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  1. #1
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    timing chain master link

    I was thinking of running a master link such as the KMC 410N-CL on the timing chain of an S&S equipped bike. It would be easier to use the link and a pair of Park chain pliers when reassembling the bike as opposed to resetting the eccentric. Is their any reason that running the wider link would cause a problem? Would a drive belt eliminate the need to reset the eccentric every time you put the bike back together? (Master link $1.00 drive belt $525.00 for $524.00 I'm not sure these two options can be talked about at the same time).

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Whenever I've travelled with our tandem the cranks have come off the bike and that pretty much solves the sync chain issue since pulling the front or rear crank pretty well gets the sync chain off the bike without touching the eccentric or breaking the chain. And, well, I also cheat by running our sync chain with just enough slack to allow me to derail it by hand now and again and that also by-passes a sync chain adjustment.

    That said, I have re-useable links installed on our sync chains for other reasons and I'm not sure why you'd buy one that's not sized for your chain.

    SuperLinks are available in all of the correct sizes:

    Pink Card = 8/9
    Green Card = 10 speed

    Blue Card = Ultra narrow 10 speed

  3. #3
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    Whenever I've travelled with our tandem the cranks have come off the bike and that pretty much solves the sync chain issue.............I am running the FSA SLK Carbon Mego Exo if it is easily removed or if it has to be removed for packing then the master link will not be an issue.


    That said, I have re-useable links installed on our sync chains for other reasons and I'm not sure why you'd buy one that's not sized for your chain. ......... Superlinks would be pretty hard if not impossible on the timing chain because there is no derailleur to create some slack.

    If I can avoid having to twist pieces or pull parts out at angles that were not intended I am hoping to avoid other repair issues

  4. #4
    Senior Member VaultGuru's Avatar
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    chichi, fwiw, I use a ConneX link on all of my chains. They are pretty much the same thing as SuperChain. Buy them to fit the exact type and width of your chain. 10sp is generally a 6.9mm chain. 11sp is a 6.5mm chain. The purple packaging on the 6.9 can be used for both Shimano and Campi chains. I like them because they are slip-lock connectors and require no tools to assemble or remove. The trick to smooth operation is to install them correctly. As you face the chain, the male connector pin goes in the left hole. The connector pin on the other side of the chain obviously goes in the right side hole. You turn the link 90 degrees to the chain direction, push the links together and pull the chain to set the link. I am not familiar with SuperLink, so I don't know which chain hole the male connector pin goes into.
    I like them because it makes it very easy to clean the chain when it is in a straight line and re-assemble. The downside is that I have to relax the tension on the eccentric to get the transfer chain off. Or, you can run the tension a little loose as TG does and just roll the chain off. You just have to weigh the problems/benefits in your own mind.

    Unless you have a really big frame, you shouldn't have to take off any of the cranks on your bike to pack them into the hardshell cases.
    Happy Holidays.
    Last edited by VaultGuru; 12-24-08 at 12:53 PM.

  5. #5
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chichi View Post
    I am running the FSA SLK Carbon Mego Exo if it is easily removed or if it has to be removed for packing then the master link will not be an issue.
    I'll defer to those who have the Mega Exo cranks. We've stuck with square taper & self extractors which are pretty much no-brainers when it comes to removal and reinstallation.

    Quote Originally Posted by chichi View Post
    Superlinks would be pretty hard if not impossible on the timing chain because there is no derailleur to create some slack.
    True, hence the eccentric adjustment or unsanctioned derail method.

    Quote Originally Posted by chichi View Post
    If I can avoid having to twist pieces or pull parts out at angles that were not intended I am hoping to avoid other repair issues
    Just to give some context to the extent of the 'derail method', I just ran down to the garage and collected two short videos that show how it's done.

    This first YouTube video shows the chain being removed / reinstalled on our '98 Erickson with that little extra slack: we use 34t timing rings. The rough sounding turn of the cranks was caused by the chain running across the rear hub's cassette carrier as there was no cassette installed on this tandem when I did the quick and dirty demo.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxJbDQnt6S4

    This second YouTube video shows the chain being removed / reinstalled on our '07 Calfee without that little extra slack.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tOUGf9LT0c

    Again, 34t timing rings and that little 'pop' you hear is the extent of the binding that occurs when you don't use the little extra slack in the sync chain. The worst thing I've ever seen as a result of 'ripping off' a chain this way even on a somewhat tight sync chain is a nicked timing ring tooth which had no ill effects and was eventually filed flat.

    Please don't take this as encouragement to step beyond your comfort zone when working on your tandem. I just wanted to take this opportunity to demonstrate what several of us have mentioned as a 'technique' that is useful for field repair, experimenting with In-Phase / Out-of-Phase settings mid-ride, and for the lazy and slovenly home mechanic, a way to remove the chain for cleaning or other bike maintenance.

    Pulling the crank with the self extractor takes about a 10 seconds once you have the wrench in your hand.

    Loosening the Bushnell eccentric also takes about 10 seconds with a T-handle hex driver once you have it down.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 12-24-08 at 12:51 PM.

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=Loosening the Bushnell eccentric also takes about 10 seconds with a T-handle hex driver once you have it down.[/QUOTE]

    My bike has the newer calfee eccentric, do you think replacing it with the Bushnell would be helpful?

  7. #7
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    just watched the video, you made it look easy, I'll give it a try.

  8. #8
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chichi View Post
    My bike has the newer calfee eccentric, do you think replacing it with the Bushnell would be helpful?
    Let's put it this way, I had our Calfee's eccentric bottom bracket reworked by Craig after struggling with the original Calfee eccentric for 6 months. I haven't had a single issue or frame noise since getting it back and installing a spare Bushnell eccentric.

    Quote Originally Posted by chichi View Post
    just watched the video, you made it look easy, I'll give it a try.
    Yeah, well I make a lot of things look easy... a decade of practice goes a long in that regard. Just note how far back I keep my fingers from that meat grinding interface where the chain meshes with the timing ring. Safety first.

  9. #9
    PMK
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    Not that we have the capability to "split" our frame, but when out riding the mountain tandem, the timing chain has come off. Usually on account of it picking up something to large to chop up.

    Each time I've reinstalled it without loosening the eccentric, and the chain is run fairly tight.

    One thing I am planning on getting done, is to put witness or reference marks on the two chainrings and in two places on the chain. I'll use two different color marks, one for captain and one for stoker. This will allow an easier get it back on where it was, in the least amount of time.

    Just a thought that may also work for those that disassemble their ride and travel.

    PK

  10. #10
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    I second the ability to remove and replace the timing chain without any adjustment of the eccentric and in fact Craig Calfee suggested this method to me when we received our tandem from him. It doesn't take much effort and no adverse affects so far

  11. #11
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    Tandemgeek method you demonstrated is working just fine for me.

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