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  1. #1
    Senior Member MitchL's Avatar
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    How do you get the ends to meet up when replacing a chain?

    I have replaced the chain on two of my bikes and I have a really hard time getting both ends of the new chain in the chain tool to connect them because the rear deraillure is pulling on the chain.

    Is there a trick to doing this?
    "I have no idea what I'm doing... but I know I'm doing it really really well."

  2. #2
    commuter TimeTravel_0's Avatar
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    make sure you sized the chain correctly. perhaps you broke the chain too short.

    and I use masterlinks.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Unhook the chain from the chainrings in front and rest it on the outside of the bottom-bracket shell.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bikeman715's Avatar
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    take the chain off the chainring, drop it onto the BB. connect the chain and put it back on the chainring.
    bikeman715

  5. #5
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    I go with the master links. Easy to remove for cleaning.

  6. #6
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    This:

    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    Unhook the chain from the chainrings in front and rest it on the outside of the bottom-bracket shell.

    Quote Originally Posted by bikeman715
    take the chain off the chainring, drop it onto the BB. connect the chain and put it back on the chainring.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  7. #7
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    also you can make a tool that hooks the derailleur cage and a chainring bolt from a spoke. i personally just drop the chain on the bb

  8. #8
    Senior Member MitchL's Avatar
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    Seems like the BB thing is the trick. So simple too.... can't believe it didn't occur to me.

    Thanks.
    "I have no idea what I'm doing... but I know I'm doing it really really well."

  9. #9
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    On a coaster brake, SS/FG, or IGH, I don't completely run the chain around the chainring. I leave the chain off the bottom, join the ends, pin it, the let the chain ride back onto the chainring by turning the cranks.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  10. #10
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    I made up a little "tool" from a piece of coat hanger wire. It's a shallow, wide U-shape with the upper tips of the legs bent inward. You hook it to each end of the chain far enough back so the open ends overlap in the middle. That gives you the slack to insert the master link or joining pin.

    The advantage of this tool over dropping the chain onto the bb shell is that you can turn the cranks slightly back and forth to be sure the chain is routed correctly before you join it. Ever fully installed a chain only to discover you ran it outside one of the rear derailleur tabs? With a master link it's only a nuisance. With a joining pin it's a real hassle. Guess how I know about this?
    Last edited by HillRider; 10-19-10 at 06:25 PM.

  11. #11
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Ever fully installed a chain only to discover you ran it outside one of the rear derailleur tabs?
    Yes! When I make this mistake, I usually disassemble the derailer and run it through. Then it's just a little annoying to screw the pulleys back on.

  12. #12
    Senior Member shouldberiding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravel_0 View Post
    and I use masterlinks.
    This.

  13. #13
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    Remove the rear wheel or strap the derailleur cage near the chainstay.

  14. #14
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    I'm with Hillrider on this, sacrificed a coathanger. Mine looks more like a big Vee. Use it taking the chain apart and putting together. This way you don't get lube on the BB or scratch it. The ends of the chain don't fly away if you let go. You can buy the same device at the store if you don't have a wire coathanger.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I made up a little "tool" from a piece of coat hanger wire. It's a shallow, wide U-shape with the upper tips of the legs bent inward. You hook it to each end of the chain far enough back so the open ends overlap in the middle. That gives you the slack to insert the master link or joining pin.
    +1 I do this myself. If you can't find metal coat hangers - check your local metal yard.
    1993 Cannondale T700 - 1994 Specialized Rockhopper - Actionbent T1 (Electrification in progress!)

  16. #16
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    Park makes a relatively inexpensive tool to pull the chain ends together. I use one and master links. Works like a charm.

  17. #17
    commuter TimeTravel_0's Avatar
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    what tool is that?

  18. #18
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    I do not have it in hand to check the number, but it looks like a pair of pliers--you could probably check Park's website and find it.

    I just went to Park's site and found it--MLP-1.

  19. #19
    Senior Member fholt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I made up a little "tool" from a piece of coat hanger wire. It's a shallow, wide U-shape with the upper tips of the legs bent inward. You hook it to each end of the chain far enough back so the open ends overlap in the middle. That gives you the slack to insert the master link or joining pin.
    Mine is made from a 14 ga spoke.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member vredstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravel_0 View Post
    what tool is that?
    Not the Park tool, but certainly up to the task. Whether you buy this or make your own, it's definitely one of the most used tools for those who do their own maintenance.
    http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...item_id=YC-207
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  21. #21
    Member EcoRacer's Avatar
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    That is the most useless tool ever made. You don't need anything like that. First cut the chain to the right size with it on the front big chainring. Then take it of the front chainring. Not on the inside at the BB but the outside so you don't destroy your paint. just leave it hanging on your front derailleur. Join the chain using whatever method you want and put the chain back on the front chainring.

    That tool is is for finding a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

  22. #22
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Another thing that helps is to not push the pin all the way out. Leave about 0.5mm of it protruding inside the plate. That way, you can snap the chain back together and it'll stay together while you fumble with the chain-pin tool

  23. #23
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    Just use a master link. They're fairly cheap and you can get multiple uses out of them.

  24. #24
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    Home-made wire gizmo works for me.
    When installing a Master Link has anyone else chopped their chain at the wrong type of link. You need an "innie" at both ends.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    Another thing that helps is to not push the pin all the way out. Leave about 0.5mm of it protruding inside the plate. That way, you can snap the chain back together and it'll stay together while you fumble with the chain-pin tool

    + 1

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