If you’ve ever been left wondering “why did my mountain bike chain break?” this article is for you. While impact damage to your chain is harder to repair than wear, the most likely cause of a broken chain is wear from pedaling. The wear on the chain is caused by long periods of continuous pedaling, so it’s nearly impossible to shift gears while seated under a load. Here are a few things to look for when your mountain bike chain breaks.
Impact damage to chains is more difficult to repair than wear
Hard impacts can cause a chain to break. While impact damage is much less common than wear, it is more difficult to repair. Wear breaks one link while impact damage can break many. Chains are made of four pieces, two on each side of the chain. Because these parts wear together, impact damage to a chain is much more difficult to repair. If you think your chain is broken, get it checked out by a professional.
The first step in chain repair is to remove the broken link. You may need to remove the entire link. The broken chain is comprised of inner and outer plates, rollers, and rivets. Next, you can use a chain tool to push the rivets back into the chain. This tool is available separately, or you can purchase a bicycle multi-tool that includes a chain tool.
Pedaling over a period of time causes the chain to wear out
While pedaling, your chain will wear out if you continue to use it. You can detect this by noticing that your bike’s chain may slip in one or more cogs. If you notice this behavior, it’s probably time to replace your bike’s chain. Your cog teeth may have also been worn out due to excessive pedaling force. A broken chain will cause the derailleurs and chainrings to bend or jam.
Pedaling under a load makes it virtually impossible to shift under load
Pedaling under a heavy load is extremely dangerous for cyclists. This is because pedaling under a heavy load puts undue pressure on the drivetrain and can damage the chain. When you are pedaling hard, you should stop to shift and then pause for a second. Shifting under a heavy load is also dangerous for the chain and drivetrain, so it is important to practice shifting while pedaling softly, and pedaling as silently as possible.