Well, I broke my first chain...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Well, I broke my first chain...

    less than 350 miles, but I've done close to 30k of climbing in 2.5 months of riding. I was running the SRAM 8spd with a couple of quick links since I've been changing gears so much.

    It broke at one of the regular links, but the pin was still in the broken side on the chain..

    Anyway, I think because of the amount of climb here that I may need to go thicker. Any others churn through chains on the front range?

    I think measuring chain wear is better done by ft climbed as opposed to mileage?

    I've ordered 2 connex 108's in the hopes that they're more durable.

  2. #2
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    if you chain broke because of wear from riding, you should have replaced it before it got that bad. it's possible but unlikely that you wore out a chain that badly in that short amount of miles, regardless of the terrain.

    otherwise, chainline, frame flex, a damaged chainring tooth, a rock caught in your chain, etc could all be culprits. otherwise, it's just bad luck.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    if you chain broke because of wear from riding, you should have replaced it before it got that bad. it's possible but unlikely that you wore out a chain that badly in that short amount of miles, regardless of the terrain.

    otherwise, chainline, frame flex, a damaged chainring tooth, a rock caught in your chain, etc could all be culprits. otherwise, it's just bad luck.
    I agree with Mack. I think it was just bad luck. I use SRAM chains too.

  4. #4
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    I'm going to double check my chain line. The eye test looks okay, but I'm going to use a more scientific method

  5. #5
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    I once had a bad Sram 8 speed chain lasted about 350 miles, I still use them to this day but after breaking it after further inspection I found small stress fractures on most of the outer plates close to the pins. I just chalked it up to a bad batch never had an issue yet again, but anything is possible.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by maximo View Post
    I once had a bad Sram 8 speed chain lasted about 350 miles, I still use them to this day but after breaking it after further inspection I found small stress fractures on most of the outer plates close to the pins. I just chalked it up to a bad batch never had an issue yet again, but anything is possible.
    Its also worth noting my process of cleaning and changing my chains has never wavered... always clean and always lube my drivetrain... Always.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    if you chain broke because of wear from riding, you should have replaced it before it got that bad. it's possible but unlikely that you wore out a chain that badly in that short amount of miles, regardless of the terrain.

    otherwise, chainline, frame flex, a damaged chainring tooth, a rock caught in your chain, etc could all be culprits. otherwise, it's just bad luck.
    Agreed. I'll just add that doing log-overs or hitting the chain/chainring on rocks without a bash guard can also damage or weaken a chain.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by maximo View Post
    I once had a bad Sram 8 speed chain lasted about 350 miles, I still use them to this day but after breaking it after further inspection I found small stress fractures on most of the outer plates close to the pins. I just chalked it up to a bad batch never had an issue yet again, but anything is possible.
    I stopped using SRAM quite a few years ago. Had a series of them break, one with painful consequences.

    Haven't used them since, and although they may have fixed the problem by now I'm not going to risk it.
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  9. #9
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    I too have broken SRAM chains, and won't use them anymore. I've been using Shimano HG40 eight speed chains for a few years now, cheap and works very well.

  10. #10
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    I went through the chainline math faq, and found my chainline was off, which may have lead to chain wear. I have another SRAM on there now, but I'll probably swap it with one of my connex chains when I get them anyway. There's something about the 1/8 that makes me feel a pinch more confident...

  11. #11
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    Chainline being off shouldn't increase wear that much. Just increase the possibility of a derailment.
    An 8-speed chain is used to a chainline that's a lot further out than a single speed.

    I put a straight edge up against the inner of the chainring and see where it lines up against the rear cog.

  12. #12
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    That's what I thought. I'm chalking it up to changing cogs and CR's a bunch as I work out final gear inch on my SS. I am throwing a Connex 108 on it in the next few days anyway. Very solid 1/8 chain, which I suspect may handle the climbs on the Colorado front range better.

