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TAW
07-11-2008, 01:57 PM
Today on Versus Phil Liggett made the comment after the chain break (don't remember who it was?) that he felt that chains were getting too thin and breaking too easily. Do you guys and ladies think there's a point where the increasing number of gears will have to end because of chain thickness?

Discuss.

csm
07-11-2008, 02:18 PM
I think when we get to 16 cassettes we will be at that point.

gregclimbs
07-11-2008, 03:41 PM
my left collarbone is starting to come around to the idea that 10s chains being too narrow.

g

Dave
07-11-2008, 03:49 PM
Most chain failures on not a case of the chain actually breaking. A sideplate most often comes off then end of a pin and that pin is quite often a replacement/joining pin. Shimano's replacement pin idea isn't the best out there. Most master links seem to do a better job, IMO.

Campy however, with the thinnest chain of all in the new 11 speed group will continue to use a joining pin. These pins can't be used to join used sideplates, where a pin has been pushed out, only the pair of new sideplates at one end of a new chain. You get one chance to install the chain correctly.

RPS
07-11-2008, 04:01 PM
Most chain failures on not a case of the chain actually breaking. A sideplate most often comes off then end of a pin and that pin is quite often a replacement/joining pin......snipped.......Dave, by breaking most riders probably mean falling apart. I suspect they could care less if itís actual metal failure or not.

Your point is well taken. However, donít you think that by making the chains narrower they increase the chance of a thinner side plate coming off a pin?

Thinner side plates = more failures?

bike <3'er
07-11-2008, 04:06 PM
Phil knows best. I totally agree with him, today's chains accomodate today's massive cassettes. I'm guilty of it. I'd ride Campy 8 speed if I took my own advice...

RPS
07-11-2008, 04:09 PM
Do you guys and ladies think there's a point where the increasing number of gears will have to end because of chain thickness?

Discuss.TAW, as long as there is a demand, engineers will find a way to package more gears (within reason). However, I expect riders will find they don't need more gears before that happens.

It may not be what you expect or can envision, but someone will come up with a way to build what we are willing to buy (again, within reason). Ultimately an efficient CVT may be the answer.

bike <3'er
07-11-2008, 04:13 PM
TAW, as long as there is a demand, engineers will find a way to package more gears (within reason). However, I expect riders will find they don't need more gears before that happens.

It may not be what you expect or can envision, but someone will come up with a way to build what we are willing to buy (again, within reason). Ultimately an efficient CVT may be the answer.

So true, how many more gears do we need? None! I need chamois cream that is tainted with EPO. Between changes in one's crankset or cogs, there can't truly be a need for 11 speed, right? Plus whatever happened to having to walk up a hill or two today, only to push one's conditioning so they can tackle the hill another day?

(note: I don't want more gears but I would like some fast, high walled carbon wheels).

Chief
07-11-2008, 04:13 PM
I have often thought that a 9-speed chain was about optimum. Thinner chains and cogs mean more wear with decreased chain and cog life. Moreover, the thinner the chain the less contact area between the pins and sideplates and the easier it is for the sideplate to separate from the pin. Cross chaining puts additional load on this connection. One solution is to flare the end of the pin slightly so that the sideplate can't come off. This means that a master link will be essential.

Dave
07-11-2008, 04:45 PM
Dave, by breaking most riders probably mean falling apart. I suspect they could care less if itís actual metal failure or not.

Your point is well taken. However, donít you think that by making the chains narrower they increase the chance of a thinner side plate coming off a pin?

Thinner side plates = more failures?

Thinner plates certainly won't improve durability, that's for sure.

With the type of end peening that's been in use since 9 speed, the strength of the pin connections depends on the peening, not the sideplate thickness. Some MTB chains have extra heavy peening to improve reliability, but apparently it's not considered necessary for road chains, or all of them would have the extra strength peening.

The weak point will still be the joining pin. Campy's pin has a head on one end, but depends on an interference fit on the other. I still think a master link is hard to beat, but another alternative would be a tool like Rholoff's that peens the end of the joining pin. Unfortunately, there's no way to know if the peening tool has done a good enough job.

Campy insists that their pin be installed from the left side, while Shimano says to install theirs from the same direction the old pin was removed, which is most often the right side.

