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  #1  
Old 07-11-2008, 01:57 PM
TAW TAW is offline
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Chains too thin?

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.
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:18 PM
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I think when we get to 16 cassettes we will be at that point.
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Old 07-11-2008, 03:41 PM
gregclimbs gregclimbs is offline
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my left collarbone is starting to come around to the idea that 10s chains being too narrow.

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  #4  
Old 07-11-2008, 03:49 PM
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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.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave
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?
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  #6  
Old 07-11-2008, 04:06 PM
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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...
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  #7  
Old 07-11-2008, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAW
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.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPS
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).
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:13 PM
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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.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPS
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.
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  #11  
Old 07-11-2008, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief
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.


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  #12  
Old 07-11-2008, 05:07 PM
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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.

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  #13  
Old 07-11-2008, 05:23 PM
R2D2 R2D2 is offline
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What chain broke Shimano or Campagnolo?.
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  #14  
Old 07-11-2008, 06:32 PM
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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!!!
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  #15  
Old 07-11-2008, 06:54 PM
michael white michael white is offline
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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.
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