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  1. #1
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    Replacing chains, is it a DIY

    I have a 2010 Trek 2.1 10-speed triple 105 components that needs the chain replaced. How easy are these to replace? Should I just let my bike shop do it? My problem is that there is a long wait time on the bike shop just to replace the chain.

  2. #2
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    The chain needs to be cut and is directional as to the way it is to be installed and should take maybe 10 minutes unless it needs a cassette as well.

  3. #3
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    This ain't rocket science. Buy a chain tool and cut the chain to length. You can use the old chain as a guide. If it is worn out it will be about 3/8" longer than when new. This is a good one. http://www.parktool.com/product/scre...hain-tool-CT-3
    Good info here: http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help And here: http://draco.nac.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8d.2.html

  4. #4
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    Have you measured the chain? It should be good until 12" of chain (24 links) measure 12and1/16".

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    Have you measured the chain? It should be good until 12" of chain (24 links) measure 12and1/16".
    Have not measured the chain yet, but I noticed that the rollers between the plates are moving freely and kinda loose. Is that how it's supposed to be? I've only got about 1200 miles on this chain.

  6. #6
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Any jumping or slipping when you stomp on the pedals?
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  7. #7
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Yes, the rollers are supposed to move freely. It's where the name "roller chain" comes from. Inside the rollers are swaged bushings that are part of the inside links and inside that are the pressed in place pins that are pushed through the outer link plates.

    You really should get a chain tool and do this simple job yourself. That way if you or a riding buddy should ever break a chain out on the road and assuming you have the tool the repair to get home can be done easily instead of having to walk or call for emergency pickup. Knowing how to use a chain tool ranks up there with knowing how to swap a tube when you get a flat in terms of stuff that every rider should be familiar with.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  8. #8
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Buy the chain tool, follow the directions that will be included. Use it to help remove the old chain. Line up the old chain next to the new one, cut the new one to length. Your first time at doing this will be a bit slow, but it really is not a job for the LBS only, you can do it. It'll make you feel good after you've done it as well...

  9. #9
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    If you took decent care of it, you should be able to get way more than 1,200 miles out of your chain. If it's running well and you don't have any specific issue the chain is fine.

    But you do want to replace it before it wears to the point where 24 links (12") measure 12-1/6". Running worn chains increases the rate of wear on your sprockets, and if you wait too long, you'll find yourself shelling out for a new cassette along with the chain. It's easy enough to measure if you passed kindergarten so go ahead and do it, but remember to measure with a bit of tension to be sure you have all the slack out.

    If you buy a chain that uses a connecting link, Sram, KMC or Wippermann among others you'll need a basic chain tool to cut it to length, and a bit of common sense. Some chains are directional, most aren't, but I assume you can read the insert that will come with the chain.

    Other than that there's very little you can do wrong, except to cut it too short (you can buy another connector to make a splice). Chain replacement is one of the easiest DIY bike service jobs, and you shouldn't be intimidated.

    BTW- please don't come back later and ask what to use as a chain lube.
    FB
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    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

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  10. #10
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    I just now noticed that one of the link of the chain is different from the rest. It seems like it can be seperated by just sliding it to a notch. Do I need to buy a seperate tool for this? Do I need a special chain?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleUp View Post
    I just now noticed that one of the link of the chain is different from the rest. It seems like it can be seperated by just sliding it to a notch. Do I need to buy a seperate tool for this? Do I need a special chain?
    I suspect you've found that your chain has one of those no-tool connectors we were describing. So you don't need a tool to remove the chain, you just have to figure out how you connector opens - the various brands are all slightly different.

    If your new chain also uses a connector like this, you'll only need the tool to cut it to the same length as your existing one (assuming it's the right length).

    BTW- take a few minutes to look up some of the free tutorials available. search under "replacing a bicycle chain" and check out a few until you have a clear understanding of the process.

    fb
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    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  12. #12
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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  13. #13
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    Saw a couple last year, the guy looked pretty well fitted but took him 15 minutes to put air to his bike with a simple foot pump, the chick probably did not know how to cook a fried egg. Went with my pump grabbed the chick bike with his authorization and put air to both wheels in 2 minutes, told the girl.. "as you can see its rocket science , neither know english (extra smile)"

    That being said... If you have no idea what are u doing, don't have the tool to do it and you are basically mechanical impaired, the best you can do is to let the shop to do it. besides common sense and know how to figure it out a 10 pieces jigzaw there is nothing out of this world to do that job yourself. Did not want to be rude but some people really have problems in some depts and should not touch a tool ever.

