up. I think its happened 4 times, and I've never used tools to take apart or put the links back together.

    Btw how do I peen my chain?
    I use a small ball peen hammer and something metal and heavy to back up the chain, I've used a body dolly, a jack stand, another heavy sledge hammer but I prefer a 2" diameter X 4" long chunk of brass resting on the pavement...basically anything heavier than the hammer your using to do the peening. If you have never done it before it helps to have someone hold the chain oustretched so you can concentrate on the peening, I just lay the bike on its side and pull the chain off the sprockets to give me slack.

    Next you peen the edges of the pin in four locations but it really depends on the type of chain your peening...different chains are peened differently. Some chains are hollow and have swaged pins, these chains I use the flat face of the hammer to re-swage the pin, it doesn't take much force to peen any chain...don't go nuts!

    After the chain is peened you need to loosen the link (it will be tight) using a chain breaker tool, they all have a second section in them that cocks the chain to one side to loosen tight links, again don't go nuts...you only need a slight squeeze with the drive pin to loosen them.

    All of my bikes have peened chains, the kids bikes don't because they are not strong enough to twist the chain while shifting uphill. This is a common failure with heavy/strong or inexperienced riders while shifting under heavy load, putting the link on correctly can be another issue...they comes with directions.

    I used to break these links every so often, the clip is the weak link in the chain and will twist under heavy load and spring open, I've even returned home from a ride and found the clip half off...thats when I stopped using them.

    Not everybody has problems with them, most of my lighter buddies have zero issues and use them. If you never shift up on a climb, always start a steep climb in the right gear, never shift into a taller front ring while climbing you will likely have no problems using them. From what I have seen with my friends it really is a rider weight/strength issue if you discount inexperience.

    Usually peening the chain so there is no weak link solves the problem forever and you will never have an issue again. They really are only as strong as their weakest link, and the clip is the weak link.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    It sounds like your problem is using a it on a fixed gear. Sometimes they just don't work since you can backload the chain on a fixed gear.

    Backload the chain? Tension is tension - it doesn't matter whether the force was applied for acceleration or deceleration.

  29. #29
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    Never had an issue with a power link in thousands of miles of road, off road, cross, racing etc

  30. #30
    responsible zombie owner
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    +1 for adding this to my next order! Thanks for the tips everyone.

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/139...ink-Pliers.htm

    PS goodvibe IIRC I believe you have an FX 7.6. I asked about it in a thread about commuter bikes because I've ordered a 7.5 and was interested in your experiences on the FX.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
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    some people can break a bowling ball in a box of sand.

  32. #32
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spindelatron
    kind of like a bra strap...push plates together and slide apart/push pins together
    This is quite possibly the best powerlink analogy ever! It's something we should all be able to do "in the dark."
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  33. #33
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    Usor error! Thousands, upon thousands of miles on them on both my MTB and commuters and only ever had 2 fail and both were install errors - 1st one was the first time I ever used one and never had a problem for the 3.5 years up until last year in CO when I reassembled my bike and prob installed it wrong, popped apart on a very high torque, tech climb, so I popped another in and have been using it for almost a year no problems. Can't even count the amount of on trail/ride fixed chains I've done with these and never a problem after and super fast.
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  34. #34
    A Superhero Named Tony
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    I've had a chain come apart at the powerlink while hauling @$$ over some brutal chatter. Lots of suspension movement and chain slap preceded it. I'm not sure if the powerlink broke or just came apart since I didn't recover it. I assumed during a point of too much slack in the chain that it just came apart, but I don't know for sure.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
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    Never had a problem with a powerlink... but I much prefer the Connex link from wippermann, easier on/off.

  36. #36
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    Well after defending powerlinks in this thread, I had one break today. Was playing polo, going full force for the hole shot, and the chain just snapped (or just came apart) at the powerlink. My face barely missed the stem and i ended up slamming my shoulder in the pavement pretty hard. I was shaken to say the least.

    I don't know what the hell happened, and though my chain was kinda dry (polo bike), I hadn't had an issue with it up until the incident. I put the chain back together right after i crashed (made sure to hold the tire and crank on the pedals so that the links snapped together tightly) and continued playing on it, but I then couldn't stop thinking about it breaking again...

  37. #37
    Ibexbiker
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    I only use SRAM chains/powerlinks now after years of breaking KMC, Shimano XT and XTR chains. I have gone through 4 Shimano chains in two seasons on one bike and still have the same SRAM chain on the other with no breaks. I just bought a bunch of SRAM chains to use on all my bikes. IMO SRAM chains work the best for me. If your powerlink is just popping out and not breaking I would believe that is due to improper installation. It could just be a faulty link too. So swap it out for a new one and see if that fixes the problem.

  38. #38
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibexbiker
    I only use SRAM chains/powerlinks now after years of breaking KMC, Shimano XT and XTR chains. I have gone through 4 Shimano chains in two seasons on one bike and still have the same SRAM chain on the other with no breaks. I just bought a bunch of SRAM chains to use on all my bikes. IMO SRAM chains work the best for me. If your powerlink is just popping out and not breaking I would believe that is due to improper installation. It could just be a faulty link too. So swap it out for a new one and see if that fixes the problem.
    I agree. I have already gone through KMC/9SL, Wippermann, and XTR chains while my SRAM PC991 Hollowpin + Powerlink chain has endured nearly 4000 miles without even a millimeter of stretch or breaking. Its no surprise when SRAM purchased Sachs- they bought the finest drivetrain technology on the planet. Amazing...
    Last edited by Cayenne_Pepa; 06-25-2009 at 11:11 AM.
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  39. #39
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    I would have been in the defend camp 100% but earlier this year I had one break on me and the link was unrecoverable, I looked - don't know what happened other than I'm sure I was beating on it. This was on an 03 F600 that was starting to tweak in the rear triangle so I'm sure that had something to do with it, that chain had about 800 miles or so on it matched to a new drivetrain so whatever, I chalked it up to poop happens. I still prefer the SRAM chains over all the others.

  40. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spindelatron
    kind of like a bra strap...
    yea. and hope they're Big'uns!!!

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