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-   -   Removing a KMC 'missing link' without KMC's tool (http://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/941426-removing-kmc-missing-link-without-kmcs-tool.html)

dscheidt 04-03-14 09:53 PM

I don't generally have problems undoing master links, but the last chain I replaced on my beater (which was pretty well rust and gunk covered, and old) wouldn't come undone, even with a tool. Chain breaker worked fine, since it was junk.

Gerryattrick 04-04-14 02:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loimpact (Post 16639517)
Care to point us in the right direction???

(I tried looking but not having good luck. The strength of a tool like this is in the hinge point. Small jaws & lots of handle make for lots of torque. One might immediately assume snap-ring pliers, but I've also read forums where they say they don't work like the Park tool does)

TIA

Birzman Chain Link Removing Tool | Evans Cycles

This is in the UK, but I'm sure there are similar available in the US.

loimpact 04-04-14 07:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gerryattrick (Post 16640635)
Birzman Chain Link Removing Tool | Evans Cycles

This is in the UK, but I'm sure there are similar available in the US.

And you'd think there would be, but unfortunately, that's not the case. It appears that between amazon & ebay, there just ain't much showing under $10, so might as well just order the Park or KMC tool around $13-$15 anyway.

lostarchitect 04-04-14 09:52 AM

wiggle wiggle wiggle pop!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG2WW5CTIqc

redlude97 04-04-14 11:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RandomTroll (Post 16640224)
Darn!


I'm not sure I have it right. What you recommend sounds obvious, and what I tried. Let me see if I understand: pinch one end of the ML with the thumb and index finger behind the pin, do the same for the other end with the other hand, squeeze the link between each thumb and finger, then push both ends together. That it? I thought I tried that.

It's curious that some people have no idea what I'm talking about - they've never had a problem using their fingers, and one guy never had a problem until he used a KMC. I've been working with chains for years but always used a chain tool after the first 'miracle link' installation; the early ones worked only once.

Here's the KMC tool for $9.45 KMC Missing Link Opener @ eBikeStop.com . I find almost any bike part cheaper at a bike site than Amazon. Shipping makes a difference for some, of course. Same people sell KMC chains by the box of 25 cheap.

I only need the tool for 10 speed chains which may be the discrepancy.

Velocivixen 04-04-14 11:58 AM

I just did this last night and I didn't have a paperclip, but had thick wire. I cut piece of wire about 4" long, then bent each end at 90 degrees - sort of like a "U" shape, but longer and straighter. I placed the ends of the wire between chain links to help take tension off the chain, freeing up the links where the master link goes and it made it easier to do the squeeze & push routine. Hope this helps.

contango 04-04-14 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RandomTroll (Post 16640224)
Darn!


I'm not sure I have it right. What you recommend sounds obvious, and what I tried. Let me see if I understand: pinch one end of the ML with the thumb and index finger behind the pin, do the same for the other end with the other hand, squeeze the link between each thumb and finger, then push both ends together. That it? I thought I tried that.

It's curious that some people have no idea what I'm talking about - they've never had a problem using their fingers, and one guy never had a problem until he used a KMC. I've been working with chains for years but always used a chain tool after the first 'miracle link' installation; the early ones worked only once.

Here's the KMC tool for $9.45 KMC Missing Link Opener @ eBikeStop.com . I find almost any bike part cheaper at a bike site than Amazon. Shipping makes a difference for some, of course. Same people sell KMC chains by the box of 25 cheap.

That sounds about right. What you've got is two halves, each of which has a plate and a pin, and each pin has a slightly thinner section near the end to interlock with the plate of the other piece of the link. So what you need to do is push the two plates closer together and the two ends closer together so you can disengage the pin from the link, then the two should slide freely until they come apart.

The first few times I tried to do it I found it a bit of a faff, not least because the chain kept bending around what I was trying to do. I think I take the tension off the chain so it's slack and hold the ends between by little fingers and palms, so I'm only working with the link and not fighting the chain tension as well. If you've got a chain hook (or anything to take the tension off the section with the missing link) that would do as well.

Metaluna 04-04-14 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loimpact (Post 16641030)
And you'd think there would be, but unfortunately, that's not the case. It appears that between amazon & ebay, there just ain't much showing under $10, so might as well just order the Park or KMC tool around $13-$15 anyway.

Go for the Park 1.2 tool. It's the same price as the KMC (maybe a dollar or two more), and they added a second set of indentations so you can use them to install the link as well as remove it. Some of the KMC links are very tight when they're new and need a lot of force to snap them together.

Metaluna 04-04-14 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by contango (Post 16638693)
I use KMC X9 chains and just open the link with my hands. Squeeze the plates together, then push the ends together, and it opens. If you push the ends slightly together as you squeeze the plates together that may help.

