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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I broke my 1st bike chain yesterday. I barely avoided serious injury. I pulled out my park tool and fixed it on the trail.

Well today it broke again. Some nasty bruises later. I packed it in and went to the house.



What would be the best clyde chain on the market?


Thanks

Steve
 

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a chain is a chain. seriously the biggest difference between one chain ind the next is the price. Chains break from putting a lot of tension on them while shifting or cross chaining.

Get a PC-69, use the snap-link, take care of it (thoroughly clean and lube it every 100 miles or so), and replace it when it wears out. I look for them on sale and buy in bulk (last time I bought they where on sale for $11 at nashbar, bought 10 with a 10% off cupon).

I'd bet the rent money that the second time it broke it was the link you re-joined it from the first time. In these days of snap-links the only time I use a chain tool is sizing the chain when it's new. If you join the chain with a pin, 99% of the time that's where it will break. I'd even say a spare snap-link is a better choice for a take-along than a chain tool.
 

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Playing with chains ...

Joules said:
a chain is a chain. seriously the biggest difference between one chain ind the next is the price. Chains break from putting a lot of tension on them while shifting or cross chaining.

Get a PC-69, use the snap-link, take care of it (thoroughly clean and lube it every 100 miles or so), and replace it when it wears out. I look for them on sale and buy in bulk (last time I bought they where on sale for $11 at nashbar, bought 10 with a 10% off cupon).

I'd bet the rent money that the second time it broke it was the link you re-joined it from the first time. In these days of snap-links the only time I use a chain tool is sizing the chain when it's new. If you join the chain with a pin, 99% of the time that's where it will break. I'd even say a spare snap-link is a better choice for a take-along than a chain tool.
You have to use a special pin to make a good repair. Those things are about $5 apiece. That's about the same cost as a SRAM powerlink.

Yes, it is better to carry a powerlink or two for chain repairs. But you still need a chain tool to take off the other end of broken link.
 

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Your bike is incorrigible
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power stink

I lost my power link somewhere along the way. Just use one of the existing rivets. I did, and it worked fine for about 6 months (about the time it took for the chain to finally stretch to the point it needed replacing). Now I have another power link, and I'm just waiting for the day it pops off. Yes, the power link is a great idea. It's too bad it doesn't work.
 

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Huh?

Guyechka said:
I lost my power link somewhere along the way. Just use one of the existing rivets. I did, and it worked fine for about 6 months (about the time it took for the chain to finally stretch to the point it needed replacing). Now I have another power link, and I'm just waiting for the day it pops off. Yes, the power link is a great idea. It's too bad it doesn't work.
So the Power Link popped off and so it doesn't work? I've been running SRAM chains for over 5 years and haven't lost a Power Link. I've broken a couple of chains but that was my fault for improper shifting.

willtsmith_nwi: You only need a special pin for Shimano chains. Not because you require the special pin but because it makes it significantly easier to start the pin if it's pushed all the way out.

IMO, the best advice in this thread comes from Joules. The primary reason for a chain snapping is sideloading from improper shifting. Clean up shifting and virtually eliminate snapping chains.

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
preety sure it was a sram chain. It broke at the ( master link ) is that the same as the power link? I was not shifting and I was in a steep climb. I had just got my tire over a root and was applying max force when it broke.

The next day it broke where I had had previously fixed it.

Anyway, I picked up a new chain today. SRAM
 

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a chain is not a chain

read the paper that comes with shimano chains and learn how to use them and you'll have the same few numbers of problems.

funny how everyone hates shimano chains including roadies but they all love campy chains and they're an even worse repair

i've been using sram chains ever since they were sachs, good chain

but NOTHING shifts like a hyperglide chain on shimano cogs and chainrings

lastly clydes should also look at whippermann chains they have models that are stronger and have a better link than sram
 

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huh what?

