SRAM chains prone to breaking?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Gary Young, Aug 18, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Gary Young

    Gary Young Guest

    I've had two SRAM PC-59 chains break this year. The first was a few months ago, and I don't remember
    how old the chain was, except that it had probably seen less than 3,000 miles. The second was this
    past weekend. That chain had less than 500 miles on it. In both cases, one of the side plates had a
    crack running from a pin to the edge. The one that broke this weekend had a couple of other
    sideplates where the same kind of crack had started.

    I usually clean my chains in Simple Green. Could that have contributed to the problem? Has anyone
    else had a similar experience? I'm inclined to stay away from SRAM chains at this point.
     
    Tags:


  2. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Gary Young writes:

    > I've had two SRAM PC-59 chains break this year. The first was a few months ago, and I don't
    > remember how old the chain was, except that it had probably seen less than 3,000 miles. The second
    > was this past weekend. That chain had less than 500 miles on it. In both cases, one of the side
    > plates had a crack running from a pin to the edge. The one that broke this weekend had a couple of
    > other sideplates where the same kind of crack had started.

    You didn't say how much you weigh and what your lowest gear is. That can be a large contributor to
    chain fatigue failure. 3000 miles are a lot of stress cycles. On the other hand, improperly hardened
    chains come in batches and if they came from the same store over a short time, they could have been
    over-hardened.

    > I usually clean my chains in Simple Green. Could that have contributed to the problem? Has anyone
    > else had a similar experience? I'm inclined to stay away from SRAM chains at this point.

    No. The failure you cite is the way a chain should break in accelerated fatigue (from overload or
    bad heat treatment). If it was forced rupture, there would be a stretched part of the break that
    would not fit back together when the broken part is held together with its mating surface.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  3. Gary Young wrote:
    > I've had two SRAM PC-59 chains break this year. The first was a few months ago, and I don't
    > remember how old the chain was, except that it had probably seen less than 3,000 miles. The second
    > was this past weekend. That chain had less than 500 miles on it. In both cases, one of the side
    > plates had a crack running from a pin to the edge. The one that broke this weekend had a couple of
    > other sideplates where the same kind of crack had started.
    >
    > I usually clean my chains in Simple Green. Could that have contributed to the problem? Has anyone
    > else had a similar experience? I'm inclined to stay away from SRAM chains at this point.

    There have been a number of reports of this type of failure on SRAM chains that had been cleaned
    with Simple Green.

    There appears to be some chemical incompatibility, but I don't believe the actual mechanism has yet
    been determined.

    I have not heard of this type of failure in SRAM chains except when Simple Green was involved.

    Sheldon "Citrus Degreaser" Brown +---------------------------------------------------+
    | Time shouldn't just pass; things should happen. | --Harry Turtledove |
    +---------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
    Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  4. Mark Boyd

    Mark Boyd Guest

    On Mon, 18 Aug 2003, Gary Young wrote:

    > I've had two SRAM PC-59 chains break this year. The first was a few months ago, and I don't
    > remember how old the chain was, except that it had probably seen less than 3,000 miles. The second
    > was this past weekend. That chain had less than 500 miles on it. In both cases, one of the side
    > plates had a crack running from a pin to the edge. The one that broke this weekend had a couple of
    > other sideplates where the same kind of crack had started.
    >
    > I usually clean my chains in Simple Green. Could that have contributed to the problem? Has anyone
    > else had a similar experience? I'm inclined to stay away from SRAM chains at this point.

    I used one PC-59. It broke in normal use on my road bike. I've used PC-99 chains every since on that
    bike. Expensive, but very strong. I've used other SRAM chains including PC-48s, PC-68s, PC-89, and
    PC-99 with no problems.

    Mark
     
  5. Michael Dart

    Michael Dart Guest

    "Gary Young" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I've had two SRAM PC-59 chains break this year. The first was a few months ago, and I don't
    > remember how old the chain was, except that it had probably seen less than 3,000 miles. The second
    > was this past weekend. That chain had less than 500 miles on it. In both cases, one of the side
    > plates had a crack running from a pin to the edge. The one that broke this weekend had a couple of
    > other sideplates where the same kind of crack had started.
    >
    > I usually clean my chains in Simple Green. Could that have contributed to the problem? Has anyone
    > else had a similar experience? I'm inclined to stay away from SRAM chains at this point.

