Chain Gate … Keep My Day Job

I had been running on the same chain and rear cassette for some time, and I knew I need to replace it at some time.  Since it wasn’t raining much, that meant I kept riding on the same old chain and cassette, and I decided it was time to replace it.

However, I failed at the basic rule of replacing the chain … choosing the right length.  First time, it was way too long.  Then, I shortened it, but it was still too long.  Then, I shortened it some more.  However, with all these different iterations, I did not have a master link.  As a result, the link was stiff, shifting wasn’t smooth.

It was okay to ride to work on Friday, but I knew I had to have the shop look at it. Right before I got to the shop, I saw that the chain link broke.  The shop went ahead and fixed the length, but they didn’t accommodate for the other link that I frankensteined together.

So the next day, I lead a ride going up Mt. Hamilton.  Going on a slight 2% grade up Alum Rock, my chain breaks.  There goes my day and my ride.  I went ahead and replaced the entire chain, but this time, let the pro install it.

Lesson learned … don’t change your chain a day before a big ride.  Second, know how to measure the length of chain to use.  I guess everyone is going by the notion of wrapping the chain around the big chain ring, and largest sprocket in the rear, and go one link more to determine the proper length.  Good to know the next time I do a silly job like this.

The worst part about all of this, was the ride on Saturday … I was leading it, and I had a friend from Southern Cal come up.  Four other friends showed up for the ride, so that was embarrassing to not be on the ride with them.

2 thoughts on “Chain Gate … Keep My Day Job

  1. westlakeramblings

    There really is no need to go to the bike shop. Follow the drivetrain directions on how to determine the correct chain length. Furthermore, I use SRAM’s master links regardless of who’s the manufacturer of the new chain. The bike shop that did the parts swap from the old to the new MTB did that, and I have experienced NO adverse effects.

    1. sevencyclist Post author

      Thanks for the feedback. I’ll have to carry a master link with me, plus I re-did my links 2 or 3 times, so I think when I did that, there were multiple questionable links, so that’s what did me in. I went ahead and just replaced the entire chain, and be done with.


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