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On the road chain repair?(21 posts)

On the road chain repair?DCP
Jun 11, 2001 5:42 PM
Experienced riders, please share your wisdom.

I was riding many miles from nowhere yesterday and my chain jumped off while shifting to the large chainring. Strange, but seemingly no big deal. After putting the chain back on, the rear deraileur started to try to shift every few revolutions. I found that a couple of links on the chain were twisted and every time around they pulled on the rear deraileur before going through. This caused the rear deraileur to half-shift or shift and then shift back. I had no chain tool, of course, and nothing that could bend the chain.

Very annoying and probably not very healthy for the drivetrain.

Any thoughts on what I could have done as a temporary repair?
re: On the road chain repair?LC
Jun 11, 2001 6:02 PM
This is more common on Mt bikes and the trick I had to use was to get out the caveman tools. A couple of big rocks will do the trick, but even better on the road is lay the chain against the curb and pound it back to somewhat flat with a rock. The cavemand trick also works for chainrings too. You should look in to a cheap little compact chain tool or one of the multi tools with a chain tool, and carry some extra links too. I like the Alien multi tool made by Topeak.
re: On the road chain repair?grz mnky
Jun 11, 2001 6:10 PM
It would be nice to have some bomb-proof repair, but this isn't the nature of the beast. The tollerances on today's drive trains are very tight. Bending just about anything means that the component in question is done.

You can try removing the rear wheel and grabbing sections of the chain on either side of the twist. Having a "power link" (i.e. SRAM's removable link) does allow you to wrok on things a bit easier. You then bend the chain 90 degrees, via the pivoting links, then try to untwist the links by bending. This is a very desperate and messy option and success rate isn't great. In fact you'll most likely reduce some of the problem, but you won't fix it. Recently worked on a buds bike with the same problem on the road. We had to scale back our route and replace his chain when we got home. I'm tempted to carry a MTB type tool with the chain device - it happens rarely on road bikes, and usually there are compounding circumstance, but you're really screwed when it does happen. I also carry a bunch of spare links in my MTB kit.
re: Is my cadence too high?mike mcmahon
Jun 11, 2001 10:14 PM
110 is a little toward the high end, but you're better off at the high-end than the low end if you want your knees to last. As long as you're under control at 110, spin away and have fun. Here's a related current thread from VN:
I think you want the highest cadence you can achieve without...shmoo
Jun 11, 2001 11:21 PM
...rocking your hips, bouncing on the saddle, a "noisy" upper body, etc. Otherwise, I don't think you can have too high a cadence. If you're a little bouncy, back off a little or increase to a higher gear (slightly more resistance seems to take out the bounce). It seems, for me at least, that the brain gets accustomed to a certain cadence, which can hold you down to a sustainable speed lower than your potential. Unless I'm focusing on a higher cadence, I'll stay right between 80-90rpm and have a hard time cruising for a sustained period at a respectable speed. I'm currently trying to retrain the gray matter to accept nothing but +/-100rpm. It feels right. A higher sustained speed just seems to happen as a byproduct of the spin. As you implied, it works for Lance. Watch him TT in July - incredible cadence.
A few thoughtsLen J
Jun 12, 2001 5:32 AM
Theres an old adage in cycling. Spin faster to rest your legs, Spin slower to rest your lungs. It works for me.

I find that hill climbing is much easier & somewhat faster spinning above 100 than mashing below 90.

I got into this sport because of Knee & Hip problems. Spinning is easier on these joints than mashing.

Spinning is a great cardio workout. Once a week I try to do a 20 mile ride maintaining a cadance 5 to 10 rpm above my comfort range.

Listen to your body. Spinning takes fast twitch muscles, Mashing uses more slow twitch muscles. While you can train where you are weakest, if you are doing this for fitness & endurance, go with what is comfortable.

Good luck.
re: Is my cadence too high?PingPong
Jun 12, 2001 6:04 AM
I too am a commited spinner, but I have found it usefull to be able to work effectively at a wide range of cadences.

I feel most comfortable at 95 rpm, but on some minor hills and inclines I find that I can get over the top more smoothly if I don't change down too much, instead pull the pedals round really smoothly at 85 or so, concentrating on eliminating any dead spots. Equally when accelerating during for 5 and 10 mile TTs I don't change up until I am over 110 or so.

This means that I train in the range of 85 - 115 rpms, I have found a great deal of benefit from training my weaker low cadence zone.
check KOPC-40
Jun 12, 2001 6:26 AM
You might check your knee over pedal position. See or the July issue of Bicycling Magazine. Bicycling Magazine's description isn't quite accurate though. They mention placing the knee ahead of the pedal spindle for more speed. This position will increase leg speed (cadence) but not necessarily bike speed, since maximum bike speed comes from power. Power is torque times cadence. When you move the saddle there is always compromise. You can get more cadence or more torque, but not both.

