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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Chain suck question

    Fourth time out on new cervelo with SRAM rival and had chain suck issue at race today. Drive train was not under heavy load at all. It just happened when I simply went from big ring to small ring. No bad damage but some paint chips but none the less really sucks it happened to my new bike. I actually need to take bike to shop to still get chain out.

    I have read it can happen to new drive trains if there is issue with drive train itself or it was not adjusted properly by factory and/or shop.

    Can anyone help me explain this as I am really disappointed?? And any thoughts on best way to handle?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    sometimes it just happens. chainsuck, i mean. does seem odd w/ a new bike and drivetrain. wait and see what the shop says...no way anyone here can tell you what happened.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: kookieCANADA's Avatar
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    Same thing happened to me with my brand new bike (first time riding it too). Near the end of my morning ride, shifting from big to small chain ring and then all of a sudden the chain got wedged between the small chain ring and the side of the BB. The chain was wedged in pretty good. Eventually I got the chain out but it left a BIG scrape down to the carbon frame. Took it to the LBS and they said it was OK since the carbon didn't appear damaged (just the paint).

    I have SRAM Red (2011) and I am thinking of investing in a chain catcher and maybe one of those anti-chain suck devices from K-Edge.

  4. #4
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    chain suck follow up

    As quick follow up took the bike to my local shop - different one than where I bought the bike because I had to drive one hour to dealer to take advantage of Cervelo promo.

    Anyway the local shop who I have 100% confidence in because they have great mechanic found the front derailleur to be out of adjustment immediately. They also installed a very nicely machined chain catcher that is hardly noticeable. Prior to this & chain suck incident I was told from bike shop I purchased the bike from that everything was fine even though I questioned some noise when I had certain gear combinations. I was actually questioning SRAM Rival 'feel". So this is what happens next.

    Picked bike up Friday and raced bike today in NYC Spring Series and bike shifted flawlessly. Actually loved the simplicity of SRAM Rival and all gear combinations / shifting was point on. No need for the chain catcher but it is there just in case.

    The local bike shop says they basically make customers put this on any new carbon frame purchase. Wish the shop I purchased bike from originally did this because now I have annoying paint chip on basically a brand new bike. Wish they tuned it properly from beginning. It irritating but what recourse do I have? Bothers me this all happened on an expensive purchase.

  5. #5
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    while i'm glad that you have everything sorted now, and your bike is working like it should...the chain catcher will do nothing to stop 'chain suck'...which is what you said happened in your original post. if in fact you 'dropped' the chain, the catcher should eliminate this. if you actually had the chain stick on the ring and get 'sucked' UP into the frame, the chain catcher won't stop it from happening again.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    while i'm glad that you have everything sorted now, and your bike is working like it should...the chain catcher will do nothing to stop 'chain suck'...which is what you said happened in your original post. if in fact you 'dropped' the chain, the catcher should eliminate this. if you actually had the chain stick on the ring and get 'sucked' UP into the frame, the chain catcher won't stop it from happening again.
    Yes after reading your post it hit me that the catcher is not end all be all like I may have thought it was but maybe I guess I am a bit safer if chain does drop. The main issue was front derailleur was not properly adjusted and now is fixed.

    Do I have any recourse with bike shop I purchased the bike? Any thoughts how to address or just move on?

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    recourse, i don't know...but i would definitely mention what happened to them so they know they didn't do it properly the first time. show them the damage to your paint job, and let them know you're not happy about it. we always have a second mechanic check over every bike we build and every service job we do, just to make sure the mechanic that did the work didn't miss anything. they obviously didn't do this, or they have a shop full of crap mechanics.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  8. #8
    help us all
    Reputation: tdietz87's Avatar
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    I had dropped the chain on my brand new cervelo equipped with rival last fall about 4 times (inside between small ring and frame) in the first 100 miles. I put a k-edge on it. Not sure what the problem was, I'm no bike mechanic, but I do recall my LBS mentioning something about my crank not being torqued to spec. Anywho, since then I haven't really had any issues. I've dropped the chain on the outside once, but I was fooling around with the shifter so perhaps it was my fault.
    2011 Cervelo r3

  9. #9
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdietz87 View Post
    I had dropped the chain on my brand new cervelo equipped with rival last fall about 4 times (inside between small ring and frame) in the first 100 miles. I put a k-edge on it. Not sure what the problem was, I'm no bike mechanic, but I do recall my LBS mentioning something about my crank not being torqued to spec. Anywho, since then I haven't really had any issues. I've dropped the chain on the outside once, but I was fooling around with the shifter so perhaps it was my fault.
    hard to imagine how the crank not being tight enough could have caused the chain to drop, unless it was so loose it was falling off the bike. it seems like many bikes were designed around standard cranks. the angle of the frt derailleur mount is such that you can't get the cage to sit correctly w/ compact chainrings. sram actually make a shim to help correct this. it bugs me that every frame manufacturer knows that some people will use standard rings, and some will use compact, but very few of them make the frt derailleur mount adjustable. i can understand that it may be a bit of a liability, but you have to bolt the whole damn bike together, surely the mechanics can be trusted to tighten the mount properly (yeah, right). anyway...i doubt it was your crank 'not being torqued properly', but more likely the front derailleur being adjusted poorly.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    i also had numerous chain suck (large to small chainring shift, chain getting stuck between small chainring and chainstay) on my Cervelo RS (Rival) when i first bought it. after about 500 miles, i brought the bike to the LBS that i bought from, and they indicated that the chain was too long. i was pretty frustrated because after all, that means they didnt set the bike up properly when i purchased from them.

