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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just finished building my ML8 with the parts from my Matic. However I have only ridden the ML8 3 times and I have broken a chain 2 of the times. I have an XTR crankset a sram x.9 rear and a sram x.0 cassete. The first chain that broke was a sram pc 971 chain I took off my matic and put directly on the ML8, it broke while going up a steep mud incline. I went to my LBS and one of my friends put a sram pc951 on it, and today while riding I went off of a ~1ft drop when the chain broke again. I have only broken 1 chain in the last 10+yrs of riding and are not sure why its happening. Just wondering if I had the chain to short after switching from the matic, seems like with 1.5" more travel I would need a bit more length in the chain, but I would think when I had it put on at my LBS they would make sure it is correct. Anyway just wonderin if anyone else has had the same problems, thanks
Ryan
 

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I have broken chains many times, but not yet on the ML8. I don't think it is the bike per se, but probably just you cranking super hard on the pedals.

I did break some chains on my old kona right after eachother (one old then one new), but it was just as I said trying to crank up a section of very steep trail with super traction and kapow!
 

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"55 lbs and climbing!"
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I would think that if your breaking your chain in a drop-off, it's too short. The rear suspension is extending and the deraillier is maxing out. The next thing to break would be the deraillier itself.

I worked a shop for 7 years. I don't know about your shop, but little details like checking proper chain length for a full suspension bike would slip by some of the techs at ours occasionally. Alot of guys set the chain as if it where a hardtail, this won't work.

You need to make sure you check the chain length with the rear fully compressed and in the biggest front ring with the biggest rear cog. This is the point in which most chains will break due to hyperextension. The next thing to check after setting the length is to top out your suspension and put it in the granny and smallest cog in the rear. If your not running the right length rear deraillier you'll have chain sag and maybe you need to go to the next deraillier size up.

Outside of a twisted chain or debree in the drivetrain, this sounds like the most likely cause for you if your doing while dropping off a ledge.
 

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cyco biker
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These 2 incidences happened with very different sets of forces. Most likely unrelated & coincidental. Your stars are aligned. Go buy a lottery ticket TODAY.

My guess on the first chain is it was getting tired & that muddy, steep incline put enough stress on the chain (you forgot to mention you're a climbing animal) that ..SNAP it went. Also, it's hard to keep a chain lubed in those conditions & a dry, mud filled chain is a break waiting to happen. Take a look at the 2nd chain. Did it break or pull apart? At the quick link or otherwise? Did they use the old link or new one? If it broke that's a bad chain or it may've gotten wedged between 2 rings when you landed & the compression impact could've popped it. If they used the old link, we know what happened to the first chain. If it pulled apart, check your rings for bent teeth or excessive wear, both potential causes of chain breakage.

Chain breakage is generally not related to the bike or even length. If it were too short & the minimal chain growth that you see on the ML8 were going to be able to snap it off, it would have to be REALLY short - like 5 or 6 pairs of links too short. Unless of course you were in both your big ring & largest cog at the same time. And, of course we all know that is an absolute :nono:. Even then, before the chain broke you'd most likely rip the rear derailleur off the bike while mangling the soft aluminum hanger.

Mud, as seen in the 1st incident, is a menace to all things mechanical & should be avoided at all cost or be willing to shorten exposed parts life span on a logarithmic scale. :eekster: This fall I did a 50 mile race during a soft, steady rain. I lubed my new chain with my own gooey mix that I figured would stand the test of the day. It did in that my chain didn't break (like many people I saw stranded on the side of the trail) but chain suck going into the small ring for the gushy climbs was constant & following the race I had to replace the entire drive train - except the big ring - pulleys on my XO included (which were new 1 months earlier) as well as a new BB, full service of both shocks & both hubs & seat post, rebleed the brakes & new pads, disassemble & clean both shifters & flush the housing. I must be forgetting something. Oh, I had a ball but if we wanna play we gotta pay. :rant:

Good luck with your detective work.
 

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Schipperkes are cool.
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In the 10.5+ years being in the same LBS, I have seen more broken SRAM chains then Shimano.

Best way to get the correct chain length on the Maverick, and all full squish bikes, is to pull the rear shock valve core out, fully compress the rear shock and strap it compressed. Now measure your chain in Big-Big with the rear derailleur tensions almost to the max. remove excess links and it's the perfect length.
 

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That is funny banks in that I have only broken shimano chains myself (but my sample size is obviously small), but the guy at my LBS said the opposite of you.

I wonder if there is any sort of statistics, or evidence on the matter anywhere?
 

