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  1. #1
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    Chain- Removing??

    I have 4 bicycles in my garage, I keep reading about chain cleaning, multiple posts about removing the chain, I've never done that, how do you remove a chain, do they have master links?

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  2. #2
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    if they have a shimano chain they don t have a master link ... you will need a chain breaker like this one



    take a quick look to this video

    http://bicycletutor.com/chain-tool/

    good luck

  3. #3
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    If your chain lacks a master link then you shouldnt keep breaking it to clean. Everytime you re-rivet you weaken the chain. Thinner 9 and 10 speed chains need much higher precision rivetting than 8speed.
    Most chains can accept a master link of the correct size and you can break at this link. SRAM seems to be the most effective link. If you fit one to a chain, you need to remove a standard link. Make sure you remove at the correct type (inner or outer link) then double check.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Capecodder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    If your chain lacks a master link then you shouldnt keep breaking it to clean. Everytime you re-rivet you weaken the chain. Thinner 9 and 10 speed chains need much higher precision rivetting than 8speed.
    Most chains can accept a master link of the correct size and you can break at this link. SRAM seems to be the most effective link. If you fit one to a chain, you need to remove a standard link. Make sure you remove at the correct type (inner or outer link) then double check.
    I believe Sram links only fit Sram chains........

  5. #5
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    a good quality modern chain must be joined properly. each manufacture has their method, whether it be a special pin or master link.

  6. #6
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capecodder View Post
    I believe Sram links only fit Sram chains........
    FWIW, I use a sram 10s link on a shimano 10s chain.

  7. #7
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    Using the above tool (I have the same one), you just push out the pin. But, a few tips:

    1) Don't push the pin out ALL THE WAY. Its next to impossible to get it back in, especially using that tool. Push it out just enough that the chain comes apart, and the pin remains in the outer link hole.

    2) You'll most likely get a stiff link when you put it back together. That's what the centre slot on the tool is for. Re-insert the pin using the outer slot, then free up the stiff link using the centre slot.

  8. #8
    Senior Member TLCFORBIKES's Avatar
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    A quality made chain break tool helps make the job very easy (experience will also help allot). On a 10 speed chain -- after breaking the chain I always replace the pin with a KMC Missing Link (KMC makes Missing Links for all chain widths). Do not try to reinstall the pin on a 10 speed chain. Pins can be reinstalled on 9 speed (and lower speeds) chains but must be careful. I do not think any of the chain manufacturers recommend that the connecting pin be reused. The Missing Link (and similar type connecting links) allow you to remove/clean your chain as often as you want. Missing Links cost about $5 each and are very easy to install.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonaway427 View Post
    Using the above tool (I have the same one), you just push out the pin. But, a few tips:

    1) Don't push the pin out ALL THE WAY. Its next to impossible to get it back in, especially using that tool. Push it out just enough that the chain comes apart, and the pin remains in the outer link hole.

    2) You'll most likely get a stiff link when you put it back together. That's what the centre slot on the tool is for. Re-insert the pin using the outer slot, then free up the stiff link using the centre slot.
    Follow these instruction with a modern 8,9 or 10-speed chain and you WILL have a chain failure, sooner rather than later.

    These chains have thinner plates and shorter pins than the older pre-8-speed designs and the pins are riveted at the ends to make a strong connection. Pushing a pin partially out removes the flair and reams the hole in the sideplate larger. Pushing that pin back in leaves a failure prone "weak link" at that point. You should either push the pin completely out and replace it with a specific joining pin or remove two adjacent pins and add a master link.

    Then too, removing the chain for cleaning is not necessary. Chains can be cleaned and relubricated in place quite efficiently.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogerstg View Post
    FWIW, I use a sram 10s link on a shimano 10s chain.
    The way to be sure if the fit is acceptable is to check the clearance between inner and outer plates with a feeler gage. Proper clearance is in the .004-.008 inch range, when new.

    A SRAM chain should have a width across the inner plates that is about the same as a Campy chain, which is .004 inch narrower than KMC or Shimano. That should result in a fit that's too tight.

    A current Wipperman connex link should be a better fit, but always check to be sure.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Follow these instruction with a modern 8,9 or 10-speed chain and you WILL have a chain failure, sooner rather than later.

    These chains have thinner plates and shorter pins than the older pre-8-speed designs and the pins are riveted at the ends to make a strong connection. Pushing a pin partially out removes the flair and reams the hole in the sideplate larger. Pushing that pin back in leaves a failure prone "weak link" at that point. You should either push the pin completely out and replace it with a specific joining pin or remove two adjacent pins and add a master link.

    Then too, removing the chain for cleaning is not necessary. Chains can be cleaned and relubricated in place quite efficiently.
    Very good info. I was not aware of these issues. If I have a chain failure in the near future, I'll be sure to report back as to the location of the failure (at the re-installed pin location or not). I will also be sure to get some Missing Links for future chain repairs.

