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Old 03-31-09, 02:59 PM   #1
wristwister
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Why does my multi-tool have a chain link remover?

Setting up my bike for commuting so I figured I'd equipe my rack pack with the essentials, including a slick little multi-tool I got on sale. This tool includes a device for removing and installing chain links. So this brings up the question; should I be prepared to repair my chain on the road? How often does a chain break? What would I need to carry to do this, besides the tool? Extra links? Extra chunk of chain? Spare whole chain? If I do need to do a roadside repair, how easy is this to do?

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Old 03-31-09, 03:02 PM   #2
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nN 30+ years of riding my chain broke ONCE! But I was glad I had a mini tool with chain breaker. I was 15 miles from home. I just shortened it 1 link till I got home.
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Old 03-31-09, 03:07 PM   #3
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Chains and spokes can break.
I carry a master Link and Chain tool.
I carry spare spokes and a spoke wrench.


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Old 03-31-09, 03:08 PM   #4
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If your chain ever breaks, you'll be glad that you have it, I'm going to pick one up tomorrow. Walking sucks.

Last edited by chrys9989; 03-31-09 at 03:09 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-31-09, 03:27 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, I'm bringing the bike in for adjustment soon so I'll pick up a master link while I'm there, and see if they'll give me a quick lesson in chain repair. The tool also has a spoke wrench, so I'll talk to them about spare spokes too. Not sure where I'd carry them though, zip-tie to a frame tube?
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Old 03-31-09, 03:48 PM   #6
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I carry spare spokes and a spoke wrench.
Fiberfix spoke renders that combo obsolete. Much more compact and works without taking the cassette off, if you have one.
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Old 03-31-09, 04:08 PM   #7
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I needed it once when I dropped my chain and tried to pedal it back on. It kinked 2 links, and a chain tool allowed me to remove those two links and still ride home... careful not to cross shift.
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Old 03-31-09, 04:47 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, I'm bringing the bike in for adjustment soon so I'll pick up a master link while I'm there, and see if they'll give me a quick lesson in chain repair. The tool also has a spoke wrench, so I'll talk to them about spare spokes too. Not sure where I'd carry them though, zip-tie to a frame tube?
Go the park tool website and look at how a chain is joined. Don't bother taking a master link, just take a chain tool. You can shorten your chain a link and rebind it using just the chain tool. You may not be able to ride in the big-big combo, but that will still get you home.

Also, I don't know if it's really necessary to bring a spare spoke unless you are touring or something long distance.
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Old 03-31-09, 04:59 PM   #9
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in 15 years of riding my chain broke twice (Road bike). Had to remove the defective link and the avoid extreme gear combinations like Big Ring+Large cog. But otherwise I finished both rides and did not have to push the bike home.

Do yourself a favor... find some old chain and practice using that multi tool a little. On the side of the road with darkness approaching is no time to learn. Use the tool for minor repairs too. You will get used to how the tool works and it's limitations. Better to know that before you need it.
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Old 03-31-09, 04:59 PM   #10
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Go the park tool website and look at how a chain is joined. Don't bother taking a master link, just take a chain tool. You can shorten your chain a link and rebind it using just the chain tool. You may not be able to ride in the big-big combo, but that will still get you home.

Also, I don't know if it's really necessary to bring a spare spoke unless you are touring or something long distance.
I would take issue with this advice. A quick link weighs nothing, and it is a permanent repair.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:01 PM   #11
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If you have a Shimano chain: Shimano chains are not to be re-joined with an existing pin, so carry a special replacement pin or a quick-link (SRAM or Wippermann).
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Old 03-31-09, 05:09 PM   #12
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what brand of quick link works with shimano 10 speed chains?
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Old 03-31-09, 05:10 PM   #13
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Thanks guys, I'm bringing the bike in for adjustment soon so I'll pick up a master link while I'm there, and see if they'll give me a quick lesson in chain repair. The tool also has a spoke wrench, so I'll talk to them about spare spokes too. Not sure where I'd carry them though, zip-tie to a frame tube?
Some touring specific bikes have little braze-ons on the chain stay to hold spare spokes. Others even have a place where you can insert the spoke into the chain stay to keep it out of the way.

