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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-28-11, 11:46 PM   #1
Coby
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A question about my master link.

I'm such a bike noob, I feel like I should know the answer... but I don't.

I noticed a while back that one gold side of the master link was bent out a bit more than the others. I'm not sure if that's normal, but now looking at it today I noticed that the other gold side has a gap in it now. I'm not sure if this is normal, but I figured I'd ask.




Sorry for the dumb question. I just figured I'd ask and learn while doing so.

Thanks,
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Old 08-29-11, 12:40 AM   #2
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No it's not normal or to put it another way, from the angle of the photograph it should look like the rest.

If it was my chain I would replace the link, taking extra care that it is seated correctly.

BTW ... not a dumb question whatsoever.
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Old 08-29-11, 03:44 AM   #3
ed strodtman
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I'm with Seve, that link looks bent and should be replaced lest it leave you stranded on the road somewhere.
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Old 08-29-11, 05:55 AM   #4
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I don't think it needs replaced but it does need attention. It looks like someone bent it when they were installing the link, honestly you don't need to squeeze them that hard. Take the link apart, pull the plate and pin off. Straighten the link (cross-peen hammer and an anvil) reassemble. The other side looks like it has some crud in it or it isn't fully seated. When you reassemble your chain, give it a little pull to see if it seats.

Also, your chain needs cleaned.
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Old 08-30-11, 02:31 PM   #5
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Alright, thanks guys. I don't have the proper tool for chain removal, but I'll have to get one this weekend. So I just have to replace the masterlink?
I assume a bike shop will carry one, and they're all the same and will work properly?

Thanks again.
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Old 08-30-11, 02:40 PM   #6
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to me it looks like someone tried unlinking in with a screwdriver at some point and used too much twisting force. in any case, I'd definitely recommend straightening it. You're almost to the point of risking catching a derailleur.

There may be different master links depending on chain width, chains for single speed bikes are much wider/thicker than for, say 21-speed bikes.
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Old 08-30-11, 02:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Coby View Post
Alright, thanks guys. I don't have the proper tool for chain removal, but I'll have to get one this weekend. So I just have to replace the masterlink?
I assume a bike shop will carry one, and they're all the same and will work properly?

Thanks again.
You don't need a tool to remove the masterlink, you can do it with your hands.

Squeeze the link in the middle (i.e. push the two side plates towards each other) and while squeezing push the two pins towards each other. The whole thing should come apart in your hands. Then you can clean the chain easily once it's off the bike, and either fix the masterlink or put a new one on. You can reassemble the chain with your hands as well.
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Old 08-30-11, 03:21 PM   #8
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You don't need a tool to remove the masterlink, you can do it with your hands.
Technically, and usually, yes. In reality, a dirty chain will make removal more difficult and occasionally impossible w/o the masterlink tool. I was a bad boy and went too long between chain cleanings and wound up needing the tool.

And yes, this was entirely my fault
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Old 08-30-11, 03:35 PM   #9
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Park Tool sells a little tool that looks somewhat like a needle nose pliers, but with slightly curved inner edges and thin enough to fit into the chain links. Not too expensive, and makes removing a master link very easy. Just insert and squeeze. New master links are only about five bucks, and I'd recommend getting a new one. Yeah, your chain needs cleaning, and probably your cluster and chainring too.

- - - -

Twelve and a half bucks at Amazon.

Park Tool MLP-1 Master Link Pliers

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Old 08-30-11, 03:50 PM   #10
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No need for fancy schmancy Park tools for removal of stuck/dirty links like that. A pair of long needlenose pliers has always worked fine for me. Open them up and place the ends on opposite sides of the chain on the edge of the fixed pin sides of the link and squeeze it open. Sproing! Like magic.
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Old 08-30-11, 05:11 PM   #11
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Technically, and usually, yes. In reality, a dirty chain will make removal more difficult and occasionally impossible w/o the masterlink tool. I was a bad boy and went too long between chain cleanings and wound up needing the tool.

And yes, this was entirely my fault
I guess if there's enough skank on the chain it gets harder. I've had my chain sufficiently dirty that brushing against it left black oily stains on my skin that took several minutes of scrubbing to remove and still took the master link off with my hands.

But as others have said, if you find it fiddly, if you struggle with squeezing it in both directions at once, or if you just don't want to do it with your hands, you can get a tool to make an easy job easier.
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Old 08-31-11, 04:44 PM   #12
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Alright. Got the master link off, straightened the side, cleaned it and put it back on. The link looks much better now, but I'll still get a new one this weekend.

Can anyone recommend a good chain lube?

Thanks guys.
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Old 08-31-11, 06:16 PM   #13
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I still use Tri-FLow for chain lube, when I can find it.
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Old 09-01-11, 12:07 PM   #14
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Can anyone recommend a good chain lube?

Thanks guys.
I like Finish Line. Red cap (dry) when it's nice out, green cap (wet) when it's not.
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Old 09-01-11, 12:13 PM   #15
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Can anyone recommend a good chain lube?
Uh, oh; Here we go again.
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Old 09-01-11, 12:14 PM   #16
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I still use Tri-FLow for chain lube, when I can find it.
+1 although it's a little thin. The wax based lubes with an evaporating media are better in the long run.
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Old 09-01-11, 08:31 PM   #17
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I picked up a spray can of chain lube at the local farm equipment and supplies store, seems good enough to me. They also have the Udder Butter, but that's another subject.
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Old 09-01-11, 08:57 PM   #18
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+1 although it's a little thin. The wax based lubes with an evaporating media are better in the long run.
You do realize that Tri-Flow is an oil-based lube with an evaporating media, right?
After evaporation, there is no longer any odor, and the oil is very similar to KMC's factory chain lube.
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Old 09-01-11, 09:30 PM   #19
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You do realize that Tri-Flow is an oil-based lube with an evaporating media, right?
After evaporation, there is no longer any odor, and the oil is very similar to KMC's factory chain lube.
It's a solvent based lubricant with PTFE and a carrier which does evaporate. It doesn't end up "dry" like some other products so it is messier and can attract grit, but I do often use it on bicycle chains. Triflow and Remoil are the only lubricants I use in my IDPA pistols, but I still prefer the "dry" lubes for motorcycle and bicycle chains.
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