    Cheers.

  12. #12
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    The problems of chain breakage on modern 8-11s chains isn't related directly to the chains, but to the gated (hyperglide, by any other name) shifting on modern bikes.

    The cutout teeth on modern cassettes allows much more aggressive shifting, including the ability to shift under load, than was previously possible. That's the good news, the bad news is that it places much greater side stress on the plates forcing them outward on the pins.

    Chains made for Hyperglide counter this by having the heads peened over the outside of the plates, vs. the old method of a simple press fit. That keeps the plate from being forced beyond the end of the pin under normal loads. When you cut and splice these chains you lose the retaining rivet head and leave that link vulnerable to side stress. That combined with the fact that these chains don't have pins that extend beyond the plate almost assures a break.

    If you're riding anything 8s and above you must use one of these riveted chains, and that means that while you can always cut it, you can only close it with a master link, or special pin made for that purpose.
    FB
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  13. #13
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    The only time I remove a chain is to replace it. Chains can easily be cleaned on the bike. I have never failed to get at least 5000 miles out of a chain before the chain is stretched 1/16 inch over a one foot interval.

    If you decide to fit a master link to your chain be sure that no part of that link is wider than any part of the chain.

    The only chain failures I've seen have been on master links (quick links) or links that have been joined improperly.

  14. #14
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Get one of the little three brush wheel chaining cleaning gizmos. Clean the chains ON the bike. As a few posted you really don't want to remove links and replace them. While doing so with the proper new pin and doing the break and connect at a new spot each time works the process is time consuming to break thread and restore the chains and costly for the new pins. With the chain cleaning gizmo on the bike you can do just as good a job without having to break the chain.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capecodder View Post
    I believe Sram links only fit Sram chains........
    I have used:
    - SRAM 8s Powerlink with 8s Shimano IG chain.
    - SRAM 9s Powerlink with 9s Shimano chain.
    - SRAM 10s Powerlock with 10s Shimano chain.
    Never had a problem.

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    There are chain cleaner devises that can run the chain thru a cleaning solvent without removing the chain
    Given the tank of the tool is Plastic , not using something that dissolves the plastic is Best.

    you run the slack part of the chain thru the tank pedaling backwards..

    you can do it more often without the PIA of puting the chain back together ..
    chain tool is still a good thing , bring one along, in case the chain breaks on the road ..

  17. #17
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    I have the newer Park chain cleaning machine and the Finish Line machine, both are better than the earlier Park machine. I use mineral spirits in the machines as solvent. Kerosene would work as well.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonaway427 View Post
    Using the above tool (I have the same one), you just push out the pin. But, a few tips:

    1) Don't push the pin out ALL THE WAY. Its next to impossible to get it back in, especially using that tool. Push it out just enough that the chain comes apart, and the pin remains in the outer link hole.

    2) You'll most likely get a stiff link when you put it back together. That's what the centre slot on the tool is for. Re-insert the pin using the outer slot, then free up the stiff link using the centre slot.
    This is the way many of us learned to do it with older chains. It is NOT the correct way to do it with 9 or 10 speed chains (I don't know about 8, having never owned one).

    For modern 9 and 10 speed chains (and maybe 8), you MUST use the manufacturer's specified way of re-joining the chain. KMC, SRAM and others use a re-usable (KMC) or one-time (SRAM) link that can be removed without the chain tool illustrated above.

    Shimano chains need to be "broken" with the chain tool, but the pin must NOT be re-used. This is because when it is removed the link's holes are distorted a little and the pin is at risk of failing. You do NOT want your chain to fail at the wrong time, it's just not worth half-assing it. You have to insert a special Shimano pin and it must be done correctly, and it's one-time use.

    I've heard that Shimano 9 and 10 speed chains can use the SRAM, KMC or Wipperman links, but haven't actually done it myself.

    Taking a chain off to clean it is not necessary. Clean it as best you can on the bike and re-lube carefully. That's all you need to do. If you have a chain with an easy to use link, go ahead and remove it to clean, but it's not necessary

  19. #19
    Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race dddd's Avatar
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    FB in NY makes the critical observation that it's the pin on almost any modern chain that gets damaged when pushed out for the first time.

    Any damage to the hole in the plate is minimized by the pin's peening actually shearing off, leaving a smooth, useless pin.

    I've looked at pins after being pushed out, and you don't even need a magnifying glass to see the peening had chipped clean off!
    Out on the trail I've fixed many a chain for riders who very recently broke, then re-attached, their chain without using a proper reattachment pin or link.
    Road bike chains that are improperly re-attached usually survive longer, but can be quite dangerous when they let go. Shifting under power, as allowed by Hyperglide-type sprockets, will tend to pry a weakened side plate off the end of the re-used pin, and the plate may also snag the front derailer cage before the chain breaks (I've seen this even on road bikes).

