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Can you get away with taking one chainlink out of broken chain?

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Can you get away with taking one chainlink out of broken chain?

Old 04-09-17, 06:55 PM
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tara1234
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Can you get away with taking one chainlink out of broken chain?

Hey so on one of my bikes a single chainlink is about to break and is half off, can I get away with simply removing that one link and put it onto the next link and simply ride the bike or would I have problems doing this?
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Old 04-09-17, 08:21 PM
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Shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 04-09-17, 08:32 PM
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Do it, then shift into the big/big cross chaining gear combo
and tell us if it rips your derailer off

you seem to have a theme on asking questions along the lines of: 'is doing this kludgy cheap fix OK?'
what's the deal? why not ask how to do things right instead of how to do things wrong?
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Old 04-09-17, 08:45 PM
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Generally yes, but it depends on the details.

First of all, you need to check if you have an inch to spare so the shortened chain still loop the big/big with 1" to spare. Shift to that combination and pull the lower loop forward while holding the crank and see if you can pulling it up 2". That's one inch that you'll need plus the inch you're cutting out.

Then, assuming then chain is long enough, be sure to use a cut and splice appropriate to your chain. Older chains for 6 or 7s can be cut and spliced with a chain tool. Newer chains for 8 or more speeds need the correct splicing pin or a connecting link.
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Old 04-09-17, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
Do it, then shift into the big/big cross chaining gear combo
and tell us if it rips your derailer off

you seem to have a theme on asking questions along the lines of: 'is doing this kludgy cheap fix OK?'
what's the deal? why not ask how to do things right instead of how to do things wrong?
Im a bodge artist and dont like buying new components like to reuse what I have.
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Old 04-09-17, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by tara1234 View Post
Im a bodge artist and dont like buying new components like to reuse what I have.
I used to be "frugal" until I turned a FDER into a pretzel when I broke a chain.
Sometimes you don't want to be too cheap.
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Old 04-09-17, 10:35 PM
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An easy way of determining minimum chain length is to, with the chain broken, run it over biggest cog and chainring without the derailleurs. If your finished length will be 2 links longer than what's needed to make the chain meet like this you are fine (and this is generally the recommended chain length most bikes). If you are working on a full suspension bike, you must also first place the suspension into the travel position where the axle is farthest from the bottom bracket (typically fully compressed).

If you find your chain is too short with the link removed, you can replace it with a reusable connecting link. You gotta reconnect the chain somehow anyways, and repressing pins is recommended against on modern, multi-speed chains.
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Old 04-09-17, 11:48 PM
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First inspec the chain. Is it worn? It might have broken because it is too "stretched", i.e. worn and is due for replacement anyway. If it is not, if it's just one link, then you could just remove the broken link.

Like others have said, if the shortened chain is long enough, it will work. If not, you risk snapping the RD if accidentaly shifting into big-big combo. Though you could limit the RD travel with a limit screw, so it won't shift into the largest rear sprocket and, loosing one bottom speed, make a shorter chain work safely.


Wrote a guide for measuring chain length with pics here:
Chain length sizing for bicycles with derailleurs
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Old 04-10-17, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
I used to be "frugal" until I turned a FDER into a pretzel when I broke a chain.
Sometimes you don't want to be too cheap.
Seems to be overkill on the frugality. Unless some reason I'm unaware of, the fix otherwise would be a $2 missing link, right?
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Old 04-10-17, 05:19 AM
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Why did the chain break in the first place? I've never had a broken chain but I wouldn't trust the rest of the chain if I did. Sounds like it's time for a new chain.
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Old 04-10-17, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
..... the fix otherwise would be a $2 missing link, right?
Unless this broken link is symptomatic of other problems with the chain. Links don't break for no reason and the damage is likely to be more widespread than this one place.

As noted, sometimes frugality can be misplaced. "For want of a nail a horse was lost......"
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Old 04-10-17, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Unless this broken link is symptomatic of other problems with the chain. Links don't break for no reason and the damage is likely to be more widespread than this one place.

As noted, sometimes frugality can be misplaced. "For want of a nail a horse was lost......"


Perhaps in line with the frugality theme, the OP pressed the pin out and back in, rather than pop for a master link, and it is beginning to fail at that pin.
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Old 04-10-17, 01:35 PM
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These thing are so ridiculously cheap. Buy a new one already and save your cassette the agony. Saving this dime is going to cost you a dollar, & a whole mess of time.
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Old 04-10-17, 04:01 PM
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"Penny wise but pound foolish".....
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Old 04-11-17, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by tara1234 View Post
Hey so on one of my bikes a single chainlink is about to break and is half off, can I get away with simply removing that one link and put it onto the next link and simply ride the bike or would I have problems doing this?

Yes-no-maybe.


On a SS/IGH recently serviced/built by me - probably no. I set those up to accept as much chain wear as possible before needing the chain shortened.


On a derailer gear bike - it depends. Single- or double/triple crank?
How tight was it set up from the start?
How often do you cross-chain?


Double/triple crank setups will work fine one, or even two links short, as long as you don't cross-chain.
If you do, you can cause instant and expensive ride-stopping destruction.


I've done several rides, and even one tour, where one guy had to finish on a seriously short chain. He was calm enough to notice the excess resistance in the shifter when he got into big-big territory, and didn't have any problems.
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