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  1. #1
    genec genec's Avatar
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    OK what is the deal with "breaking" modern chains... such as CNHG73

    Back in the day, I used a simple tool to pop out a rivet and break the chain for cleaning... later I got a bit more sophisticated and put in a master link.

    Now my son has a new bike with fancy chain that has a reinforced rivet???

    I am not sure I can use my old chain tool to take this apart (for cleaning, to replace a derailuer, etc) and it appears as though I need to buy a new special rivet to replace the the one I would pop out.

    Can anyone give me the skinny on this?

    I did find this... http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830611014.pdf

    But I still am not sure of the right way to do things. And heaven forbid, do I need a new part every time I want to clean the chain?

  2. #2
    Your mom
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    Huh. I don't own anything nearly this new, but have heard that modern chains do not deal well with reusing rivets. There is some (possibly apocryphal) story out there about a guy who died when his chain snapped after reusing a rivet. Actually, now that I write that, I realize this has to be urban legend. Or bike legend. Or something.

    I never take my chain off anyway - just wipe, lube and ride.

  3. #3
    Rat Bastard mcoomer's Avatar
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    Shimano uses that pin with a guide and it's actually pretty simple to join two ends of a chain. You will need a chain tool but if you have one you should be good. If you're current chain tool isn't up to snuff you can pick one up for less than $30 dollars on EBay and probably cheaper if you look around on the net. You can get the rivets singly or in packs and I would recommend just grabbing a small pack of them. That tech doc that you found is right on the money.

    As for needing to take the chain apart to clean, no, you don't need to do that. Hold a stiff brush against the chain, derailleur pulleys, chainrings, etc. and pedal backwards slowly to remove loose material. After that, liberally lube the chain and then hold a clean rag against it and pedal backwards slowly to remove most of the lube that you just applied. That will flush out a lot of dirt. After that just lube a bit more, shift through the cog and chainrings, and you're done. Get a chain scrubber and some degreaser and clean the chain on the bike every three months or so and you'll be good to go.
    It's better to burn out than fade away...or slip out of your pedal and face plant on the side of the road!!!

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  4. #4
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcoomer View Post
    Shimano uses that pin with a guide and it's actually pretty simple to join two ends of a chain. You will need a chain tool but if you have one you should be good. If you're current chain tool isn't up to snuff you can pick one up for less than $30 dollars on EBay and probably cheaper if you look around on the net. You can get the rivets singly or in packs and I would recommend just grabbing a small pack of them. That tech doc that you found is right on the money.

    As for needing to take the chain apart to clean, no, you don't need to do that. Hold a stiff brush against the chain, derailleur pulleys, chainrings, etc. and pedal backwards slowly to remove loose material. After that, liberally lube the chain and then hold a clean rag against it and pedal backwards slowly to remove most of the lube that you just applied. That will flush out a lot of dirt. After that just lube a bit more, shift through the cog and chainrings, and you're done. Get a chain scrubber and some degreaser and clean the chain on the bike every three months or so and you'll be good to go.
    I find it hard to believe that you need a consumable part every time you pull the chain... are master links available for these?

    BTW this chain is on an MTB and gets very very dirty... my typical technique is to pull the chain and put in a jug of solvent and shake like crazy.

    Here is the method I use to clean chain... http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html

    Is this excessive?

    Actually this is what I do:
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown RIP
    There are several ways that people try to clean their chains, none of them very satisfactory. Two of these ways may actually work.

    The traditional way to clean a bicycle chain is to remove it from the bike, then soak and scrub it in solvent. This is a problem with newer chains, however. Improved sprocket design, such as Shimano's "Hyperglide" system have made it possible to shift under full power, which is very stressful to chains. (Older derailer systems with plain sprockets required the rider to ease up on the pedals while shifting.)

    To withstand these high stresses, modern chains have rivets that are tighter fitting into the chain plates. The new rivets are difficult to remove and reinstall without damaging either the rivet or the side plate.
    If you wish to make a habit of cleaning your chain off-the-bike, the best approach is to buy an aftermarket master link, such as the Craig Super Link or SRAM PowerLink . These permit removal and re-installation of the chain without tools. The PowerLink is standard equipment supplied with SRAM chains, but it also works on other chains of the same width.

