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  1. #1
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Removing SRAM master link

    So I've had this chain on my bike for about 3 months and now want to remove the master link.

    Following all instructions I can find on the topic, I do the following:
    1. Shape the chain in a U with the master link at the top.
    2. Press in on both links to remove pressure on the pins.
    3. At the same time, press inward on the adjacent links to slide the pins in.

    I'm not having much luck doing this by hand. I don't seem to be able to do it with a needlenose and a vise-grip either.

    Anything I'm missing?

    Right now I have decided to let it stew in a bath of Simple Green, hoping it's some dirt that's causing it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Is this a 9s powerLINK, or the 10s powerLOCK?
    If it is the latter, you need the Park MLP-1, since the powerLOCK latches firmly when closed.
    The MLP-1 also makes removing the 9s link easier.

  3. #3
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    How many speeds?

    I remove my 8S links with a couple pairs of needlenose pliers. The key is to squeeze the link together while pushing the pins toward eachother at the same time. It's a bit tricky but you'll get it eventually.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  4. #4
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Sorry it's an 8 speed SRAM chain.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    8s has the powerLINK. it's just like the 9s link, but silver instead of gold-colored.

  6. #6
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    I find that mine are generally clogged with guck after a couple weeks. Clean out the spaces by the pins with a little shot of spray oil, then squeeze on the diagonal. Works every time.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  7. #7
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    After looking at the video of the MLP-1 I bought one for $12.64.

    It's the law for n+1 for bike tools.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    I just go for the brute force method; one pair of normal pliers, diagonally across the link, squeeze hard.

  9. #9
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    I messed with Sram quick links for a couple of years, 8 and 9 speed. Sometimes they'd pop right off, sometimes it was an ordeal. I bought one of the tools and haven't looked back. People keep saying they don't use them and can get the links off no problem, but I don't care, the tool was cheap, I've used it many times, and it just makes the job easy. Right tool for the right job.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    I just go for the brute force method; one pair of normal pliers, diagonally across the link, squeeze hard.
    this

  11. #11
    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    After looking at the video of the MLP-1 I bought one for $12.64.

    It's the law for n+1 for bike tools.
    One of the very handy tools I like for removing the links makes it a simple job.
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
    http://www.jtgraphics.net/cyclist_bicycles.htm

  12. #12
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    So... finally... no matter how much I cleaned the chain, the master link would *almost* pop... but never quite.

    Then the MLP-1 showed up in the mail.

    Thing opened in about two seconds. Thank you, Park Tools, and Shimagnolo for suggesting it.


  13. #13
    12mph+ commuter
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    Seriously, guys?

    8S SRAM chains are a barehanded job. I use my right thumb and my left index finger to put pressure on the link while concurrently pulling chain outwards. It doesn't take a like of force, simply the correct application of a small amount of force.

  14. #14
    Noob mikezs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    I just go for the brute force method; one pair of normal pliers, diagonally across the link, squeeze hard.
    +1

  15. #15
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    After looking at the video of the MLP-1 I bought one for $12.64.

    It's the law for n+1 for bike tools.
    Me too. I am always able to open it by hand, except then my hand are covered in grease. Money well spent.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    Is this a 9s powerLINK, or the 10s powerLOCK?
    If it is the latter, you need the Park MLP-1, since the powerLOCK latches firmly when closed.
    The MLP-1 also makes removing the 9s link easier.
    True dat. I've never had a problem with opening 8 and 9 speed SRAM chains by hand. Yesterday, I just installed my first 10s chain on a new bike I'm building. Man, was that black Powerlock thingy stiff! No way I'm getting that thing off by hand. An MLP-1 is now on order. I also did not know that the Powerlock is one-time use only.

  17. #17
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    I just go for the brute force method; one pair of normal pliers, diagonally across the link, squeeze hard.
    This is what I do. Works like a charm. One gloved hand with a fistful of chain, master link sticking out the top. Grab your pliers and get one jaw on one plate the other on the other, the jaws on the ends without the slots. Then squeeze.

    Use PowerGrip pliers if you got 'em. Their jaws move just right for this job.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Olde Western Auto Cruiser.

  18. #18
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    sram chains, piece of cake!!!!! lol

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    SRAM sucks. Buy KMC next time

    (see Motobecane's KMC thread for the reason behind this useless post)

  20. #20
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherezade View Post
    8S SRAM chains are a barehanded job. I use my right thumb and my left index finger to put pressure on the link while concurrently pulling chain outwards. It doesn't take a like of force, simply the correct application of a small amount of force.
    That has been my experience as well. I tried all kinds of tools to brute force it, then I figured out the right places to apply force and I haven't had a problem since.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pexio View Post
    True dat. I've never had a problem with opening 8 and 9 speed SRAM chains by hand. Yesterday, I just installed my first 10s chain on a new bike I'm building. Man, was that black Powerlock thingy stiff! No way I'm getting that thing off by hand. An MLP-1 is now on order. I also did not know that the Powerlock is one-time use only.
    An LBS employee on here was told by his factory SRAM rep that "one-time-use" means one *chain*, not just one installation.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Or try this from the other thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
    How to remove stubborn quicklinks without special tools. http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Magazine/201107050.pdf
    Looks like it should work well, but haven't tried it yet.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  23. #23
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    I just go for the brute force method; one pair of normal pliers, diagonally across the link, squeeze hard.
    +1, though I don't normally need to squeeze very hard

  24. #24
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    SRAM master links are a pain. If you have a choice, switch to a more use friendly product. I opened my last SRAM master link with a Dremel tool and since then using Wipermann. No tools needed.
    Happier than a camel on wednesday.

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