I had some intermittent clanking noise on yesterday's ride, thought the chain just needed cleaning and derailleur aligning. But got home to find that one side of one chain link had broken, so only the other side was holding the chain together. The broken side was occasionally clanking against some of the drivetrain components.
I had pushed my 110kg system weight uphill and out of the saddle, which got me wondering how much strain the broken link could have taken.
Are chains designed to withstand a certain amount of force along their length, and how much would a half-broken link compromise that? Or is it when a chain bends around sprockets that it's more vulnerable, not just straight-line force?
Edit - I suppose the half link question is whether a chain actually loses any 'strength' if only one side panel is present on a link, or whether the dual side panel design is solely to locate the chain over the teeth. I'm thinking it would lose some strength, but nowhere near what I would imagine, and probably much less than half its original strength.