Bicycle Mechanics - Two stiff links, New Campy record chain
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01-12-13, 11:27 AM
Changed a chain for the first time and what fun would it be without problems?
Here's the deal -
Brand new Campy Record 10s ultra narrow chain. Wipperman quick link. Problem is there are two stiff links. I've been riding about 3 years, always brought in my bike for maintenance but I'm figuring it all out now. Of course I've searched online, I've tried the bend back and forth trick but that didn't work. I'm hesitant to do anything with the chain tool as these links are NOT on a joining pin (again, using the Wipperman link).
Both links look like this:
And the bike is experiencing symptoms like what's described here, under skipping (http://www.jimlangley.net/wrench/keepitquiet.html):
I'm pretty sure that I'm diagnosing the problem correctly, but I don't want to go messing with an expensive chain and risk failure. Am I just being too cautious? Will moving the pins a little mess things up beyond repair?
Thanks for all the help!
01-12-13, 11:39 AM
Do you know how to loosen stiff links with your Chain Tool?
it wont take much of a budge..
If you are hesitant on the DIY, to do it then a bike shop will do the task .
01-12-13, 01:00 PM
Don't just use the "the bend back and forth trick", instead use the method described under "Tight Link Repair without Chain Tool" pushing sideways and don't be afraid to exert some force, I doubt that you can break a chain with your hands. If that doesn't loosen them up then try using a chain tool. Worst case you can break the chain at the stiff link and use another master link.
Before "repairing" the stiff link you want to know what you're dealing with, and the actual cause.
There are 3 common causes of stiff links,
1- tight rivet, usually the one that was user closed, but sometimes (rarely) a factory error. Links don't magically get tighter so if the stiff link developed after riding a while you can rule this out. OTOH if it is a new chain the link can usually be freed with a bit of side flex with the stiff link as the fulcrum. Once it's decent enough not to skip, a bit of lube and riding will wear the binding areas and free it up. Like everything else, chains get looser with wear.
2- rust, corrosion, grit, or poor lube (or a combination). This is the most common cause of stiff links that appear after riding. Chains have tight clearances and rust swells the metal, or grit jams the space binding the link. Clean and work the link free, there's no need for the side flex method since the plates are already where they belong. Rust is soft and wears away quickly as you ride freeing the link. You can speed this up a bit by riding a mis-aligned combination which increases wear where the plates overlap.
3- nicked plate edge. This happens during a hard shift under power. The overlapping area of the plates strikes a tooth hard, peening some material to the side (imagine putting the chain on an anvil and using a hammer and chisel edgewise on the overlapping plates). The damage will be visible at the top side of the link on the lower loop, and when flexed the link won't be stiff as much as having a pronounced click as the peen marks pass each other. Eventually this resolves with wear, but the best option is to carefully grind the damage out until the link is free enough to ride.
01-12-13, 05:26 PM
If the guy is not using a missing link I would just get that outer link out and use a missing link in the middle. Done.
01-13-13, 06:37 PM
THanks guys, I'll give it another shot.. will report back if/when I fix it!
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