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Chain questions

Old 10-15-17, 07:32 AM
  #1  
asmac
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Chain questions

A few chain questions:

1. I always re-use quick links and don't know if that's a good idea. Are they generally regarded as re-usable? If not, what's the problem?

2. At the risk of jinxing myself (so far so good) what is the most common cause of broken chains? Does the side plate or pin break or does the pin pull out of the hole?

3. Excepting super-light chains with hollow pins or cut-out side plates, are certain chains more prone to breaking? I.e. is a 9 speed chain stronger than an 11 speed chain or does it make no difference?
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Old 10-15-17, 07:43 AM
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Many people reuse quick links with no problems. The general rule is the link stays with the chain, so a new chain means a new quick link.

The most common cause of broken chains isn't wear, it's shifting under high load. This can put side pressure on the plates pushing them outward on the pins. Eventualliy their hanging on the edge and fall off under load.

The second most common is structural with a plates themselves cracking. That's fairly rare but tends to happen in bunches. So if you see one cracked plate expect more on that chain. There's debate about what causes the plates to crack, but it's nor from wear or tension. Anyway, it's pretty rare.

All chains have to meet the same strength standard of roughly 1,100 kg breaking strength. However the thinner chains, like 10 and 11s, have thinner plates and are probably more prone to cracking at the plates. But they do meet the standard, so let's just say it's less reserve above that.
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Old 10-15-17, 08:11 AM
  #3  
asmac
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Many people reuse quick links with no problems...

Thanks FBinNY. You answered it all!
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Old 10-15-17, 12:58 PM
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dsbrantjr
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Many people reuse quick links with no problems. The general rule is the link stays with the chain, so a new chain means a new quick link.
This is my approach as well. My understanding is that the "do not reuse" instructions are to avoid infringing on someone's patent.
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Old 10-15-17, 01:54 PM
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there is some wear to every pin on your chain, as the miles go by, including the 2 on a quick link.
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Old 10-15-17, 02:04 PM
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I will throw the quick link from the old chain in my seat bag for emergencies.
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Old 10-15-17, 02:20 PM
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A chain tool too , the quick link is like an outer link, joining 2 inner links, so if you blow out a pin, you have to remove that outer link entirely..
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Old 10-15-17, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by asmac View Post
1. I always re-use quick links and don't know if that's a good idea. Are they generally regarded as re-usable? If not, what's the problem?
My guess is that as the link is open and closed a few times it may wear down the metal so that is doesn't lock the pins as securely as when new which also may be more prone to come undone. Having said that and always wanting to test out these things for myself I have used several 10sp KMC quick links for the life of 3 different chains (that's 3 links for 9 chains, open and closed many times for chain cleaning) and have never had any issues. Usually end up throwing away the link when grooves in the pins start developing. Just my experience.
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Old 10-15-17, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
My guess is that as the link is open and closed a few times it may wear down the metal so that is doesn't lock the pins as securely as when new which also may be more prone to come undone. Having said that and always wanting to test out these things for myself I have used several 10sp KMC quick links for the life of 3 different chains (that's 3 links for 9 chains, open and closed many times for chain cleaning) and have never had any issues. Usually end up throwing away the link when grooves in the pins start developing. Just my experience.
they MAY also learn to tap dance on top of the Empire state building...

i've use them through more than one chain before... they get loose, but stay put.

i've had issues with the X10.93 chains snapping side plates, and pins backing out, under race conditions/abuse, but the kwik links stayed put.

i've noticed that at around 5 disconnects/reconnects, they start getting too loose for my taste... or three months of Daniel abuse... that kid has never purchased chain lube since he ran into a school bus one day... that bus just happened to be driven by his mom... something about him getting some chain lube on his rim... and Really bad timing........ :-D

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Old 10-16-17, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
A chain tool too , the quick link is like an outer link, joining 2 inner links, so if you blow out a pin, you have to remove that outer link entirely..
I also throw in the links I cut off when sizing a new chain, in case I need to replace some damaged links, down the road.
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Old 10-16-17, 01:21 PM
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I think the only issue re-using chain links is if you're riding a fixed gear bike. A geared bike "shouldn't" be an issue.
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Old 10-16-17, 02:38 PM
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If you use a full bushing chain , that has tall thick side plates ,and pins that are not flush , but stick out a ways..

then the lateral forces of shifting wont be there... I use a half link, just so I always press out and back in, the same pin.
3 piece 1/8" masterlinks are a PITA, I can avoid that way .. BTW i'm not a sprinter like Sir Chris Hoy, and these are IGH anyhow..
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Old 10-16-17, 03:10 PM
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I've reused a KMC Missing Link II so many times I can easily remove it with just my fingers, no resistance. So I carry a spare in case the chain drops and one or both halves of the Missing Link get lost.

However that hasn't happened -- several times a week or so ago the chain dropped on front derailleur shifts after I switched from a 42T to 39T inner chainring. Finally got the front derailleur properly adjusted so that doesn't happen. Plenty of opportunities for the no-longer-snug Missing Link to go missing, but it stayed put.
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Old 10-23-17, 07:49 AM
  #14  
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I reuse everything I can, but give it a good inspection with a magnifier. I have a mic on hand as well. Never had a problem reusing these.
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Old 10-23-17, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by asmac View Post
2. At the risk of jinxing myself (so far so good) what is the most common cause of broken chains? Does the side plate or pin break or does the pin pull out of the hole?
I always (3-4 times in 16 years) had the side plate lose its grip on the pin and spring open in spite of not shifting under load, not splitting chains to clean them (so they were only joined once), and weighing under 140 pounds in good shape.

That stopped with the move to flush peened rivets. Shimano made the transition a long time ago, but Campagnolo didn't switch until 10 speed.
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