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Old 05-15-09, 01:43 PM   #1
Daytrip
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Best Way to Remove & Replace a Chain

I've got a couple of bikes with Shimano 105 10-speed drivetrains, and I'd like to start removing the chains periodically for cleaning. I bought some SRAM powerlinks thinking that they would work, but apparently not, since one of the pins won't fit. I'm comfortable breaking and reconnecting a chain with a chain tool, but I'm not sure if that's OK to do with these chains.

So, what's my best option--is there a removable link that will fit these chains, or is it OK to break and reconnect a 10-speed chain?
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Old 05-15-09, 01:50 PM   #2
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I've got a wipperman 10 speed removable link but I'm not sure if its really supposed to be reused. I'm going to use it until it fails me pretty much.

I've also got some SRAM powerlinks but when I went to install them they were so tight that I thought I might never be able to get them off so I didn't lock them on.

My 9 speed SRAM removable links work like a charm over and over.
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Old 05-15-09, 01:55 PM   #3
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if you break the chain, you will have to replace the pin and chose a new one (area ) each time. which will work if you want to do this each and every time. did you buy the right powerlinks ? may you brought a 8 spds and not a 10 ?
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Old 05-15-09, 02:07 PM   #4
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one time use
shimano 10sp pin: $2/each
sram 10sp masterlink: $10

reusable
kmc 10sp missinglink: $10
wipperman 10sp connex: $10

sram powerlink in 8/9sp are reusable, the 10sp masterlink is NOT


if the chain is dirty, just hose it down with WD-40 or similar to get rid of the dirt, let the WD-40 evaporate and then lube and wipe. repeat the lube and wipe once or twice.

if it's super dirty, get a chain scrubber that can be used while the chain is on the bike and you should clean off the cassette and chainrings too.
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Old 05-15-09, 02:26 PM   #5
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The SRAM 10 powerloc will not fit a Shimano, KMC or Wipperman chain that are all wider across the inner plates than SRAM or Campy 10 UN. The master links from the wider groups can be interchanged.

Wipperman and KMC are both reuseable.

The SRM 10 powerloc is officially not reuseable, but with the right pliers, you can queeze the rollers together and take it off, for reuse. If it has no snap left upon reinstallation, I'd toss it.

Forster sell the superlink in the model 3 for the wider group or chain and the model 4 for SRAM or Campy.

As for using the replacement pins - read the Shimano instructions?
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Old 05-15-09, 02:36 PM   #6
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Hey DaveSSS:

I have wipperman 10 speed reuseable link and a SRAM 1030 10 speed chain. The wipperman links seem like they slide on and off really easily compared to my SRAM 9 speed stuff. Is this a bad combo?

I also have a new campy chorus 10 speed chain. Think its alright to use that with the shimano 10 speed stuff and wipperman links?
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Old 05-15-09, 02:41 PM   #7
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The SRAM 10 powerloc will not fit a Shimano, KMC or Wipperman chain that are all wider across the inner plates than SRAM or Campy 10 UN. The master links from the wider groups can be interchanged.

Wipperman and KMC are both reuseable.

The SRM 10 powerloc is officially not reuseable, but with the right pliers, you can queeze the rollers together and take it off, for reuse. If it has no snap left upon reinstallation, I'd toss it.

Forster sell the superlink in the model 3 for the wider group or chain and the model 4 for SRAM or Campy.

As for using the replacement pins - read the Shimano instructions?
I bought a new SRAM PC-830 chain for $10, Powerlink included. A replacement SRAM 8-speed Powerlink goes for $5. What makes the Powerlink reusable or not?
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Old 05-15-09, 02:48 PM   #8
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I bought a new SRAM PC-830 chain for $10, Powerlink included. A replacement SRAM 8-speed Powerlink goes for $5. What makes the Powerlink reusable or not?
the price difference on 8, 9 and 10sp chains is very different, you can't compare the prices like that.

10sp masterlink doesn't get to work with as much material as the 9 or 8sp powerlinks so there's more chance for them to break.
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Old 05-15-09, 02:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by PetesDustyVolvo View Post
Hey DaveSSS:

I have wipperman 10 speed reuseable link and a SRAM 1030 10 speed chain. The wipperman links seem like they slide on and off really easily compared to my SRAM 9 speed stuff. Is this a bad combo?