Maybe I was a bit cryptic in the last post. I'll try to explain. I think the SRAM chains are good, but their power link is suspect. Mine fell off when I rode over some bouncy terrain (really easy bouncy terrain). Now this could have been my fault for not making sure the power link was snapped back together properly, but I had been pedalling it, putting tension on it, pulling that power link shut. That was my first experience with the power link. I just bought two more SRAM chains with power links. Doesn't that tell you something? I could really care less about the power link system. It's the chain that I'm interested in. They shift well and seem to last quite a while. In other words, don't buy the chain just because you like the idea of the power link. Buy it because, aside from the power link, it is a good chain.
 

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Yep....

Guyechka said:
Maybe I was a bit cryptic in the last post. I'll try to explain. I think the SRAM chains are good, but their power link is suspect. Mine fell off when I rode over some bouncy terrain (really easy bouncy terrain). Now this could have been my fault for not making sure the power link was snapped back together properly, but I had been pedalling it, putting tension on it, pulling that power link shut. That was my first experience with the power link. I just bought two more SRAM chains with power links. Doesn't that tell you something? I could really care less about the power link system. It's the chain that I'm interested in. They shift well and seem to last quite a while. In other words, don't buy the chain just because you like the idea of the power link. Buy it because, aside from the power link, it is a good chain.
I understood what you meant. My only question is how many SRAM chains have you run and experience a failure on the Power/Master Link? I've broken plenty of chains, but I don't recall having broken one at the Power/Master Link. Sounds like you just torqued the carp out of your chain and it failed exactly where it was supposed to fail.

Sorry about the confusion on the name. I don't always keep up with the correct marketing terms. Walk in to any LBS and ask for a SRAM (Anything) Link and you'll get the Master Link.
 

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ok I admit it

It was my first SRAM chain. I had always used Shimano. And, I will also admit that I was expecting it to fail at the link. However, I was riding downhill, not pedalling at all, when it came loose and fell off. After that, the chain broke one other time, when I was really cranking hard on a steep climb.

I'm still wary of those links. One thing I noticed on my new chains was that I was having to really force the two sides together. On the first chain, I could just slide the two sides together without much force. Also, I had taken the power link apart several times before getting my chain adjusted to the right length. I think I had worn out the power link!
 

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The only chain I haven't broken is the new Shimano XTR/Dura-Ace chain with replaceable mushroom-style pins. Much stronger than the old Shimano chains (of which I broke several). Also stronger than the new SRAM chains (of which I broke 2, at the power-link, within 6 months of purchase).

The main thing you get with the "high-end" chains is corrosion resistance, which is well worth the extra $$ if you live in a wet climate.
 

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A chain is not a chain

They vary in quality and design. Watermocassin is right. The Dura Ace 9 speed chain with the mushroom pins are top notch and I have never had one break. I started buying them after reading a review in Mountain Bike Action. The Progold lube that got top marks in the Mtbr review is worth investing in too.

hrhitter said:
I broke my 1st bike chain yesterday. I barely avoided serious injury. I pulled out my park tool and fixed it on the trail.

Well today it broke again. Some nasty bruises later. I packed it in and went to the house.

What would be the best clyde chain on the market?

Thanks

Steve
 

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Guyechka said:
It was my first SRAM chain. I had always used Shimano. And, I will also admit that I was expecting it to fail at the link. However, I was riding downhill, not pedalling at all, when it came loose and fell off. After that, the chain broke one other time, when I was really cranking hard on a steep climb.

I'm still wary of those links. One thing I noticed on my new chains was that I was having to really force the two sides together. On the first chain, I could just slide the two sides together without much force. Also, I had taken the power link apart several times before getting my chain adjusted to the right length. I think I had worn out the power link!
The Sram Power Links are only good for about two reconnects, then they're no good.
A person also needs to make sure that the plates on the Power Links line up with the tiny grooves in the pins before you snap them together.
I'm going to trust, that your all adults and will wear reading glasses if nessesary, to do the close up work.
Last but not least; I haven't found that the Power Links are removable by hand in the field, because they get set pretty hard by the chain tension, so you either have to keep a pair of needle nose pliers or a chain tool with you anyways. I would keep the chain tool in the kit anyhow, because the chain needs to have the bad link removed before fixing it anyhow.
I've used Shimano chains with no problems, you just have to follow the instructions and use the break off pins, instead of the old one that got pressed out of chain when you cut it.
I've never had any quality chain break when installed correctly, but I can't vouch for the chains that are on the bike of a "super clyed" which is what I consider anyone over 245 lbs.
Don't ask how I came up with that weight, it just seemed a good breaking point based on my own life experiances with weight and bikes.

