Whats going on with my chain?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Lost Kiwi, Jun 9, 2020.



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  1. Lost Kiwi

    Lost Kiwi Member

    Location:
    Was UK, now Mission Viejo!
    Name:
    Simon
    Current Bike:
    Nugget Proflex 657
    Bent my derailleur hanger a while back, whilst fixing it I also threw a new chain on the bike and then my problems started. XT 11spd drivetrain and I was running a dodgy taiwainese KMC copy chain. Prior to bending the hanger I'd had no drivetrain problems.
    I put a shimano SLX chain on the bike and ever since have had issues. First was the chain rubbing on the hanger when in high gear, adjusted that out and everything appeared ok, however first ride out afterwards and when in high gear something didn't feel right. Move into the next gear and everything seems fine.
    On Sunday it seemed even worse than before and the first time I stressed the chain on a shift it broke. I managed to cobble it back together and limped the bike home.
    Stuck it up on the stand and decided to go through things more methodically. I can see the problem clearly now, when the bike is in high gear its rubbing on the next cog across - on top of the cassette. I've measured up the chain width its measuring 5.6 mm on my calipers. Internet sleuthing seems to indicate it should only be 5.4mm. Can't remember if theres a spacer on the back of the cassette, will whip it off tonite and have a look, maybe removing that will push things back into alignment?

    Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this before? Can chain width differ that much between brands?

    Any other helpful suggestions?
     
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  2. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower

    Are you sure you bought a SLX 11 speed chain?
     
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  3. Lost Kiwi

    Lost Kiwi Member

    Location:
    Was UK, now Mission Viejo!
    Name:
    Simon
    Current Bike:
    Nugget Proflex 657
    Shimano SLX CN-HG601 11 spd chain. Came in Shimano packaging and appeared legit, no reason to doubt it.
     
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  4. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower

    Aren't Shimano chain directional?
     
  5. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    That one is... And this geared stuff is complicated!

    CN-HG601-11
    SHIMANO 105 - 11-Speed - Super Narrow - HYPERGLIDE - SIL-TEC - Road Chain

    This Super Narrow HG-X11 directional chain offers precise shifting and improved durability thanks to SHIMANO's SIL-TEC treatment on the inner plate surfaces.
     
  6. Lost Kiwi

    Lost Kiwi Member

    Location:
    Was UK, now Mission Viejo!
    Name:
    Simon
    Current Bike:
    Nugget Proflex 657
    Yeah, they are directional. Have double checked and its definitely on the right way (writing to the outside).

    I've got two other bikes with 11 spd setups, might change some wheels around and see if they all do the same thing.
     
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  7. SS Barby

    SS Barby Member

    Location:
    Palmdale, CA
    Name:
    Barby
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley LS/ Niner Sir 9 SS
    The stamped model number on the chain should point outward away from the cassette. Not sure how important that is but that is supposedly the correct way to install it
     
  8. bvader

    bvader Well-Known Member

    Location:
    HB
    Name:
    Mr. Brown
    Pic?
     
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  9. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
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  10. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    I guess the question is....is the hanger truely straight? Did you just eyeball it or did you use the Derailler Adjustment Guide?

    the fact that it rubbed the hanger after you “fixed” the hanger tells me that it’s not straight. Then it sounds like you went adjusting the derailleur to stop rubbing the hanger and now it’s rubbing against the other cogs.


    Are you sure the derailleur isn’t bent?


    There is no spacer on the back of 11 spd mtn cassettes.
     
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  11. Lost Kiwi

    Lost Kiwi Member

    Location:
    Was UK, now Mission Viejo!
    Name:
    Simon
    Current Bike:
    Nugget Proflex 657
    TBH guys I dunno, did my shady chain wear funny, could have, but it doesn't really explain the new rubbing issue. The hanger may not be straight, I need to find someone with one of those alignment tools to check it out. I'm pretty sure it rubbed because the aftermarket replacement that I got was quite a bit thicker than the original it replaced (original replacements nla)
    Anyway here is some pics to try and show whats going on.
    The arrow is pointing to roughly were the chain is touching the next cog on the cassette. If you backpedal then you can see the chain being pushed across by the next cog, almost to the point where the next cog picks it up (like your indexing is off but in reverse from the top)
    Chain 1.jpg
    Heres a shot from the back showing the chainline running cog #6 at the back. I am running a dual chainring front crank. Maybe I shift the chainring to the outside position (currently its set at the inboard position) and see if its a slight cross chaining effect causing the problem?
    Chain 2.jpg
     
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  12. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Addict

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    Is your rear triangle cracked?
     
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  13. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    I say get your hanger checked before you do anything. You said you bent it.....how did you straighten it? I'm gonna go with it not being straight.
     
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  14. rossage

    rossage iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Something's bent. You can see it in your pic with the arrow. Looks like the hanger or the swing link on the derailleur.
     
