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  1. #1
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    Can this chain be removed by hand?

    It is a 10 cog cassette, PC-1051 chain

    http://i.imgur.com/57mxu.jpg

    I want to remove it so I can clean the chain with minerals spirits in a coffee can. This chain was bought new and has about 800 miles without being cleaned. I want to learn how to remove my chains and clean/lube them myself so they will last longer.

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    The PowerLock will be on to tight for hand removal, you will need a pliers for removal. The correct tool is a Master Link Pliers but it can be done with needle nose pliers. Although the PowerLock link is officially for one-time use only, others will tell you that it is safe to reuse.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    This will do it: http://www.parktool.com/product/mast...k-pliers-mlp-1

    The black SRAM 10s links snap together when installed, so you can't get them apart with just fingers alone.
    As for removing by *hand*, I've heard of people using a very pointy needle nose pliers, or slipping a piece of wire through the link then twisting the ends, or using a channel lock pliers on diagonally opposite corners, but if you are going to do something, there is no substitute for having the right tool for the job.

  4. #4
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bezalel View Post
    The PowerLock will be on to tight for hand removal, you will need a pliers for removal. The correct tool is a Master Link Pliers but it can be done with needle nose pliers. Although the PowerLock link is officially for one-time use only, others will tell you that it is safe to reuse.
    Huh. I've had no problems reusing the SRAM master links multiple times. I don't recall that they were one-time-use. The KMC master links, on the other hand, are one-time-use. Mine are on 9-speed systems, though.

    FWIW: in order to remove by hand, try cleaning out the link with WD-40. It helps to get the built-up gunk out of the way before manipulating the link.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    While the SRAM masters are easily good for more than one attach and reconnect it's not a wise idea to make a habit of it such as for cleaning chains. A far better option is to get one of the Park or similar three wheelbrush cleaning gizmos that allow you to clean the chain right on the bike.

    Or in a pinch get a long wide pan of some sort and pour in some mineral spirits and while holding the pan under the chain use an old toothbrush to scrub it clean. While it's wet back pedal a lot as well to aid the solvent in getting inside all the pins. Slop it down well, backpedal about ten cranks worth then scrub the chain off with spirits from the pan. Repeat a time or two then blot it dry with some paper towel. Pour the dirty spirits into a sealable jar to settle for re-use. Wipe out the pan and use a little more spirits for the final scrub down. By the time you do this twice the stuff coming off the chain onto the paper towel should be only lightly grey. If it's still leaving seriously black stains then do the whole pour out and new spirits a third time.

    This way is actually better than doing it in a jar or tin where you're not changing the spirits because you're using cleaner spirits as the chain comes clean so it's doing a better job of getting out the residual grit and comtaminants.

    I normally get my Powerlinks to come off by hand by sqeezing the outer plates together and then lightly but firmly flex the chain side to side. This seems to work the snap connetions apart. And as I say, when done ONLY a couple of times in the life of the chain it doesn't seem to degrade the connection to any noticable degree.
    Last edited by BCRider; 07-03-11 at 06:10 PM.
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    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    One more time people:
    8s(silver), 9s(gold) SRAM PowerLINKS - removable with fingers
    10s(black) SRAM PowerLOCKS - snap together and require a tool to take them apart.

    Also KMC has used at least 3 different designs of master links. The one shipping with the 10s chains is the same design as the Superlink & SRAM 8s & 9s links, and is easily removable/reuseable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    Huh. I've had no problems reusing the SRAM master links multiple times. I don't recall that they were one-time-use.
    For 10 speed chains SRAM uses a PowerLock which officially is for one-time use for 9-speed and lower they uses a PowerLink which is reusable.

  8. #8
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    will this tool remove the chain?

    http://i.imgur.com/Uye4l.jpg

  9. #9
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Have you tried removing it by hand yet? You may be surprised that it comes off fairly easily.

    That tool in the link is for breaking a chain or removing a pin to allow removing a chain that has no master link. You'll need one of those when you go to fit a new chain in order to "cut" it at the right spot but it's not what you would use for pinching a master link together to allow removal.
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  10. #10
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bezalel View Post
    For 10 speed chains SRAM uses a PowerLock which officially is for one-time use for 9-speed and lower they uses a PowerLink which is reusable.
    Ah, so... one more reason to not "upgrade" to 10-speed.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    While the SRAM masters are easily good for more than one attach and reconnect it's not a wise idea to make a habit of it such as for cleaning chains. A far better option is to get one of the Park or similar three wheelbrush cleaning gizmos that allow you to clean the chain right on the bike.

    Or in a pinch get a long wide pan of some sort and pour in some mineral spirits and while holding the pan under the chain use an old toothbrush to scrub it clean. While it's wet back pedal a lot as well to aid the solvent in getting inside all the pins. Slop it down well, backpedal about ten cranks worth then scrub the chain off with spirits from the pan. Repeat a time or two then blot it dry with some paper towel. Pour the dirty spirits into a sealable jar to settle for re-use. Wipe out the pan and use a little more spirits for the final scrub down. By the time you do this twice the stuff coming off the chain onto the paper towel should be only lightly grey. If it's still leaving seriously black stains then do the whole pour out and new spirits a third time.

    This way is actually better than doing it in a jar or tin where you're not changing the spirits because you're using cleaner spirits as the chain comes clean so it's doing a better job of getting out the residual grit and comtaminants.

    I normally get my Powerlinks to come off by hand by sqeezing the outer plates together and then lightly but firmly flex the chain side to side. This seems to work the snap connetions apart. And as I say, when done ONLY a couple of times in the life of the chain it doesn't seem to degrade the connection to any noticable degree.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/chain-care.html

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    Ah, so... one more reason to not "upgrade" to 10-speed.
    Not really. Just pick up the Park MLP-1. It also makes removing the 8s/9s links easier. All SRAM did on the 10s link is add a tiny shelf to the sides of the slot to cause a "latching" effect. There is no functional difference from the 8s/9s links.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    Ah, so... one more reason to not "upgrade" to 10-speed.
    Or to use Wippermann chains. Their 10-speed Conex link is quiet, durable and easily removed by hand.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Likewise the KMC chains.

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