  13. #13
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    I've been riding singlespeed bikes for more than 20 years. In that time, I've broken lots of chains. Except for the Sram PC-1. Can't remember ever breaking one of them, don't think I ever have. It's the only chain I use on my singlespeed bikes anymore.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlatan View Post
    I went through the chainline math faq, and found my chainline was off, which may have lead to chain wear. I have another SRAM on there now, but I'll probably swap it with one of my connex chains when I get them anyway. There's something about the 1/8 that makes me feel a pinch more confident...
    And what is that makes you feel more confident? 1/8" is just the space between the plates. It doesn't tell you anything about how thick the plates are, how they've been hardened, what the pin and bushing material is, or how those bits are designed. Phrased differently, 1/8" vs. 3/32" is an arbitrary number when it comes to evaluating chain strength. It's not a factor that actually influences chain strength.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Agreed. I'll just add that doing log-overs or hitting the chain/chainring on rocks without a bash guard can also damage or weaken a chain.
    This. I wiped out one of my KMC chains by taking a small rock through the drive train during a race. Bent my chain ring, but I did't think to check the chain. Next race, *boom* there goes the chain. Two separate inner links had cracked (found the 2nd one during post race cleaning) from that same small rock. I had put another 200 miles on the chain between the race it was damaged and the race it finally failed.

    Chain line and lubrication practices don't influence chains breaking in my experience. (I suck at both and only broke that one chain in 10k miles of riding) Damage to the chain definitely will, and on an SS it is very easy for a small rock to get in the driveline and tear things up.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the replies. I am still not sure how that chain broke, but I've got backups now, and am running the connex 108 nickel plated ss chain. I am hoping it'll last the season.

    Sent from my G8141 using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    Pretty big fan of the KMC DX10SC chain. Carry spare master links to be safe. Won't go to 11-speed because I'm suspicious that as chains get thinner they also become weaker. I would also ask for a warranty replacement from the manufacturer.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo-x View Post
    And what is that makes you feel more confident? 1/8" is just the space between the plates. It doesn't tell you anything about how thick the plates are, how they've been hardened, what the pin and bushing material is, or how those bits are designed. Phrased differently, 1/8" vs. 3/32" is an arbitrary number when it comes to evaluating chain strength. It's not a factor that actually influences chain strength.
    True, but it is a factor that affects wear. The wider ⅛" chain has more metal to metal contact on the cogs so, all else being equal, will take longer to wear out, ie "stretch".

    I use 3/32" chains these days, but use steel chainrings which don't wear as fast as the alloy one I have used in the past.
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  19. #19
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    I broke a chain on a climb a few years back, was tempted to roll back to the car since the climb was done but figured the best test of me and the multi-tool was to fix it on the spot.

    Been a while but the standards in chains a few years back from my recollection was some of the experts (mfg?) saying 800 miles or so is an approx average. Obviously, lots a variables but 350 miles seems a severely short lifespan.
    Mostly, KMC is the one that comes to mind as aftermarket and often OEM on bikes I have or had.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    I broke a chain on a climb a few years back, was tempted to roll back to the car since the climb was done but figured the best test of me and the multi-tool was to fix it on the spot.

    Been a while but the standards in chains a few years back from my recollection was some of the experts (mfg?) saying 800 miles or so is an approx average. Obviously, lots a variables but 350 miles seems a severely short lifespan.
    Mostly, KMC is the one that comes to mind as aftermarket and often OEM on bikes I have or had.
    I'm getting a full season of commuting on my chains (hilly for the most part and 1/2 gravel) only changing them when the first chain-stretch indicator is reached on my gauge (.75). I lube every day though and that may help a lot. I pretty much started doing that when we gave up hot waxing chains every 600 miles back in the 80s.

  21. #21
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    Well, I broke my first chain...-img_3371.jpg

    Snap!

    My SRAM PC-991. It was a fairly old chain with lots of recent log bashing, and they've been solid for me in the past.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Beekeeper View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_3371.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	60.5 KB 
ID:	1144623

    Snap!

    My SRAM PC-991. It was a fairly old chain with lots of recent log bashing, and they've been solid for me in the past.
    Ouch.. Hope you weren't full force climbing when that happened.

    Still running a new connex. Going to keep an eye on stretching.

    Sent from my G8141 using Tapatalk

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