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  1. #1
    I like my car ShadowGray's Avatar
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    How to remove chain?

    I want to take off the chain for cleaning and other maintenance but I can't seem to find out how to do it. Sheldon's site seems to say something about popping out the rivet but I can't find a detailed guide on how to do it. Is there a guide out there? Or is it just some kind of tool that I need?
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  2. #2
    that bike nut BikingGrad80's Avatar
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    You need a chain tool. it has 2 teeth that fit in the link and a pin that screws in and pops the rivet out. To reconnect you will need either a replacement link for shimano chains or a quick link for SRAM and some KMC chains. Check to see if you already have one.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Just a note that it's not recomended to be popping the rivets in and out for something as common as cleaning the chain.

    There's some chain cleaning gizmos that have three wheel brushes in them and you fill them to the indicated line with solvent or degreaser and then backpedal the chain through the cleaner. If it's real grungy you pour out the crud refill and repeat until the chain is nice and clean.

    You don't even need to remove the chain or rear wheel to do this unless it's a BMX or single speed. If it is you just slacken it off and unmount the chain at the rear to provide enough slack.

    Here's an example of roughly what they look like depending on brand. The top and middle wheel comes off for filling and closing around the chain on all of them and the chain U bends through the cleaner when you backpedal to run the chain through the cleaner.
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  4. #4
    I like my car ShadowGray's Avatar
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    Oh well, I've seen recommendations to remove the chain and let it soak. What about those people who do that often?

    Is removing a rivet usually irreversible for most chains now? Or can you reattach it?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    It's not a great idea. And if you use a Shimano rivet it's like a buck each time.

    If you were to switch to something like a SRAM chain with the master link it's easy to unsnap it and remove the chain.

    But with the chain cleaning tool it'll get the chain just as clean if not cleaner than soaking it. If it soaks it's sitting in its own crud in the bottom of the cleaning solvent or degreaser. At least with the gizmo you pour the crud OUT and refill it.

    Removing a rivet and replacing it will bruise the side plates so that it's not going to be quite as secure as it was originally. If you're not a strong rider then it's not as big a deal. But if you are someone that pushes their equipment hard then it is not a good practice to break a chain open for something as minor as cleaning. Especially when there's excellent products for doing the cleaning.
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    IMO, cleaning a chain is very, VERY messy. If u have a MTB or ride in dirt during rain, OK, gotta do it, but just your street road bike... personally I wouldn't bother and just replace chain ($12 bux?) every season or so.

    I bought one of those cleaning thingy (as pictured above) when I was a noob and used it maybe twice.

  7. #7
    I like my car ShadowGray's Avatar
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    Alright, that's all I need to know, I'll might invest in one of those gizmos.

    On my old old beater bike though, the chain probably isn't in the best of conditions and I'd like to replace that. Which is where this topic might come in handy.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    I'd suggest a KMC or cheaper SRAM even for the beater. Having the Power link has come in handy more than once for taking off the chain for doing some stuff. The SRAM comes with what they call a Powerlink and the KMC comes with a close equivalent. Both are a squeeze and push to loosen and click into place to lock for normal use. Well worth the extra 50 cents or buck these options cost over a noname rivet link chain IMHO.
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  9. #9
    cab horn
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    The $20 Sram PC-48's have an infintely reusable quick-link. Time to invest in one.

    If you like to take yoru chain off to clean it that is.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member MudPie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    The $20 Sram PC-48's have an infintely reusable quick-link. Time to invest in one.

    If you like to take yoru chain off to clean it that is.
    +1. The SRAM chains with Powerlink are a well made and designed chain. Imagine uncoupling and coupling the chain in seconds with only your fingers, no tools necessary. I've been using SRAM chains for ~10 years, with no problems. It's one less excuse not to clean your chain.

    To me, removing a rivet and replacing it is weaker than the original assembly. Plus, keeping extra Shimano pins on hand could be a PITA.

    Also, you can buy the Powerlink masterlink itself and maybe use it on your existing chain. Someone with more experience can comment on compatibility with different brand chains.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    I just use the $6 KMC Z51 chains (good up to 8 speed) from the local "outdoor" store. I have no qualms about pushing the pins in/out with my chain tool.

  12. #12
    Will ask stupid questions
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    a SRAM powerlink is 100% compatible with shimano chains, just make sure they are the same speed

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmithepa View Post
    IMO, cleaning a chain is very, VERY messy. If u have a MTB or ride in dirt during rain, OK, gotta do it, but just your street road bike... personally I wouldn't bother and just replace chain ($12 bux?) every season or so.

    I bought one of those cleaning thingy (as pictured above) when I was a noob and used it maybe twice.
    Chain cleaning isn't messy if you do it very often and know what you're doing at all. With chain cleaning gizmo, the steps are 1) put cleaner in gizmo, 2) put gizmo under chain, 3)use two fingers to push chain down into gizmo, 4) Put cap onto gizmo, 5) pedal the cranks like crazy, 6) enjoy clean chain.

    If you get crud on more than two fingers, you're doing it wrong. And if you use a dry lube, the chain doesn't get excessively nasty anyway.

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