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Old 01-01-07, 12:19 AM   #1
jonbth
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Question about Shimano chain pins

I have a Shimano HG chain and was wondering if you have to break the chain should you look for the pin that you used when joining the chain or it doesn't matter what pin you replace.
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Old 01-01-07, 01:05 AM   #2
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The instructions say to not break the chain at the joiner pin.
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Old 01-01-07, 09:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonbth
I have a Shimano HG chain and was wondering if you have to break the chain should you look for the pin that you used when joining the chain or it doesn't matter what pin you replace.
When I was running Shimano chains I used to break them when cleaning wherever and not push the pin out all the way. Then just flip them over so the pin was facing out and push it back in. I know they say not to do this, but I got just as many miles of chain life with those chains as with the Sram's that I now run and never broke one. The only reason that I switched to the Sram's is because of the convenience of the connector.
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Old 01-01-07, 12:29 PM   #4
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I used to do this with 8-speed chains, but 10-speed chains are significantly more fragile. making pin reuse a bad idea.
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Old 01-01-07, 05:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Phoible
I used to do this with 8-speed chains, but 10-speed chains are significantly more fragile. making pin reuse a bad idea.
I guess you got away with this with 8-speed chains but even for them it's not a good idea. For any Shimano chain, 8-speed or newer, push the old pin all the way out and replace it with a specific replacement pin and never break the chain at a the replacement pin.
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Old 01-01-07, 06:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie Seachris
When I was running Shimano chains I used to break them when cleaning wherever and not push the pin out all the way. Then just flip them over so the pin was facing out and push it back in. I know they say not to do this, but I got just as many miles of chain life with those chains as with the Sram's that I now run and never broke one. The only reason that I switched to the Sram's is because of the convenience of the connector.
Not that I think this is such a bad thing, because I have gone long distances just reusing the old pin... but I wonder if this method is why people bust chains while riding.

I think the reason Shimano recommends it is because of the way the pins are "mushroomed" in the original chains; when breaking a chain, the mushroom widens the hole in the sideplate.

I think the replacement pin is of a very slightly different diameter to compensate for this enlargement of the sideplate holes. It's also the reason why they say not to rebreak a chain at the break-off rivet, because even if you use a new one, the hole has enlarged slightly more again, and the pin won't friction-fit the hole properly.

That all said and done, it's a wonder Shimano persists with the break-off pin when Connex and SRAM and KMC have such success in the market place with their links. Perhaps it's one thing Shimano hasn't patented...

Last edited by Rowan; 01-01-07 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 01-01-07, 08:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HillRider
I guess you got away with this with 8-speed chains but even for them it's not a good idea. For any Shimano chain, 8-speed or newer, push the old pin all the way out and replace it with a specific replacement pin and never break the chain at a the replacement pin.
You must be a pin salesman!
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Old 01-01-07, 08:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by HillRider
I guess you got away with this with 8-speed chains but even for them it's not a good idea. For any Shimano chain, 8-speed or newer, push the old pin all the way out and replace it with a specific replacement pin and never break the chain at a the replacement pin.
Why not, at least for 8 speed chains? I use the 'don't push it all the way out' method and reuse the pin and I don't have any issues at all.
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Old 01-02-07, 07:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bykerouac
Why not, at least for 8 speed chains? I use the 'don't push it all the way out' method and reuse the pin and I don't have any issues at all.

I use to do this waaaaay back on my old 7 speed MTB bike, this was over 15 years ago now. I didn't know any better and use to push the pin out just enough to separate the chain and then push the pin back in.

I did this on several occassions (not the same pin) and one of them let go when I was powering up a hill....needless to say I used the replacement pin ever since.

I don't recommend doing this.
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Old 01-02-07, 08:22 AM   #10
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I use a split pin connector.
I once just used a normal link on a D/A and on the first big climb it snapped and brought tears to my eyes.
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Old 01-02-07, 01:28 PM   #11
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Sheldon where are you? Give us the right answer!
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Old 01-02-07, 01:48 PM   #12
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Why ask Sheldon? The instructions that come with a Shimano chain are very specific... do not split the chain at the joiner pin, and use a new one where the chain is split. Most chain failures are identified as the result of human error in rejoining chains.

People can do whatever they like, including using the joiner-links, but if they choose to reuse pins on Shimano chains, there is a risk involved. So long as they are aware of the risk, and are prepared to take the consequences (injury, being stuck out in the middle of nowhere, having to do a roadside repair, loss of a race win), everything's fine.
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Old 01-02-07, 06:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie Seachris
You must be a pin salesman!
Actually, I'm a pin purchaser. Anyone is free to use what ever technique they wish but I'm foolish enought to follow the chain manufacturer's instructions. I've never broken a chain in 21 years and 112,000 miles of riding and have no wish to find out what it's like.
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Old 01-02-07, 06:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan
... it's a wonder Shimano persists with the break-off pin when Connex and SRAM and KMC have such success in the market place with their links. Perhaps it's one thing Shimano hasn't patented...
It is strange. Maybe they have some new connector in beta-testing far off on some mountain...

I have always either bought sram chains or just added a powerlink to old shimano chains. Sram "says" not to use the p-link on another brand of chain, but I have never had a problem over 1,000's or road and muddy mountain miles.
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Old 01-02-07, 06:57 PM   #15
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Also, I always keep an extra powerlink in my pack in case I snap a chain on the trail...
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