All in all, I think that your idea of just zip tying them on is just as good.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:16 PM   #14
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Fiberfix spoke renders that combo obsolete. Much more compact and works without taking the cassette off, if you have one.
But is Only Temporary for Emergences.

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Old 03-31-09, 05:44 PM   #15
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what brand of quick link works with shimano 10 speed chains?
Shimano now makes a 10 speed quick link, but KMC, Sram or Wipperman links will work fine.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:59 PM   #16
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In about 20 years of carrying a chain break on long rides, I've used mine 3 times. Once for broken chain, twice after breaking derailers. I never carry extra links, just take the bad one out, as someone else mentioned. Make sure you stay out of the big/big gear combo.

If you should ever break a derailer, remove it and take out a buncha chain links and run singlespeed back home.
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Old 03-31-09, 06:43 PM   #17
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I've used my chain tool three times on the road, but always for someone else (knock wood). In one case, a stick got caught in the chain and twisted a section so I cut it out and rejoined the ends as an expedient. In another the rider had joined the chain poorly (this was pre-Shimano special pins) and the link broke. Again, a removal-rejoin expediant.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:01 PM   #18
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My Topeak Alien II has a chain-tool. I was expecting it to be junk. I was quite wrong - it's tight and competently designed. I've even used it in my shop when my CT-3 busted a pin. Glad to have it.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:04 PM   #19
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But is Only Temporary for Emergences.

Temporary is fine, we're not hanging wallpaper.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:06 PM   #20
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Chain-link spoke-pattern? Wow!
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Old 03-31-09, 07:06 PM   #21
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Temporary is fine, we're not hanging wallpaper.
Not on 85 mile rides
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Old 03-31-09, 07:46 PM   #22
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A chain tool is a handy tool to have if you happen to need a chain tool. Those situations come up but, fortunately, not real frequently.

A better question is "How safe do you feel you need to be?" I've provided tech support for some big rides so I've had some experience that might be pertinent.

If you can handle your own flat tires you are about 98% covered. Fortunately, flat tire fixing stuff is fairly compact to carry with you.

After flat tires, broken spokes are by far the next most common issue. That takes a spoke wrench, cassette *******, chain whip and a replacement spoke (it's almost always the back wheel). That's quite a bit of stuff to carry with you. I've never seen one of the fiberfix spokes used so I don't know if they are a prudent fix or not. If you want to be sure of getting the right replacement spoke today, better bring your own. There's too many sizes, colors, shapes etc. today for most shops to keep everything in stock.

Third on my experience list, believe it or not, is bottom brackets. Again, special big tools and significant replacement parts. I suspect that a lot of people never do any bottom bracket inspection or maintenance.

Then comes chains, broken cables and the like.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:51 PM   #23
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I would take issue with this advice. A quick link weighs nothing, and it is a permanent repair.
It is true that it is small and lightweight. However, here are some reasons why I don't think it is worthwhile:
- it is only a permanent repair if you damage exactly one link and the surrounding links are in acceptable condition to accept the replacement link.
- it's not significantly more effort to wait and push the link back out and repair it once home, when you should reinspect the chain for the extent of the damage regardless of how you choose to repair it on the road. Running one or two links short does also not cause a significant inconvenience while riding.
- there is no such thing as a universal master link. master links are different across brands. Even within a brand, they differ across chain widths. Then when you get into some brands (e.g., Shimano), you also introduce other necessities such as installation pins. This means that your repair kit is bike-specific unless you have the exact same chain on every bike or carry multiple links at once.
- however small, it is yet one more thing to carry

not to rant, but I try to carry as little as possible with me. I haven't seen a persuasive argument for it, beyond perhaps if you are touring (which changes everything).
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Old 04-01-09, 08:37 AM   #24
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If your chain ever breaks, you'll be glad that you have it, I'm going to pick one up tomorrow. Walking sucks.
Yeah man.
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Old 04-01-09, 08:44 AM   #25
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I fixed someone's broken chain with the chain tool piece of my multi-tool on a charity ride once upon a time.
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