UPDATE!!! It only broke due to my own stupidity!
Just as you suspected Sue. I took the chain off to clean it and replace a link. When I cleaned it, what looked like a break was actually where a tooth had sheared down the inside of the plate, cutting the metal down against the roller and jammed the link. It also bent the link and twisted it up pretty bad. I wasn’t shifting for most of the whole ride as I was on the pavement, and it happened when I was riding 32 x 11. I HAVE noticed in the past when I really put some power down, the frame flexes enough to pull the cable housing and ghost shift the bike. Which kind of sucks. Anywho, I figure this pulled the chain up enough to grab my next cog while under load on a sick holeshot. Which cut it all up and got me skipping home. So, there we have it. And now, for the fix…
I couldn’t find the leftover from my chain when I installed it, so I got a new one. DEFEATED! Oh well… I have a spare chain and powerlink in my Camelbak now.
I am done with 8 speed. Snapped a new SRAM PC-851 tonight on the road. THE ROAD!!! I don’t trust wheelie drops and lunging on crap that will hurt my face. I suppose I dont really need a 32 tooth low gear, but I don’t want to SS my current rig. I’m not big on tensioners and the like. Seems like an oxymoron in the SS principle of things…
Anywho, I was thinking of friction shifting a 6 or 7 speed back end on my Cameleon, but I remember killing axles on freewheel hubs daily, what with their inboard driveside bearings letting the axle take a lot of leverage. And good luck finding a deacent hub with disc mounts. So, I wonder if anyone has come across a cassette in their interweb travels…
Next bike will be a steel rigid SS with chain tugs. And anno everything.
I seem to remember there possibly being 7 speed cassettes back a few years ago. Hmmm… Might look into that. I doubt I’ll find a SRAM shifter though. I wonder if I can just buy a half decent chain. Any advice? I always found more expensive chains were just lighter and weaker. Any Clydesdales or BMX’ers have any good chains that hold up to your leggies??? I snapped my last 851 at the powerlink. Snapped both sides in the parking lot doing a track stand. There must be some decent crap out there nowadays, I hope.
Although I believe that your legs are powerful I suspect that your broken chain issues have more to do with the way the chain is joined or the way you shift than an overall weak chain. After all, when you think about it, if the chain is in a reasonably straight line (as it always should be) it would take a jeezly amount of force to snap it without some other factor contributing such as a misplaced pin, a stiff link or a mis-timed shift.
I make this observation because I too have monster legs, and back in my racing days I was guilty of many a broken chain. Almost always it was due to a poor join or a mis-timed shift. I don’ t think I ever broke one simply because it couldn’t stand up to these tree trunks I call legs.
Just curious, why do you want a 5/6/7 speed casette? You are going to end up using the same size chain (3/32") just like 8 speed. If it is the amount of chain deflection that is a worry at the extremes of the range causing the chan to flex and twist, have you thought about using the limit screws on the derailleur to keep the chain away from the top and bottom cogs to hopefully keep the chainline straighter?
Sue, that’s a thought. I dunno. Might have to scrutinize my chaintool in the future, but it broke in a spot that was still factory joined. All I did was shorten it and put it on with a powerlink. I’ll keep track of where it was repaired and see how it holds up. And I am usually a shifting etiquette freak. I cringe when I hear people shifting under load and whatnot. And I am BIG on chainline. I am however running a Hyperglide as my last Sram one got a few teeth busted off of it. Wonder if that matters…
Slider, I might just have fond yet foggy memories of huge heavy chains with freewheels sporting ginormous teeth protruding out of them. You’re right it would still be 3/32" chain, but I thought the older stuff with less gears had thicker plates and wider rivets. The more gears, the thinner the chain’s outside width to make it fit. It’s got nothing to do with the number of gears, so much as the size of the components and the strength. But, you bring up a good point. It may well be flexing a bit too much, which would explain the one side plate snapping. Hmmmm… I am running 2X8. Got rid of the big ring. Replaced the BB with a wider one because 1. It was all the shop had that would fit my crank, 2. It keeps my chain out of my wider rear tire, and finally, 3. it lets me use my smallest cog alright in my biggest ring. It is a Frankenbike though. Us poor folk gotta make do…
Ideally I’d like someone to make a decent steel rigid with gears, two mech. discs, some beefy tires and that’s about it. Oh. And be stocked in a local shop. Nunna that hope you like it when the intertubes get it delivered to you type stuff for me.
I might just build up a few old beaters for spares. I’d just miss my diskies. Threaded stems and friction shift are fine in my books. I’ll even rock a loose ball BB for a while. And I always used to keep a 15mm wrench on me, so QR’s are still a luxery in my books. But I don’t miss changing pads a few times a month in wet conditions and chewing through rims. Maybe I’ll build an old school bike up sometime, and keep the Devinci for winter riding. Ride some old vintage hooptie through Whopper and delight in wet canti’s and a crunchy BB
I’ve had good luck with my Sram 971 buty it is 9-speed – it’s the only chain I haven’t snapped
I’ve snapped a few lower end Sram and Shimano chains and I’ve heard bad reviews on Sram’s highest end 991 hollow I think it’s called.
Sometimes you just get on a bad roll… it happens.
Some other things to look into… are you getting any chain suck? How about your chainring, is the chain getting stuck on it somehow? Any voids in your freewhub causing a shock to the chain? What about chain length?
Also, even if it broke at a factory link, somewhere else that has been touched by a bad chain tool could be the answer if it’s getting fetched up and causing abnormal tension everywhere else. Lastly, is your powerlink the right size? That’s another potential issue.
Chronic chain breaking, like Sue said, is more likely a procedural problem somewhere.
I think the older stuff seemed like it had thicker plates etc because the plates were not manipulated to improve shifting like they are now, they were just flat plates. They still make chains like this, check out the KMC Z30 http://www.kmcchain.com/index.php?ln=en&fn=find&mo=view&id=622
Something else to think about, just because the plates are thicker, doesn’t make the chain stronger. There has been a lot of R&D put into the 8/9/10 speed chains now to make them stronger and more durable, and that tech has not really trickled down to the older style chains. By going with an older style chain, you may get less strength.
O9- I don’t have any suck issues at all, which is nice actually. And the entire drivetrain is all new as of a month ago. Free hub is great, feels good. Brand new wheel. Chain length is slightly on the long side. I.E. at the slackest, it is barely tensioned by my new X9. I have only shortened the chain with a chaintool so far. And the Powerlink came with it, but I have seen mismatched parts many times before.
Maybe I’ll take out a link and deal with the loss of one or two possible gear combinations. I think when I percieved it to break, it actually might have been a skip leading to a snap.
Slider, I am thinking you are right about present day chain strength. I think the lack of flex back then with less gears might have helped. And stuff always seemed better back in the day. I might check out that other chain for giggles though. Thanks!