SRAM chains. grrrr$#%&!

J-Dro

Well-Known Member
Lots of people out there swear by their SRAM chains so I'm obviously doing something wrong...

After a bad experience with a Sachs chain a few years ago, I stuck with Shimano chains exclusively since then. But recently, I caught a sale on the SRAM 971 chain. I install it... works great for 4 rides... then at the tail end of a mooch ride, I'm flying down the white trail heading back to Tranquility Farm and I try to spin and get over some obstacle and notice that my chain is broke. I wasn't shifting or pedaling at the time it broke. Turns out the power link is missing. Hmm, thats weird. I figure if I had installed it incorrectly, it would have fallen off sometime in the previous 60 miles that I rode the chain. OK whatever. So I buy a replacement power link and am extra careful to install it, tugging it tightly to make sure this baby ain't gonna fall off. Next ride is at the mooch again.... Same thing happens... On an extended downhill, I go to pedal only to see my chain hanging with the link missing.

The only way I can see this happening is if I somehow pinch the chain, allowing the power link to release. Since I've never seen this happen to anyone else, I have to assume that I'm doing something stupid.:hmmm:

Any ideas?
 

ryderX

JORBA Luddite: KVSP Bulldog
JORBA.ORG
Are you riding full suspension ? It seems odd that it happens when your coasting/rolling down hill. I was thinking to short on the chain.
 

anrothar

entirely thrilled
check to make sure the shop gave you the correct power link. if it's the wrong version(# speed), it could sit loose in the chain, causing this.

i've been using sram pc48 chains on all my singlespeeds for over a year now with no failures.
 

J-Dro

Well-Known Member
Norm... I did a trailside repair after the 2nd time it happened by removing a link and bypassing the power link. The chain seems dangerously short after removing just the 1 link. The derailler angle is absurd. So I don't think it was too short.

Ryderx.. Yes I'm riding a full sussy. And yes it happened both times while coasting.

anrothar... the 1st link came with the chain but perhaps the 2nd one was for 8 speed. The shop gave it to me in a bag that looked like it had been around the shop for quite a while. But it was the newer type that has 1 prong on both sides of the link, not like the older type that had 2 prongs on one side and no prongs on the other.

I was thinking more about this last night. What if I had some "resistance" in my freewheel and pedaled slightly backwards during the downhill? I do that sometimes when I shift my weight or try to avoid my pedal from hitting something. Could that be enough to pinch the chain and release the link?
 

jdog

Shop: Halter's Cycles
Shop Keep
Try the Connex by Wipperman

Norm... I did a trailside repair after the 2nd time it happened by removing a link and bypassing the power link. The chain seems dangerously short after removing just the 1 link. The derailler angle is absurd. So I don't think it was too short.

Ryderx.. Yes I'm riding a full sussy. And yes it happened both times while coasting.

anrothar... the 1st link came with the chain but perhaps the 2nd one was for 8 speed. The shop gave it to me in a bag that looked like it had been around the shop for quite a while. But it was the newer type that has 1 prong on both sides of the link, not like the older type that had 2 prongs on one side and no prongs on the other.

I was thinking more about this last night. What if I had some "resistance" in my freewheel and pedaled slightly backwards during the downhill? I do that sometimes when I shift my weight or try to avoid my pedal from hitting something. Could that be enough to pinch the chain and release the link?


Why do you think they call it a missing link?? I bet you couldn't find it.

An 8 speed powerlink has enough wiggle room on a 9 speed chain to come loose. It also might have gotten hung up on the cass cogs as it passed. This might have been enough to set it loose.

Try a wipperman chain next time. I sold SRAM for years but last year we switched to wipperman since the missing link requires some pretty extreme manipulation to release.

http://www.connexchain.com/

It is also interesting to note that the new sram 1000 series chains for 10 speed have a similar mechanism that can be connected but NEVER unlocked. I guess you could call it a FOUND link vs. a missing link.

I personally have never had a sram link come undone but I have seen most everything possible happen to a bike in the last 16 years.
 

ChrisG

Unapologetic Lifer for Rock and Roll
I've used SRAM chains since the Sachs days, and always been happy. If anything, I tend to use them longer than I ought. However, I never use the the power link.
 

J-Dro

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the input guys. At this point it's more out of curiosity then anything. I'm done with the whole power link concept.
 

jbogner

NYCMTB: President
JORBA.ORG
I've got a SRAM chain with powerlink on my XC hardtail (no problems with it in two years), and a HG-73 Shimano chain with *two* powerlinks in it on my full FS freeride bike- chain worked flawlessly for a year and a half, then I had some chain suck and a bent link while DH'ing at Bolton Valley in VT in October. Removed the bent link and replaced it with my spare powerlink (I always keep a spare for just such purposes). Three more months of no problems with that chain, despite high torque, high-stress use on a 42 lb bike (I'm 225 lbs plus gear)...

Powerlinks have been great to me. They make on-trail chain repairs so much easier.
 

mergs

Spokompton's Finest
JORBA.ORG
...

The only way I can see this happening is if I somehow pinch the chain, allowing the power link to release. Since I've never seen this happen to anyone else, I have to assume that I'm doing something stupid.:hmmm:

Any ideas?

ideas? yeah, weld it on...bc you're obviously doing something wrong. ;)

kidding aside... you've only got 60 miles on it... return the chain for a new one and see if it happens with the new one. i'd think that an LBS or online store would take it back for an exchange after you explain the situ. i've never had that problem and i've been running sram chains for 8 years.

however, that said, if it happens again then you know you're unqualified to install chains. in the future, consult a professional. ;)
 
Top