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Old 07-11-08, 09:32 PM   #1
nicoledanielle
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How the *@!&$*# did this happen?!

I'm new here, so let me know if this is in the wrong place!

I'm taking apart one of my bikes because i want to paint it. Took me three weeks to get the back wheel off (stupid stripped nut. filed the whole thing off), and when i did, i discovered that the chain managed to loop itself THROUGH the frame. I have NO idea how this could have happened. After running through all the curse words in existence, i was hoping you guys could tell me how i could possibly remove it. Its like one of those stupid wire puzzles from ******* barrel or something.
Looks like this:

sorry for the crappy pic, it's 10:30 and dark out.

Any idea how it happened, how to reverse it, or how to remove the chain entirely? I have minimal tools, and live in a stupid town in the middle of nowhere, so taking it to a bike shop is unfortunately out of the question.
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Old 07-11-08, 09:36 PM   #2
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Of course the chain is looped through the frame. It has to be in order to track the cassette and chainwheels properly. You just need to get a chain tool like this one: http://www.parktool.com/products/det...at=5&item=CT-3 or this one: http://www.parktool.com/products/det...at=5&item=CT-5
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Old 07-11-08, 09:39 PM   #3
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swear to God it wasn't like that when i started.... Unless i'm just losing it.
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Old 07-11-08, 09:39 PM   #4
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I thought maybe you were just pulling our legs off with this one.
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Old 07-11-08, 09:44 PM   #5
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I could have sworn it wasn't like that when I started. Cause I almost had the damn thing off, but the wheel wouldn't give me enough wiggle room. And uh, any chance wal mart would have one of those? It's the only thing we've got here, and i don't have time to go anywhere else for several weeks.
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Old 07-11-08, 09:53 PM   #6
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It doesn't look like it goes through the frame when the bike is together, but it does. It's the only way to get it assembled correctly.
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Old 07-11-08, 10:00 PM   #7
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may have to order that one online, they don't have them at the walmart around here, you sure you don't have an LBS somewhere near? google your home town
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Old 07-11-08, 10:04 PM   #8
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That's the way bikes are. You have to unlink a chain to get it on or off the bike. Trace the path of the chain on one of your other bikes that you mentioned and see. You'll find that it loops through and interlocks with the triangle formed by the right-hand seat stay, the right-hand chain stay, and the seat tube.
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Old 07-11-08, 10:09 PM   #9
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By the way, have you ever seen some of the neat new tools that have been advertised in the past couple of years for dealing with stripped nuts and and bolts and screw heads? Check Craftsman tools from Sears.
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Old 07-11-08, 10:24 PM   #10
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swear to God it wasn't like that when i started.... Unless i'm just losing it.
Not losing it, probably tired and too close to the problem.
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Old 07-11-08, 10:41 PM   #11
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Do you have an REI membership? They sell chain tools mail order.
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Old 07-11-08, 10:46 PM   #12
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This is a cute thread.

Yes, a chain tool is what you need. I know it's frustrating, (I've had THOSE nights) but maybe if you take a break (since it's late) and get some sleep you'll be able to focus better. You are pretty excited about getting that wheel off but you won't get it painted tonight so don't let it bother you. Tomorrow you will be fresh and be able to research for a chain tool easier.

Be sure to keep us posted on the paint!
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Old 07-11-08, 10:50 PM   #13
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Walmart sells a chain tool, it's $4 or so. That's where I got mine.

Also check if there's a master link, where you can pry the little clips off and just take it apart- not sure if all chains are like that or not.

You COULD leave the chain on there and work around it. Maybe wrap the chain in aluminum foil to protect it.
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Old 07-11-08, 10:51 PM   #14
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The Walmarts here in Dallas carry them. They have a large line of Bell products such as helmets, chains, tubes, tool bags and a small selection of bike tires. The bikes are over by the toys section.
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Old 07-12-08, 05:38 AM   #15
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It's called a chain stay for a reason.

If you remove chain, you will need to put it back on after you paint. I'd leave it on unless it's old and worn out.

Sort of like a dog.... Good chain, sit, stay.
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Old 07-12-08, 05:40 AM   #16
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You might not need a chain tool.

Carefully examine every single link of your chain. If you find one that's different from the rest, it's a master link. Use a needle nose pliers or something to release the snap clip and the chain will come apart.
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Old 07-12-08, 05:46 AM   #17
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Getting the chain tool is one thing, using it is another. This could develop into a fascinating story of mechanical frustration judging by the fact the rear wheel took three weeks to get off, and had to be butchered to do so.