One of the other common problems is people are too cheap to buy the proper tool to join these chains and sometimes fail to read the instructions even when they have the proper tool.

I've read plenty of posts from users who think they are smarter than the engineers who design the chains and join the ends with the same old pin that was pushed out one side of the chain. That's asking for trouble, but those who do it always say they've never had a failure. I say their time will come.

Sandy
07-11-2008, 04:48 PM
I have often thought that a 9-speed chain was about optimum. Thinner chains and cogs mean more wear with decreased chain and cog life. Moreover, the thinner the chain the less contact area between the pins and sideplates and the easier it is for the sideplate to separate from the pin. Cross chaining puts additional load on this connection. One solution is to flare the end of the pin slightly so that the sideplate can't come off. This means that a master link will be essential.

End of discussion. Chief has spoken and Chief is one very very smart dude...I mean gentleman....who all of us should ride like when we reach his age. Inspiration.


Sandy

regularguy412
07-11-2008, 05:07 PM
I'm a confessed Luddite / retro-grouch and I'm still on 8-speed. I have no gripe with anyone who wants to use 9, 10 or 11 speed chains and cogs. However, I have had no serious chain issues in many miles of riding, save the occasional chain-suck/drop from a chain that needed to be replaced. (insert sound of knocking on wood)

I've ridden a friend's 10 speed DA and it sure shifts nice, but not enough better than my DA STI-8 to warrant a complete crank, fd, rd, chain, shifter swap. A new chain and cogs makes any system work like it's supposed to.

Sure does seem like we will approach a point of diminished returns as the cog numbers increase. Sure, there are times when I would like to have an 18 cog,, or both a 12 AND a 27 on the same cassette, but I'm not really racey enough to miss it much. Besides, there's something to be said for mashing the gear a bit.:D

MIke in AR:beer:

R2D2
07-11-2008, 05:23 PM
What chain broke Shimano or Campagnolo?.

Ti Designs
07-11-2008, 06:32 PM
First let me point out that the weak link in the system isn't the pin, it's the pin/sideplate interface. As far as I can see there are two pieces of metal there and I'm guessing compression forces on the side of a hardened pin do less damage than sheer forces on a hole in a thin plate - just a guess. Next, you have to look at the forces and the direction of these forces. If all bikes were single speeds with perfect chainline, chain breakage wouldn't be much of an issue. No, we got a stack of cogs back there and a bunch of chainrings up front and everybody wants the shortest distance between them - there is chain angle, there is bending force on the side links...

Since out last go-around with the topic of tandems and 10-speed I've started keeping data. In the last 6 weeks I know of 3 chain failures on tandems, all 10-speed. That means that the failure rate for 10-speed equipped tandems we've sold is closing in on 100% Does that tell you anything?

Face it folks, the market is driven by product comparison on paper. Make a check list, the product that has the most check marks wins. Who wanted to sell 9-speed crap when the 10-speed stuff came out? Consumers are way too stupid to look at long term costs or expected durability. Given my yearly mileage I figured out that maintainance of a Dura-Ace 10-speed bike would cost me 8 times what I'm spending (running a combination of Dura-Ace and Ultegra 9-speed)

Wait a second, my salary is paid by people breaking or wearing out bike parts - ignore what I just wrote!!!

michael white
07-11-2008, 06:54 PM
well, now that the retro craze is well established in consumer culture (Minis, Bonnevilles, etc.), I do think we're about ready for a 7 or 8 spd polished silver "heritage edition" group from either Campy or Shimano.

I bet we'd snap em up and complain bitterly when they ran out.

TAW
07-11-2008, 06:55 PM
I've read plenty of posts from users who think they are smarter than the engineers who design the chains and join the ends with the same old pin that was pushed out one side of the chain. That's asking for trouble, but those who do it always say they've never had a failure. I say their time will come.

Well, I happen to be one of those who uses the same pin on my 9 speed stuff, and have for quite a while. It's seriously not because I think I'm smarter than the engineer, but I (and others who do this) got this from Zinn's book which was written or revised after 9 speed came out. He has since said NOT to use the old pin on 10 speed stuff. :)

Fixed
07-11-2008, 06:59 PM
i use a i/8 inch chain they are pretty tough imho
cheers

DfCas
07-11-2008, 07:35 PM
I wrenched for some friends at a local 24 hour mtb race (24 hours of Big Bear) this weekend, and thought I'd pass this story along. He called on Friday and said they needed me, but all I needed to bring was my body. All tools,parts,food etc would be provided.

