Chain Link Stiffening- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Chain Link Stiffening

    Can anyone explain how to prevent my chain links from stiffening up? This happened to my last chain and is happening to my current chain. Both my old and new chains are Sram PC-99's and the new one has less than 25 miles on it. I regularly lube my chain with a waxed base lubricant, and keep the chain fairly clean.

    I'm really pissed about this issue, because these chains are by no means cheap, and I can't figure out what is causing the links to tighten up consequently stiffen.
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  2. #2
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    If you drop your chain you can slightly bend the links. That could be the prob. if you drop your chain a lot.
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  3. #3
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    do you have a a single stiffening link or multiple links?

    just bad luck i guess, my chain is a few years old and has never seen oil or lube, my chain before that was 5 years old had never seen oil or lube either, it shifted flawless and only had a tiny squeak, it only broke because my derrailleur broke and ate it...


  4. #4
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    The chain has stiffened in two separate areas, neither of which show evidence of twisting of bent links. The only way I've been able to solve this issue is by wedging the links apart to loosen up the movement at the pin.
    While billions are being spent to determine whether there is or was life on Mars, we are left to ponder the age old question: "How much wood could a Wood Chuck chuck, if a Wood Chuck could chuck wood?"

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker.
    do you have a a single stiffening link or multiple links?

    just bad luck i guess, my chain is a few years old and has never seen oil or lube, my chain before that was 5 years old had never seen oil or lube either, it shifted flawless and only had a tiny squeak, it only broke because my derrailleur broke and ate it...
    holy crap is all I have to say. im lucky If a chain lasts me 2 months.

  6. #6
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    clean the chain real well, and get a differnt lube, that waxy stuff just gets wax everywhere.... try a teflon lube for the dry and if its muddy a wet lube
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by justflow
    The chain has stiffened in two separate areas, neither of which show evidence of twisting of bent links. The only way I've been able to solve this issue is by wedging the links apart to loosen up the movement at the pin.
    sometimes this happens where the chain is pressed back together (without the use of a master link) but i just remembered that the sram chains use a master link. i guess you'll have to keep at the wedging untill somone chimes in with a solution....


  8. #8
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    Waxy stuff works fine. I use either Rock & Roll or White Lightning. Good stuff. I haven't had any issues with my Wipperman Connex 9x1 chains. After 2 bikes and almost 2 years, it showed very little stretch with the Park Chain Checker. I had to get a new one since it's too short all of a sudden.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSL_WiLL
    Waxy stuff works fine. I use either Rock & Roll or White Lightning. Good stuff. I haven't had any issues with my Wipperman Connex 9x1 chains. After 2 bikes and almost 2 years, it showed very little stretch with the Park Chain Checker. I had to get a new one since it's too short all of a sudden.

    wax lubes only work if you know how to use them. when usingwax based lubes (white lighting, ice wax, etc.) you should make sure your chain is clean the first time you use it. clean of all older lubes and what not. then when you apply it, apply it more sparingly and ake sure you wipe off all the excess stuff. you only need lube in between the links cause thats where the real friction is. if you just put it on and leave it then go ride in some nasty sh!t then come back and just put some more lube on it'll turn in to a big cakey nasty mess, that you wont beable to use a degresser tog et off and will either have to spend alot of time with a screwdriver scraping off or toss your chain and cassette....not fun.

    i usually go with drier lubes cause they're cleaner and just work better in my oppion. i really like the rock and roll extreme dry or whatever it is (the red bottle) it works super well but you gotta reapply it every other ride pretty much. waht i usually use is prolink. it lasts a pretty long time and glides super well. kinda dirty if you dont get all the excess off but if you do its pretty clean.

    if you got just acouple individual stiff links you can probably jsut work them out. grab the chain right at the stiff link and just twist it back and forth laterally to kinda stretch it out. or if you got a park chain tool use the second set of braces on the tool to work it alittle. one of those usually solves it. if not pull out the pin and clean the inside of the plates, maybe take a file to it for like two seconds to clean off any burrs.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker.
    do you have a a single stiffening link or multiple links?

    just bad luck i guess, my chain is a few years old and has never seen oil or lube, my chain before that was 5 years old had never seen oil or lube either, it shifted flawless and only had a tiny squeak, it only broke because my derrailleur broke and ate it...
    i don't find that to be possible. you can't get away without lubing a chain for a few years without it being very loud and crappy. if it has seen water it would have to be lubed, oiled, or waxed. sh*t here in indiana the humidity would make you have to lube your chain if you rode at night a few times.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by karpiel666
    holy crap is all I have to say. im lucky If a chain lasts me 2 months.

    we live in dry conditions......you want less lube so you don't pick up dust
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibanezrg520kid
    i don't find that to be possible. you can't get away without lubing a chain for a few years without it being very loud and crappy. if it has seen water it would have to be lubed, oiled, or waxed.......
    it gets rained on every now and again, it just squeaks for a part of a ride then back to normal. i promie you, i most certainly don't lube my chain. ask anyone in my crew, they think i'm crazy, but it doesn't give issues so i don't bother........


  13. #13
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    How old are the cassette/chainrings?
    Its possible you have a bent tooth/teeth that are messing up your chain.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtb_biker
    How old are the cassette/chainrings?
    Its possible you have a bent tooth/teeth that are messing up your chain.
    Yep.... If it's not getting bent due to dropping the chain between the chainrings and the BB shell, it could be due to a bent chainring or cassette mucking up your chain.

    Another possibility. What's your chainline like? It could be a result of a poorly aligned chainline and it's getting bent funky. Lastly, it could get bent from cross-chaining....which is really hard on a chain and is similar to the chainline theory.

    As for lube, it's totally dependent on where you live/ride. I'm in wetland, so lubing a chain is necessary nearly every ride for half the year.

    EBX

  15. #15
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    I use White Lightning with great success. I don't lube the chain much.

    I would recommend fixing your PC-99 with a Shimano CN-7701. That solved my chain issues. The PC-99 really is the worst performing, most frequently broken chain I have used. I ran PC-59s for a bit, but the Dura-Ace Shimano chain just works best for me.

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