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Old 04-07-11, 01:27 PM   #1
kamilb1998
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Putting a chain on...is it easy?

I've got a new chain for my project bike and I'm waiting for my new chain link tool which should be with me on Thursday the 14th. Are chains easy to put on?
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Old 04-07-11, 01:55 PM   #2
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Using a chain tool, there's not a huge amount that can go wrong really. Most important is to set the correct chain length- for a derailleur bicycle the rule-of-thumb is to find the length that will wrap the large front chainring and large rear sprocket without going through the rear derailleur, then add one inch (two teeth.) If you have just a single front chainring, adding two inches may work better as the derailleur won't be pulled forward as much. For a single speed or hub gear setup you obviously just use the shortest length that works.
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Old 04-07-11, 02:26 PM   #3
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Yeah, it's easy....just try not to get the chain twisted into a mobius strip.
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Old 04-07-11, 02:31 PM   #4
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What kind of chain? Hyperglide chains should not be broken and put back together without the use of special pins or master links like the old style single speed chains, which can be broken and lengthened/shortened this way.
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Old 04-07-11, 02:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamilb1998 View Post
I've got a new chain for my project bike and I'm waiting for my new chain link tool which should be with me on Thursday the 14th. Are chains easy to put on?
Assuming it's not a single-speed (I don't know anything about SS, they may or may not be the same as bikes with derailleurs), if you use something like a SRAM powerlink it's a very simple job. I routinely take my chain off to clean it, you can take the powerlink off with your fingers (no tools required), and it goes back together just as easily.
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Old 04-07-11, 02:44 PM   #6
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Breaking a chain is dead simple with the proper tool. Pushing the pin back in is a little bit tougher. Don't push the pin out too far -no further than you need to in order for the chain to come apart. If you push it all the way out it'll be harder getting it back in. It'll want to skew and bind. Also, there is a technique for loosening up a tight link which you might get when you push the pin back in. The chain tool you get may have instructions for this but basically you use the second set of teeth on the tool to help push the pin while pulling at the side of the chain so it isn't too tight. If you are handy this is pretty obvious and self-explanatory. If not, there is a bunch of info out there online. It's not rocket science. If bike mechanics can figure it out any trained monkey can do the same.

Determining the correct number of links you need is the next thing. It'll be obvious with a single-speed but with a deraileur bike it'll be a bit more work to make sure it isn't too long or too short. Sheldon has a good page for hints on this.
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Old 04-07-11, 02:56 PM   #7
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I like SRAM chains with their speed link. Simple and convenient since it is easy to take the chain off for cleaning. Of course you would still need a chain tool if the length is too long.
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Old 04-08-11, 07:48 PM   #8
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Be careful "reusing" pins or breaking your chain at the same link more than once. The thinner Shimano chains require you replace the pin with a brand new pin and unless you follow instructions carefully you risk a catastrophic chain break possibly leading to personal injury. I suggest careful follow up with your chain manufacture's web site.
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Old 04-08-11, 08:06 PM   #9
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3 issues:

1. Get the chain length right. - See Monster Pete's post.
2. Look for little tabs on your rear derailleur arm. Make sure you thread the chain properly through them. It's one of those things that's obvious but easy to screw up.
3. Don't create a tight link. - See Amesja's post.
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Old 04-08-11, 08:42 PM   #10
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http://bicycletutor.com/quick-release-chain-link/

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

http://bicycletutor.com/calculate-chain-length/
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Old 04-09-11, 12:24 AM   #11
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It's easy, read the directions that will accompany your chain tool, then take your time. There should be more than one video on youtube that will be of help.
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Old 04-09-11, 05:12 AM   #12
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just make sure the pin on the chain tool is lined up with the pin on the chain.. and make sure you buy a good quality tool. i bent the pin on the one i got when it wasn't lined up right

also, when shortening a chain, i learned the hard way not to use the chain tool on links that are not connected on both sides.. it can cause the chain to bend.. i did this and now that chain is too short to be used :'(
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