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Does anyone report chain breaks with BBSHD or Cyclone?

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    Does anyone report chain breaks with BBSHD or Cyclone?

    I always here about chain break as being a big negative of powerful ebikes.

    When we first announced the BBSHD one of the big criticisms we got from naysayers is that a bicycle chain would not be strong enough to handle the power.

    I have heard this a lot. Mostly from hub motor proponents.

    And breaking a chain would suck because it would leave you stranded.

    But in practice i have not seen many chain breaks on my rides even with my 8000 watt mid drives. We have had some problems with chain breaks but its only occassional with cheaper chains...and usually once a chain snaps it will snap again in the same place if we just try to do a field fix.

    My experience is high quality chains do not break ($30 bicycle chains)

    What has been your guys experience with broken chains?

    Which chain broke and what brand was it?

    What chain has been a soldier for you and has never snapped and you would swear by?

    Does anyone know what is the best chain to use for high power mid drives and has been proven to be the best by real forum posts :).

    In my experience there is a lot of hypothising by the guys who are not riding this stuff...and its the guys who are riding and writing about it that really know.

    Please share your experience with the reliability of your chain for all guys riding a 1500 watt plus mid drive.

    Plain Jane KMC 7 spd chain. No breaks ever. It's a little stretched now, but I did throw a chain and really named it up in the chainwheel, but loosened the chainwheel on the boulevard where I was riding and none the worse for wear. & spd chains are a little thicker and KMC makes good chains. $15.99 and they list it as an eBike chain on some sites. It comes in a length suitable for crank forward bikes too. 128L Longer chains for Townies and crank forward bikes are harder to find.
    • KMC Z1X Ept E-Bike Chain
    Last edited by Louis; 08-14-2016, 09:26 AM.


      I broke a SRAM 1051 with the BBSHD, but my fat bike using the Luna mini 30 probably has the worst chainline in the know universe.
      I always carry a spare chain and chain tool when out in the mountains. Cyclone 3000s and LRs routinely break chains.
      Chain test conducted by Wipperman:
      Last edited by Sather; 08-22-2016, 03:58 AM.


        All the high rated chains are to short for flat foot frames. ARGH!


          I have some experience with this. I ride a KMC X10-93 10 Speed Chain. I've heard 7-8-9 speed chains are sturdier because of the wider links but 10 and 11 speed chains they have to make narrower to fit in the same amount of space. This makes them more delicate. My first chain I broke real links and sometimes the connector link (ie. MissingLink) more than once. This all happened before I converted the bike to electric power so that was not the issue. If this is happening to you then your chain is damaged. Get rid of it. Even though this was the stock chain that came with my bike something was wrong with it.

          For my second chain I bought a brand new KMC X10-93 10 Speed Chain and I always carry extra MissingLinks. At this point my bike was now fitted with a BBSHD. My chain was now working but I kept breaking MissingLinks until I discovered a few things:

          1) The product says "KMC Missing Link 10R (reusable)". Hogwash. Do not reuse these links. I would open and close the connector to take my chain off but each time you do this you risk damaging the razor thin locking mechanism. It's really not worth the risk. Also, check the manual. "Caution: Always use a new MissingLink when fitting a new chain. Failure to shorten the chain properly or to lock it exactly into place may cause damage to the chain and eventually total chain failure, material damage or the rider to fall o his bicycle resulting in injury." It also states "Always check Missing Link. Suggest to replace a new Missing Link when it is worn or after locking and unlocking 3 times." That doesn't really sound reusable to me. So just don't risk it.

          2) It isn't in the manual but ALWAYS lubricate both pins when assembling a MissingLink. I was still breaking brand new links until I discovered this. Factory new chains come with very good wax lubricant on the chain. MIssingLinks do not. They come unlubricated. So if you assemble your chain and then do what we all do, spin the chain around and squirt lube all over it, there's a good chance you missed a the link and you will quickly wear out those razor thin locking tabs. Once they widen out you are bound to pop one open.