    BTW, I wouldn't even consider removing a chain for cleaning, just use a solvent-type clean lube that leaves minimal residue after a quick wipe-down, takes half a minute or so then go riding
    Last edited by dddd; 12-28-10 at 01:17 AM. Reason: expanded narrative

  20. #20
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    I wouldn't consider cleaning the chain on the bike, but then I use a master link.

  21. #21
    Senior Member TLCFORBIKES's Avatar
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    If you use the chain breaking tool and partially remove the pin (from the inside plate moving towards the outside plate) the peened end of the pin will not be damaged. Also by inserting the pin back to the proper depth the pin can be reused on 8 & 9 speed chain. I have done this on Shimano Ultegra and Dura Ace chains. Shimano 105 chains didn't workout as well. This method of reusing the connecting pin is not a recommended procedure by Shimano or any other chain manufacturer but it will work. This method will not work on 10 speed chain. The pin on 8 & 9 speed Shimano chain is beveled on the inside but square cut on 10 speed chains.

    For the vast majority of cyclists there will come a time that you will need to throughly clean your chain. Removing it off the bike (IMO) is the safest and best way to clean the chain with out possibly causing harm to other components.

    I skip all the worries about pin issues and chain removal by using Missing Links or Power Links on all my chains.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLCFORBIKES View Post
    If you use the chain breaking tool and partially remove the pin (from the inside plate moving towards the outside plate) the peened end of the pin will not be damaged....

    I skip all the worries about pin issues and chain removal by using Missing Links or Power Links on all my chains.
    The pins are peened over the plate on both ends, since the pin cannot be moved without pushing on end through the plate, that end will have the peened area at least partly sheared off, unless you're Harry Houdini. Returning the pin to it's original position will hold, but that plate will be less resistant to side stress and will become a potential point of failure. It's fine for an on the road emergency repair, but not something one would want to ride for too long. Modern chains have flush pins, and don't have that extra bit of room outboard on the pins that older, wider chains have.

    BTW- it's interesting that while you say pushing pins in and out is OK, you don't do it on your own chains, preferring to use a connecting link.

    For those who've never experienced it
    , Chain breakage is no fun. It always happens under load (when else) and while rarely causing serious injury to the rider, often causes crashes and minor injuries, and in many cases the free end of the chain snags the FD destroying it in the process. It's almost entirely avoidable, since the most common cause is a bad splice.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member TLCFORBIKES's Avatar
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    The replacement pin that will be inserted into the Shimano chain will only be peened on 1 side. So reusing a pin can be done -- just need to be careful. I agree that this procedure isn't the best and can be a cause for chain failure. Reusing a pin is a "bandaid" fix at best and probably best not attempted unless you are very experienced using a chain tool. I would never use this practice at my shop on a clients repair but have done so on my on bikes in years past when I found it necessary (only on 8 & 9 speed chains).

    Missing Links & Power Links have not always been available. Back in the 70's , 80's and even 90's I didn't always have a extra pin sitting around. Now I have pins and Missing Links and I prefer Missing Links.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLCFORBIKES View Post
    The replacement pin that will be inserted into the Shimano chain will only be peened on 1 side.
    While I've never measured it myself, Shimano and Campagnolo have engineered pins with outer lips on BOTH sides. These are carefully dimensioned to allow them to force past the smaller hole in the plate, yet provide positive plate positioning afterward. Based on the success of using these pins vs. pushing back a standard pin, I'd assume they got right.

    While I agree that anything goes in an emergency, splicing by pushing a standard pin back is a poor practice, and shouldn't be suggested to users of narrow chains or gated shifting systems as an alternative to doing the job properly. I hear of all too many cases where less knowledgeable riders do this unaware of the implications, and suffer the consequences.

    Those who've read some of my prior posts probably know that I've never subscribed to the don't take any chances school of bike repair, and find that there's usually lots of forgiveness in bike mechanics, but this is one place where I stand firm. Except for short term use in an emergency, do not close a chain with anything other than the special pin or master link.
    FB
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  25. #25
    Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race dddd's Avatar
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    All true. The special pins don't just have a flared head. There's a barb formed into the leading end that retains the "far" side of the pin also! Just TRY pushing one of these pins out (in either direction)!

    The difference in manufacturer-quoted "pin-power" for proper vs improper attachment is orders of magnitude.

    Take an old chain and push out a pin out a bit, noting the resistance needed at the handle. Next, re-install it "perfectly". Now repeat step one. Any questions?

    Any shop that re-presses modern pushed-out pins is begging for a law suit. Any rider who does this is begging for genital damage or worse.

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