    shortening the chain made a big difference, I havent had any chain suck problems in 1500 miles.

    I also suspect that the very large CF cross section chainstays and BB area contribute to chain issues - there simply is less space for the chain to exist in these areas. On my old aluminum Trek with more standard sized chainstays/BB, the chain would never get stuck in this area - plenty of space.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    There have been issues with SRAM's front shifting, hence the re-design for this year's Red gruppo. Shimano has probably the best front shifting but rear shifting is finicky (SRAM and Campy have better rear wheel shifting).
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  12. #12
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    Any damage to bottom bracket?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdietz87 View Post
    I had dropped the chain on my brand new cervelo equipped with rival last fall about 4 times (inside between small ring and frame) in the first 100 miles. I put a k-edge on it. Not sure what the problem was, I'm no bike mechanic, but I do recall my LBS mentioning something about my crank not being torqued to spec. Anywho, since then I haven't really had any issues. I've dropped the chain on the outside once, but I was fooling around with the shifter so perhaps it was my fault.

    Any damage to bottom bracket area? If so what did you do. Mine are cosmetic but still bothers me. Thinking I would get some white vinyl (lettering vinyl) and cover it up. Almost create my own chain drop shield. I have K-edge on there as well.

  13. #13
    Ireland
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    Too LONG a chain?

    Maybe this is my problem??? SRAM Rival Grouppo, have been experiencing chain suck on and off for a few months. Just every once in a while under heavy pedal load. It finally started bugging me more and more, so I changed out the chainrings, perfectly adjusted the front derailleur, replaced cable and housing, and as always installed a new chain every 3000 miles.

    Read several articles on it and tried all suggestions but it still continued to happen under heavy pedal load (I did not file down chainring teeth).

    Now that I think back on it though, a few chain-changes ago, I miss counted my chain links and ended up with a chain that was too long by one link. The only draw back (I thought) was that I could not really use the small-small combo as the rear derailleur would be fully retracted and the chain would drag ever-so-slightly across the bottom of the cage. Not really a worry as that is not a normal combo anyway.


    Now you all have me thinking that that one link length discrepancy might actually be the cause!? Not too sure about that though as the rear derailleur is fully tensioned in the combination I am using when I am shifting from big to small up front (when the chain sucks).

    What do you think? Buy a SRAM replacement link and remove one link?? Waste of $$?? The last things I can try (I guess) are a new front derailleur and really (really) cleaning/lubing the cable guide on the bottom of the bike.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    Thanks

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Lightbulb Note that there is a difference...

    ...between chain suck and chain drop. I think what we're talking about in this thread is chain drop. I've had few chain drops in the past, but when they happened, they weren't pretty, and yes, the chain usually wedged between the chainwheel and the frame.

    So when I got my new 2012 Roubaix Pro SL3 built up with SRAM Force, I trusted the shop who did the adjustment but I'd heard of SRAM chain drop issues, so I decided to have them put on the newly released SRAM chain watcher, which is a knock-off of the K-Edge manufactured for SRAM, and that's given me some added insurance. For $38, on a $4000 bike, it seemed worth it even though I may never need it. Note that the newly released SRAM chain watcher is apparently designed for 2013 SRAM Red, which has a slightly different interface than the 2012 SRAM FDs. I had a pretty skilled mechanic put on the chain watcher, and it can be made to work, but the compatibility with 2012 components can be an issue...
    Go big, or take up bowling...

  15. #15
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    I had trouble with chain suck when my bike was new, but come to think of it, I haven't had trouble with that for more than a year. You can experience chain suck without dropping the chain; it feels and sounds crappy. Twice it happen to break the special link that lets you take the chain off. First time it just came apart, I snapped it back and went on my way, but the second time it completely destroyed the link. I had to walk/coast home and buy a replacement.

    I've had problems at times with chain drop as a separate problem, but I forgot about all the chain suck problems in the first few months. Maybe it is related to new equipment.

    2010 Cannondale CAAD9-4 (SRAM Rival w/ BB30 Force crank)

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I have the exact same issue, full sram red with only sram force fd. the bike has about 250kms 155miles.
    And it has happened twice to me so far, its made some ugly but not deep chips on my matte black spray job.

    Mine scenario is inconsistent though, i can't seem to have to it happen even when i try to.

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