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  1. #1
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    KMC Link Question

    What's the difference between KMC's 'Missing Link' and 'Master Link'? As far as, when to use one or the other? Also, I read that these reusable links should only be used a maximum of 3 times, before replacing. Is this true?

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    I believe "Missing Link" is just KMC's marketing name for their version of a master link. So, there is no real difference.

    Most master links are reusable any reasonable number of times and KMC and Wippermann set no limits on the number of reuses.

    A few master links, SRAM's 10-speed Powerlock for example, are not reusable according to their maker. You install them once and, if you remove them, you install a new one aftterward. Whether that's necessary depends on who you listen to.

    However, even reusable master links are not a lifetime purchase and, at a minimum, should be replaced with a new one if you install a new chain due to wear.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lexi01's Avatar
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    I put one of these links into my chain a while back.

    I recently took the bike into the LBS for a bit of work. When I went in to pick it up I got a smack across the back of the head for installing it and an explanation from the mechanic about how crap they are. He made me promise never to do it again...
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexi01 View Post
    I put one of these links into my chain a while back.

    I recently took the bike into the LBS for a bit of work. When I went in to pick it up I got a smack across the back of the head for installing it and an explanation from the mechanic about how crap they are. He made me promise never to do it again...
    Return the smack across the back of the head and tell the fool you will be taking your business to someone with a clue.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post

    Most master links are reusable any reasonable number of times and KMC and Wippermann set no limits on the number of reuses.
    KMC is playing both sides of the game now. Note the comments of "NON Re-Usable" and "Re-Usable" on this page:
    http://www.kmcchain.eu/?en/products/...missing_links/

    The "NON Re-Usable" has that same stupid elevated latching surface beside the slot just like SRAM 10s. The last new KMC chain I installed had one. Park MLP-1 to the rescue.

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    KMC is saying non-reusable only for the 11speed chains. I have not seen one yet so don't have an explanation for why that is but for the 10sp I've been using the same link for over 10k miles now and on it's 3rd chain and still going strong. I just replace the missing link when the pins start to develop a groove in them. Never had a KMC link fail yet.
    Last edited by Crankycrank; 10-31-12 at 03:06 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
    KMC is saying non-reusable only for the 11speed chains.
    Bzzzt! Take a look at the link in the post above yours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    Bzzzt! Take a look at the link in the post above yours.
    Ooops. Missed that. Wonder what the deal is with that KMC?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
    Ooops. Missed that. Wonder what the deal is with that KMC?
    Me too. When did they change their recommendation? OK. at least Wippermann makes no claims their Connex links aren't reusable.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    I can't imagine why anyone would choose the "non-reusable" version of the KMC link.
    The last new chain I installed had one, and I don't recall seeing any option when I ordered the chain.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    I can't imagine why anyone would choose the "non-reusable" version of the KMC link.
    The last new chain I installed had one, and I don't recall seeing any option when I ordered the chain.
    I used one when I shortened a chain for a compact crank, moved chain , cassette to a bike with a standard crank and because I has pushed the pin all the way out could not add the link back to lengthen the chain. At the time I didn't think I would be moving things around and since the chain was essentially new it was a cheap fix. I still had the removable link but the missing link was cheaper/next to free.

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    I've used the SRAM 9 speed links for years with no problems. Recently I was forced to go to 10 speed on one bike and the chain I got was a KMC with what turned out to be the non-reusable link. It was really difficult to even connect it. I did some online research and ordered some KMC reusable 10 speed links which work well, same as the 9 speed SRAM. It's kind of annoying that SRAM went to non-reusable and that KMC has both kinds. Just have to shop more carefully.

  13. #13
    almost like new Papa Ado's Avatar
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    Reusable Missing Links are by far more popular and we are trying to move all Connecting Links to this style; however, currently, we must continue to offer Non-reusable Missing Links for customers who...how do I put this...don't trust reusable links. Yes, there are customers who demand non-reusable. Therefore, we market non-reusable as an "extreme" version of the Missing Link to be used in situations where the chain is banged around a lot; a situation in which a connecting link might come undone (cue insane DH'er).

    Other notes:
    a) Designs of reusable and non-reusable links are different
    b) Reusable 11 speed Missing Links will be offered very soon

  14. #14
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    One option with the reusable links is that WHENEVER you have the link apart, LUBE IT!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexi01 View Post
    I put one of these links into my chain a while back.