Good meaning advice is one thing, reality is another. I say wait the time required for the opportunity to take the bike to a bike shop to get the chain off, then put back on again after the paint job is done.
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Old 07-12-08, 01:28 PM   #18
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Thanks, guys. Guess it just was one of those days. Good thing i'm getting my practice out on my cheap bike. haha. Never actually taken the WHOLE bike apart before.

I've decided the darn thing was sent from some karmic abyss to reprimand me for... something or another. The tubes are continually going flat, and the whole thing's got a lovely wobble to it. It was my first grown-up bike, so i didn't really know what i was getting myself into. I got so mad that somewhere over the course of a few weeks i may have hit the rear fork just a teensy bit with a hammer... repeatedly... wasn't aiming for that, was aiming for the nut holding the wheel on, but i'm not exactly a champion marksman.
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Old 07-12-08, 02:19 PM   #19
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Thanks, guys. Guess it just was one of those days. Good thing i'm getting my practice out on my cheap bike. haha. Never actually taken the WHOLE bike apart before.

I've decided the darn thing was sent from some karmic abyss to reprimand me for... something or another. The tubes are continually going flat, and the whole thing's got a lovely wobble to it. It was my first grown-up bike, so i didn't really know what i was getting myself into. I got so mad that somewhere over the course of a few weeks i may have hit the rear fork just a teensy bit with a hammer... repeatedly... wasn't aiming for that, was aiming for the nut holding the wheel on, but i'm not exactly a champion marksman.
Marksmanship with a hammer is the same as with a firearm, it is only achieved through practice… But, I will convey one bit of wisdom, that was conveyed to me, and also learned through twenty years of being a professional mechanic, on every thing from farm equipment, to motorcycles, to semi-trucks and trailers.

“Always use the right tool for the right job“… if you don’t know what the right tool is; do some research, and find out which tool most other people use. Most people, can take apart almost anything with an adjustable wrench, two screwdrivers, and a hammer, but it’s not always pretty… and it’s a lot harder work than it would be with the right tools.

There is a wealth of information here… http://www.parktool.com/
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Old 07-12-08, 04:24 PM   #20
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Yeah, the darn thing was stripped and wouldn't budge an inch. I actually broke the tip of my socket wrench off on it. I filed edges back onto it, and it snapped my wrench. I ended up filing the whole nut off, which took freakin forever. Not sure what sort of tools you're supposed to use for removing stripped nuts, but i tried everything i could find on the internet, aside from a blow torch and a metal saw. And a nutbuster. Our hardware store hadn't heard of them.
So in the end, i filed and tapped it with the hammer over and over. Worked in the end, but it wasn't pretty. Or fun.
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Old 07-12-08, 06:02 PM   #21
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I certainly admire your determination.
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Old 07-12-08, 06:20 PM   #22
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Just reinforces what I say. Better still, save your efforts and money and buy a new bike.
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Old 07-12-08, 06:35 PM   #23
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I have a simple quick way to get your chain off, just use bolt cutters. Problem solved.
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Old 07-12-08, 07:27 PM   #24
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Just reinforces what I say. Better still, save your efforts and money and buy a new bike.
I have two other bikes, actually. I'm just using this one to practice painting. It's a nice little cruiser, and cruisers have a place in my life too. Besides, she's got sentimental value. :.P

Ok, bought one of those little tools from wal mart, and it took like a half hour (cause i'm a weakling, i guess) to get the chain apart, but I'm DONE! :.) Goodbye, nineties teal crackle paint. I'll see you in hell!

Thanks for all the support, guys! Hopefully i'll be ready to primer tomorrow, although at the rate this is going it may be several years. Anyone have painting tips for a beginner? I've read lots of online tutorials and stuff, but i'm still a bit nervous. i plan on using a rattle can, just because i won't have access to a paint sprayer for a couple of weeks and i want to get this one DONE.
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Old 07-12-08, 07:39 PM   #25
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OMG! This is now one of my favorite threads. The OP's frustration, genuine puzzlement and enthusiasm to take on a challenging task that was above her understanding, (we have ALL been there). I'm also very glad to see that a lot of regular BFers explained it without putting her down.
Good stuff!

Now, nicoledanielle, I learned more about how a bike works by painting my frame. The painting part was actually easy. It was the disassembling and reassembling that had me scratching my head. I had to refer to the Bicycle Mechanics forum here, sheldonbrown.com and parktool.com to get everything back in working order. Keep after it and please post pictures when you are done.
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