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  1. #1
    GT4
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    Multi tool chain breakers

    Has anyone been successful with using the TINY chain breaker that comes with many multi tools? I haven't and I want to say it's a useless piece of metal. I need some LEVERAGE! I also feel that many bike multi tools come with a plethora of other useless hex keys, anyone else agree?


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    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT4 View Post
    Has anyone been successful with using the TINY chain breaker that comes with many multi tools? I haven't and I want to say it's a useless piece of metal. I need some LEVERAGE! I also feel that many bike multi tools come with a plethora of other useless hex keys, anyone else agree?

    I don't know right off hand who made my multi-tool with the chain breaker but I haven't found it hard to use. It wouldn't be my choice for a shop tool but on the road it works well enough to push out a pin. I tend to carry spare master links so I haven't tried pushing a pin back in.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

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    Senior Member TiBikeGuy's Avatar
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    Usually a multi-tool chain breaker doesn't work as well as a proper chain tool. I carry the Park Tool CT-5. It has served me well over the years. Never buy a tool just because it is small and light because it doesn't have the reach, strength and leverage to do a proper job.

  4. #4
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    Sorry, but I've had a number of them and correctly used, I've never had any problems with any of them. Using a chain-hook makes things easier, but what is the old saying about a bad workman always blaming his tool?

    - Wil
    "" - Marcel Marceau

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    I have the Crank Bros tool similar to the one pictured. I used the chain tool at home when my Park tool had a bent pin. It worked fine for a 9 speed chain. I think it would be perfectly adequate for dismantling a broken link in order to use a removable link.

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I use the Park Tool MTB-3 Rescue Tool and have never had a problem with the chain breaker. When I buy a multi-tool I will use it on a bike tune up just to make sure I am comfortable with the tool and everything works the way I expect it too. That way there are no surprises on the road, when I have to use it. For normal maintenance and repair I use my full sized tools.

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    Senior Member ka0use's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wil Davis View Post
    Sorry, but I've had a number of them and correctly used, I've never had any problems with any of them. Using a chain-hook makes things easier, but what is the old saying about a bad workman always blaming his tool?

    - Wil
    priceless!
    i have a crank mb5 that is super. only the allens i need plus a screwdriver (for the brakes. incompetent to adjust the screws that must not be touched [derailer screws]). i broke a small chain tool by not having it centered on the pin. a $10 lesson.
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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    I have a CB tool similar to the one pictured and a Lezyne combo tool with chain breaker which is quite similar. Both have worked fine, but they do take a fair amount of hand strength because of the short lever arm of the anvil portion.

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    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
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    I have a similar CB tool, it's blue and was 20$ at mec. It's saved me a couple of times. I've no trouble getting that tool to work properly.

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    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    If used as per the instructions, those multi-tools (in particular the one in the photo posted), will provide the same leverage as a shop tool. If you need more leverage than that - there's an issue with your approach.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    If used as per the instructions, those multi-tools (in particular the one in the photo posted), will provide the same leverage as a shop tool...
    Handle on multi-tool anvil is 1.25" long. Shop tool handle is > 4.0". That's 3.2x the leverage. Plus, it's lot easier to grab a 4" handle than hold onto 1.25" tab.

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    I have Nashbar's multi-tool with the wooden side pieces and have used it successfully a couple times to rescue people stranded by the side of the road with a broken chain. I've also used it to remove an old chain before replacing it with a new one. Haven't noticed any issues with insufficient leverage.

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    Senior Member Milice's Avatar
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    sitting next to a quarter for scale, to bad they don't make this bad boy any more its all you need on the road or trail.
    chain pup.jpg
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    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Handle on multi-tool anvil is 1.25" long. Shop tool handle is > 4.0". That's 3.2x the leverage. Plus, it's lot easier to grab a 4" handle than hold onto 1.25" tab.
    I'd judge leverage by the length of the lever arm - center of rotation to end of arm. On a Shimano Pro that's 1 5/8 inches. On a Pedros Pro Chain Tool 2.0 that's 2 1/2 inches. On a Pedros Tutto that's 1 7/8 inches. All the handles on those are fixed.

    Conversely, on a Park Tool CT-5, if you slide the leverage arm to one side, its 2 1/2 inches, and a Pedros Tulio, using the chain tool and the supplied extension, its 2 1/4 inches. For the particular tool that started this thread, its apparently 3 1/2 inches.

    The shop tools can be more convenient, but not always. I prefer to use a CT-5 in the shop myself - the feedback through the tool is better. But if you have your own preferences - whatever works for you is fine with me.
    Last edited by Burton; 01-20-13 at 07:44 PM.