    I used to use a parts cleaning tank and a toothbrush to clean chains, but Zaven Ghazarian, an excellent mechanic I used to work with came up with a better system: drop the chain into a plastic Coke bottle with a couple of ounces of un-diluted citrus degreaser, cap it, and shake thoroughly. Fish the chain out with a spoke, rinse in water, and you are all set! (I am told that Pepsi bottles also work, and are easier to remove the chain from, because they have a wider mouth...but I'm a Coke guy, not a Pepsi guy.)

    The other major way to clean chains is with an on-the-bike cleaning machine. These are boxes which clip over the lower run of chain. They contain brushes and rollers that flex the chain and run it through a bath of solvent.

    The off-the-bike approach has the advantage that it usually uses more solvent than will fit into an on-the-bike cleaning machine. Thus, it can dilute away more of the scuzz from the chain.

    The on-the-bike system has the advantage that the cleaning machine flexes the links and spins the rollers. This scrubbing action may do a better job of cleaning the innards.
    I have tried those cleaning machines (Pedros) and found they did a good job of getting solvent everywhere.

  5. #5
    Death fork? Naaaah!! top506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I find it hard to believe that you need a consumable part every time you pull the chain... are master links available for these?
    A SRAM Powerlink will work just fine on a Shimano chain. I ran up against this earlier this summer.
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  6. #6
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by top506 View Post
    A SRAM Powerlink will work just fine on a Shimano chain. I ran up against this earlier this summer.
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    Thanks. How about the use of the old fashion chain tool... is that still good?

  7. #7
    Death fork? Naaaah!! top506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Thanks. How about the use of the old fashion chain tool... is that still good?
    To take the chain apart, yes.
    You won't get a Shimano chain back together without their special pin, unless you replace with a Powerlink (as I have).
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    You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

  8. #8
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    The history behind the "Special Shimano chain pin":

    Back in 1988 or thereabouts, Shimano introduced "Hyperglide" cassette sprockets. These were different from the earlier "Uniglide" sprockets in that they had small reliefs machined into each sprocket which allowed the chain to shift from one sprocket to another very quickly. They also allowed the chain to settle on two adjacent sprockets at once, forcing it through severe sideways bends. Since the chain was built the "old" way, this resulted in chains popping the plates off of the pins fairly regularly, particularly on mountain bikes where slow-speed, high-effort shifts are normal.

    Having the chain come apart on your brand-new, high-tech mountain bike does not make for a happy customer. Having 20 customers come into your shop with the same problem on their high-tech mountain bikes makes for a very unhappy service manager. (I attended a Shimano service seminar where the Bikeology service manager complained loud and long about this issue. I think it was Wayne Stetina who pulled him aside and talked him down.)

    Very quickly after the chain-coming-apart issue came to light, Shimano offered its solution: peened-over chain pins. These were just strong enough to keep the plates attached on Hyperglide shifts. However, if you pushed the peened-over pin through the side plates, it left an enlarged hole in the plate that wouldn't hold the pin. Shimano's solution to this is the special pin, which is larger in diameter than the original.

    All you need to do is push it all the way through until you feel the second plate snap home and snap off the guide pin and you're home free. In my experience, you don't have to bend the chain sideways to loosen a tight pin- it comes out right every time. I never had a tight link on a Shimano chain.

    FWIW: I now use SRAM chains and master links on all of my bikes. I find they last longer than similar Shimano chains.
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  9. #9
    Your mom
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    I can see why you might want to pull your chain. However, chains being disposable and your time being valuable, I don't think it's necessary. The bonus is that you'll never have to worry about how to break the chain!

  10. #10
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    I guess not all chain cleaning machines are the same. I'm using a basic $6 cleaning machine and while it does let the chain drip a little if I spread out a garbage bag under the bike it catches it all and not that much spills.

    Otherwise I suggest a SRAM Powerlink and the wide mouth Pepsi bottle....
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I have tried those cleaning machines (Pedros) and found they did a good job of getting solvent everywhere.
    I don't know about the Pedros but I use the Finish Line cleaning machine and it works fine without the solvent going everywhere. The secret to these things is not to spin the chain fast through the machine; in other words: don't be in a hurry.