    I recently took the bike into the LBS for a bit of work. When I went in to pick it up I got a smack across the back of the head for installing it and an explanation from the mechanic about how crap they are. He made me promise never to do it again...
    This guy is ignorant and should either be called on his ignorance, or never used again. What does he prefer? The Shimano pin which is very easy to install incorrectly and misunderstood by most casual riders? Pfft.

  16. #16
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    This morning I tried to re-use a missing link that came stock on my bike with KMC chain. I couldn't get the thing to reconnect, so I swapped in a "non-reusable" SRAM link I had in the parts drawer. I lubed the KMC link before trying to get it to snap back together. Is there anything else I'm missing? Could I have the "non-reusable" version?

  17. #17
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Ado View Post
    Reusable Missing Links are by far more popular and we are trying to move all Connecting Links to this style; however, currently, we must continue to offer Non-reusable Missing Links for customers who...how do I put this...don't trust reusable links. Yes, there are customers who demand non-reusable. Therefore, we market non-reusable as an "extreme" version of the Missing Link to be used in situations where the chain is banged around a lot; a situation in which a connecting link might come undone (cue insane DH'er).

    Other notes:
    a) Designs of reusable and non-reusable links are different
    b) Reusable 11 speed Missing Links will be offered very soon
    Woah. Almost missed this one. Are you a KMC representative?
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


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  18. #18
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
    Woah. Almost missed this one. Are you a KMC representative?
    Looks like it.
    Regards,

    Jed

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    A 'Master Link' may also be the ones made for 1/8" chains..
    3 different pieces..

    KMC's, for Derailleur chains is just 2, the same.

  20. #20
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    A 'Master Link' may also be the ones made for 1/8" chains..
    3 different pieces..

    KMC's, for Derailleur chains is just 2, the same.
    That's what I was thinking.

    KMC Missing Link:


    KMC Master Link:


    It's too bad they don't make a 1/8" Missing Link -- there's no good reason not to.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    It's too bad they don't make a 1/8" Missing Link -- there's no good reason not to.
    No reason to. 1/8" chains are used on single speed/fixie drivetrains where side clearance between adjacent cogs isn't an issue so the link can be as wide (and strong) as they desire.

  22. #22
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    No reason to. 1/8" chains are used on single speed/fixie drivetrains where side clearance between adjacent cogs isn't an issue so the link can be as wide (and strong) as they desire.
    I prefer the "missing link" style of connector when taking the chain off for cleaning, though. With the "master link" version, I'm always concerned about bending the clip piece and having it pop off later. So I just resign myself to using the chain tool...
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  23. #23
    almost like new Papa Ado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    It's too bad they don't make a 1/8" Missing Link -- there's no good reason not to.
    Baddabing! 1/8" Missing Link for our Kool Series (K710SL and K710)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    KMC Master Link:


    It's too bad they don't make a 1/8" Missing Link -- there's no good reason not to.
    Agreed. During my first tentative forays into bike maintenance it was either Master links or nothing that I encountered. I did prefer Master Links, as I didn't have a chain breaker. But I have poked my fingers trying to pry the "hairpin" out with a screwdriver, dropped said piece on the ground and had to search for it, and probably encountered every other possible obstacle associated with this piece of engineering.
    Even with the arrival of my 1st chain breaker I still preferred ML, as it was a budget tool on every aspect - clumsy and sloppy.

    What's the name/brand of that chain connector that has both pins on one side plate, both keyhole slots on the other, and which you open/close by bending the chain to pop the slotted sideplate off/on?

  25. #25
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabac View Post
    Agreed. During my first tentative forays into bike maintenance it was either Master links or nothing that I encountered. I did prefer Master Links, as I didn't have a chain breaker. But I have poked my fingers trying to pry the "hairpin" out with a screwdriver, dropped said piece on the ground and had to search for it, and probably encountered every other possible obstacle associated with this piece of engineering.
    Even with the arrival of my 1st chain breaker I still preferred ML, as it was a budget tool on every aspect - clumsy and sloppy.

    What's the name/brand of that chain connector that has both pins on one side plate, both keyhole slots on the other, and which you open/close by bending the chain to pop the slotted sideplate off/on?
    If I remember right the Sram PC1 comes with a link that works like that.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


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