I also have a new campy chorus 10 speed chain. Think its alright to use that with the shimano 10 speed stuff and wipperman links?
Did you read what I wrote? Wipperman and Shimano links (from the wide group) are too wide to fit a Campy or SRAM 10 chain. You can use them, but the fit is not ideal. Wipperman uses the curved slot to hold it in place. It's supposed to be easy to install, but don't install it upside down (read the instructions).

All that said, I'm running a Campy 11 chain with a sloppy fitting master link and it's caused no problems so far. A link that is too tight is more likely to fail.
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Old 05-15-09, 03:02 PM   #10
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I've got the 10 speed Powerlink and one of the pins won't fit through the holes in the 105 chain.

I've done the WD-40 cleaning thing, but there's nothing like thoroughly cleaning the chain in a can of solvent and then soaking it in a can of chainsaw bar oil cut with mineral spirits. Everything just runs so smooth and stays clean for so long. I would like to use two chains--just swapping in a fresh one when the current one gets dirty. Maybe I'm getting a bit anal about this, but I think the improved performace is worth the hassle.

I also think that lubing an installed chain gets lube on parts of the cassette (read: most of it) that don't need lube and simply serves to attract dust and grit. If you lube and wipe the chain down off the bike, the only places on the gears with oil are the teeth.

Thanks for the info on the Wipperman and KMC links, AEO. I'll check them out.

EDIT: Of course, this might be more about my probably inferior on-the-bike lubing technique.

Last edited by Daytrip; 05-15-09 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 05-15-09, 03:24 PM   #11
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Did you read what I wrote? Wipperman and Shimano links (from the wide group) are too wide to fit a Campy or SRAM 10 chain. You can use them, but the fit is not ideal. Wipperman uses the curved slot to hold it in place. It's supposed to be easy to install, but don't install it upside down (read the instructions).

All that said, I'm running a Campy 11 chain with a sloppy fitting master link and it's caused no problems so far. A link that is too tight is more likely to fail.
Yeah I read what you wrote, which was that the SRAM powerlock wouldn't fit:

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The SRAM 10 powerloc will not fit a Shimano, KMC or Wipperman chain that are all wider across the inner plates than SRAM or Campy 10 UN. The master links from the wider groups can be interchanged.
I don't have a ton of experience with bike parts, which is why I asked a more specific question.
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Old 05-15-09, 06:58 PM   #12
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I've got the 10 speed Powerlink and one of the pins won't fit through the holes in the 105 chain.

I've done the WD-40 cleaning thing, but there's nothing like thoroughly cleaning the chain in a can of solvent and then soaking it in a can of chainsaw bar oil cut with mineral spirits. Everything just runs so smooth and stays clean for so long. I would like to use two chains--just swapping in a fresh one when the current one gets dirty. Maybe I'm getting a bit anal about this, but I think the improved performace is worth the hassle.

I also think that lubing an installed chain gets lube on parts of the cassette (read: most of it) that don't need lube and simply serves to attract dust and grit. If you lube and wipe the chain down off the bike, the only places on the gears with oil are the teeth.

Thanks for the info on the Wipperman and KMC links, AEO. I'll check them out.

EDIT: Of course, this might be more about my probably inferior on-the-bike lubing technique.
Come on people, there's no reason to "soak" anything. Chains need a quick rinse from solvent, a rinse and a relube. Soaking anything in solvent is asking for it, especially since it's specifically recommended against on several chains.

There is absolutely no need for that. If you're concerened about keeping your chain clean, run a clean lube like rock'n'roll. And not garbage like Tri-flow, synlulbe et. al.
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Old 05-15-09, 07:32 PM   #13
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Never lube a dirty chain on the bike. Remove it clean it and then replace and lube it.
The Wipperman and KMC links will work.
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Old 05-16-09, 10:24 AM   #14
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I ordered the Wippermann link yesterday.

Operator, are you saying that sloshing the chain around in a coffee can with mineral spirits and then drying it off will damage the chain? Because that's what I do.

