I recently removed the chain from my wife's bike in order to fix it. Reassembling the link didn't seem to go very smoothly, and I think I may have bent the outer plates on the link. It looks very much like the link shown on the Park Tools site: http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=25
What's the best way to fix this? Her chain doesn't have a removable link, and I don't have a spare removable link to put on. I have regular spare links, so I can replace the link outright, but that will mean disassembling two pins.
I don't want to break the peening off of two more pins if I don't have to. I've tried reseating the pin a few times, but I haven't really made it any better and I'm afraid that if I keep playing with it it's going to get worse.
Should I just replace the link and not worry about the peening? Or should I just suck it up and get her a removable link?
First measure the chain over the undamaged intervals to see if it is still within tolerance. Use a good steel ruler. No sense repairing a chain that needs replacing. If most of the chain is good then you can replace the damaged links using the correct pins for joining whatever brand and width of chain you have (you haven't said).
A 24 pin interval of new chain will measure exactly 12 inches. When any 24 pin interval measures 12 1/16th inches it should be replaced to avoid damaging the cassette cogs.
Wanderer: yeah, I noticed that after I posted the pic. I stole the pic from Park Tools' website (at the link I posted), I don't know why they removed the bushing in that link. The part of the pic I'm referring to is the way the outside plates look.
Al1943: the chain measures within tolerances. It's just a basic KMC chain, nothing fancy. I have extra KMC links from other chains. From what I can tell, I'm not really supposed to break and relink a chain, since that removes metal from the pushed end of the rivet. I don't have a removable link laying around, though, that I can replace it with.
Get a SRAM chain. I have always had great luck with them, and they come with a "Powerlink" connector that needs no tools to install/remove. You do still need a chain tool if you need to shorten the chain, but otherwise they are simple and strong. Bottom of the line SRAM chains are around $13 online, $20 or so in bike shops. I Generally use their second tier chains and I pay around $24 online for them.
And yes, that isnt good. I never liked messing with pins, they CAN take too much fooling around with sometimes. You can just buy a sram powerlink at your bikeshop, should be compatible with most chains if you get the proper size. That chain will surely need a whole new link, though.