    I can't answer your question and haven't broken a SRAM chain ever. But add that two SRAM chains I've
    had I found missing 'rollers' in them. These are PC-99's. Is SRAM's QC slipping?

    Mike
     
  6. Sam Salt

    Sam Salt Guest

    I had the exact same problem with a SRAM PC 59 which had done a lot les than 3 000 miles.LBS
    replaced it.It wasn't cleaned with Simple Green as we don't have it in the UK ( AFAIK).I just
    cleaned it with paraffin,rinsed with water,squirted with WD40 to displace water let it air dry and
    lubed with Pedros Dry Lube.

    Sam Salt

    Sheldon Brown wrote:
    > Gary Young wrote:
    >> I've had two SRAM PC-59 chains break this year. The first was a few months ago, and I don't
    >> remember how old the chain was, except that it had probably seen less than 3,000 miles. The
    >> second was this past weekend. That chain had less than 500 miles on it. In both cases, one of the
    >> side plates had a crack running from a pin to the edge. The one that broke this weekend had a
    >> couple of other sideplates where the same kind of crack had started.
    >>
    >> I usually clean my chains in Simple Green. Could that have contributed to the problem? Has anyone
    >> else had a similar experience? I'm inclined to stay away from SRAM chains at this point.
    >
    > There have been a number of reports of this type of failure on SRAM chains that had been cleaned
    > with Simple Green.
    >
    > There appears to be some chemical incompatibility, but I don't believe the actual mechanism has
    > yet been determined.
    >
    > I have not heard of this type of failure in SRAM chains except when Simple Green was involved.
    >
    > Sheldon "Citrus Degreaser" Brown +---------------------------------------------------+
    >> Time shouldn't just pass; things should happen. | --Harry Turtledove |
    > +---------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
    > Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    > http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com

    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.510 / Virus Database: 307 - Release Date: 14/08/2003
     
  7. Dave Lehnen

    Dave Lehnen Guest

    Sheldon Brown wrote:
    > Gary Young wrote:
    >
    >> I've had two SRAM PC-59 chains break this year. The first was a few months ago, and I don't
    >> remember how old the chain was, except that it had probably seen less than 3,000 miles. The
    >> second was this past weekend. That chain had less than 500 miles on it. In both cases, one of the
    >> side plates had a crack running from a pin to the edge. The one that broke this weekend had a
    >> couple of other sideplates where the same kind of crack had started.
    >>
    >> I usually clean my chains in Simple Green. Could that have contributed to the problem? Has anyone
    >> else had a similar experience? I'm inclined to stay away from SRAM chains at this point.
    >
    >
    > There have been a number of reports of this type of failure on SRAM chains that had been cleaned
    > with Simple Green.
    >
    > There appears to be some chemical incompatibility, but I don't believe the actual mechanism has
    > yet been determined.
    >
    > I have not heard of this type of failure in SRAM chains except when Simple Green was involved.
    >
    > Sheldon "Citrus Degreaser" Brown +---------------------------------------------------+ | Time
    > shouldn't just pass; things should happen. | | --Harry Turtledove |
    > +---------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
    > Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    > http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
    >

    I've also had two PC-59 chains, from the same lot, fail since last September. I noticed the cracks
    both times before complete failure; the cracks were through a side plate in one location but the
    chain had not yet separated. One chain had 5 cracked links before I noticed, the other only one. I
    clean chains in kerosene in an ultrasonic cleaner. So far no failures with other brand chains. One
    of the chains had about 2000 miles of use, the other about 5000. Neither was worn out; the older
    chain had about .035"/12" wear.

    Dave Lehnen
     
  8. Doug Huffman

    Doug Huffman Guest

    I have broken both of my PC-89 chains that I am currently using. I assumed that I did a particularly
    clumsy job of re-using their mushroomed pins, rather than use a power-link, as I assembled the 240
    link chains that I need. I have had success previously re-using pins on a pair of chains that lasted
    more than five thousand miles each (10K total).

    The failure in each case was, as expected for my presumed cause, a eye-crack. I don't have the
    optical instruments or eyes to determine if the failure was brittle or fatigue or mixed. I
    expect mixed, with the re-used pin initiating the crack that propagates by fatigue until final
    brittle failure.

