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Old 22.04.2012, 01:10
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Broken Bike Chain

So I was about to have a pleasant night out on the town and after struggling to figure out how my light works on the front of my bike, I thought that would be that of the problems for the night. Well 5 minutes later my chain burst apart while biking hard and though I have a bruise the size of a Pomello on my leg, I consider myself fortunate to have not been hit by any traffic!

Anyway, as I've never had this happen before, what do I do? Are chains easy replaceable/cheap? Do I just bring it to a bike repair place and let them do everything for me? Or could I just buy the chain and put it on with just a screwdriver or something (Actually the only tool I have is a screwdriver, Philips)?
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Old 22.04.2012, 02:03
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

Chains are easy to get and are inexpensive. They come in different widths so you need to know which one you need for your bike. You also need to adjust the chain for length, as they usually come longer to fit a variety of bikes (which are not always the same). You need a special chain tool for that. You also need the same tool to bond both ends of the chain together (if the chain doesn't come with a quick-lock).

You'll probably be better of going to a bike shop and let them handle it. They will have the chain and the tools needed. Its a 5minute job (but of course expect to pay for more).
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Old 24.04.2012, 01:11
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

Just for future reference for anyone who needs a new chain.

I paid 29 francs for the chain for a 7 speed bike and then another 9 francs for the installation and the bike was ready after a couple hours and that was that. Done at that Velo centre bei Hirschengraben in Bern.

Last edited by kngavl; 24.04.2012 at 01:24.
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Old 24.04.2012, 06:45
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

It probably broke for a reason, and letting a bike shop handle the repair / replacement is a good idea.
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Old 24.04.2012, 10:35
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

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It probably broke for a reason, and letting a bike shop handle the repair / replacement is a good idea.
I quite agree. The usual reason for chains breaking is poor lubrication and maintenance, so if you're not canny enough to look after it properly then it's probably not a good idea to undertake such work yourself.

(Of course, I'm not saying that was the case here).
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Old 24.04.2012, 12:43
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

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I quite agree. The usual reason for chains breaking is poor lubrication and maintenance, so if you're not canny enough to look after it properly then it's probably not a good idea to undertake such work yourself.

(Of course, I'm not saying that was the case here).
I purchased it 2 weeks ago from the used velo sale in Zurich. The bike looks about 30 years old so I'm not entirely surprised that it happened .

Last edited by kngavl; 24.04.2012 at 13:06.
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Old 24.04.2012, 13:36
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

here, for future references:
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/articl...ur-bike-18259/

Very simple, but it means prevention! (ie when it broke it's too late ).
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Old 24.04.2012, 14:08
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

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here, for future references:
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/articl...ur-bike-18259/

Very simple, but it means prevention! (ie when it broke it's too late ).
Personally, I would _never_ use soapy water and especially not degreaser on a chain. That stuff will get every last bit of oil out of the inner moving parts of the chain, and it's really not as simple to get it back in there[1]. I prefer using spray-on chain lube more frequently, as it will tend to avoid crap getting in there, and indeed will help wash anything out that's already gained ingress.


[1]In the old (motorbike) days the recommended way to guarantee this was to boil the chain up in a special tin of grease, but since 'O' and 'X' ring chains that's a thing of the past.
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Old 24.04.2012, 14:21
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

Yeah, broken bike chain sucks. I kissed the road a few weeks back. Ended up with a swollen lip, cuts in my hands. Shit load of bruises. Haha.
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Old 24.04.2012, 14:40
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

I'm also not a believer in cleaning the chain too much.

Use an old rag and hold it tight against the chain as you turn the pedals (bike upside down). Then add a bit of oil along the inside edge of the chain (again as you move it by simply turning the pedals).

Eventually, after a year or two of hard riding, or longer (especially if you don't use the bike daily; just wait until you to feel any kind of slip as you pedal hard) replace the chain and rear cassette.

You can spend ages each week cleaning the chain and all you're saving is a replacement rear cassette every now and again. In the UK, replacing chain and cassette is a quick and cheap job done at a bike shop. I assume here it's also not too crazy.
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Old 24.04.2012, 15:01
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

I've got 4,000 miles out of a road chain before (even ridden all year round in the UK!), and it's simply a case of cleaning with a cloth and WD40 now and then, and a re-lubrication. Never let it run dry.

Also, a good link fitting when the chain is first fitted is important. If the joiner link is too tight, it will be the one that fails in 1,000 miles. Immediate give away is often a regular click when pedalling, or skipping gears.
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Old 24.04.2012, 15:16
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

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I've got 4,000 miles out of a road chain before (even ridden all year round in the UK!), and it's simply a case of cleaning with a cloth and WD40 now and then, and a re-lubrication. Never let it run dry.
Absolutely, although in fact WD40's actually not the best thing to use, as it contains a high proportion of solvents, which will actually wash away some of the oil that's already there. Better than nothing, but a proper chain oil will be better; also thicker, so will last longer. Failing that, any old oil, even used engine oil, will be better than WD40.
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Old 24.04.2012, 15:20
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

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Absolutely, although in fact WD40's actually not the best thing to use, as it contains a high proportion of solvents, which will actually wash away some of the oil that's already there. Better than nothing, but a proper chain oil will be better; also thicker, so will last longer. Failing that, any old oil, even used engine oil, will be better than WD40.
Although spraying WD40 onto a cloth and then wiping the chain with that will get rid of the surface grit etc that will work its way into the chain, without removing the oil that's in the links.
And then oil, of course.
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Old 24.04.2012, 15:41
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

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Although spraying WD40 onto a cloth and then wiping the chain with that will get rid of the surface grit etc that will work its way into the chain, without removing the oil that's in the links.
And then oil, of course.
Yes. I'd missed the bit where it said "re-lubrication" in the previous post, thought he was just using WD40 on its own.
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Old 24.04.2012, 15:43
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

Properly maintained (lubed) chain guarantees quiet operation, reliable shifting and last but not least - a much longer lifetime of the complete bike drivetrain including the cassette and crankset. Dry chain means metal on metal contact. Would you run your car without any oil in it?
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Old 24.04.2012, 16:07
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

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[1]In the old (motorbike) days the recommended way to guarantee this was to boil the chain up in a special tin of grease, but since 'O' and 'X' ring chains that's a thing of the past.
I use ScottOilers on my chain-drive motorcycles, they also make them for bicycles.

Tom
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Old 24.04.2012, 17:29
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

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I use ScottOilers on my chain-drive motorcycles, they also make them for bicycles.

Tom
I never liked the idea of snotoilers, although I can't say why. Thing is, modern bike chains would last 15-20,000 miles with only minimal maintenance, even on a litre sprotsbike, so there just didn't seem that much point.
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Old 24.04.2012, 18:01
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Re: Broken Bike Chain

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I never liked the idea of snotoilers, although I can't say why. Thing is, modern bike chains would last 15-20,000 miles with only minimal maintenance, even on a litre sprotsbike, so there just didn't seem that much point.
Yes, but I like aluminum rear sprockets, and they would not last so long without it!

Tom
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