  15. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower
    I hate to say it, but it looks like the actual frame may be bent before the derailleur mount. Look at your derailleur hanger in the photo with the arrow. You can see more black derailleur hanger behind the axle than in front of it. Also, in the same photo, the frame is closer to the cogs at the rear of the cassette than the front of the cassette. There is a V-shaped gap between the smallest cog and the frame. I hope that's an illusion. Maybe your wheel is simply not straight in the dropouts.
     
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  16. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower

    That could be because of chain line. He said he has the ring on the inboard side of a double crank set.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  17. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Looking at this from another angle...
    I was having super shifting problems on my Hightower. Adjusted, readjusted, readjusted until I was just frustrated beyond all measure. Straightened the hanger, replaced the pulleys, then replaced the rear derailleur, almost replaced my 12 speed grip shift back to the paddle shifters.

    But then I started having issues with the chain slacking on the top side. It got worse. So finally I pulled the rear wheel to discover I disintegrated the wheel bearings. Turns out the rear cassette was flopping all over the place as it had no dimensional stability via the bearings.

    Just another option to look at. Pull the rear wheel and check your wheel bearings.
     
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  18. Lost Kiwi

    Lost Kiwi Member

    Location:
    Was UK, now Mission Viejo!
    Name:
    Simon
    Current Bike:
    Nugget Proflex 657
    Optical illusion I think due to the chain line angle @herzalot, checked hanger alignment, it was a little bit out top to bottom but nothing drastic, spot on front to rear in alignment. I ran the calipers around measuring the distance from the cog to the frame dropout face, its the same all the way around. Wheels definitely mounted squarely.

    Not a bad call @Mikie! I decided to whip the cassette off, got ready to give it the big heave ho with the chain whip etc to crack the lockring and it was barely tight at all. Pulled everything off, bearings are good, freehub feels fine so cleaned everything up and re-assembled with high hopes I'd found the source of the problem..........

    Nope :( its still doing it, not as bad as before but still there. I'm going to ride it and see if its still a problem, if it is last resort is to shift the chainring to the outboard position on the crank, I don't really want to do that as I reckon I'm just going to make the chainline suck big time in low gear. Thanks for the suggestions so far though guys, its helping me consider things I'd previously ignored or hadn't thought of :thumbsup:
     
  19. pperrelle

    pperrelle Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Carlsbad
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo, Ripley V4 & Timberjack
    Did you toss your old chain already? If not, toss it back on and see if the problem goes away.
     
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  20. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower

    Or try a 12 spd chain.
     
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  21. jimbowho

    jimbowho Member

    Location:
    acton
    Name:
    james jim jimmy
    Current Bike:
    GT sensor 29r
    Three friends with good eyes from 5'ft away, you each debate which way to tweak it straight while pedaling. Try to have it perfect before the Twelvey is gone. I'm guessing it's still cattywompus.
     
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  22. Lost Kiwi

    Lost Kiwi Member

    Location:
    Was UK, now Mission Viejo!
    Name:
    Simon
    Current Bike:
    Nugget Proflex 657
    Thats not a bad idea actually, this chains going in the bin anyway. For some reason as soon as I've broken a chain it goes in the bin, I just can never trust it again. Some internet sleuthing says shimano 11pd is 5.62mm, which marries up with what I'm measuring, 12spd is 5.25mm, I reckon that should solve the problem.
     
  23. Lost Kiwi

    Lost Kiwi Member

    Location:
    Was UK, now Mission Viejo!
    Name:
    Simon
    Current Bike:
    Nugget Proflex 657
    @mtnbikej for the win! Put a 12spd chain on there today and the amount of space it gains you on the cassette is immediately noticeable. I'll be putting it to the test Friday (with a spare chain in the back pack just in case) but after a quick pedal round the block I'm thinking all of my 11spds will be getting 12spd chains put on them when the time comes.
     
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  24. da big hills

    da big hills Well-Known Member

    Location:
    pearl harbor
    Name:
    cagey
    Current Bike:
    enduro 29
    If your chain was worn it could wear the big ring small gear. A new chain will tend to stick and chain suck when the two are combined. In the arrow photo; are you cross chaining? It has been years since I have broken a chain but yes toss it. I tend to break cassette hubs, but this last one was broken axle that took out the hub for good measure.
     
  25. da big hills

    da big hills Well-Known Member

    Location:
    pearl harbor
    Name:
    cagey
    Current Bike:
    enduro 29
    yup they mount on the left side. Oh wait that is my tandem
     
  26. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    PV3 & FEX
    I see a bent RD hanger. Straighten that first, then play again.
     
  27. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower

    While it works with a 12 spd chain....that was a mickey mouse fix. The hanger is still bent.
     
  28. bvader

    bvader Well-Known Member

    Location:
    HB
    Name:
    Mr. Brown
    From somebody who was staring at his drive train for 2 weeks... That ain't right ... Something bent broken, worn out or all 3..
     
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  29. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower
    Hey - not to hijack this thread, but will a 12spd Shimano chain track OK on an 11 spd SRAM chainring?
     
    mtnbikej likes this.
  30. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower

    Yes. General rule of thumb is ok to run narrower chain on drivetrains. Remember it's the outside dimension that changes, the inside dimension is the same.
     
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