Chain Snapped - Advice Needed

iGlaswegian
iGlaswegian Posts: 87
edited January 2014 in Workshop
Ok, so i've done a good couple of hundred miles on this chain and today was the day where it seems to have snapped.

I have a few questions:

1) Is this normal?
2) How easy it to apply a new chain on the bike (are any specialised tools needed)?
3) Are all chains standard or do I need a specific chain which measures X, Y or Z?

Thank you in advance :)

Pic of the snapped chain.

33vfb4p.jpg

Comments

  • monkimark
    monkimark Posts: 1,793
    1) Chains do snap, although usually they're broken at the pin rather than actually snapping a plate. The fact that it's rusty and unloved won't have helped. That chain looks like it's done a lot more than 200 miles.
    2) If you get a chain with a split link (eg KMC chain with 'missing link' connector) then no tools are required, otherwise you need a chain tool and for most shimano chains I know of, you need a special pin to reconnect it.
    3) Get a chain to suit the number of gears you have on the cassette (eg 9 speed)

    You might want to oil your next chain.
  • farrina
    farrina Posts: 360
    edited January 2014
    monkimark wrote:
    You might want to oil your next chain.
    I must confess that my first reaction on seeing the photograph was someone was trying to wind us all up (checks calendar to ensure its not April 1st).

    Chains need TLC otherwise they bite (well tend to snap). Loads of information here http://sheldonbrown.com/chains.html and yes you normally need a chain tool to fit a chain.

    Oh and you might want to ensure that any chain you buy is the right type (I believe some of the more modern ones - say for a 10 speed block are narrower than say those for a 8 speed block - a more knowledgeable person will no doubt be along shortly)
    Regards
    Alan
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    You need the right width chain. 5, 6, 7 and 8 speed is all the same, but 9, 10 and now 11 speed are all different.

    However you join the chain you'll almost certainly need a chain tool to remove a few links so it is the correct length.

    It's harder to push the pins out of 10 / 11 speed chains, so in that case ensure the chain tool says it's suitable (although yours looks from the photo to be a chunkier 8 speed ??).

    KMC chains which include a missing link make joining the ends very simple.

    Easier to join the chain if you drop it off the inner chainring and let it sit on the bottom bracket shell while you fiddle with the ends. Make sure it's correctly routed through the rear derailleur first.

    Buy some 3-in-1 oil and apply a tiny drop to each roller of the newly fitted chain, spin the pedals backwards to work it in, then wipe off any excess with a clean cloth. Repeat periodically.
  • ai_1
    ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    It looks like it says HG53 on your snapped chain. That would make it a Shimano Deore 9-speed chain.
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/ie/e ... p-prod6053

    My Specialised Tricross came with one of those. It lasted over 10,000km before I replaced it (never snapped - just wanted to avoid tooth wear from using worn chain).
    Maybe your chain got rusty after being removed and washed and it wasn't like that when you were using it but if it was you'll probably find things smoother and quieter after replacing it.
    I usually clean mine with degreaser and re-lube it every few months. Some people do it after every ride but that seems excessive to me.
    It's easy and only takes a few minutes: spray some foaming degreaser on the chain, give it a quick going over with an old nail scrubbing brush and rinse off the foam with a hose. There's - no need to take the chain off the bike. Then apply a few drops of lube (I use either white lightening epic (winter) or a PTFE spray (summer) but I'm sure they all work fine - don't use WD40 as it's a penetrating oil, not a lube)

    No lube = jumpy rotation due to seized links + noise + corrosion + inefficiency + poor gear changes + short drivetrain life
    Lube without cleaning = accumulated grit = some noise + okay gear changes + medium drivetrain life + more chance of getting black oil on legs or clothes
    Clean and lube = smooth rotation + smooth gear changes + long drivetrain life
  • Velonutter
    Velonutter Posts: 2,437
    Ok, so i've done a good couple of hundred miles on this chain and today was the day where it seems to have snapped.

    I have a few questions:

    1) Is this normal?
    2) How easy it to apply a new chain on the bike (are any specialised tools needed)?
    3) Are all chains standard or do I need a specific chain which measures X, Y or Z?

    Thank you in advance :)

    Pic of the snapped chain.

    33vfb4p.jpg

    Hmm looking at the chain and after a couple of hundred miles, 100% neglect, no ifs or buts, get into the habit of after a ride washing your bike then use some builders degreasing wipes and wipe the crap off your chain, then lube and leave overnight.

    Sorry but I would be ashamed if any of my chains ever looked like that.
  • How long did it take you to do the few hundred miles?

    Five years?

    Did you leave the bike unoiled by the seaside the whole time.

    Properly cleaned and oiled a chain will look like new after thousands of miles.
  • andrew_s
    andrew_s Posts: 2,511
    There are sometimes batches of bad chains, seemingly caused by incorrect heat treatment. The sideplates are more brittle than normal, and tend to crack around the rivets ( See this blog). The same has also happened with other brands of chain.

    "Normal mistreatment" of a chain will cause failure by popping the outer sideplate off the end of a rivet, and lack of cleanliness will increase wear rate but shouldn't actually break anything. I reckon it's quite likely to be a bad chain.

    Clean the chain, and check around the pins for cracks. If you find any, it's a duff chain, and there's no point in doing anything other than getting a new chain, preferably from a different supplier.
  • Hi everyone

    Many thanks for the helpful replies.

    I do clean it - pretty much after every ride. In the summer, every week but in winter I tend to clean it after every ride due to the grit on the roads. I have a bike chain cleaner, the thing which you put on the chain with degreaser running through the plastic device and let the chain run through it. I let the degreaser do it's thing for around 5 minutes and then use a hose to spray it all down. I then use a clean brush and give the chain and the gear part a good rub down with the brush and spray more water if required. I let it dry down and then put lube on it and leave it overnight for the next ride.

    So it's not that I don't take care of it- I tend to keep my bike clean and spotless.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,879
    which lube?

    to go that rusty means the chain has had little or no protection from water

    throw away the chain cleaner, it's a waste of time and money, it'll only take off surface grime, but the degreaser gets inside the rollers, which is where the wear occurs and stays there, degrading the lube

    in the pic, the area inside the link where the roller sits looks especially badly rusted, there's been no useful lube in there for some time

    with the new chain fit a kmc link, then if you want to degrease it, remove from bike, degrease, rinse out every trace of degreaser, dry fully, oil well

    otherwise, if the chain gets dirty, just run it through a bit of old linen, then apply a nice sticky oil, especially given the current relentless wet weather
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny