Breaker of Chains

Toomanycats

Active Member
Yep, that appears to be me. I have a 2018 Raleigh Lore with 7300 miles. The bike is well maintained, but I've broken two chains in a year now. Both chains were literally ripped apart between the links,, so the pins didn't fail. They were Shimano ebike chains, so I suspect it's about my riding style. I'm a 64 year old woman, but I do like to ride aggressively (powering up hills, etc ).
Right now, I'm practicing shifting gently, and backing off. But can I ride the bike less aggressively and still get a challenging workout?
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Is it a 9,10, 11, or 12 speed chain? those are especially fragile because they are thinner than 8 7 or 6 speed chain.
90% of people on here hate hub motors. Except me. I get 5000 miles per KMC regular 8 speed chain, and I power up 15% hills with me + 15 lb tools water & 60 lb groceries. 330 lb gross sometimes. Mac12t motors are especially torquey. Mine is on the front, which numerous people that don't ride one have told me is intensely stupid. 8000 miles, no falls yet. The only tows home is when I broke a seat mount rod, and another time I blew the sidewall out of a salvage tire that looked real good. I've worn out 2 hub motors, but you can ride them home unpowered with bad gears ($221 motor 4500 miles) or a burnt off harness pin (ASI controller) from the rain.
Warning, geared hub motors will not climb 1000' in 30 minutes. They will overheat. Mine have performed well climbing ~80 rolling hills of up to 100' in 3 1/2 hours.
 
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rich c

Well-Known Member
How many times have you replaced the cassette and chain ring? If you aren't replacing them as well, that can shorten chain life by quite a bit. You can always get a challenging workout by shutting off the motor.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Yep, that appears to be me. I have a 2018 Raleigh Lore with 7300 miles. The bike is well maintained, but I've broken two chains in a year now. Both chains were literally ripped apart between the links,, so the pins didn't fail. They were Shimano ebike chains, so I suspect it's about my riding style. I'm a 64 year old woman, but I do like to ride aggressively (powering up hills, etc ).
Right now, I'm practicing shifting gently, and backing off. But can I ride the bike less aggressively and still get a challenging workout?

something is definitely awry! my shimano 11 speed chain held up to my 200lb self putting down 1000+ watts on hills, plus the mid-drive motor contribution, plus amateurish shifting (at least for a while lol) for 3,500+ miles and had quite a bit more life left in it when i replaced it at the same time i replaced the rear cassette.

your bike has a 10 speed drivetrain with a 10-42 rear cassette, nothing particularly exotic, and the mid-drive is only 250w. thinner than an 8 speed or not, it should absolutely not fail like that, even if subjected to your best efforts over and over. best to get the chain ring and rear cassette checked out by a competent mechanic, and also make sure the rear derailleur is correctly adjusted. does it make any clicking or tinkling sounds when you ride it? does it shift cleanly?

you can get a really challenging workout even if you back off for a second while shifting, which is really good practice, especially going uphill and downshifting!
 

Toomanycats

Active Member
@Gionnirocket is a proponent of the smoothness of a lubed transmission. The other comments are all correct. The most basic unaddressed one is; are you keeping your drivetrain clean and lubricated?
Yes, but I may have to do both more often. It's really no fun trying to repair a broken chain on a 45 lb ebike. I have Markel insurance towing, but they took a while to pick me up.
 

Toomanycats

Active Member
something is definitely awry! my shimano 11 speed chain held up to my 200lb self putting down 1000+ watts on hills, plus the mid-drive motor contribution, plus amateurish shifting (at least for a while lol) for 3,500+ miles and had quite a bit more life left in it when i replaced it at the same time i replaced the rear cassette.

your bike has a 10 speed drivetrain with a 10-42 rear cassette, nothing particularly exotic, and the mid-drive is only 250w. thinner than an 8 speed or not, it should absolutely not fail like that, even if subjected to your best efforts over and over. best to get the chain ring and rear cassette checked out by a competent mechanic, and also make sure the rear derailleur is correctly adjusted. does it make any clicking or tinkling sounds when you ride it? does it shift cleanly?

you can get a really challenging workout even if you back off for a second while shifting, which is really good practice, especially going uphill and downshifting!
This is wonderful advice. I have all my repairs and maintenance done by Velofix- I have no reason to question their competence but maybe I'll haul the bike to a local shop for a 2nd opinion. I get it tuned up every 3 months- part of that is inspecting the drive train for wear and replacement of parts. The cassette was replaced last year after 5000 miles. I can only think that my riding style is contributing somehow.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
This is wonderful advice. I have all my repairs and maintenance done by Velofix- I have no reason to question their competence but maybe I'll haul the bike to a local shop for a 2nd opinion. I get it tuned up every 3 months- part of that is inspecting the drive train for wear and replacement of parts. The cassette was replaced last year after 5000 miles. I can only think that my riding style is contributing somehow.
A chain recently broke on a huge cargo bike that hauls two kids at full power up a hill. We have big hills in the seismic coastal area North of San Francisco. Riding style was a contributing factor for the chain break. Also the quick link failed, they cannot all be perfect out of 1,000. All it took was installing a quick link. Keep some spares. The wife of the couple was pounding down on the pedals. The pro style of pedaling is much more efficient, is better for the bike, motor and power usage. It feels so good and I can ride this way much further and faster. It feels like swimming with scuba fins. All you need are grippy pedals.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
This is wonderful advice. I have all my repairs and maintenance done by Velofix- I have no reason to question their competence but maybe I'll haul the bike to a local shop for a 2nd opinion. I get it tuned up every 3 months- part of that is inspecting the drive train for wear and replacement of parts. The cassette was replaced last year after 5000 miles. I can only think that my riding style is contributing somehow.

3 months is a long time if you're doing thousands of miles in that period; definitely make sure you're cleaning and lubing it in the meantime, listen closely for clicks and creaks and tinkles. what about storage in between rides? indoors, outdoors, wet, dry? sand and gravel on the roads? i assume it wasn't the quick link that blew?