I took a few tools anyway, since I prefer to use my own. Anyway, after lap 1 he comes in with a broken chain.Since we had no new chain, it needed fixed. I had to take 2 links out of each side of the break, since it was bent on both sides. He gave me 2 pieces to splice.Get this,-- the chain was a Sram xx, he gave me Shimano links and some other different Sram links, and we had no Shimano pins anyway. So it had 3 splices in a row of mismatched links.

He was racing Duo Pro, so time was a problem- I only had an hour so I didn't have time to go borrow a chain. besides, the ladies 2 person team had issues-tubeless flats, hydraulic brake levers pulling back to the bar,etc.

So as he goes out for his second lap, I went to another camp and borrowed a new chain, so when he came back with a broken chain again we could replace it.

He came back with a tubeless flat, but the chain was still on. I told him I was gonna change the chain and he says no. please don't. I guess he was superstitious- nothing else made sense.

The heinz 57 chain lasted the race-8 more laps,or 100 miles of muddy,knarly mtbing, on a 1 x 9 and he was on the 9th position a lot.

After the race he told me he would put on a new chain after he gets home...

BTW, he set the fastest lap of the race, so the chain was heavily stressed.

Dave
07-11-2008, 07:56 PM
What chain broke Shimano or Campagnolo?.

Shimano - it was a Milram rider.

soulspinner
07-12-2008, 06:00 AM
First let me point out that the weak link in the system isn't the pin, it's the pin/sideplate interface. As far as I can see there are two pieces of metal there and I'm guessing compression forces on the side of a hardened pin do less damage than sheer forces on a hole in a thin plate - just a guess. Next, you have to look at the forces and the direction of these forces. If all bikes were single speeds with perfect chainline, chain breakage wouldn't be much of an issue. No, we got a stack of cogs back there and a bunch of chainrings up front and everybody wants the shortest distance between them - there is chain angle, there is bending force on the side links...

Since out last go-around with the topic of tandems and 10-speed I've started keeping data. In the last 6 weeks I know of 3 chain failures on tandems, all 10-speed. That means that the failure rate for 10-speed equipped tandems we've sold is closing in on 100% Does that tell you anything?

Face it folks, the market is driven by product comparison on paper. Make a check list, the product that has the most check marks wins. Who wanted to sell 9-speed crap when the 10-speed stuff came out? Consumers are way too stupid to look at long term costs or expected durability. Given my yearly mileage I figured out that maintainance of a Dura-Ace 10-speed bike would cost me 8 times what I'm spending (running a combination of Dura-Ace and Ultegra 9-speed)

Wait a second, my salary is paid by people breaking or wearing out bike parts - ignore what I just wrote!!!


:p -Ya, I cant wear out my 8 speed Record ....

Dave
07-12-2008, 05:41 PM
Since out last go-around with the topic of tandems and 10-speed I've started keeping data. In the last 6 weeks I know of 3 chain failures on tandems, all 10-speed. That means that the failure rate for 10-speed equipped tandems we've sold is closing in on 100% Does that tell you anything?

Unless you elaborate on the exact nature of the failure, it really means nothing. Hopefully, the mechanic assembling the bike didn't join two chains and decided it wasn't necessary to use the special joining pin (assuming Shimano chains).

Did the riders have poor shifting ability and/or ride in the big/big combo a lot? Many things can contribute to chain failure. I rode with someone recently who went most of the way up a 10 mile mountain climb in the big/big combo, doing "big ring intervals". I mentioned to him that he would get the same, but much more chain friendly gear ratio in the little ring.

I'll repeat my advice to try a Campy Veloce chain. It seems to have the most pin push resistance and there are no lightening holes in the side plates.

capybaras
07-12-2008, 07:01 PM
maybe your neck is too fat

Marcusaurelius
07-13-2008, 07:27 PM
I second the vote for 9 speed. I already switched two campy ten speeds bikes to 9 speed. I just don't have much confidence in the 10 speed stuff and I've never seen a real need for a cog with 10 speeds.