  12. #12
    cab horn
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    Shimano chains require their own pin to rejoin. Do NOT push out and reinstall using the same pin. Your risk chain failure and you will DIE if this happens on the road.

    Go buy a real chain like SRAMS which feature a quicklink. Enough of this special pin garbage. Seriously. Time to enter the 21st century shimano.

    Even the $10 Sram PC48 7 speed chains have a quicklink. Give me a ****ing break.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member z415's Avatar
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    I suggest using Wipperman ConneX over a SRAM Powerlink. From experience the SRAM link requires slight pressure pushing the plates together to undo while the ConneX does not so it is a little easier.
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  14. #14
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    Jeff Wills provided a pretty good summary of why Shimano developed their "special pin' chains but didn't mention one thing. Along with the Hyperglide chain/cog designs, something else was going on.

    The number of rear cogs kept increasing from 6 to 7 to 8 to 9 and to 10 on road bikes (11 is coming next year). As this happened the cogs kept getting thinner and closer together and the chains kept getting thinner to fit into the decreasing gap between them. The result was thinner and thinner sideplates that wouldn't "hold" convention pins so riveting the end was essential to maintain chain strength.

    Pushing out one of these pins both removes the flair from the pin's end and slightly reams the hole it came out of. A special pin to overcome this larger hole is essential.

    The alternative was to develop a master link and SRAM. KMC and Wippermann have done just that. For 2009, Shimano is providing a similar masterlink with it's 10-speed 7900 (Dura Ace) chains and that link will work witn any 10-speed Shimano chain.

    However, I agree that removing the chain for every cleaning is overkill, even on a MTB. If you insist on doing so, get a SRAM or Wippermann chain.

  15. #15
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I find it hard to believe that you need a consumable part every time you pull the chain...
    I don't. The consumable part you're removing is the chain. There's no need to remove a chain unless you're replacing it, or you're in the concours contest.

  16. #16
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Jeff Wills provided a pretty good summary of why Shimano developed their "special pin' chains but didn't mention one thing. Along with the Hyperglide chain/cog designs, something else was going on.
    <snip>

    Well, sort of...

    When Shimano went from Uniglide to Hyperglide, all of the upper-end MTB groups were 7-speed. The 8-speed stuff was introduced in 1988 with 8-speed Uniglide, which turned into Hyperglide for the 1989 model year. The first 8-speed mountain group was the 1992 XTR, by which time the "special pin" was well entrenched.

    (FWIW: I have a set of XTR M900 brake/shift levers of that era. They're 8-speed and cantilever brake compatible. They still work perfectly.)
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  17. #17
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Shimano chains require their own pin to rejoin. Do NOT push out and reinstall using the same pin. Your risk chain failure and you will DIE if this happens on the road.

    Go buy a real chain like SRAMS which feature a quicklink. Enough of this special pin garbage. Seriously. Time to enter the 21st century shimano.

    Even the $10 Sram PC48 7 speed chains have a quicklink. Give me a ****ing break.
    I'll heed your advice... but I very much doubt the "DIE" part... I have had a chain break once and all it was was a terrible inconvenience.

  18. #18
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Well, try bashing your nads on the top-tube or your teeth against the stem when the chain breaks as you're sprinting up a hill and you'll consider it more than a "terrible inconvenience"...

  19. #19
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    Shimano chains

    For what its worth. If you have a10 speed chain you cannot reuse the Sram power link. You can reuse them on 8 & 9 speed chains. Someone previously posted about not reusing the pushed out pin. Reason is that the Hyperglide pins oversize the plates and are forced into them. If you reuse the pin the chain is likely to fail, most likely at the most inopportune time.

  20. #20
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Shimano specifically recommends that you not remove a chain to clean it.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  21. #21
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Is it okay (i.e., safe) to use a Connex connector link on a Campy 10 speed chain?

  22. #22
    Senior Member tzracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked View Post
    Is it okay (i.e., safe) to use a Connex connector link on a Campy 10 speed chain?
    This is what I use

    http://www.lickbike.com/productpage....=%270337-59%27
    2007 Waterford
    BF-STL-00078

  23. #23
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tzracer View Post
    Thanks for the info, that does look like a good solution-

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