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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 12-31-08, 10:05 AM   #1
dre420
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Did I ruin my chain? Fixed gear noob...

I took my chain off for the first time to clean it, and couldn't figure out the SRAM powerlink. So I used a breaker on it (the powerlink), and it did not snap back together right after putting it back on. I tried to ride it anyway (fail) and it flew off somewhere in the parking lot. I couldn't find the powerlink, so I returned home and tried to put the chain back on with a pin but it is too short after removing the half link (even in front of the drops).

Is my chain ruined, and do I need a new (longer) one? Or can I splice a piece of another piece chain into it? The bike is relatively new (approx. 100 miles on the drivetrain).

I'm going to have my LBS show me how to open the powerlink tonight, just curious if I should buy a new chain while I'm there.
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Old 12-31-08, 10:06 AM   #2
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Yes, just get a SRAM PC-1 and they will show you how to use the powerlink.
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Old 12-31-08, 10:09 AM   #3
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Did you lose only the powerlink? They sell those alone for $5 or so.
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Old 12-31-08, 10:14 AM   #4
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Well, I lost the powerlink, and then when home and tried to reinstall the chain using a pin. I shortened it half a link (so I could get the links to mate) and now the chain is too short.
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Old 12-31-08, 10:26 AM   #5
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Maybe your local lbs has a few links sitting around? I know I always end up with a few when I buy a new chain and trim it. I'd give you some of mine if I lived in Dallas.

Seems a shame to toss a chain with 100 miles on it....
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Old 12-31-08, 10:32 AM   #6
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a decent shop should have loose links. although maybe not if you're running 1/8".
you could also use more than one masterlink
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Old 12-31-08, 10:53 AM   #7
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If you actually tried to push the faux-pin out of a powerlink piece, I am guessing you will also have trouble properly adding another link to the chain and then adding a new powerlink.

I am an a-hole. But seriously. Did you not even look at the powerlink before you tried to force it open?
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Old 12-31-08, 11:32 AM   #8
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Will links from an 8/9/10 chain work? Since it's 3/32"... and I've got a new spare 3/32 chain but it's 8/9/10 speed IIRC.

darksiderising: yes, I looked at it, and fiddled with it for about half an hour. Trying to hold it the right way to open it, before taking the cutter to it.
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Old 12-31-08, 11:33 AM   #9
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it can't be an 8/9/10. that's not a possible combination
it could be 6/7/8, or 9, or 10
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Old 12-31-08, 11:41 AM   #10
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6/7/8 sorry...
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Old 12-31-08, 12:33 PM   #11
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pfff, powerlink. is it really that time consuming to use a chain tool?...just make your 3/32 chain the right length, and slap it on. and yeah, you can splice chains together. probably.
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Old 12-31-08, 12:44 PM   #12
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i assume you removed some length from the chain when you installed it, since most chains you'll find are made long enough for multiple gears and a derailleur. so, you should have scraps around. get rid of the frickin weaklink and replace it with real chain.
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Old 12-31-08, 12:55 PM   #13
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The reason I was leaning towards the Powerlink is because I like to take my chain off to clean it and I heard using a chain tool repeatedly weakens links.
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Old 12-31-08, 01:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dre420 View Post
...I like to take my chain off to clean it...
This is the only Sheldon Brown approved method of cleaning your chain. I do this to my chain about once a month but I haven't for December yet because I'm out of Shelbrothane Cleaning SolventŪ and I haven't had time to order more yet.


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Old 12-31-08, 01:25 PM   #15
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maybe, but i doubt you'll wear out the pin enough to compromise it or the chain if you use your chain tool right, and aren't taking your chain off like three times a day. I mean, i'm lazy too and like master links and all, but if the !!POWERLINK!! is giving you grief, just forget about it.
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Old 12-31-08, 01:28 PM   #16
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what are the odds that you'd remove the same pin every time, anyways?
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Old 12-31-08, 02:22 PM   #17
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Well, there are typically 114 pins on a chain. You do the math
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Old 12-31-08, 02:38 PM   #18
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The SRAM powerlinks are actually pretty easy to get off. You just push the two together and make sure the chain doesn't bend and it should just pop off with a bit of force. their 8 speed chains are so smooth if you want to run 3/32. If you have as little experience with chains as you said, you should probably stick to learning how to use the powerlink properly, rather than breaking your chain over and over.
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Old 12-31-08, 03:00 PM   #19
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Thanks for everyone's help. I am taking matt's advice and am picking up the PC-870 on my way home today, and will have the LBS demonstrate how to remove the Powerlink. At this point, I'm somewhat frustrated with what I've done and want to "start fresh". I don't want to buy a new cog or chain ring, but since mine are pretty much new I don't think I need to.

I don't want to assemble a frankenstein chain with the piece I have leftover, and a piece of an unknown chain I found in my parts bin, for my brand new fixed gear. Hopefully putting my hands/eyes on the powerlink with an experienced tech is all I need to get over this hurdle. I'm sure once this is over, I'll have a beer and laugh about this... Until I throw a chain at 20mph.
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Old 12-31-08, 03:04 PM   #20
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if you bought a new chain, chances are it'll be too long and you're going to have to remove some extra links. so you still should learn how to use a chain tool.
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Old 12-31-08, 03:09 PM   #21
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My take on it? Just add a link. Make your own lube with motor oil to mineral spirits at 3:1 or 4:1, personal preference, back spin the drivetrain while removing all the excess with a rag. That's all you need to do. Sheldon Brown said this is the most controversial issue in cycling. Look it up !!

http://sheldonbrown.com/chains.html
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