    "Gary Young" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I've had two SRAM PC-59 chains break this year. The first was a few months ago, and I don't
    > remember how old the chain was, except that it had probably seen less than 3,000 miles. The second
    > was this past weekend. That chain had less than 500 miles on it. In both cases, one of the side
    > plates had a crack running from a pin to the edge. The one that broke this weekend had a couple of
    > other sideplates where the same kind of crack had started.
    >
    > I usually clean my chains in Simple Green. Could that have contributed to the problem? Has anyone
    > else had a similar experience? I'm inclined to stay away from SRAM chains at this point.
     
  9. Gary Smiley

    Gary Smiley Guest

    Mark - how do you determine what "very strong" is? Either it breaks or it doesn't. Let me digress a
    bit: I always worry about a chain breaking, and I always carry an extra power link and a few shimano
    pins, but I've never broken a chain, and I've never been on a ride where anyone else has broken a
    chain either. All my chains lived their normal lives and eventually wore out. So I don't know if
    they were "very strong" but I would call them "strong enough".

    Mark Boyd wrote:

    >
    >
    > I used one PC-59. It broke in normal use on my road bike. I've used PC-99 chains every since on
    > that bike. Expensive, but very strong.
     
  10. Capt bike-<< There have been a number of reports of this type of failure on SRAM chains that had
    been cleaned with Simple Green. >><BR><BR>

    Sheldon, you crack me up.....

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  11. Doug-<< I have broken both of my PC-89 chains that I am currently using. I assumed that I did a
    particularly clumsy job of re-using their mushroomed pins, rather than use a power-link, as I
    assembled the 240 link chains that I need. >><BR><BR>

    Bing, bing, bing, we have a winner..I would not push the pins back in on any SRAM chain these
    days..not designed for this.

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  12. James Annan

    James Annan Guest

    Qui si parla Campagnolo wrote:
    > Doug-<< I have broken both of my PC-89 chains that I am currently using. I assumed that I did a
    > particularly clumsy job of re-using their mushroomed pins, rather than use a power-link, as I
    > assembled the 240 link chains that I need. >><BR><BR>
    >
    > Bing, bing, bing, we have a winner..I would not push the pins back in on any SRAM chain these
    > days..not designed for this.

    A couple of years ago we broke 2 SRAM chains in quick succession, we were using the SRAM connector
    links. I think it's much more plausible to conclude that they have the odd dodgy batch than any
    improbable user error.

    Was a bit disappointing, but we've never had any other trouble with them before or since.

    James
     
  13. David Kunz

    David Kunz Guest

    Sheldon Brown wrote:

    > Gary Young wrote:
    >
    >> I've had two SRAM PC-59 chains break this year. The first was a few months ago, and I don't
    >> remember how old the chain was, except that it had probably seen less than 3,000 miles. The
    >> second was this past weekend. That chain had less than 500 miles on it. In both cases, one of the
    >> side plates had a crack running from a pin to the edge. The one that broke this weekend had a
    >> couple of other sideplates where the same kind of crack had started.
    >>
    >> I usually clean my chains in Simple Green. Could that have contributed to the problem? Has anyone
    >> else had a similar experience? I'm inclined to stay away from SRAM chains at this point.
    >
    >
    > There have been a number of reports of this type of failure on SRAM chains that had been cleaned
    > with Simple Green.
    >
    > There appears to be some chemical incompatibility, but I don't believe the actual mechanism has
    > yet been determined.
    >
    > I have not heard of this type of failure in SRAM chains except when Simple Green was involved.
    >
    > Sheldon "Citrus Degreaser" Brown +---------------------------------------------------+
    > | Time shouldn't just pass; things should happen. | --Harry Turtledove |
    > +---------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
    > Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    > http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com

    I though that simple green only had problems with aluminum and then only if left on there for any
    length of time (not rinsed well and immediately).

    I've been cleaning my SRAM chains with simple green for about 6 chains now with no problems at all.
    I'm using PC99 -- maybe that makes a difference?

    (I also thought that Citris was even worse :)).

    David
     
  14. Doug Huffman

    Doug Huffman Guest

    While I agree that they're not designed for this, I did re-use pins successfully on the previous
    pair of chains, also PC-89 and for more miles than on these broken chains.

    Your mileage may vary, as may the value you get from a dollar.