          Now that I have this all figured out I have been on the same chain and link for months and I have no issues.


            So far so good with a KMC EPT 9S "ebike" chain. I'm running a BBSHD with a Lekkie 42T bling and a steel shimano cassette. To extend the life of the Lekkie I am rotating between two chains and will probably get a third to limit stretching and subsequent damage to the chainring. It is working out nicely as I always have a clean lubed chain ready after the bike gets a bath. I agree with others and carry a spare chain, missing links, and a chain tool when out in the mountains. I also have a Origin8 adjustable chain guide and have not thrown a chain off my 6" rear suspension yet.

            Ride on!


              For those of us with IGH's, what would be a good choice?
              I'm still using the no doubt cheap chains that came with my bikes, so far so good, but I want to upgrade .


                A little time spent on the KMC site showed that this is probably the best for a IGH, I like that they specifically say it's for the exact application I have. Here is where I just ordered 2 of them from: Free shipping, and only 23.98 lbs, pounds?! That's about 32 bucks near as I can tell.
                Last edited by CPG; 08-24-2016, 06:19 AM.


                  More chain news.... my order for the above chain was placed and paid for. Then it bounced back due to a typing error on my part. My initial payment had already been credited to my CC.

                  Meanwhile, I heard back from KMX's tech division (their site has a "what do you specifically want to know" thing) and I had told them their chain would be going on a 1500 watt/2 horsepower e bike, They said THIS chain would be the hot set up, and I have ordered one (and I'll keep the one I'm riding with now zipped tied under the seat as a emergency spare), so I now it ordered. $44.00 free shipping, more money but it's GOLD, colored anyway, has lightening holes and is supposedly light besides being real strong and long lived, just the thing for my Rohloff hubbed ride. When I think about it, working with a IGH should be pretty easy work for a chain, being in line all the time, so the construction should be pretty different then when in multi speed duty.


                    I broke a chain with the bafang 42tooth chain ring when I first built it - build a pin out of one side. I think it was more form the chain dropping and then getting caught in the bolts around the crank itself. no more issues since I added the eclipse ring


                      It might be helpful to this discussion to point out the amount of torque a "regular" bike rider supplies to the system and is delivered by the chain. At my weight my pedal force will be at the most around the equivalent of 156 Nm; which also happens to be in the ballpark of what many modern mid-drives put out.

                      So if I'm running a mid-drive 100% and hammering the pedals the chain is seeing about double the force it would on a "regular" bike. Probably approaching the safety factor built into the chains. Not surprising that some riders would see breakage or short chain life.

                      Using torque specs and the pitch diameters of the system sprockets it's not too hard to closely calculate the loads on the chain.

                      Keeping the chain line as straight as possible (run mostly in the middle of the cassette) will keep chain loads to a minimum. An IGH would be better in this regard than a derailleur system.


                        I run my BBSHD with a Shimano XT cassette and a 42T eclipse, pretty straight chain line, the chain I use is a Shimano 10 speed 3/32inch width. model Deore HG54 HG-X 10. last 90 miles were hardcore trail riding and I have absolutely no stretch in it (measured it with the chain ruler) . So good to go! Would not go for narrower than 3/32inch (like most 11 speed chains).


                          I got my new chain installed on the Rohloff equipped Montague the other day ( With my perfectly straight chain line and the robust build of this chain, I should be good to go for quite a while. Especially as I rode several hundred miles on the stock chain that came with the new bike, with no issues. BBSHD drive. I need to weigh my old chain, which I had planned to carry as an emergency spare, and decide whether or not it's worth packing it along.

                          As my color scheme on the bike is basic black.... the gold colored chain looks real cool also!


                            So many 112 link chains that are great but the old farts on crank forwards need 132 link chains. ARGH.


                            • calfee20
                              calfee20 commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Kmc chain by the foot ""

                            FYI.... From the NuVinci 360 Technical Manual.. 1/8" chains are verboten for this IGH