Sports FAQ
Home / Bike Maintenance

Chain broke

Melalvai2011-03-02 02:26:37 +0000 #1
My chain broke on my way home from work this morning. (Yeah, rats don't take weekends off, but I've got students now so after this they'll be doing the Sunday rat runs.) I was only ~1/4 mile away so I walked home.

No bike shop in town. Fortunately I have a friend who has a chain tool and a spare chain. I'm going to order a chain tool and two chains (one to replace his and one spare chain for me). I thought I'd just order a master link, but I didn't see that option on Nashbar. Anyway it was getting close to time for a new chain.

I guess it's good that I'm learning to be more independent about my bike maintenance but I really miss the bike shop.

And the clutch is going out on the car again. What's next--a sprained ankle? That'd take care of all my forms of transportation! lol
uforgot2011-03-02 02:42:35 +0000 #2
No bike shops in Kirksville? What's that all about? I had that very same thing happen to me a couple of weekends ago. Fortunately Red Wheel Bike Shop was halfway on the Jeff City Greenway. And then it was mostly downhill to it. Luck was with me. (I will never, ever forget my chain tool again!) They even put the new chain on for me. I was due for one... Highly recommend Red Wheel.

Which shop did you use in Columbia? I bought my mountain bike from Cycle Extreme. Love them. I have had nothing but friendly excellent service there.
Melalvai2011-03-02 02:49:04 +0000 #3
I used to go to Cycle Extreme and then my friend who worked there had a falling out and I moved to Walt's. I've heard some stories about CycleX, but nothing awful, so I think they're a decent shop, at least to shop at if not to work for. I really love Walt's now.

I want to start up a collection for a Community Grant for a bike shop. Maybe we could pay for the set up and a couple months' rent, and talk Walt's or someone into starting up a Kirksville branch. I know so many people who go all the way to Columbia for a bike shop, I know there would be plenty of business for it. I heard there used to be a bike shop downtown but it closed in 1991.

My friend's spare chain turned out to be SRAM. I had no idea what that meant. The master link on a SRAM chain is one that you can pop open and closed with your fingers. You don't need a chain tool and you don't break the link to take it off. However they cost a little more, and a chain tool is so cheap, that I think I'll just buy the old kind and a chain tool.
ridebikeme2011-03-02 02:39:02 +0000 #4
SRAM makes very good quality chains, and I would NOT hesitate to leave the chain on your bike and use them continously from now on. You mentioned the link that they have with their chains, one thing that I always recommend to customers is to carry a spare link... if you should break the chain you can use the link to repair it. AS you can see, they are much easier to take off, to clean, repair broken links etc... We have sold SRAM since the early 90's and I wouldn't hesitate to use them at all... very good quality and much easier to repair(if you should have to).
OakLeaf2011-03-02 04:12:47 +0000 #5
Technically you're not supposed to reuse the PowerLink.

I know a lot of people do, and I'm sure that it's one of those things that's just specced that way out of an abundance of caution ... but the bottom line is that I, and a lot of people I know, have NEVER been able to get one off intact. And I have to say that I've never even HEARD of someone using their fingers!

What's the secret? (Not that I really have any burning desire to save $5 and risk breaking a chain ... just curious.)

Also, in my area SRAM and Shimano are comparably priced (if anything, Shimano is slightly higher), but just like their "permanent" componentry, there are levels. I'm surprised that you found SRAM to be more expensive ... are you sure it wasn't a lower level chain than the one you took off? I think their cheapest (Shimano 105-equivalent) chain is 1050.

Also ... if I were doing a whole lot of it I think I'd invest in a quality chain tool, and they certainly are not cheap. A portable chain tool will get the job done, but it sure takes some finesse.



Other posts in this category