Grant McLean
07-13-2008, 09:46 PM
I second the vote for 9 speed. I already switched two campy ten speeds bikes to 9 speed. I just don't have much confidence in the 10 speed stuff and I've never seen a real need for a cog with 10 speeds.

not to single you out, but these type of comments puzzle me...
Are you aware the only difference between campy 9 & 10 is the air between each shift?
...or that the thickness of each of the cogs and rings is identical?
...or that the inside measurements of the 10 speed chain is identical to 9 speed?

The only difference is that the outer plates are thinner, allowing for the rear
cogs to be placed closer to each other, and fit in the same space as 9.

Like the great info Dave has already posted, you don't exactly see chains ripped in half.
You see pins that have been mis-installed by people who
don't know what they're doing.
Most of these 8 vs 9 vs 10 vs 11 discussions are based on misinformation...

g

avalonracing
07-13-2008, 09:58 PM
well, now that the retro craze is well established in consumer culture (Minis, Bonnevilles, etc.), I do think we're about ready for a 7 or 8 spd polished silver "heritage edition" group from either Campy or Shimano..

This is an ingenious marketing idea. You should get a free group from both companies when they steal this idea.

giordana93
07-13-2008, 10:02 PM
let me throw some gas on this fire and say that it's not the chain thickness per se, but the twisting and grabbing aided by the cog ramps and twisted teeth that plays a major role in this. I NEVER remember hearing about people breaking chains until hyperglide came out for mtb's back in the day. and the young turks with whom I was riding on the road sucked at shifting because they were always full gas, even on a climb: shift, (loud and horrible noises from drive train), never letting up just a fraction like we did on downtube 5, 6, 7 8 speeds. there used to be an art to shifting at the right moment, especially on hard climbs. just my retro grounch 2 cents (U.S., which are now worth what?) cheers

soulspinner
07-14-2008, 05:19 AM
not to single you out, but these type of comments puzzle me...
Are you aware the only difference between campy 9 & 10 is the air between each shift?
...or that the thickness of each of the cogs and rings is identical?
...or that the inside measurements of the 10 speed chain is identical to 9 speed?

The only difference is that the outer plates are thinner, allowing for the rear
cogs to be placed closer to each other, and fit in the same space as 9.

Like the great info Dave has already posted, you don't exactly see chains ripped in half.
You see pins that have been mis-installed by people who
don't know what they're doing.
Most of these 8 vs 9 vs 10 vs 11 discussions are based on misinformation...

g

Slightly ot-exactly when is one supposed to lube a new Campy chain? I wont wipe off their treatment, but 4 years my chains got lubed right away but my friend the wrench says just ride it 4 awhile-youll know when to lube it :confused:

Dave
07-14-2008, 07:49 AM
let me throw some gas on this fire and say that it's not the chain thickness per se, but the twisting and grabbing aided by the cog ramps and twisted teeth that plays a major role in this. I NEVER remember hearing about people breaking chains until hyperglide came out for mtb's back in the day. and the young turks with whom I was riding on the road sucked at shifting because they were always full gas, even on a climb: shift, (loud and horrible noises from drive train), never letting up just a fraction like we did on downtube 5, 6, 7 8 speeds. there used to be an art to shifting at the right moment, especially on hard climbs. just my retro grounch 2 cents (U.S., which are now worth what?) cheers

Back in the days of 5-8 speed, chain were made differently, with protruding pins that were only lightly peened on the ends. The pins could be pushed out of one side of the chain, leaving the pin engaged with the opposite outer plate and later reinstalled with no problem. Campy and Sachs 9 speed chains also had protruding pins. Shimano was the first to change to flush pin 9 speed chains that require heavier peening to retain the pin. Campy followed when they introduced 10 speed. Today, all 10 speed chains and most 9 speed models have flush pins.

I don't think hyperglide, exadrive and the like have anything to do with chain failure. All those tooth profiles do is improve shifting, not extert additional forces on the chain.

What can be blamed in most cases is poor shifting technique, which you mentioned, and the failure to properly join the chain.

