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Old 09-02-10, 02:20 PM   #1
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What causes chain link damage during installation?

Can someone tell me the reason why the outer plate occasionally gets damaged when when securing a chain pin? I replaced it with new link but would prefer to avoid it rather than fix it.

My utter lack of finesse ?
A crummy chain tool ?
A cheesy chain ?
Other?

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Old 09-02-10, 02:30 PM   #2
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Looks to me like it was poorly aligned in the chain tool - either because the chain tool is crappy (there is a wide variety in tool quality, and "multitool" chain tools can be particularly bad), you were working in an awkward position (with the chain trying to fight its way out of the chain tool while setting the pin), or your chain wasn't layed in the "primary" position on the chain tool - the position furthest from the crank of the tool, up against the main anvil, if that makes sense. You can place the chain in the tool in a position closer to the crank of the tool, but that position is for loosening tight chains, not pressing pins in or out of the chain.

Chain removal: http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=25
Tight link repair: http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=53

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Old 09-02-10, 03:08 PM   #3
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+1, it was misalignment of the pin during installation. The end of the pin is square, so if it hits the side of the hole it doesn't self align the way a pointed pin would.

Next time, as you press the pin try to feel the change in pressure as it comes to the far plate, then make sure the chain is aligned before pressing farther. It helps to not have to fight tension, so consider dropping the chain off the inner ring onto the BB shell. Now use touch to judge if the pin is entering the hole, or pressing on the side of it. Sometimes you have to kinda of flex things to help it find the hole and slide in.

Since installing a chain usually means you've removed one, use the old chain for practice until you can tell by feel alone whether the pin is sliding in correctly or hanging up.


BTW- important-, Most modern chains cannot be securely closed with a chain tool. They depend on the rivets being peened over the plates to keep from spreading and breaking during hard shifts. So if this is a 7s (some), 8s, 9s or 10s chain, you should only be cutting it with the chain tool, and closing it with a connector link, or special pin a la Campy and Shimano. If in doubt read the chains package enclosure for info about splicing.
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Old 09-02-10, 03:13 PM   #4
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Thanks Sam -
I was using the primary anvil. (In fact I never knew what that other position was for on the chain tool -(I always freed stiff links by hand).

I used a Park mini tool to secure the chain. This was a new chain, so I was approaching it from the correct side. The tool is a little small for my big mitts so maybe it does boil down to my lack of finesse with it. Would a shop-quality tool really make any difference?
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Old 09-02-10, 03:49 PM   #5
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Yes and no, why? because u can have the best tools ever and if you are not careful or if you don't know how to make the tool work for you, it is useless. The problem u got was a user problem with the tools and looks like brute force works better for you. No, based in the picture that was not a problem in the equipment (the chain).

Just in case the darn pin is not suppose to go out 100% U take the pin off from one side and slide it almost to the limit at the other side using the tool, so you could take the inner chain link twisting it a little bit. If you take the pin out, and so far in the picture the pin is out, so i assume you got the ingenuity of taking the pin out w/o thinking 1st, the pin wont get IN in the right position again even with the pro tools, the pin is not suppose to come off the link in 1st place.

I do have the usual park tool and have never had a problem like that, and long time ago i had a chinese junk that was awefull ugly and bad, but i was careful, darn toll still works fine for me after like 25 years (if i cant find the park one). Even the cheappo Chinese one never gotten the pin broken that is the usual problem with these tools, my cheappy park one no problems either, so why spend 100 bucks in a pro one?

Would be better for you to practice how to use the tools instead

My utter lack of finesse ? <--- YES
A crummy chain tool ? <--- NO
A cheesy chain ? NO
Other? <-- think on what are u doing 1st.
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Old 09-02-10, 04:29 PM   #6
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As FBNY mentioned, if it's a chain with a connector link (appears to be KMC) then you should use the link. I don't think you mentioned if it had a link or not.
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Old 09-02-10, 05:15 PM   #7
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auchencrow, As the important comments have been made I'll add a minor one. Connector links can be frustrating at best to properly connect, for me more often than not, but once finished they work very well. Reusing an old pin now-a-days is only really acceptable if it is a roadside repair of a broken chain and no connector link/special pin is available.

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Old 09-02-10, 06:01 PM   #8
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I've installed dozens (or maybe even hundreds of chains), either with a cheap chain tool or the Park mini, and I've managed to damage a few plates with with either tool. I have never broken a pin on any tool however. (Knock on wood).

Also, I always drape the chain on the BB shell when I'm removing or installing a chain to keep tension off it.
I never remove a chain link pin completely, not even on the few offal links at the end of a new chain.
I never use connector links because I have never encountered on on any chain.

So based on all this, and what I've read here already, I have to concede that the problem is me , not the chain, and not the tool. I'll try to be more attentive in the future.


FBinNY, and Bradtx --- I understand that the references to "peened over" rivets and caveats about not reinstalling them is germane to modern (7 or 8-speed) chains only. (If so, it's a non issue for me, since I don't work on any newer bikes.)