As far as chain performance goes, I've noticed that the Sram chains will last a little longer than the Shimano chains at the lower price points, but at the higher price points they are about the same. The Sram chain's nickle coating also holds wet lube better than the zinc coating on the Shimano chains, but the Shimano chains shift a little better on the rings than the Sram stuff. That last comment is for the "old" sram chains PC-58, 68 ect.
The new 900 series chains that Sram came out with this year, copy the side plate design of the Shimano chains, so they may shift just as good on the rings as Shimano's stuff now. However I haven't tried one of the new Sram designs yet, because I wasn't in the mood to be a consumer guinea pig !
Lastly; the Sram chains I've noticed wear better, probably because of the supper hard nickle coating, but they also cause a noticable increase in chainring and cassette wear.

Its really comparing "apples and oranges".

Later, Eric.
 

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Based on what?

Ericmopar said:
The Sram Power Links are only good for about two reconnects, then they're no good.
So if I want to clean my chain and drivetrain I need to buy a new Power Link every 3rd time? Nonsense. I go 250# and have run SRAM chains almost exclusively for as long as I can remember save the one HD Wipperman/Connex chain I'm experimenting with out of curiousity right now. In fact, the chain on my SS was on my FS gearie for a full season and is held together by two Powerlinks after busting the chain when I errantly left it extremely cross chained on a tough climb. Neva problema Vlade.

The Powerlinks are the toughest links and I always keep a small baggy of them and inner links in my C'back. I've fixed broken Shi+mano chains with them. I have to believe it's user failure if someone has recurring problems with Powerlinks. For SSing or gearies the 50s level SRAM chains or higher work great. My Wipperman SS/BMX chain is burly and uses a somewhat similar "Powerlink" masterlink but it is a bit overkill. The high end Shimano stuff may be durable and perform well but its a PITA to work on and overpriced relative to mid-range SRAM products that function equally well. A Powerlink on a clean chain can be removed with one hand. Try that on any Shimano chain. These chains suffer admirably under my big carcass, SSing, MN slop and poor shifting technique. Get some.
 

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Interesting reading...

After a little over a year's worth of riding (roughly 1500 miles) - I broke my SRAM chain (again) this past weekend. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. It broke a few months ago and I've been riding it ever since on a nighttime trailside fix. I simply pieced it back together with the parts I could find in the dirt and went back about my business.

I put about 175-200 miles on it since then (including a mud packed 24-hour race) with no problems.

That being said - I went back in and bought the same chain at lunch today.
 

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Ken in KC said:
IMO, the best advice in this thread comes from Joules. The primary reason for a chain snapping is sideloading from improper shifting. Clean up shifting and virtually eliminate snapping chains.

Ken
nailed it on the button.....another thing once a chain breaks usually it is shot anyway so it is better to just 'baby it" home and replace before the next ride
 

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Ericmopar said:
The Sram Power Links are only good for about two reconnects, then they're no good.
A person also needs to make sure that the plates on the Power Links line up with the tiny grooves in the pins before you snap them together.
I'm going to trust, that your all adults and will wear reading glasses if nessesary, to do the close up work.
Last but not least; I haven't found that the Power Links are removable by hand in the field, because they get set pretty hard by the chain tension, so you either have to keep a pair of needle nose pliers or a chain tool with you anyways.
i snapped my sram 7.0 chain last night, not at the powerlink. looked like side ways stress is how it broke.
i have removed my powerlink and chain probably 20 times since i bought the chain 4 months ago, absolutely no problems getting it back on. i did find that until i figured out how to remove the power link i had a lot of trouble getting it off. the best way to remove it i have found is to use one hand and hold the link by the sides between the thumb and forefinger and slide the links.
 