  14. #14
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    I'll take the contrarian position. If you are really interested in learning to do it yourself and do it right I'm all for you. But as easy as it seems there are several ways to screw it up. And if you wind up with a tight link or the wrong length you can cause some serious damage to the bike. If all you want to do is save money just let your LBS do it.

    Learn to measure your chain so that you'll know when to replace it. The number of miles you can get out of a chain without damaging the cassette varies a lot from one rider to another and chains do not all wear at the same rate. When a one foot interval of chain has stretched to 12 1/16 inches it's time to replace it. Wait too long and the new chain will skip on some of the cassette cogs and you'll have to replace the cassette.

  15. #15
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I've installed a few new chains. It's not that tough. Just follow the directions on the Park site or Sheldon Brown's.

    If it was convenient, I'd have my local shop do it. It's not very expensive. If I had to wait and was unable to go on a ride because of the delay, I'd do it myself.

  16. #16
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    Well, I just measured my chain and its 12 1/32 in. So I guess it's not time to replace yet. I have removed chain in the past but those are where you just push the pin out on one side and then you push it back in again from the opposite side. No quick connects involved.

    I have yet to buy a new chain but will most likely stick with Shimano, do all Shimano chains now come with this new connectors? or did the LBS that I bought the bike from just added this?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleUp View Post
    ....

    I have yet to buy a new chain but will most likely stick with Shimano, do all Shimano chains now come with this new connectors? or did the LBS that I bought the bike from just added this?
    Not at all. To my knowledge no Shimano chains come with this kind of connector. Shimano uses a special pin for closing the chain.

    I f you like the convenience of a connector, I suggest that you buy a chain that comes with one, like a KMC or Sram. But you could get a Shimano chain and buy another brand connector to use with it.
    FB
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    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  18. #18
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    From what I have been told, while it would be fine with an 8 speed, you should not be popping and removing regular pins on a 10 speed chain. The chain width is very important to the proper shifting and highly toleranced on a 10 speed because everything is packed in so tight. If you pop out a pin and put it back in, the pin will not sit flush with the others and screw up your shifting. That is why 10 speeds usually have a special connector pin or link of some sort.

  19. #19
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    Here's handy tip I've learned for installing chains: Take some stiff wire (an old piece of spoke, for example) and bend it into a U-shape. This can be used to hold the chain against the tension of the derailleur to simplify the installation of the closing pin or special link.

  20. #20
    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    BTW- please don't come back later and ask what to use as a chain lube.
    Awww. Come on....Don't take the fun out of it....
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  21. #21
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Come on FB, I'll tell him to use your stuff so you don't have to if you want (not that I've actually cracked my bottle yet).

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by aglauser View Post
    Here's handy tip I've learned for installing chains: Take some stiff wire (an old piece of spoke, for example) and bend it into a U-shape. This can be used to hold the chain against the tension of the derailleur to simplify the installation of the closing pin or special link.
    All you need to do to temporarily eliminate the derailleur tension is remove the chain from the chainring and drape it over the bottom bracket shell while you connect the chain.

  23. #23
    Let your bike be the tool cranky old road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    Come on FB, I'll tell him to use your stuff so you don't have to if you want (not that I've actually cracked my bottle yet).
    I've applied my Chain-L and it seems to be performing well. I recommend it FWIW.
    Never try to teach a pig to sing...

  24. #24
    Come on you Spurs! renton's Avatar
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    I also have a 2010 Trek 2.1 and my chain came with a KMC quick link. I now have over 2000 miles and last I checked (not that long ago) the chain didn't need to be replaced.
    You don't need any special tolls to take the chain off, I use pliers.
    My quick link looks like this:
    2915966_155_155.jpg
    Last edited by renton; 04-08-11 at 08:42 PM. Reason: missed a wordy
    2010 Trek 2.1 [105]
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by renton View Post
    I also have a 2010 Trek 2.1 and my chain came with a KMC quick link. I now have over 2000 miles and last I checked (not that long ago) the chain didn't need to be replaced.
    You don't need any special tolls to take the chain off, I use pliers.
    My quick link looks like this:
    2915966_155_155.jpg
    Thanks Renton, that's exactly what I have. When I was looking to buy a new Shimano chain, none of it came with the link. I thought that my LBS just added that but it looks like that's how it came originally.

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