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Newbie has new chain slippage!(7 posts)

Newbie has new chain slippage!skilsaw
Jan 4, 2002 11:09 AM
My commute bike is a year old, so I swung by the LBS for a new chain for the new year. No problems with the old one, but I figured it was a good thing to do.
The shop guy asked what cassette I had, and I told him the ring size and the 9-speed, etc. He sold me a SRAM Powerlink chain.
I swapped off the old one and guessed on length by laying the old one out beside the new chain. I cleaned things up pretty well, too. I went riding, and the chain slipped all over the place. So I took more links out to so the derailleur was tighter on the big-big rings. Still slipping. I called the shop, and the guy suggested the Powerlink wasn't on all the way. It appears to be tight, and is no wider than the surrounding links.
I rode to work today--kind of a diagnostic ride--and the chain slips on the back cog on every ring but the big ring and the 11-ring. It shifts sloppy through the gears.
Did I buy a chain that is too wide, is my freewheel shot, (does my LBS stink) or is something else wrong?
Any advice for this newbie?
re: Newbie has new chain slippage!John-d
Jan 4, 2002 11:49 AM
I expect you will get some more expert advice, but my offerings are these.

Is the link where you joined the chain tooooo tight?

How many miles are there in the sprockets and chain rings, if they are too worn a new chain can make the situation worse? As a guess around 10,000 miles is the limit for normal riding, about half for powerful racer/riders. This may not apply as you say you are a newbie, but did you buy second-hand?

Last, this is probably the silliest but did he sell you an 8 speed by mistake? Have you got the box?
right chain...skilsaw
Jan 4, 2002 12:16 PM
The box says 9-speed, so I can't fault the bike shop on that one. I bought the bike new, and I would guess it does have close to 10K miles on it by now.
A friend suggested the freewheel could just be shot, but I didn't think so because everything was fine before the new chain. But a new chain makes it worse?
Thanks---I might as well go to work on some replacements by now anyway.
re: chain slippage!guido
Jan 4, 2002 12:31 PM
John is right about the very real possibility that the sprockets are worn out. That's the classic reason, if the chain is the right width, that it'll skip. It didn't skip on the 11 because you hardly ever used that gear. The big sprocket has the most teeth to share the load, so it hasn't worn out yet, either.

While you're waiting for a new casette, the old chain will work fine.
Actually, that's a pretty common problem.nee Spoke Wrench
Jan 4, 2002 1:44 PM
Generally when I sell a chain I warn the customer that a new chain might not work very well with worn cassette cogs. When a chain wears, it actually gets a little longer. Since it does this gradually, it has time to wear the teeth of your rear cogs to match. That's why you didn't have trouble previously. Naturally the cogs that you use the most, usually the ones in the middle of the cassete, get worn the most. That's why the biggest and smallest still work OK with your new chain.

If it was my bike, I'd get a new cassette. Don't be too surprised at the price. Regular retail for a 9-speed cassette is about $40.00 to $80.00 depending on quality.

One more thing. Make sure your chain is long enough to cover the big/big combination. If it's too short you can do some seriously expensive things to your derailleur, rear wheel and frame is you accidentally try to shift into that combo.
The cassette is shot!Rusty McNasty
Jan 4, 2002 1:33 PM
Your old chain wore down with the cogs. It elongated, and the cog tooth profiles wore with them. Your new chain is not enlongated, and now the cogs aren't shaped right for the new chai, so the chain pops up and slips.
Trustme, buy the new casette. People more experienced than you have seen this happen THOUSANDS of times before.
BTW, next time, clean the chain more often. That way, the casette won't wear as quickly.
Jan 4, 2002 4:44 PM
Sure it wasn't the advice I WANTED to hear, but it sounds like it's what I NEEDED to hear. Thanks everyone!