    "Qui si parla Campagnolo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Doug-<< I have broken both of my PC-89 chains that I am currently using.
    I
    > assumed that I did a particularly clumsy job of re-using their mushroomed pins, rather than use a
    > power-link, as I assembled the 240 link chains that I need. >><BR><BR>
    >
    > Bing, bing, bing, we have a winner..I would not push the pins back in on
    any
    > SRAM chain these days..not designed for this.
    >
    > Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    > (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  15. Mark Boyd

    Mark Boyd Guest

    On Tue, 19 Aug 2003, Gary Smiley wrote:

    > Mark - how do you determine what "very strong" is? Either it breaks or it doesn't. Let me digress
    > a bit: I always worry about a chain breaking, and I always carry an extra power link and a few
    > shimano pins, but I've never broken a chain, and I've never been on a ride where anyone else has
    > broken a chain either. All my chains lived their normal lives and eventually wore out. So I don't
    > know if they were "very strong" but I would call them "strong enough".
    >
    > Mark Boyd wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >
    > > I used one PC-59. It broke in normal use on my road bike. I've used PC-99 chains every since on
    > > that bike. Expensive, but very strong.

    Hi Gary,

    From the force needed to push a pin out to shorten the chain to the length I needed <grin>. P-99
    chains (and PC-68 chains which are similar in construction to PC-99s and which I used for several
    years on my touring bike) require a LOT of force to push a pin out. The one PC-59 I used had pins
    that pushed out very easily.

    I also judge these two types of chains strong enough, as you do, because I've ridden them for many
    thousands of miles - tens of thousands of miles of loaded touring with PC-68 chains. I've broken
    chains other than the PC-59, but it was always the result of abuse or improper assembly. Other than
    the PC-59, my chains, both Shimano and SRAM have always been strong enough.

    I used a Shimano HG-93 chain on my long tour this year. It was strong enough, and with regular use
    of Rock'nRoll Extreme Lube, shows little wear after 5000 miles of loaded touring in Europe. I
    carried a power link in case I needed to break the chain or repair it - I didn't - and a PC-99 chain
    as a spare.

    Mark
     
  16. Craig

    Craig Guest

    > I though that simple green only had problems with aluminum and then only if left on there for any
    > length of time (not rinsed well and immediately).
    >
    > I've been cleaning my SRAM chains with simple green for about 6 chains now with no problems at
    > all. I'm using PC99 -- maybe that makes a difference?
    >
    > (I also thought that Citris was even worse :)).
    >
    > David

    I've been using Finsh Line citrus degreaser to clean my PC-59 chains for a couple of years now and
    I've never broken a PC-59. The only chain I've ever broken is a PC-89 about 5 years back.

    Just my 2c worth.

    Craig.
     
  17. Gary Young

    Gary Young Guest

    [email protected] (Gary Young) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I've had two SRAM PC-59 chains break this year. The first was a few months ago, and I don't
    > remember how old the chain was, except that it had probably seen less than 3,000 miles. The second
    > was this past weekend. That chain had less than 500 miles on it. In both cases, one of the side
    > plates had a crack running from a pin to the edge. The one that broke this weekend had a couple of
    > other sideplates where the same kind of crack had started.
    >
    > I usually clean my chains in Simple Green. Could that have contributed to the problem? Has anyone
    > else had a similar experience? I'm inclined to stay away from SRAM chains at this point.

    I sent an email to SRAM asking about this (and directing them to this thread for additional reports
    of chain failures). The reply is below. No mention of problems with Simple Green. I'm also not
    encouraged by the fact that the SRAM representative seems to mischaracterize what's been written
    here. As far as I can tell, only one of us reported a chain failure that could be attributed to
    reusing pins, certainly not a majority.

    Gary-

    Thanks for contacting SRAM. I'm sorry to hear about your chain troubles. We would be happy to
    replace your chains under warranty and see them back with the PowerLinks. Please take your chains to
    your local bike shop and have them contact us at 800.346.2928.

    We have little to no problems with chain failure. I would say chains are our most consistently great
    products. Following the link you gave me, I see a few other people have had chain failure, but the
    majority have been from improper installation, such as joining a chain with a push pin. We do not
    recommend this and on many of our chains, it voids the warranty.

    I look forward to hearing from your shop.

    Happy Trails.

