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Old 11-30-17, 08:19 AM
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dmanthree
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News flash: Tools Help

Sigh...

I went to replace the chain on my ride, and the new chain used the quick link connectors. First time for me. I got them to work but they're a pain, unless you have the special pliers, which I have now. Makes a big difference when removing or installing a chain with a quick link.

Every new bike I get involves something different. Quick links this time. Anyway, get the pliers. Well worth the money.
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Old 11-30-17, 09:02 AM
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Installing a quick link should not require any tools. You can insert it in the top run of the chain and then step on a pedal to tension the chain and close the link. Removing them is another story. Some, like the Wipperman Connex links, can be removed by hand. Most (KMC, SRAM) do require a specific tool for removal, at least the first couple of times.

I made my own removal tool from a pair of cheap ("Anything in the bin $2") needle nose pliers by filing the width of the jaws narrow enough to fit between the chain links and then filing a round notch across the jaws to grip the chain rollers.
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Old 11-30-17, 09:21 AM
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No special tools required.
To remove, at "3 o'clock" on the large chainring, pull an extra link so it sticks out, tap with a rock to loosen.
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Old 11-30-17, 09:23 AM
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"I made my own removal tool from a pair of cheap ("Anything in the bin $2") needle nose pliers by filing the width of the jaws narrow enough to fit between the chain links and then filing a round notch across the jaws to grip the chain rollers."

Thanks for the idea. Can imagine this would be helpful for holding bolts when threading on a nut.
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Old 11-30-17, 09:34 AM
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Y'all do know that an actual pair of master link pliers is less than $10, right? Or is everybody being thrifty just for the sake of being thrifty?
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Old 11-30-17, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Y'all do know that an actual pair of master link pliers is less than $10, right? Or is everybody being thrifty just for the sake of being thrifty?
I paid $8. I'll use them a few times a year for a couple of bikes, and it makes live easier. And I'd never pound anything on my bike with a rock.

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Old 11-30-17, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
No special tools required.
To remove, at "3 o'clock" on the large chainring, pull an extra link so it sticks out, tap with a rock to loosen.
Uh....no. Not going to bang on my ride with a rock, hammer, or anything. I spent the $8 for the tool.
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Old 11-30-17, 09:51 AM
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Yes and there is the wrap a piece of wire around the link and twist it tight to pop the link. THe non tool methods often take several tries and a few curses. Use the tool, you pop it on, pop it off, get on with the job. Well worth the cost of a 6 pack of good beer.
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Old 11-30-17, 10:32 AM
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I've always been able to open a quick link, even a filthy one, within a couple tries with just a standard pair of pliers. Hold the pliers at an angle and squeeze.


Why not the pair of special quick link pliers? Ease of finding and numbers. I've probably got more pliers than any other tools except screwdrivers and hammers - there's surely one somewhere close!
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Old 11-30-17, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
No special tools required.
To remove, at "3 o'clock" on the large chainring, pull an extra link so it sticks out, tap with a rock to loosen.
This is a clever idea. I can hardly wait to have a chain problem while out riding to try this out. Up to now, I've used tiny visegrip pliers that fit in the seat bag.
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Old 11-30-17, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
This is a clever idea. I can hardly wait to have a chain problem while out riding to try this out. Up to now, I've used tiny visegrip pliers that fit in the seat bag.
I use the same method at home. Little tap with a hammer...probably quicker than using pliers.
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Old 11-30-17, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I've always been able to open a quick link, even a filthy one, within a couple tries with just a standard pair of pliers. Hold the pliers at an angle and squeeze.
+1, this is what I did before I got a pair of the special pliers.

-Ken
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Old 11-30-17, 11:33 AM
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Both SRAM and KMC links come in 2 variants:
1. non-latching, (SRAM 8-9s, KMC "reusable")
2. latching, (SRAM 10+s, KMC "non-reusable)

#1 can be installed/removed by hand. It is all in the technique.
#2 requires a tool to remove.
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Old 11-30-17, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by KenCarlson View Post
+1, this is what I did before I got a pair of the special pliers.

-Ken
Is this purpose better to be used on a chain that has been waxed or oiled?
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Old 11-30-17, 12:11 PM
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I'd bet half the people who use master links but refuse to buy the pliers that work well, make the job braindead simple, and can be had for less than $10 also own just one crescent wrench and use it for everything. "Hey, I've got a crescent wrench, and it works. I don't need to use the right stinking tool for the job. I know owning and using tools is part of being a man, but you know what's even more manly? Not owning tools, and using something else to half-ass every job that comes along!"

Fine. Everyone's going to do what they want, and that's fine. If they want to work on mechanical things but cheap out and not use the tools intended for the job then fine. It's not against the law. I used to be a helicopter mechanic in the Army, and I learned at the ripe old age of 18 while in school for that that one should always use the right tool for the job. Doesn't matter if it's a bike, a car, a helicopter, whatever. Everything goes much easier, and you tend to break fewer things, round off fewer nuts or bolts, and overall just save time and do a better job by just using the right tool for the job.