The problem is, there seems to be quite a bit of variation in the amount of force required to join and separate KMC links. Some versions just slide apart with almost no force, as long as you squeeze the side plates together, as you mentioned. But it seems like lately all the 10 speed links I've used need quite a bit of force (as in requiring a tool) to snap them in or out, at least until they've worn a bit. My guess is this is a fairly recent (like within the past 4-5 years) and intentional design change rather than sloppy quality control. I haven't used a 9 speed KMC lately (though I do have one that I will be using once my current 9 speed SRAM wears out), so I don't know if this only applies to the narrower chains.

Wanderer 04-04-14 03:08 PM

The 9spd links are pretty tough when new...... Once they have been opened a few times, they get a lot easier, but are still secure.

rpenmanparker 04-04-14 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Metaluna (Post 16642236)
Go for the Park 1.2 tool. It's the same price as the KMC (maybe a dollar or two more), and they added a second set of indentations so you can use them to install the link as well as remove it. Some of the KMC links are very tight when they're new and need a lot of force to snap them together.

There is no difficulty locking the link if you place the assembled link on the top run of chain, hold the rear wheel, and turn the crank forward. Using the crank to apply the force makes it easy.

dwmckee 04-04-14 05:30 PM

1 Attachment(s)
All of this is why I finally switched to Wippermann master links last year. No tools, 2 seconds to open, never stuck, reliable. http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=372883

dsaul 04-04-14 06:25 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I just position the needle nose pliers at an angle to the plates, so that squeezing pushes them in the right direction to open the link. Works every time.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=372894http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=372895

Metaluna 04-04-14 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rpenmanparker (Post 16642626)
There is no difficulty locking the link if you place the assembled link on the top run of chain, hold the rear wheel, and turn the crank forward. Using the crank to apply the force makes it easy.

True, and that's how I usually do it. The point I was making though, is if someone is going to buy one of these tools anyway, then it makes sense to get the one that has the most functionality for about the same money. I can think of a few cases where being able to close a tight link would come in handy.

zukahn1 04-04-14 10:53 PM

OK whats wrong with the approaved recomended method of just punching it out with a chain tool and replacing the master link seems pretty simple.

melloveloyellow 04-05-14 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zukahn1 (Post 16643313)
OK whats wrong with the approaved recomended method of just punching it out with a chain tool and replacing the master link seems pretty simple.

I re-use these links, many times. A chain tool destroys the link.

zukahn1 04-05-14 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by melloveloyellow (Post 16644016)
I re-use these links, many times. A chain tool destroys the link.

Yes you can and should be able to to re-use these master links many times but if one is stuck or difficult the easiest best solution is just to replace it doesn't make sense to spend alot of time or effort messing with a questionable master link.

RandomTroll 04-06-14 01:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zukahn1 (Post 16643313)
OK whats wrong with the approaved recomended method of just punching it out with a chain tool and replacing the master link seems pretty simple.

I've always used a chain tool. I've had no problem reusing the link I punched out either. 'Miracle Links' are easier to use: if I can make them work I will use them. If I can't I won't. I asked for pointers.

contango 04-06-14 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zukahn1 (Post 16643313)
OK whats wrong with the approaved recomended method of just punching it out with a chain tool and replacing the master link seems pretty simple.

Because it makes as much sense as kicking down your front door and replacing it, rather than bothering with using the key to open the lock? The whole point of the missing links is that you don't need to punch out links.

MikeWMass 04-06-14 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zukahn1 (Post 16643313)
OK whats wrong with the approaved recomended method of just punching it out with a chain tool and replacing the master link seems pretty simple.

What are you punching out? The missing links I have don't have punchable pins. If you punch out the pins on one of the chain links, it seems to me you will end up with a shorter chain.
I use DSaul's method the first time or two, after which they open easily enough by hand. I just join and open them a few times before I put it on the bike. I have never had to break a chain on the road (knock wood!) but I carry a spare master link and my multitool does have a chainbreaker.

RocThrower 04-08-14 09:10 AM

Didn't really want to start a new thread, so I'm kind of piggy-backing on this.

Has anyone been reusing the KMC 11 Missling Link, despite the fact that they are labeled "non-reusable"? On my 9 speed bike, the link was reusable, but as of now I've not seen any reusable 11 speed links. I've read that some people have had success reusing them, and some people have even used the reusable 10 speed links on their 11 speed chains.

In other words, I'm cheap and don't want to replace links or pins every time I remove my chain. :)

BikeWise1 04-08-14 10:34 AM

1 Attachment(s)
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=373518

This is all it takes. It's all about the angle at which you set the jaws on the link. I do about 10 chains a day, and it never takes more than 5 seconds.


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