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  1. #1
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
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    Chain Powerlink Replacement

    I recently bought a Sram chain with a quick-release Powerlink gizmo. The directions on the box say nothing about Powerlink replacement, but my LBS guy sez the Powerlink unit has to be replaced every time you take the chain off the bike! Is this true? Powerlinks cost $3-4 apiece, so if this is true, cleaning the chain can get mighty expensive. :confused:
    "I am a true laborer. I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm." As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 2. Shakespeare.
    "Deep down, I'm pretty superficial." Ava Gardner.

  2. #2
    aka old dog greywolf's Avatar
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    i dont know much about scram chains but cant you leave the chain joiner in place and use a chain tool in the usual way on another link ?
    :D
    dont worry be happy ????

  3. #3
    xc AND road WoodyUpstate's Avatar
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    Your LBS guy is off his rocker.

    You may confidently reuse your PowerLink. Since I switched to SRAM chains I never leave the chain on the bike to clean it. The PowerLink makes removal easy and tool-free.

    You still will need a chain tool, though, for the initial installation as the chain will probably be too long out-of-the-box and need a couple of links removed.

  4. #4
    Honorable Member beowoulfe's Avatar
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    Originally posted by WoodyUpstate
    You still will need a chain tool, though, for the initial installation as the chain will probably be too long out-of-the-box and need a couple of links removed.
    I also have a SRAM chain and carry my chain tool everywhere.

    Out on the road....chain breaks.....not at the "link"....CHAIN TOOL.
    Greenspeed GTO 1027

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by trmcgeehan
    I recently bought a Sram chain with a quick-release Powerlink gizmo. The directions on the box say nothing about Powerlink replacement, but my LBS guy sez the Powerlink unit has to be replaced every time you take the chain off the bike! Is this true? Powerlinks cost $3-4 apiece, so if this is true, cleaning the chain can get mighty expensive. :confused:
    That's just LBS applesauce.Follow directions when removing,don't use tools. Toss the link,when you toss the chain.

  6. #6
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Originally posted by trmcgeehan
    my LBS guy sez the Powerlink unit has to be replaced every time you take the chain off the bike!

    Do not listen to anything else this particular employee tells you w/regard to bicycle care and maintenance ever again!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bike Spokesman's Avatar
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    You can absolutely remove and re-use the powerlink. There are two reasons sram incoperated the power link into it's chain. 1. So that you can easily to just what you are trying to do, remove and put the chain back on. 2. It is much stronger. The weakest part of a chain is where you pop and replace the pin. The power link is much stronger than a replaced pin. Unless the chain breaks and you need a quick fix, never use a chain tool on a sram chain except for shortening it. Because of the power link, the chains were not designed to handle removing and replacing pins very well. It can be done, but it is much weaker. If you do manage to snap a sram chain on a regular link and put it back together without a powerlink, make sure you have a spare chain with you when you go riding, or at least a couple of extra links to make some repairs to get you home, or even better, replace the chain...

  8. #8
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Originally posted by beowoulfe
    I also have a SRAM chain and carry my chain tool everywhere.

    Out on the road....chain breaks.....not at the "link"....CHAIN TOOL.
    ... or simply carry a spare PowerLink to substitute for the broken main link. While cycling, I have broken three frames, two left cranks, a pedal cage, two rear axles, a front hub flange, and numerous spokes, but never a chain ...
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  9. #9
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    After many years of riding and many shimano chains without ever breaking one. I decided the sram chain was a great idea for easy maintenance, I installed one on each of my bikes when chain replacement time rolled around. Once I started adding up the loaded commuting miles the "power links" started breaking, I broke about 9 likes between the bikes, I replaced chains and tried replacing just the links when I did maintenance but the links still would tear open at the elongated hole while pulling a long hill in a lower gear with the bike loaded for my commute. after 6,000 miles worth of chain repair, I switched back to the old trusty shimano cn7700, or now cn7703, and finished the season with 5,800 more miles of riding without any chain problems.
    Achieve your goals: Attitude is everything:

  10. #10
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
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    Mr. Fix: You must be a real heavy torquer on the hills!
    "I am a true laborer. I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm." As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 2. Shakespeare.
    "Deep down, I'm pretty superficial." Ava Gardner.