Thanks to all for your insights! I can always count on getting the straight story from the Bike Mechanics!
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Old 09-02-10, 06:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post

So based on all this, and what I've read here already, I have to concede that the problem is me , not the chain, and not the tool. I'll try to be more attentive in the future
take the advice I gave you earlier and use an old chain to practice with, both correctly aligned and intentionally misaligned, so you get a feel for the difference.
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Old 09-02-10, 08:27 PM   #10
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1) That KMC chain should not be reusing pins, and they do not use pins for installation, no 3/32 kmc derailleur chain is suited for pin reuse.
2) You cannot reuse pins on any 7/8/9/10/11 speed chain of any other brand.


Reuse pins and watch the lawsuits roll in. Chain breakage under load is a safety critical issue.
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Old 09-02-10, 08:40 PM   #11
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1) That KMC chain should not be reusing pins, and they do not use pins for installation.....
???
I don't understand your comment.
These 5-spd KMC chains ONLY use pins for installation. (-What else is there?)
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Old 09-02-10, 09:11 PM   #12
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I don't see a five speed chain listed on the KMC website and it appears that connector links are available for all of their chains. I'm using 7/8 speed chains with connector links on my vintage 5/6 speed bikes, except for one vintage Regina chain on a PX10.
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Old 09-02-10, 09:40 PM   #13
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That's a tough one. I could be wrong, but I too think it might be that you didn't have the chain tool aligned perfectly when you were doing the pin installation. If you have to use excessive force to push the pin in, that might indicate that the links aren't aligned perfectly. And then, you would drive the pin in at an angle that messes up the hole like in your picture.
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Old 09-02-10, 10:35 PM   #14
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I don't see a five speed chain listed on the KMC website and it appears that connector links are available for all of their chains. I'm using 7/8 speed chains with connector links on my vintage 5/6 speed bikes, except for one vintage Regina chain on a PX10.
Hi GB !
These are the chains I generally use (or ones just like it). They are dimensionally the same as any old 5spd at 3/32 x 1/2.
They don't come with connector links.
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Old 09-02-10, 10:37 PM   #15
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... I could be wrong, but I too think it might be that you didn't have the chain tool aligned perfectly .....
I think you are right, bellweatherman. That's about the only root cause we could not discount!
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Old 09-02-10, 11:41 PM   #16
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I use a cheap performancebike house brand chain tool and just go slowly. No problems here. Make sure you are absolutely focused on the tactile feedback you get as the pin makes its way through the chain, otherwise yeah, you will probably damage the chain (I've also broken chain tools like this, with particularly tough single speed chains).
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Old 09-03-10, 04:02 AM   #17
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They say you learn something new every day ! Over many, many years of working on bikes, including chains, I never knew the 'primary' position was to be used for closing the chain. I always understood it was only for removing stiff links. I remember having to do a roadside repair on a chain with a pair of pliers, a nail and a rock for a hammer! It worked, probably 'cos of desperation, because years later in my garage and no chain tool ( all sorts of other tools) I couldn't repair a chain until I was able to get a chain tool. Ah, youth- where did it go?
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Old 09-03-10, 06:55 AM   #18
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Hi GB !
These are the chains I generally use (or ones just like it). They are dimensionally the same as any old 5spd at 3/32 x 1/2.
They don't come with connector links.
All derailer chains are 3/32" X 1/2".

They may not come with connector links at that price point, but you can get them.

I've collected a lot of bike tools, but I'm still using a Park mini chain tool because it works.

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Old 09-03-10, 09:39 AM   #19
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You don't need a fancy chain tool, but a quality one helps. The chain tool on my Crank Bros multitool is darn near impossible to use properly. I've broken TWO cheap Spin Doctor chain tools, and now own a very nice Pedros, but my Park Mini has been the best value - small enough to be portable, but large enough to be able to actually put a little torque on. It is also very reasonably priced. I've had mine for 10 years now. I use the Park Mini whenever I'm not in my main shop where the Pedros is.

As to replacing pins... If I were a professional working with customers, I would always use the approved reconnector pin, or the approved master link (never reusing them), but for my own bikes, I don't mind repressing a standard pin, as long as it doesn't damage the chain. I've never had a chain break due to a repressed pin. KMC chains for 7 and 8sp are pretty thick and heavy duty, and I think there is plenty of meat there to retain the pin properly. The only time I get nervous is the super-light weight narrow chains for 10sp, and some 9sp. Repairability is one advantage that cheaper heavier chains do have. So anyway - I think it is fine to reconnect a pin, as long as you get a good seat on it, and verify that you have even penetration on both sides of the link, and properly loosen the tight link after pressing. It is worth knowing that it may not be an approved method by the chain company lawyers, and keep that in mind if you are working on a customer's bike.

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Old 09-03-10, 10:11 AM   #20
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This would solve all chain re-connecting headaches.


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Old 09-03-10, 10:56 AM   #21
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Put one on your best bike,get up a good cadence,shift and enjoy the ride.It's going to be your last one for awhile....I don't think it's going to make it thru the derailers.

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Old 09-03-10, 01:36 PM   #22
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That's not for derailer chains. What you want is a KMC "Missing Link".
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