I've had my bicycle, Zoomie, since February last year, and recently I stopped in to the local bike shop to ask if they could possibly do anything about the incessant squeaking of the chain.
Well, they didn't fix the squeak right then, but after sitting overnight, the generous application of multiple different bottles of lube had an effect- I had my first quiet ride in a long time- it was a bit odd actually. The man at the shop told me that I needed a new chain, and he showed me on his little metal tool how my chain was a bit past the 1 on his 0-1 measurement tool (1 being bad). Unfortunately, the bike shop is still too expensive for me to convince my husband to support them with $20 for a new chain ($15 for the chain, $5 to install). I thanked him for the free attempt to stop the squeak, and left.
I have a new chain recently installed on Chainless, an 18-speed Huffy. Since my husband robbed her of parts to make Vandal a whole working bike, she has no need of it, and Zoomie does. Zoomie has 7 speeds and a KMC Z-50 (1/2" x3/32") chain. It has 57 outside links. Chainless' chain has 56 links. Is it ok to use that new chain?
Also, if I don't have a new chain for a bike, can I break an old chain from a donor bike and simply push the pin back into it to reuse that chain, or is it then completely unreliable and likely to break while riding? (This question is for a roommate's bike, not Zoomie).
I do have a chain tool (nifty gadget!)
Thanks for your time and advice on these newbie questions. I am still researching but as always, it's usually quicker to simply ask.
Edited to add: Really nervous about the whole thing, I haven't done anything about the chain yet (it's been a few days since my shop visit) because I don't want to break Zoomie's existing chain, and then not have the right one to replace it, or not be able to put the old one back together to be able to ride.