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Old 12-06-07, 03:25 PM   #1
zoeglassjd
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XMart Bell Chains: OK in a pinch?

We are a car-light family and my wife is away with the vehicle this week. I got into a bit of a pinch in which I needed a new chain. I was not able to get to the bike shop, but able to get to a box store (not normally a shopper there). I picked up a bell chain with a bell "quick link" so I could commute today (and probably in the future).

I am wondering: do others use/have used the bell chain? Have you had any problems with them? Do you love em?

I am pretty certain I wouldn't put it on my roadie or mtb, but on my commuter where I do a 4 mile relaxed commute it seems ok.

Thanks for any feedback!
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Old 12-06-07, 04:39 PM   #2
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I used one on my single speed mountain bike for almost a year before I broke it. It didn't actually break, one of the links just came apart. I just pressed it back together and am still using it. Make sure if you use the master link that came with it that the opening of the clip faces the rear when it is on the top of the chain, or else it will get knocked off.
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Old 12-06-07, 04:42 PM   #3
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I put one on one of my bikes a while back. If you go that route, you HAVE to lube it regularly. I can be a little lax about that and this bugger showed rust fairly quickly.

The SRAM chains I use now are considerably more rust resistant.
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Old 12-06-07, 04:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
Make sure if you use the master link that came with it that the opening of the clip faces the rear when it is on the top of the chain, or else it will get knocked off.
This is a good tip. I'll have to check to see if I did this. Will the additional torque on top pull it open? I actually realized I need to resize a bit, I may just take the quick link out when I do. I guess that's the scariest part. I generally lube in the winter on the commuter every other or every third day when in the slosh.

Shooter, if you used it on a SS mtb I think it can take my commuting stroll. Did yours have a quick link on it?

Thanks.
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Old 12-06-07, 04:59 PM   #5
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I bought a Bell chain at Wal-Mart for my 10-speed road bike back in September. I have 427 flawless miles on it. The instructions that come with it tell about the correct orientation of the master link. It shifts well and runs very quietly. I have been lubricating it with new motor oil.
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Old 12-06-07, 06:15 PM   #6
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Bell Chains are ok...think somebody said KMC makes them. The chains they sell at OSH are decent and price competitive....the kids around my area love the gold colored chain for their MTN and SS bikes. OSH is where I pickup spare master links.
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Old 12-06-07, 06:39 PM   #7
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They're just cheapo KMC chains that your LBS also sells.
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Old 12-06-07, 07:29 PM   #8
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That's all I use on my Townie3, is two Bell chains linked together for the length. Works fine, even for heavy towing.

On my derailler equipped bikes I've gone to SRAM when the stock chain needs replacing.
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Old 12-06-07, 07:46 PM   #9
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I will Ditto the KMC I have a couple in the Bell packaging that say KMC on the side plates. I would think using them on a light use low miles bike is okay, but I don't think I would want to head off on a world tour on one.

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Old 12-06-07, 08:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter Make sure if you use the master link that came with it that the opening of the clip faces the rear when it is on the top of the chain, or else it will get knocked off.

This is a good tip. I'll have to check to see if I did this. Will the additional torque on top pull it open? I actually realized I need to resize a bit, I may just take the quick link out when I do. I guess that's the scariest part. I generally lube in the winter on the commuter every other or every third day when in the slosh.

Shooter, if you used it on a SS mtb I think it can take my commuting stroll. Did yours have a quick link on it?

Thanks.



All my motorcycle chains use the same sort of master link. With the direction that the chain is moving they will get knocked off if they are on wrong. I had the dealer install a new chain and sprockets on my Ducati Monster and they put the clip the wrong way. It was gone when I got home. I was lucky the chain didn't come off. I haven't let anyone but me work on any of my bikes since.
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Old 12-06-07, 10:40 PM   #11
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Holy smokes. If you want a job done right...



don't go to the dealer apparently. Thanks for easing my mind everyone.
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Old 12-09-07, 10:41 AM   #12
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They do indeed work well. I wouldn't do any extended trips on them without backup, but then again I wouldn't do that with any chain.
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Old 12-09-07, 01:18 PM   #13
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I had one once on an old 10 speed. I had problem with the Master Link.
The pin seem just a bit too short, and the clip didn't secure it well enough.
I'd usually catch it in time, but once I didn't and the chain separated, ripping the Fder into a pretzel.
IF I had a chain tool at the time, I could have just removed the Master link when I shortened the chain and it would have been fine.
So my caveat is make sure the Master Link closes securely!
A local "sporting goods & more" store carries the KMC Z51 for $6, so that's what I buy now. I just expect to put on a new one each Spring for that price.
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Old 12-09-07, 04:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
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They do indeed work well. I wouldn't do any extended trips on them without backup, but then again I wouldn't do that with any chain.
Do you actually carry a "backup" chain on extended trips? My backup would be to carry $5-10 to buy another chain at the nearest Xmart or LBS in the unlikely event that one failed while riding. My Track record: zero chain failures in over 50 years of cycling. I currently use Bell Chains without any problems.
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