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  1. #1
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    PowerLink Length

    Is PowerLink length a concern? In using the PowerLinks, I noticed that they are longer, by 0.5-0.75mm, than other links. If you have a gauge for checking the chain wear, you can test it for yourself by testing a piece of the chain with and without a PowerLink.

    Principally a longer link produces an increased load on the front of the link and onto preceding links and onto sprocket teeth, accelerating their wear. However, maybe one PowerLink per chain can be lived with. On the other hand, a chain out of PoweLinks should be a disaster. Still, when repairing or adjusting the chain one might end up with a couple or more PowerLinks in a chain. Any opinions, wisdom regarding the issue?

  2. #2
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2_i
    Is PowerLink length a concern? In using the PowerLinks, I noticed that they are longer, by 0.5-0.75mm, than other links. If you have a gauge for checking the chain wear, you can test it for yourself by testing a piece of the chain with and without a PowerLink.

    Principally a longer link produces an increased load on the front of the link and onto preceding links and onto sprocket teeth, accelerating their wear. However, maybe one PowerLink per chain can be lived with. On the other hand, a chain out of PoweLinks should be a disaster. Still, when repairing or adjusting the chain one might end up with a couple or more PowerLinks in a chain. Any opinions, wisdom regarding the issue?
    All links are 1/2" center-to-center of the rollers. That's the only length dimension that matters.

    Sheldon "1/2 Inch Pitch" Brown
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    All links are 1/2" center-to-center of the rollers. That's the only length dimension that matters.

    Sheldon "1/2 Inch Pitch" Brown
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    To eliminate ambiguity, I just compared measurements for pieces of chain with and without a PowerLink. I've done the measurements for two PowerLinks in my chain and have used the Park Tool CC-3 (or would that be CC-11?). In each case, the PowerLink was somewhere in the middle, NOT at the edge.

  4. #4
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2_i
    To eliminate ambiguity, I just compared measurements for pieces of chain with and without a PowerLink. I've done the measurements for two PowerLinks in my chain and have used the Park Tool CC-3 (or would that be CC-11?). In each case, the PowerLink was somewhere in the middle, NOT at the edge.
    There is some variance from brand to brand as to the diameter of the rivets. If you use a PowerLink in a chain that is designed for fatter rivets, it will cause a slight mismatch in pitch.

    Sheldon "What Kind Of Chain?" Brown
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    There is some variance from brand to brand as to the diameter of the rivets. If you use a PowerLink in a chain that is designed for fatter rivets, it will cause a slight mismatch in pitch.

    Sheldon "What Kind Of Chain?" Brown
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    The chain is Sram PC-59. One of the PowerLinks came with the chain, the other (gold 9-sp) was bought separately. The chain with its original PowerLink has 2.5k miles. The second PowerLink may have 1k miles. I might try this with a new PowerLink and new chain.

  6. #6
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    Well, I have now done measurements with a new chain and a new PowerLink and detect no difference between the new links. That points to wear advancing significantly faster for the PowerLink than for regular chain links.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2_i
    Any opinions, wisdom regarding the issue?
    If you're replacing the chain at a normal interval, as you should be anyway, whatever extra wear you may find in the powerlink is more or less insignificant.

    Don't worry about it. Just enjoy riding your bike. Too many people get caught up in the most minute of details and for some reason I tend to think they spend more time thinking about what's wrong (or what could go wrong) with their bike than they do enjoying it.

    Use the powerlink, ride your bike, have a good time.
    i ride bikes.

  8. #8
    ride, paint, ride simplify's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2_i
    Well, I have now done measurements with a new chain and a new PowerLink and detect no difference between the new links. That points to wear advancing significantly faster for the PowerLink than for regular chain links.
    That's interesting, and I'm glad to know that. It's tempting to re-use these links when the chain is replaced, and now we know not to do that. I do carry some old ones in my seat bag for possible chain repair on a ride.

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