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Just purchased my first mountain bike and I am new to the sport. 3rd day out the chain breaks... Dealer tells me it broke because I had the front and rear gear set to the smallest sprocket and that creates to much tension on the chain which causes it to break and that I am not supposed to do that. Now, if that is the case my bad, however, from my percpective if the option is there why can't it be used...?... Am I in the wrong or is the dealer trying to get out of replacing my chain and adjusting the derailleurs properly on their dime?
 

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Dealer is "sort of" right. If you "cross-chained" and shifted under stress, the lateral forces on the chain could lead to early "grenade" effect. Fundementally, use the small cog in front for the 3 biggest cogs in back, middle front for the middle 3 rear and big chain ring for the 3-4 smallest gears in rear. Practice means perfect, so ride a LOT!!!!

Have fun,
chip
 

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CEB said:
Dealer is "sort of" right. If you "cross-chained" and shifted under stress, the lateral forces on the chain could lead to early "grenade" effect. Fundementally, use the small cog in front for the 3 biggest cogs in back, middle front for the middle 3 rear and big chain ring for the 3-4 smallest gears in rear. Practice means perfect, so ride a LOT!!!!

Have fun,
chip
What he said
 

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what he's saying is keep the chain as straight as possible. look down when on your bike and you'll see what i mean

--------- S-----1-----2------3 B

----B----1--2--3--4--5--6--7--8-- S

something like that. Spacing not to scale

S = small B = big
also assuming you have gears like that

so, you should never have your chain going from 1 to 8, or 3 to 1. (gear selectors i mean)

if i've got something wrong someone correct me
 

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I highly recommend you hook up w/ some 'better' riders and ask LOTS of questions. You have much to learn, and that's the best way....
It takes time...just keep riding!
 

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Well, it is true that you should not 'cross' the chain all the way. But even so, if is NOT normal that it breaks, especially after 3 days. After a couple thousand miles, when it's completely worn, maybe. But not after 3 days. I would go back to the store and complain.
 

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CEB said:
Dealer is "sort of" right. If you "cross-chained" and shifted under stress, the lateral forces on the chain could lead to early "grenade" effect. Fundementally, use the small cog in front for the 3 biggest cogs in back, middle front for the middle 3 rear and big chain ring for the 3-4 smallest gears in rear. Practice means perfect, so ride a LOT!!!!

Have fun,
chip
You can actually use more gear combinations than that. Smallest ring up front with the five largest cogs in the rear, middle ring up front with the middle five in the rear and the biggest ring up front with the smallest five cogs in back. This will give you all the possible gear ratios. Everything else is just a duplicate and will wear out your drivetrain prematurely.

Burrito said:
But even so, if is NOT normal that it breaks, especially after 3 days. After a couple thousand miles, when it's completely worn, maybe. But not after 3 days. I would go back to the store and complain.
Not to be confrontational, but it is actually quite easy to break a chain in extreme combinations if you are a strong/heavy rider and are shifting under load. Chains are strong under tension forces parallel to its length, but are relatively weak under side loads. I can see this happening if the OP was dropping from the middle to small chainring under load.

Duc
 

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pinnacle10 said:
I would say it's partially your fault. It doesn't seem right though for it to break after just 3 days. If the bike shop won't help you I'd find a new bike shop. Take you business somewhere else.
Depends on the guy's size, I'm a clydesdale and I was snapping chains left, right and center until I learnt how to control my gears correctly.
 

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I have to make an admission here- I am a chronic chain crosser. I also tend to shift under load a lot. I do recognize my bad habits and I am working on them, but I do both things a lot still. BTW, I have never broken a chain, but I did replace one because links kept freezing. I am just under 160 lbs. To the OP- they really should fix you up for free, and show you how and when to shift so it does not happen again. Keep us posted...
 
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