    -------------------------------
    J. Mike Reisenleiter SRAM Technical Support 1333 N. Kingsbury 4th Floor Chicago, IL 60622
    312 664 8800
     
  18. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On 20 Aug 2003 08:49:52 -0700, [email protected] (Gary Young) may have said:

    >[email protected] (Gary Young) wrote in message
    >news:<[email protected]>...
    >> I've had two SRAM PC-59 chains break this year. The first was a few months ago, and I don't
    >> remember how old the chain was, except that it had probably seen less than 3,000 miles. The
    >> second was this past weekend. That chain had less than 500 miles on it. In both cases, one of the
    >> side plates had a crack running from a pin to the edge. The one that broke this weekend had a
    >> couple of other sideplates where the same kind of crack had started.
    >>
    >> I usually clean my chains in Simple Green. Could that have contributed to the problem? Has anyone
    >> else had a similar experience? I'm inclined to stay away from SRAM chains at this point.
    >
    >I sent an email to SRAM asking about this (and directing them to this thread for additional reports
    >of chain failures). The reply is below. No mention of problems with Simple Green. I'm also not
    >encouraged by the fact that the SRAM representative seems to mischaracterize what's been written
    >here. As far as I can tell, only one of us reported a chain failure that could be attributed to
    >reusing pins, certainly not a majority.

    There may have been a difference in the number of articles that were on the reader's news server;
    it's not a given that Google was used.

    Despite that, I am unsurprised at the reply; it's not unusual, when handed a tech support question,
    for a rep to look for the first Known Problem and leap on it.

    On the actual topic, I don't think the Simple Green thing is all that relevant; I suspect, as others
    have mentioned, that there may just have been a random bad batch, but I've been wondering about an
    alternate possibility. Someone with more experience might be able to comment on whether the chain's
    handling before sale might have a bearing; is it likely that the chain could be damaged by being
    shipped in the same carton with something that put a lot of lateral deflective force on the it, as
    might happen if a heavy object was resting on the middle of the chain box while one edge of the
    chain box was propped up underneath?

    --
    My email address is antispammed; pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail. Yes, I have a killfile. If I
    don't respond to something, it's also possible that I'm busy.
     
  19. Gary Young

    Gary Young Guest

    Werehatrack <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<jrd7kvk55eq[email protected]>...
    > On 20 Aug 2003 08:49:52 -0700, [email protected] (Gary Young) may have said:
    >
    > >[email protected] (Gary Young) wrote in message
    > >news:<[email protected]>...
    > >> I've had two SRAM PC-59 chains break this year. The first was a few months ago, and I don't
    > >> remember how old the chain was, except that it had probably seen less than 3,000 miles. The
    > >> second was this past weekend. That chain had less than 500 miles on it. In both cases, one of
    > >> the side plates had a crack running from a pin to the edge. The one that broke this weekend had
    > >> a couple of other sideplates where the same kind of crack had started.
    > >>
    > >> I usually clean my chains in Simple Green. Could that have contributed to the problem? Has
    > >> anyone else had a similar experience? I'm inclined to stay away from SRAM chains at this point.
    > >
    > >I sent an email to SRAM asking about this (and directing them to this thread for additional
    > >reports of chain failures). The reply is below. No mention of problems with Simple Green. I'm
    > >also not encouraged by the fact that the SRAM representative seems to mischaracterize what's been
    > >written here. As far as I can tell, only one of us reported a chain failure that could be
    > >attributed to reusing pins, certainly not a majority.
    >
    > There may have been a difference in the number of articles that were on the reader's news server;
    > it's not a given that Google was used.
    <snip>

    I sent a google link to SRAM.
     
  20. Gary Young

    Gary Young Guest

    Werehatrack <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>... <snip>
    > On the actual topic, I don't think the Simple Green thing is all that relevant; I suspect, as
    > others have mentioned, that there may just have been a random bad batch, but I've been wondering
    > about an alternate possibility. Someone with more experience might be able to comment on whether
    > the chain's handling before sale might have a bearing; is it likely that the chain could be
    > damaged by being shipped in the same carton with something that put a lot of lateral deflective
    > force on the it, as might happen if a heavy object was resting on the middle of the chain box
    > while one edge of the chain box was propped up underneath?

    I believe the chains came in boxes that were wrapped in cellophane. Wouldn't a force sufficient to
    do what you're suggesting have broken the cellophane or twisted the box? I'll take a look at the box
    if I still have it lying around.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...