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  1. #1
    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    Replacing My Chain For The First Time

    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.
    Last edited by redeyedtreefr0g; 05-17-12 at 01:21 PM. Reason: add a note

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You may have put it off too long and need to buy a new cassette too..

  3. #3
    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    The man didn't have whatever he was looking for to measure that, but told me it seemed fine, I did ask.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    New chains include a quick link, it substitutes for an outer link,
    so you are joining 2 inner links, use the chain tool to shorten
    till its like the one that was on there in length.

    there are key hole holes on the quick link, you pull the chain tighter.
    it locks the quick link.

    i have put a small screw driver in the space to pry
    that link into its operating position.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-17-12 at 12:35 PM.

  5. #5
    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    Here are photos of the cassette, if that helps judge it's wear.
    IMG_4049.jpg IMG_4050.jpg IMG_4052.jpg

    The chain ring, if that's important.
    IMG_4053.jpg

    And the new chain
    IMG_4056.jpg

    My problem is that the new chain is one link less than the chain that is on my bike now. Is that ok?

  6. #6
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    Get a new hubby. bk

  7. #7
    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    bkaapcke

    My dad finally got back to me and says the derailleur should make up the one-link difference. I suppose it would have been easier to just swap the chains and see for myself, but I just really didn't want to break my bike.

  8. #8
    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    Zoomie has a new chain! I had to fiddle with my derailleur cable tension again (just did this yesterday to fix random up-shifting issue), and the derailleur seems stretched out quite a bit more, but everything seems to turn smoothly, so I guess its alright. I'll have to see when I ride to work this afternoon.

  9. #9
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    Before you shift into the big rear cog while riding, do it slowly and carefully with the bike upside-down or on a stand. STOP if there is any straining or binding or if the derailleur is obviously stressed. You WILL forget and do it while you are riding and severe damage could result if the chain is now too short.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Here are photos of the cassette, if that helps judge it's wear.
    No It doesn't , I'm pretty much an old pre IT Mechanic .

    I have to see things in front of me. , taking a picture does nothing for me ..

    maybe your father can help with these things, if you are still in same town.

  11. #11
    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
    ...severe damage could result if the chain is now too short.
    Thanks dsbrantjr, I did spin things a few times after putting the new chain on, to be sure it all seemed right. The derailleur is stretched out a bit more than before, but everything seems to be working just fine. My bike feels much faster!

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