Slightly OT, I have a Park chain wear gauge, but I understand that they're not all that reliable. My current chain (2,000 miles on it) fails the .75 gauge test. But when I measured the chain at 12 inches with a tape measure, it's only off by maybe a 32nd of an inch, if that. Definitely not a 16th. Can I assume the chain has a few more miles in it?
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Old 05-16-09, 11:03 AM   #15
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Come on people, there's no reason to "soak" anything. Chains need a quick rinse from solvent, a rinse and a relube. Soaking anything in solvent is asking for it, especially since it's specifically recommended against on several chains.

There is absolutely no need for that. If you're concerened about keeping your chain clean, run a clean lube like rock'n'roll. And not garbage like Tri-flow, synlulbe et. al.
Clean: Heated mix 50/50 water/citrus-cleaner. Scrub with brush, and shake in closed container.

Rinse: Shake in closed container with water.

Dry: Coil chain, lay on wooden bench, use heat gun.

Lube: Dip in Tri-Flow. Hang to dry overnight.

Install: With SRAM link or Superlink.

Or in other words, I do just the opposite of what Operator advises.
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Old 05-16-09, 11:35 AM   #16
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I agree with operator. There is no need to soak your chains. Doing so removes any lube and protective barriers and invites dirt into the innards. You *can* clean them well enough, but very few people actually do. Further, it mandates that the chain be broken and removed from the bike, which is a problematic operation on modern drivetrains.
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Old 05-16-09, 11:36 AM   #17
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Operator, are you saying that sloshing the chain around in a coffee can with mineral spirits and then drying it off will damage the chain? Because that's what I do.
Don't expect a reply. Operator's m.o. in any chain cleaning thread is to drop in, drop an insult at someone's cleaning practice, brand of lube, etc., and then vanish without explaining himself. Never to be seen again.

(Go ahead, prove me wrong!)
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Old 05-16-09, 12:13 PM   #18
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Removing chains to clean them is silly.

Use a chain scrubber machine with citrus solvent, let dry, lube with something like Progold, wipe clean, ride. They will last a long time.

The only reason to remove a chain is to replace it. They last quite a while. Replace when worn. Hey, a chain is 20 bucks.
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Old 05-17-09, 04:46 PM   #19
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there's nothing like thoroughly cleaning the chain in a can of solvent
So how clean is "thoroughly clean"?

I put about 500 miles on my new bike without touching the chain, following Sheldon's advice to run on the factory grease for as long as possible. 3 weeks ago, I wiped the chain with a solvent-soaked rag and lubed. Today (200 miles later), I was wiping it down again and decided there was a lot of grit on the inside of the plates, that I wasn't getting to. I ended up going over the chain with solvent and a toothbrush. I was surprised to find that even after several passes, the solvent I was wiping off was still quite dirty. I hope I didn't flush a ton of fine grit into the inside of the chain.

So since what I did is probably the equivalent of a chain scrubber - those of you that use a scrubber, how clean is the chain when you're done?

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there's no reason to "soak" anything. Chains need a quick rinse from solvent, a rinse and a relube.
If operator should happen to return to this thread, could you please clarify what _you_ mean by "a quick rinse".

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You *can* clean them well enough, but very few people actually do.
And dmf, what do _you_ mean by "well enough"?
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Old 05-17-09, 05:55 PM   #20
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So since what I did is probably the equivalent of a chain scrubber - those of you that use a scrubber, how clean is the chain when you're done?
I will usually start with a hose and just quickly spray off the chain. I follow with citrus solvent (water compatible) in the scrubber. I usually clean till there is no visible gunk showing on the chain, especially between the sideplates where the teeth go. Usually one through the machine is enough. Being water soluble you need to dry things off before applying lube.

That will be a very clean appearing chain. But I also agree with those that say that solvent cleaning tends to drive dirt into the innards of the chain.

All that said, I inevitably accept the fact that a chain begins wearing out from day one, especially in harsh conditions like MTB and commuting in inclement weather. I just resolve myself to the fact that I'll be replacing the chain sooner or later, when measurement or actual breakage dictates. Like I said before, they are like 20 bucks (Ok, maybe thirty for 10 speed).

Just accept periodic replacement.
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