Keep bending Red22 chains

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by 964Cup

My R5Ca has Extralite Octaramp 50/34 rings, an XG1190 11-32 cassette, a 9150 RD and a 9070 FD. I've been using Red 22 chains (on the assumption they'd be the best optimised for the cassette, and they're also inexpensive - I like to change chains frequently. But...

I keep bending them. I've had one bend visibly and drop off the outside, one bend and rip off the RD (that was a very expensive day) and now two in succession bend (invisibly) enough to skip and derail to the inside when in big-big (i.e. maximum chain tension). I've just thrown my last new Red chain on the bike, which is shifting perfectly again, but I think it's time to change brands, unless anyone has a better explanation. None of these failed chains had any measurable stretch, and none had more than 1000kms on them.


1. Shimano DA9000/XTR
2. KMC X11-SL
3. KMC X11-EL
4. Campagnolo Record (which is by far the best chain for durability I've ever used)

Or should I look at something in my setup or technique? I've never had this problem on any other bike, so I assume it's not something I'm doing, but you're never too old to learn.

I'm very tempted to go with Record - which I know shifts fine on the Sram cassettes. Can anyone think of a good reason not to? I will be using a quicklink whichever chain I choose.

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by Mr.Gib

It must be your set up. If there was a problem with the chains, it would be an epidemic. I find red chains need replacement slightly more frequently then other brands, but even worn chains don't do what you are describing, Usually they just make a little more noise. If a chain is severly worn to the point where the gaps between the rollers don't align with the teeth of the cassette or chainrings, than yes, bad things can happen.
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by Weenie

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by pdlpsher1

I’ve used Dura Ace chain with the 1190 cassette with no issues. The latest batch of Dura Ace chains come with a Shimano Quick Link. In the U.S. they are $37 each. It’s hard to beat that deal!

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by alcatraz

Do you have any enemies with access to your bike? :lol:

Other than maybe upshifting under high load, I can't really imagine a situation where a chain might bend.

Is it always bent one way or can it be both ways?

Is it near or at the quicklink?

How many km in the chain do they show symptoms?

What kind of riding speeds up the bending and what kind seems to delay the bending?


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by sungod

only place in the drivetrain i'd think there's enough force to to bend a chain is the fd

perhaps it's simply that chanring/fd combination can cause the red22 chain to get trapped at a certain position+angle+load+whatever

even if it's only a 0.01 probability, given enough shifts it'll eventually happen

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by bm0p700f

KMC 11-93 is cheap and give me no issues but record chains are durable too.

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by istigatrice

suspect set up issue. Perhaps the chainline isn't right, or the chain is too short. If you're running 50/32 combo you'll probably want as more links than your RD can handle...

I'd suggest that SRAM chains are slightly stronger than Shimano chains, some of the more powerful track riders stretch their Shimano chains on their first effort (if for some weird reason they need to do efforts on their roadie), but a SRAM chain can survive a few sessions :lol:
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by 2lo8

sungod wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 6:49 am
only place in the drivetrain i'd think there's enough force to to bend a chain is the fd

perhaps it's simply that chanring/fd combination can cause the red22 chain to get trapped at a certain position+angle+load+whatever

even if it's only a 0.01 probability, given enough shifts it'll eventually happen
Usually. The front at least. Sometimes if the tooth profiles don't gracefully move the chain over, if can bend a chain. I'd be surprised if it were the rear bending chains, no matter what the chainline. RD is fed chain from the bottom jockey which is meant to accept the chain from any angle and really can't impart much of a bending force unless the chain falls off. Rear shifts are only under RD spring tension unless you have those bad jumpy shifts from a bent hanger or bad adjustment where the chain climbs up half way then gets yanked by the crank as it moves to the top half.
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by kode54

do you have the correct amount of links? i usually check mine with a javascript chain calculator...and it usually gives me about 53-54 links...depending on which bike.
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by spud

almost certainly the FD/Chainrings are causing this issue. Further, I'd suspect the rings themselves, are they timed properly? But since that's an expensive change, I'd try a Dura Ace chain instead to see if the problem repeats. If so, try new, matched, chainrings. Unfortunately, chainrings are becoming non standard.

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by Rick

I am with the people who suspect that there must be some other root-cause problem with your alignment and setup.

That being said, I have found that Shimano chains shift smoother and faster even on an all-otherwise Sram Red drivetrain. Shimano cassettes also work smoother and faster with an otherwise SRAM setup. So, although I have a "Sram Red bike" (shifters, both derrailleurs, and cranks) , I have gradually gravitated to all Shimano cassettes and chains.

{Just to continue that train of thought: I also have a Dura-ace bike, and Shimano shifters and derrailleurs are also smoother and faster. But Sram Red is perfectly adequate and I am not complaining about it. There are always costs and weight trade-offs in every purchasing decision. ;) }

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by GothicCastle

964Cup wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:31 pm
My R5Ca has Extralite Octaramp 50/34 rings...
Get rid of those chainrings. I’m not a fan of the ramps on them. Those chianstays aren’t terribly short, but I’d try a set of sram chainrings to see if it is better. See if your local shop has a used set you can borrow.

by Weenie

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