It's ten bucks for the tool. Just use it.
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Old 11-30-17, 12:12 PM
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Get the pliers.

The first time I used them I realized that I should have had them 15 years ago.
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Old 11-30-17, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Both SRAM and KMC links come in 2 variants:
1. non-latching, (SRAM 8-9s, KMC "reusable")
2. latching, (SRAM 10+s, KMC "non-reusable)

#1 can be installed/removed by hand. It is all in the technique.
#2 requires a tool to remove.

Not trying to challenge. Sincerely asking....

I've never seen KMC reusable vs non-reusable.

Are you talking about two different kinds for 11 speed? The only KMC link I am aware of for 11 speed is part number CL-555. Is there another for 11 speed?


-Tim-

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Old 11-30-17, 12:15 PM
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Next we'll have these same people telling us they change their own cassettes but never bought a chain whip because hey, it's easy to just jam a screwdriver in between the cogs and a spoke to keep it from turning, so who needs a stinkin chain whip? And who needs the cassette lockring driver when you can just expand the jaws of a set of needlenose plier (the same pliers they use to tighten nuts on bolts because they refuse to buy wrenches or sockets) and insert the tips into a couple of the little slots in the lockring, then twist.
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Old 11-30-17, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Not trying to challenge. Sincerely asking....

I've never seen KMC reusable vs non-reusable.

Are you talking about two different kinds for 11 speed? The only KMC link I am aware of for 11 speed is CL-555. Is there another for 11 speed?

-Tim-
I don't have any 11s bikes, so I have not used any 11s chains, but what I see on the KMC website right now is:

CL555: M/L-11 KMC Chain
CL555: (DLC coated) M/L-11-DLC KMC Chain
CL555R ("reusable"): M/L-11R KMC Chain
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Old 11-30-17, 12:39 PM
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I have KMC chains on all my bikes, they all come with a quick-link, which is great if you have the tool, kind of fidddly if you don't. I don't, plus I'm really good with a chain tool, I toss the quick-links. Tim

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Old 11-30-17, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Y'all do know that an actual pair of master link pliers is less than $10, right? Or is everybody being thrifty just for the sake of being thrifty?
This has been hashed out on BF before; some people are like you and think $10 is virtually no money, so just buy the tool; some people think that the tool is so trivial, and it's so easy to get by without it, it's not worth buying.

I'm in camp B. So is legendary framebuilder Dave Moulton.

My removal method is the same as Homebrew01. I tap it with my one crescent wrench that I own. (that's a joke, I actually own two, but the second one I found in the street while riding, and it's the same size as the 1st)

Installation of course is no tools needed (although once I spent an embarassing amount of time not understanding why the link wouldn't click together from chain pressure, when I didn't have it on the top where the chainring actually pulls...)

If somebody were to get me quicklink pliers for a stocking stuffer though, I wouldn't throw them away...
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Old 11-30-17, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
This has been hashed out on BF before; some people are like you and think $10 is virtually no money, so just buy the tool; some people think that the tool is so trivial, and it's so easy to get by without it, it's not worth buying.

I'm in camp B. So is legendary framebuilder Dave Moulton.

My removal method is the same as Homebrew01. I tap it with my one crescent wrench that I own. (that's a joke, I actually own two, but the second one I found in the street while riding, and it's the same size as the 1st)

Installation of course is no tools needed (although once I spent an embarassing amount of time not understanding why the link wouldn't click together from chain pressure, when I didn't have it on the top where the chainring actually pulls...)

If somebody were to get me quicklink pliers for a stocking stuffer though, I wouldn't throw them away...
I actually tried Mouton's method of opening the links, and it's frustrating unless the links are really, really dry. The slip. Methods like this are what drove to splurge on the pliers, which work perfectly. And I'm surprised someone like Moulton, who works on bikes a bit, doesn't have the proper tool. But that's just me.
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Old 11-30-17, 06:04 PM
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Moulton built tons of bikes from tubes up, that's probably what gives him his diy/ghetto temperament:

Dave Moulton's Blog - Dave Moulton's Bike Blog - Headset Removal and Replacement
Dave Moulton's Blog - Dave Moulton's Bike Blog - Aligning a bent derailleur hanger
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Old 11-30-17, 06:27 PM
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tools ARE nice, but...

With about twenty minutes practice I've learned how to do it like my LBS guy. Barehanded. (Messy sometimes though). Just make certain you've got plenty of slack, grip and wiggle it a little, going on or off. At least with the KMCs.
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Old 11-30-17, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
I don't, plus I'm really good with a chain tool, I toss the quick-links.
If you don't use the quick links on current KMC chains, what do you use?

Do you use Shimano's specific joining pins? They work well on Shimano chains but I don't know if they are compatible with other makes.

Or, do you reuse a standard pin by pushing it partly out and then back in as was the technique back in 5 and 6-speed days? I hope not because with 8+ speed chains that's a chain failure waiting to happen.
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