  11. #11
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    When riding a heavily loaded bike ya gotta put power to the pedals. I just don't understand why the sram links tear and the shimano chain doesn't. It only happens when climbing a steep grade I encounter every night on the way home from work, always the same hill, in almost the same place. I feel the link is weak where the hole is elongated for assembly because they always break the same way, the link end is torn open, other than the link tearing open, the chains shift well and run quiet. The only problem is when commuting to work, you have to get on time and repairs really put a damper on things. I'm not loyal to any specific brands, I just like to ride what's dependable and works well.
    Achieve your goals: Attitude is everything:

  12. #12
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    FWIW, my only chain failure was an SRAM, too. Because of collateral damage, it was hard to do a good post-mortem. Looked like it sprung a sideplate. It definitely wasn't the powerlink. Happened on my commuter... not a lot of stress on the chain when it happened, either. :confused:

    That said, I think it was an oddball case, and because of maintenance requirements, still prefer an SRAM to Shimano for that bike.

  13. #13
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    Mrfix....I find it difficult to believe that you claim powerlinks split open when giving it tap up a steep incline.
    I mean, surely a company as well established and with a good reputation as Sram must have a testing programme for their chains and powerlinks.
    How could they possibly market a product without applying strenght loads and breaking points way over any prospective eventualitys that may occur under normal duress.
    If that is not the case, then I shall stay well clear of their products,

    Maybe you should have reported what you claim directly to the company, if there is such a weekness, it is better they know of it.

  14. #14
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    Willic, I agree that sram should do strenth testing and I'm sure they do. Don't get me wrong, I like the concept and I like the chain but they keeping breaking on the hilly sections of my commute. I just don't have the time to keep doing repairs on the way to work, I need to get there. I'm back with the shimano chains because they don't break, I would rather a snap together link but my luck with them hasn't been great. As for me contacting sram, again, I don't have time to experiment and test new products, even if they sent me new chains and llinks for free, I would still end up on the side of the road repairing my bike as I have so many times in the past. I do know others that use the sram chains and like them and have great luck with them. I think my problem is the hilly 18.5 miles twice a day on a bike that is heavily loaded all the time, I feel my application is not the norm and unless you use your bike in a commuting situation as I do I wouldn't worry about it. When commuting, you need to get there and get there on time, dependability matters, the commuting bike has a tough life, day after day, week after week, in all kinds of weather. Things wear out and things break, ya just gotta use what works for you.
    Achieve your goals: Attitude is everything:

  15. #15
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    The only chain I've ever mangled was a SRAM as well. Somehow I managed to twist the chain almost 90 degrees off it's axis. I consider this to be a fluke and will use SRAM chains in the future, right after I wear out the ShimaNO I'm using now.

  16. #16
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    I happen to prefer Shimano chain over SRAM but I do like the SRAM powerlink. I just went out and bought a powerlink and put it on my Shimano chain. SRAM warns that using their link on someone elses chain will cause failure. Its been over 1000 miles now and I'm still waiting for my chain to fail.

    However, after reading mrfix's comments, maybe I should get a spare powerlink.

  17. #17
    have bike will tour catfish's Avatar
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    I use Scram and power link set up for loaded touring through the mountians; so far no problems.
    catfish

  18. #18
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    I broke about 9 likes between the bikes,
    Could it be related to a worn cassette or chain ring? I've heard off worn cassettes skipping or dropping the chain a lot when a new chain is placed on them, something they don't do with a really old chain which would be "broken in" to that cassette.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  19. #19
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    No iam, some of them tore while using a newer cassette. They tore at the thin part of the elongated hole in the link, every one tore the same way and on different bikes. It seems they can't take the abuse and loads of commuting.
    Achieve your goals: Attitude is everything:

  20. #20
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I thought I have been buying Sram chains, because the Shimano Power link has a bad reputation for quickly breaking.. One of bike group had to replace Shimano Power link first time out.. He carried his chain tool. Attached chain without link and was off. Think he took back chain to LBS and had it replaced.
    I have no patience for that.. Chains for me, do not last longer than half a year- 3000 miles.. So within half a year, I use my chain clearner quizmo and it is clean enough for me w/o taking off chain.. Chains only last 3,000 miles for me, so I find the power link unimportant and prefer a chain without the link, which I hope to be without this "weakest Link."

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by cyclezealot
    I thought I have been buying Sram chains, because the Shimano Power link has a bad reputation for quickly breaking..
    I have yet to see a Shimano chain with a power link.What am I missing?

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