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    maybe instead of LEVERAGE, you need a little dexterity to align the pin on the tool to the pin on the chain. And then maybe a few rounds at the weight room to strengthen your grip. they are pretty easy to operate.

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    And don't bother trying to put the chain back together with one of those. Keep a couple of quick links with you.

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    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    And don't bother trying to put the chain back together with one of those. Keep a couple of quick links with you.
    LOL - Usually pushing a pin in is a lot easier than taking it out! What kind of tool were you using that gave you an issue?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    I'd judge leverage by the length of the lever arm - center of rotation to end of arm. On a Shimano Pro that's 1 5/8 inches. On a Pedros Pro Chain Tool 2.0 that's 2 1/2 inches. On a Pedros Tutto that's 1 7/8 inches. All the handles on those are fixed.

    Conversely, on a Park Tool CT-5, if you slide the leverage arm to one side, its 2 1/2 inches, and a Pedros Tulio, using the chain tool and the supplied extension, its 2 1/4 inches. For the particular tool that started this thread, its apparently 3 1/2 inches.

    The shop tools can be more convenient, but not always. I prefer to use a CT-5 in the shop myself - the feedback through the tool is better. But if you have your own preferences - whatever works for you is fine with me.

    There are two levers involved and they experience opposite and equal torques, the lever turning the pin and the lever holding the anvil. The shorter one requires the most force to hold. In the case of most mini-tools, the lever on the pin is reasonably long but the lever on the anvil is short.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I'll admit they have their place, but I'm not a fan of multi-tools. I also think that the more functions they yave, the less useful they become because it gets so awkward to orient the tool to do what you need. Tightening a water bottle cage, for example, is often impossible with a multi-tool.

    Somewhere I have a Park mini-chainbreaker that I sometimes carry with me on rides. I like them better than the ones on mini-tools but, last time that I tried to use one, I wound up taking a 4 mile hike-a-bike because the removable pin had disappeared.

  20. #20
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I'll admit they have their place, but I'm not a fan of multi-tools. I also think that the more functions they yave, the less useful they become because it gets so awkward to orient the tool to do what you need. Tightening a water bottle cage, for example, is often impossible with a multi-tool.
    I agree...with a caveat. Current multitools are poorly designed and ill fitting. They just don't fit your hand all that well. I've looked at the Crank Bros above and the Topeak Alien and others but they all are cumbersome. Ritchey made the CPR-9 back in the mid 90s and although it fit your hand better, it was mostly useless because it had no leverage.

    The caveat is the Cool Tool. One of the first multitools and still, in my opinion, the best. It fits your hand like a real tool. The allen wrenches come off so that they are actually useful. If you need more torque you can put the allen wrenches in the end and extend the lever arm of the tool. And the chain tool is actually robust enough to be useful. They've saved me from a hike out of the woods more than once.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    LOL - Usually pushing a pin in is a lot easier than taking it out! What kind of tool were you using that gave you an issue?
    Like I said, I don't bother.

    Never mind trying to do it in a dark, cold rain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    ... last time that I tried to use one, I wound up taking a 4 mile hike-a-bike because the removable pin had disappeared.
    Another reason not to bother with the pin. Use a quick link instead.

  23. #23
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    There are two levers involved and they experience opposite and equal torques, the lever turning the pin and the lever holding the anvil. The shorter one requires the most force to hold. In the case of most mini-tools, the lever on the pin is reasonably long but the lever on the anvil is short.
    Yeah - depends on the mini- tool I guess. In the case of the Tulio you can use the QR sqewer as a lever if you want - I've just never had to. I guess if you want to get into logistics a completely different group of muscles is used on a shop tool vs a mini-tool too. Point being, more finese is required with a mini tool but I have yet to find one that wouldn't do the job. They're designed to pack small first and be ergonomic second. The flip side of this is that its all too common for a ham fisted mechanic to attempt to use brute force with a shop tool and break off the tool pin because it wasn't properly aligned. Putting that much pressure on a mini-tool is very uncomfortable so it doesn't seem to happen.

  24. #24
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    the key isn't leverage...it's experience...just like it's important to actually fix a few flats before you expect to do it "for real", it's smart to use your chain break tool a few times at home when it's not raining on you and the mosquitos aren't making a meal of you and your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/family aren't waiting on you. Tools that seem impossible to use the first time somehow become easier after using them 20 times.

  25. #25
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    I've used the chain tool on the Topeak Hexus several times. It has worked well even on chains that were rusted solid.
    http://www.topeak.com/products/Tools---Mini/hexus2

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