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hrhitter said:
What would be the best clyde chain on the market?
SRAM PC 68 ...emphasis on the "8" speed which is hands down MORE durable than 9.

Not being able to remove the "Power Link" more than twice is nonsense. I rotate 2 chains through my bike, swap every month or two. 2 chains going on 1.5 years under 230 pounds. Power Link makes this a piece of cake, but it is easier to take apart using a "smush" motion when it is CLEAN.

Ever put a new chain on a worn but not trashed drive train the day before a big ride/race. It doesn't work. This spreads chainstretch over multiple chains and increases the life of your cassette and rings. Gotta love it.
 

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redstar said:
i snapped my sram 7.0 chain last night, not at the powerlink. looked like side ways stress is how it broke.
i have removed my powerlink and chain probably 20 times since i bought the chain 4 months ago, absolutely no problems getting it back on. i did find that until i figured out how to remove the power link i had a lot of trouble getting it off. the best way to remove it i have found is to use one hand and hold the link by the sides between the thumb and forefinger and slide the links.
I've had three Sram chains on my Jamis now and have never got more than three reconnects before they had a huge decrease in the "snap factor".
I do ride in the desert and its imposible to keep sand from contaminating the chains within a few miles of XC riding. What has been happening to me is this, the Power Link will snap together after the third time, but its way easier to undo the link after that, so I don't trust them anymore.
I like both Shimano and Sram, I think when properly installed they are both good, even at the lower price ranges.
As far as cleaning goes, I've allways cleaned them on the bike (with one years exception), with a hose connected to a hot water heater in my garage and a little degreaser. I just don't blast the wheel bearings ect with the hot water. I tried taking the chains off and cleaning them for about a year, but found that I wasn't getting anymore life out of the chains for all the extra trouble.
Plus lets face it; the drivline of a mountain bike actually used off road gets filthy in a matter of a few miles of real sandy dirty riding, so getting "most" of the filth off is as good as its gona get. After five miles here in the desert, I can't hardly tell my chain was cleaned anyhow regardless of the brands of lubes I've tried. That includes dry and wet lubes from Finish Line, White Lightning and others that were so bad I didn't even bother to remember the names. I've settled on 30wt. motor oil these days, because its cheap, lubes just as good or better than the expensive "chain lubes" and it cleans off really good with hot water and 409 or similar cleaners.
3 in 1 is also good here in the Desert Southwest. In CA I had settled on White lightning, but it just doesn't work here in this climate.

I also forgot to add in my previous post, that Shimano chains with all brand new drive components are more prone to chain-suck until they break in. I haven't had that kind of problem with sram chains on used or new chain rings ect.

I also agree with the previous poster that said 8 speeds are way more durable.
I've had to tinker with my drivlines way more, since the introduction of 9 speeds to mountain biking. I imediately noticed more chain skipping, deraileour adjustment problems, sensitivity to dirt and tooth bending on rings and cassettes after nine speeds came around. A lot of people aren't aware, that the teeth on the gears used to be wider at the chain and tooth interface on the 8 speed stuff. They had to make the teeth narrower on the nine speed gearing, because the chain itself is narrower, which is why nine speed gearing bends easier and wears quicker.

If someone doesn't believe that last statement, try putting a nine speed chain on an older bike that still has pre 95 cranks and cassett and prepare for major chain-suck and improper shifting. The narrower chain might even get stuck between the rings on some of the older cranksets. This is assuming the gearing isn't worn excessively. The front deraileours back then even had a different cage width.
"Note" this experament won't work on any crankset or drivline parts after about 1996, because that was the crossover year. ( if I remember correctly ). After about 96 the chain-ring width and spacing was changed slightly.
 
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