There's nothing wrong with pedaling 110 rpm. I occasionally get up to 125 rpm for brief periods. Your saddle position may not be optimized for maximum power, however. Moving the saddle back a little will tend to slow your cadence, and allow you to apply more torque.

Folks with long femurs may tend to run a high cadence, particularly if they can't get the saddle back far enough, and the knee is positioned ahead of the pedal spindle. I had a friend in this situation. He always rode fast, but I'm not sure that he couldn't have done better if he would have bought a saddle or seatpost that would have permitted a further back position.
How best to measure cadence?notes_clp
Jun 12, 2001 6:27 AM
I would assume that road riders get this information from there cycle computers? Yeah, I know what happens when you assume,, that's why I am asking.
How best to measure cadence?Len J
Jun 12, 2001 6:30 AM
That's how I do it. Original bike had cateye with actual cadence. Current bike has Flight Deck with virtual cadence (If you know speed & gear there is a calculation to get cadence).

The old way of determining cadence is to count the number of pedal strokes in 15 seconds & multiply by 4.
I just count against the clolck on the computer.shmoo
Jun 12, 2001 7:05 AM
Gives me something to do while I'm riding, but more importantly, tends to keep my head in the game.
What's a "clolck"? Jeez!! (nm)shmoo
Jun 12, 2001 10:40 AM
Jun 12, 2001 4:17 PM
A reasonably simple formula to calculate cadence for a road bike with 700C wheels is:

cadence = (speed x cog)/(.078 x chainring)

example for a 39/13 at 24 mph:

102.56 = (24 x 13)/(.078 x 39)

A little rearrangment gives the formula for speed:

speed = (.078 x chainring x cadence) / cog
re: Is my cadence too high?ScottH
Jun 12, 2001 7:03 AM
I'm roughly the same build as you, 6'2, 155-160lbs and I usually spin 90-105. Unless I am climbing a steep hill or soft pedaling, I seldom get below 90. If you are comfortable and not bouncing on the saddle, go for it.
re: Is my cadence too high?Jon Billheimer
Jun 12, 2001 8:43 AM
As some of the posts note, your cadence has to do with neuromuscular conditioning and your muscle fibre type. Consider yourself fortunate. A lot of people work years to achieve your cadence. Spinning a hill recruits your slow-twitch, aerobic fibres, which you're blessed with in abundance. Being a thin endurance type you find gear mashing difficult. So go with what you're naturally given, but in your training do some big gear work ,and in the off season weight training, to build strength. That way you'll be able to spin bigger gears.
re: Is my cadence too high?Len J
Jun 12, 2001 1:40 PM
Here is a link that will allow you to calculate, based on the gearing of your bike, what speed you will attain with different cadences. I found it interesting to see that speed is a balance between cadence & gearing. (i.e. slower cadence + Higher gear=faster cadence + lower gear) I know this is a DUH, but it was interesting to see it in numbers.

re: Anyone from Atlanta or Toronto?ixiz
Jun 12, 2001 7:05 AM
Im in atlanta
Gwinett county has a few great low traffic rides
Not to be too much of a smart aleck....runstevierun
Jun 12, 2001 11:21 AM
I lived in Atlanta for five years.
It turned me into a runner......
Great weather, very very very crowded, bike-unfriendly roads.
[Try way north of the city in dahlonoga area....
or MTB, several good places in the north-metro area]
re: Anyone from Atlanta or Toronto?LLSmith
Jun 12, 2001 12:41 PM
I live in Gwinnett county, but don't have enough nerve to ride on the roads. Try Stone Mountain Park. If you can get there its a very bike friendly place to ride. There is a five and seven mile loop. Plenty of small hills. I have not been on the silver comet trail, but hear it's a great ride. I think its thirty to forty miles out with a 2% grade. It starts in Roswell or Marietta.
re: Anyone from Atlanta or Toronto?jkoch
Jun 12, 2001 3:29 PM
In Toronto, from the west end, there are a lot of groups that ride north and west from the corner of Eglinton (aka Lower Base Line) and 9th Line (aka Ford Drive). This gives you access to some climbs on the escarpment. A drive out to Kelso conservation area is also a good starting point for some climbing on the escarpment. Further east, The Scarborough group ride stats out around Eglinton and Laird and heads generally North and West with the open road riding being done on and around Keele north of Hwy 7. On bad weather days there are some options within the city. Email me if you want some specific suggestions.
re: Anyone from Atlanta or Toronto?Over-the-hill
Jun 13, 2001 5:54 AM
Check out It lists some nice rides, mostly north of Atlanta. Some are quite challenging.