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cyco biker
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Been fixing bikes for over 30 years. Materials & designs have changed but I can't say I've seen one brand dominate the broken chain category. Dry poorly maintained chains & drivetrains seem to be on the top of the list of culprits. Old chains with worn rollers, bent gear teeth that put undue stress on a chain, shifting issues that cause jamming. Chains too long break cuz they go slack during portions of the pedal stroke then get stuck & forced. Pilot error being in a bad gear combo for a given circumstance. Lots of reasons but fortunately it doesn't happen that often.
 

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Wow, I must be lucky.....In 25 years of MTBing I have never broken a chain. But my guess is the chain was too short. I would think that the ML8 has a longer chainstay in addition to the increased travel over the Matic. I don't know if the CS length is on Mavericks website so maybe someone with both bikes can measure. No broken chains for me - but if you want to talk flat tires:madman:

Edit: Well, I just checked Mavericks website and guess what - the ML8 actually has a shorter chainstay than the Matic....go figure! So scratch that theory. The Matic is 445 vs. the ML8 at 441,
 

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um hmmm
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RT has hit the nail on the head here.

saying your chain broke isnt enough information to give a a proper diagnosis.

for the first chain and second chains

how many miles on it? (obviously not important for second chain..)
how do you ride? Do you mash the pedals or spin smoothly?
are you a big guy with monster legs?
How do you shift? smoothly or do you power shift and force the shift.
its easy to power shift on a climb... looking for just a bit lower gear to keep your momentum and blammo.

then also what did the break look like? broken plates? busted master link? pin came out?

going to go out on a limb and guess you didn't ride off the 1ft drop in big/big but what gear combination were you in?

you would need a pretty impressive force to pull a chain apart lengthwise. If the chain was too short and you were in big/big its more likely your derailleur/hanger would get the damage and you would abruptly bottom out your shock very early in its travel.
 

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My chain breaks have the plates splayed open usually, and almost always it is a shift on the rear cassette under load. It is posssible to bend it part way open and have the chain break later after say a drop, but it has never happened to me.
 

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Fortes Fortuna Iuvat
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Check the cassette and crankrings for bent or mangled teeth. I have twisted teeth in the past which causes another breakage very quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks for all the responses. I am hoping that it has just been a coincidence to break both chains and that it wont happen again.

But for more detail the first breakage occurred on a chain that had 6 total rides on it all relatively short rides before it broke. This one broke while in 1-1 (I normally never put it in 1 in the front, but the FD wasn't shifting right so thats where it was at). I probably was pedaling with increased force as it a steeper part of the trail. When the chain broke it was on one of the regular links and was split apart, with the two ends bent apart.

The next break was on the brand new chain. I was in 3 - 9 just starting out on the next downhill section, when I went off the 1' drop off. this time the chain broke on the power link. One side of the powerlink was completely gone while the other was still attached. I was able to just pop in half of a spare powerlink I had and went on my way.

I am about 210lbs with all my gear, I ride mostly aggressive all mountain, if that helps.

I am going to take a look at my crankset and check for anything bent.

I checked the chain length at full sag an it seems correct.

Anyway I am going out later today, hopefully the chain will stay in one piece
 

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cyco biker
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I still say buy a lottery ticket

Hey Ryan, your profile says you're from CA & I'm reading this @ 7 a.m. VT time & it says it was posted an hour ago! That's 3 a.m. your time. Burning the midnite oil. Are you a nite watchman? Bouncer at a stripper joint? Do you manage an all nite IHOP? Seen Tiger Woods lately? Ah, I couldn't resist.

Now where was I ...
That 1st chain I still hold to the mud & muscle theory. You may want to go to the SRAM 991 because the rivet is much stronger (not hollow pin - those puppies wear as you are looking at them) or comparably high end Shimano. Even KMC's high end 9 speed chain works well. If you still have the old half of the link that broke on #2, there is a tiny letter stamped in it on one end of the front face. SRAM had a recall on all links that had (I think but you can check on the SRAM site) the letters M or N stamped in them. The shop wrench may not have had their reading glasses on then or were checking out the hot number trying on shoes as they installed your chain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A bouncer at a strip club would be a nice change, but instead I am stuck in the ER taking care of all the crazy people in this county as usual.

I will look to see if they are one of the recalled chains, hopefully that was the prob, and if the next chain breaks its going to be replaced with a 991 or a dura-ace
 

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cyco biker
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And at that time of day you're not exactly dealing with crazy downhillers.

I just checked. That recall is for the links stamped M or N. It's for the gold (9 speed) link only. The chains were not effected. Having a quick link definitely makes life easier for us type A's who like to clean our chains often but make sure to replace them w/ the new chains. And it's good practice to replace your chains regularly. Altho , in your case, every 7th ride may be a little obsessive.
 
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