Thursday, May 15, 2008

12 Millar's Chain Failure

"After looking at the chain that Mr. Millar broke today, the mechanics are plain dumbfounded. It didn’t break on the pin, but right in the middle of the link."

A broken chain with 800m to go dashed all hopes for a possible stage 5 win for David Millar in the Giro d'Italia. Critical point, critical equipment misbehavior. What are the odds?!

Now I wonder whether his mechanics forgot to put the Powerlink onto the chain. But notice that Vaughters says it broke right in the middle of the link. It escapes me other than the possibility that its a fatigue failure. Its sad to note that modern chains are simply not as durable as they were some years back. Does anyone else notice this trend or is it just me?

Millar, in a fit of rage and disappointment, throws his expensive Felt into the bushes by the side of the road. Some lucky Italian will have walked away with it. Dang... Now notice that a possible injury that could result out of this is your tush hitting the top tube when out of saddle (I guess this is another good justification for compact frames). So, a broken chain could also mean emasculation. Shimano and others should definitely take this into consideration in their chain design and raise the factor of safety!


  1. That was a bummer for him. I would have thrown that POS too.

  2. Me too! At 800m to go...! Jeez

  3. Anonymous11:55 PM

    was he riding one of those fancy schmancy chains with a bunch of holes drilled in it to save the extra 13 grams? I'm sure a few grams was worth it for Millar!

  4. Anonymous4:27 AM

    I wonder whether the mechanic picked up the bike or someone in the crowd made off with it

  5. That does suck. Thanks for posting the video. I was just saying I'd like to see it. Makes you wonder was there some weak link in the chain or did it just break down from power? Also, how often, I wonder, do the pro's mechanics replace the chains? I'm interested in your perspective as an engineer. Thanks.

  6. personally I have little time for Millar.

    He spent much of last season preaching about all the dopers in the peleton --- after being caught himself.

    He should keep the mouth closed. Ego / spoiled child as shown in video.

  7. Anonymous9:54 PM

    you're only as strong as the weakest link...


  8. Don : Typical human strength and power cannot simply break a chain unless there's a defect with it, or it's not installed right.

  9. Anonymous4:56 PM

    But Ron, we've all broken chains before, and the threat of breakage is a key rationale given for replacing a chain. Now, I've never heard of one breaking would be neat to see a picture of that.

    I don't blame Millar a bit. Too bad he was throwing the remaining parts that had not failed, though.

  10. Anonymous4:14 AM

    You should all go to and read his 'Millar Diary' input from that stage - he said he was putting out 350 watts average for the breakaway.......for 4.5 hours or so? Very entertaining read. I'd have tossed the bike as well - working that hard for everything to blow up on you with the line in sight.....

  11. Thank you. I did read that article. However, maybe its my prejudice but everytime I hear one of Millar's interviews, it gives me a feeling of an arrogance, a 'wife beater' attitude. I don't know, probably just my stupid ideas.


Thank you. I read every single comment.