Clicking chain - just a wearing in issue?

greeny12 Posts: 759
edited December 2008 in Workshop
I've just had a new rear cassette and chain put on my bike. In the two rides I've done since, I've had a clunking sound coming from the front chainring (in both big and small rings), most times that I start to pedal again after stopping at lights etc or after freewheeling.

It feels like the chain is not dropping onto the cogs properly and sometimes it sounds awful, like something has broken. However, when pedalling normally there's no problem, nor do I have any problems when changing gear.

Before I take it back to the LBS and embarass myself with my lack of knowledge, could I ask if people think this is just a 'wearing in' issue and with a few more rides it'll be smooth again, or have they actually cocked up and not fitted the chain properly?

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  • I'd take it back - chains and cassettes only wear in one direction!
    It could be that the joining pin is either in too tight so the chain can't flex properly - this should be easy to spot if you turn the pedals backwards, you'll see the rear mech cage twitch as the link goes through, and you'll see the bend still in the chain.
    Or the joining pin may have been pushed through too far, and is catching on the mech. I'd expect the problem to come from the rear rather than the front though.
    Either way, take it back, it should be easy for them to sort.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Sounds like a stiff link in the chain - rotate the cranks slowly backwards and watch the chain as it runs through the rear mech - if it skips a bit, that's where your stiff link is. If you haven't got a chain tool to hand, go back to your LBS to sort it out, .it only takes a few seconds
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,708
    How old are the chainrings? It's possible that they're worn out, which would explain the chain not engaging with the chainrings properly...
  • Chains are high precision bits of engineering and dont require running in. As suggested I would suspect a tight link and or badly fitted joining pin. If you have had to replace cassette + chain could be both chainrings are shot as well.

    As suggested would advise a return trip to LBS for them to have another look, definately something not quite in order
  • softlad
    softlad Posts: 3,513
    you don't mention what gear combinations you are using when this happens, but its possible you might be running too much crossover..?
  • Hi there.

    Is it a Shimano chain?

    If so check the joining pin. Shimano tried to make the 10speed chains idiot proof with a one-time use pin that is driven in then the excess snipped off. They failed to appreciate the quality of the idiots at shop I used last year...

    ...I too wondered what the clicking noise was right up to the point where I tried to sprint out of a corner at the head of the midweek chaingang and the chain snapped at the joiinng link.

    That crash hurt quite a lot.

    Cheers, Andy
    ps Just because I've posted twice in a row about different crashes doesn't mean I've got a reputation for crashing or anything. Honest...
  • greeny12
    greeny12 Posts: 759
    Cheers for all the input guys.

    I doubt it's a chainring wear issue, the front rings have only done a few hundred miles (I changed the back cassette purely to add some low-end climbing gears for a Ventoux attempt later this year).

    It is a Shimano chain though (105 to be precise)...

    I've run the chain backwards and although it doesn't skip too badly there is the odd click, which suggests it's that tight link theory.

    Edit: strike that, I've just spotted the linking bolt, and sure enough, when run slowly backwards it's the point that catches on the back cassette...

    In any case, it's going back later today, weather permitting, because I definitely don't want the bloody thing to snap in half!!!

    Thanks again,

    My cycle racing blog:

    If you live in or near Sussex, check this out:
  • Shimano chains are horrible - or at least the joining method is. Use SRAM instead!

    (I'm quite happy for most other components on the bike to be Shimano - unlike a few around here :wink: )

    Incidentally, I had a similar clicking/slipping after I changed the chain and cassette. After a bit of investigating, what I found was that the pawls in the freewheel had coincidentally failed at the same time.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Good on you for not ignoring it anyway. My chain started clicking on a ride - and I thought I'd check it out a bit later on in the day. It snapped before I ever got to that point.

    Lesson learned for me !