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Reliability of Quick Link on 10-speed Chain

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Reliability of Quick Link on 10-speed Chain

Old 07-27-18, 09:04 PM
  #1  
flangehead
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Reliability of Quick Link on 10-speed Chain

Has anyone sworn off of quick links on 10-speed chain due to reliability? I had a failure and am trying to decide if it was a one-time anomaly or if the 10-speed quick-link is significantly less reliable.

I have been commuting with 8-speed for over 10 years and Iíve never had a quick link fail on me.

I recently changed to a new 10-speed and Iíve got less than 1000 miles on it so far. I was starting off at a green light today and the chain broke. The quick link stayed in but it had pulled out of one side. I was able to reconnect it but it didnít hold. I pressed out a pin and now have a solid chain. The chain came new with the bike and is marked KMC.

When I replace this chain Iíll have to decide whether to use the new quick link or go with a solid chain. Iím a commuter and reliability is important; chain failure can put me in harmís way.

Iím interested in othersí experiences with 10-speed chains.
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Old 07-27-18, 09:35 PM
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Quick links on 10 speed chains work fine for me. On Shimano chains if you pop out a pin you need a special pin to replace it, otherwise be prepared to constantly snap that chain. Not sure if kmc 10 speed chains have the same issue.
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Old 07-27-18, 09:39 PM
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I've been using Superlink/SRAM/KMC links on 8/9/10 speed drives since the '90's and never had one fail.
I have a lot more confidence in a quick link than a manually-installed pin.
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Old 07-27-18, 10:38 PM
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30,000 miles on my 10 speed using KMC chains and quick links, no failures.
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Old 07-27-18, 11:16 PM
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I've had one fail but whoopty do poop happens. I popped another one because I carry a spare and kept going no big deal. I've also broke an 8 and 9 before but again poop happens when you are mountain biking. Haven't broken an 11 yet but I'm sure I will at some point.
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Old 07-28-18, 04:40 PM
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I was riding conventional 7 speed chains until I got a new bike a few years ago. Have 20k miles on 10 speed KMC quicklink. Most miles using wax so chains come off more than typical rider. I've replaced only 1 quicklink when it seemed to close too easily. Never had a failure. I do replace chains at about 1/16th in 12 stretch.

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.
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Old 07-29-18, 11:13 AM
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Now a days , thin 10 speed cassette chains cannot just have the the pin pressed in
like you used to do with wide 6 speed freewheel chains, of decades past..

Perhaps OP did not get their QL solidly engaged ... hard to guess..
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Old 07-29-18, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
I've replaced only 1 quicklink when it seemed to close too easily.
You are replacing a perfectly good link.
The original Superlink (and 8s/9s SRAM links) were designed to open/close easily.

The SRAM "innovation" of making 10s links latch closed was for legal reasons, with no functional purpose.
They didn't want to pay any more royalties on the Superlink patent for a "reusable link".
So they added a tiny raised area adjacent to the slot to create an interference fit, and filed a patent on it, and declared it "non-reusable".

Attached is an image from the SRAM patent.
The raised area that creates the interference fit is labeled #11 .
Note that once the link is installed, the pin head has passed the area of interference fit.
SRAM calls the 8s/9s link PowerLink, and calls the 10s PowerLock.

The Superlink patent expired several years ago.

For some odd reason KMC makes links in both non-latching, and latching type, and for several years, they were randomly putting either one in the box with 10s chains, but nothing on the box gave a clue which it contained.
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Old 07-31-18, 04:23 PM
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I have experienced exactly one chain failure in my cycling “career” (which admittedly only extends back to 2005), and it wasn’t the quick link. The side plate on one of the other links on a KMC 10s chain started to separate from the pin for unknown reasons (possibly a very hard shift a few days before but I don’t know if that would damage the chain). Fortunately the chain held together until I was able to limp to an LBS, where they fixed the chain with a second quick link. I finished my ride then replaced the chain to be safe.

That said, I had a friend who was an early adopter of the first SRAM 10 speed road group, and the quick link on his SRAM chain kept flying apart during rides. Amazingly he was always able to find the link(s) on the ground and put the chain back together until he finally got a new chain. I vaguely remember SRAM having some production problems with their early 10s chains so that was probably a fluke though.
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Old 08-01-18, 09:57 PM
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Thanks!

Thanks everyone for the insights. I didn't realize that on these chains I couldn't simply press back in the pin. (By the way, the bike was new and I have between 500-1000 miles on it.. I never examined the quick link. I have to believe it was fully engaged but I can't say for certain.)

Sure enough, my field press-fit failed after about a week. I was lucky that I was within a couple of miles of a LBS so I got a new chain with a link. Put it on at the shop and I'm chalking up my failure as a highly unusual event.
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Old 08-01-18, 11:08 PM
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Chains for over 9 speeds have outer plates quite thinned down. This gives very little material for quick link mechanism to latch onto. For all I know, SRAM still doesn't recommend re-using their 10 (and 11, 12) speed quick links. Definitely not for regular maintenance (monthly, or so).

I've never had problems personally, after several connect-disconnect uses with those, though. But wouldn't recommend it, still.

Another thing: when closing a quick link, make sure it is latched 100%, all the way. Sometimes it takes a bit of strong push on the crank, with the rear wheel stationary (locked) and the quick link in the top part of the chain (so it gets pulled in place).
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Old 08-03-18, 10:49 AM
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Reliability? 100% in my case over many thousands of miles. I use Connex quick links, which are included with Wippermann chains. Kind of pricey if you buy them separately, but still worth it in my opinion.
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