Dave
07-14-2008, 07:53 AM
Slightly ot-exactly when is one supposed to lube a new Campy chain? I wont wipe off their treatment, but 4 years my chains got lubed right away but my friend the wrench says just ride it 4 awhile-youll know when to lube it :confused:

I apply homebrew lube, even to a new chain and wipe off the exterior of the chain to remove as much of the factory crap as possible. No lube lasts for more than a few hundred miles. If you only lube a chain every 2-300 miles or when it gets noisy, a lot of those miles will be run with dirt contaminated lube that reduces chain life. Lube often and you will see longer chain life.

Dave
07-14-2008, 08:00 AM
I second the vote for 9 speed. I already switched two campy ten speeds bikes to 9 speed. I just don't have much confidence in the 10 speed stuff and I've never seen a real need for a cog with 10 speeds.

In constrast, I've got complete faith in 10 speed drivetrains. I switched to 10 speed in the spring of 2000 and I've never owned a 9 speed bike since. I've never had any sort of chain or cog problem.

Campy hasn't made any 9 speed groups for a couple of years now and none of the top three groups has been 9 speed for many years. For '09 they will make three 11 speed groups, two 10 speed groups and no lower level groups like Mirage and Xenon.

zap
07-14-2008, 08:52 AM
I too have complete faith in 10spd. At least Campy 10 spd.

Campy 10 spd ultra chain on our tandem still works like a champ.

Regarding lube, I leave the campy stuff on and apply more lube as needed or after riding in the rain.

Ti-what chains are your customers/mechanics breaking?

vaxn8r
07-14-2008, 11:41 AM
We use Shimano 10 chains. We aren't exactly a light team and we climb hills. Some over 15%, but only because we have to. There is no reason for 100% chain failure rate except for incorrect installation.

iirc this has been covered before.

Erik.Lazdins
07-14-2008, 11:56 AM
In constrast, I've got complete faith in 10 speed drivetrains. I switched to 10 speed in the spring of 2000 and I've never owned a 9 speed bike since. I've never had any sort of chain or cog problem.

Campy hasn't made any 9 speed groups for a couple of years now and none of the top three groups has been 9 speed for many years. For '09 they will make three 11 speed groups, two 10 speed groups and no lower level groups like Mirage and Xenon.


Dave - Grant anyone,
I've been very pleased with my 04 10 speed system never had an issue with a chain I use the campy tool.
I don't have a need for more gears so my questions is going forward - Does anyone think that Campy will maintain a 10speed group longterm?
I am not a fan of more speeds every few years which eventually necessitates phasing out "old tech" realiable, reasonably cost effective drivetrains (and tools!) in an effort to keep an optimal set of SKU's.

Dave
07-14-2008, 01:58 PM
My crystal ball is broken, I get no news on the 10 speed subject, other than they certainly will have both Centaur and Veloce 10 speed parts next year. The shifters even got an upgrade to the same hood shape and ultrashift mechanism used on SR, Record and Chorus. With all the 10 speed parts sold in the last 9 seasons, I can't imagine 10 speed going away soon.

I also haven't read anything about the triple crank groups for '09. Those would obviously remain 10 speed, unless they've been dropped along with Xenon and Mirage.

Grant McLean
07-14-2008, 02:16 PM
Does anyone think that Campy will maintain a 10speed group longterm?

I believe Campy will...

But then I don't really think it's a problem, since Ebay will be there.
I just bought some new-in-the-box Dura Ace 8 speed parts from 1989.
There will always be spare parts on the web...

TAW
07-18-2008, 04:31 PM
There is no reason for 100% chain failure rate except for incorrect installation.

iirc this has been covered before.

Getting back to the original post, assuming that a professional mechanic maintains a pro's bike, what would be the explanation for chain failures found in the peloton?

Thanks

Dave
07-18-2008, 04:55 PM
Getting back to the original post, assuming that a professional mechanic maintains a pro's bike, what would be the explanation for chain failures found in the peloton?

Thanks

Unless someone gets an accurate report on the incidents in question, the explanation will remain a mystery. Just because a mechanic is a "professional" doesn't mean that everything he does is by the book. These pros have a lot of work to do in a short time. The failure could be due to a joining pin, regular pin or a defective side plate, or none or those. A real crappy shift or jammed chain could pry apart a link and cause a failure - not the fault of the product or the mechanic.