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Chain link removal question

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Chain link removal question

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Old 10-10-18, 06:21 PM
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johnspack
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Chain link removal question

I messed up my z72 chain because I couldn't remove the master link so I popped out a regular pin. Oops, you can't do that. They use the mushroomed pins, and it seems to only way to remove is all the way. The z72 fit my drivetrain however. I had to pick up a z33 chain for the time being. Reason all this happened is because I bought a new rear derailleur. So with this new derailleur, I found I need to shorten my chain for it to work right. Found I can pop the pins, but you don't have to all the way, so I can put them back in. Still will have to remove one more link. My concern is, I have an x8.99 chain coming. It's expensive. Will I have to remove links as well, and if so, how do I do that without destroying the chain? Is it possible to leave those mushrooms pins in just enough to take them apart and put them back together?
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Old 10-10-18, 06:44 PM
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Don't repress in a swaged or mushroomed pin, ever. You will open up the side plate's hole even further and likely suffer the pin's pulling out of said side plate. Usually when applying max power or when shifting.

Instead use a proper connecting link. To better remove the connecting link in the future either get a spec pair of pliers or learn hos to use a common needle nose pliers crosswise on the link.

Most modern chains can be shortened with the proper chain tool and assembled with it's proper connector link. To fit cut the chain a link longer then you think, test fit and determine the best length then correct to that length. Andy
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Old 10-10-18, 06:50 PM
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The trick is to remove the outside plates only. The master links join inner->inner. The old measure-twice-cut-once adage is key here.

The Park Master Link tool is what I use to make the process easy. Park Tool Link

KMC has instructions and videos at their website.
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Old 10-10-18, 09:11 PM
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Yeah dam, I should of had that park tool. Problem is bike shops in my tiny town don't have things like that, so I'll have to order it on ebay and pay a small fortune for it. So hard to get things right when you live in a small town in the middle of nowhere.
So if I have that, will I still be able to remove 2 links from my x8.99 chain? Will the missing link fit on the remaining links? Sorry for the dumb questions, but I did think this would be easier to do......
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Old 10-10-18, 09:25 PM
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You would use a chain breaker to remove the two links, being careful to make sure that the ends that you leave on the chain are the inside plates.

Then insert the two halves of the quick link. Quick link installation is easier than removal. Search on YouTube for how to do it with a tool.
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Old 10-10-18, 09:34 PM
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Chains generally always have to be shortened right out of the box. Just measure correctly by looping the chain around the biggest cog and biggest chainring without running through the rear derailleur and give yourself 1 - 1 1/2" of overlap including the connector link. Removing the pins won't hurt the chain as long as you're using a decent quality chain pin tool, just don't try to reuse any pin pushed out of an indexed type chain. It's guaranteed to fail if you do. I made a couple videos a while back that you may find useful:


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Old 10-10-18, 10:25 PM
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A piece of thin, strong line (like high test fishing line, for example) makes a good master link tool. Loop it around the two ends of the master link, cross it under, and tug on it and it'll force the two halves of the master link together.
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Old 10-10-18, 10:59 PM
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It's not installing but removing the master link that I had an issue with, but I'm going to order the tool so I don't have to go through that again. And thanks LeMechanic, that's what I was suspecting, and hoping for. I already know I can remove the links,
just wasn't sure if I could reuse the remaining links with the master link. With my original derailleur the 116l was perfect, but when I added a modern derailleur, suddenly the chain is way too loose, wasn't expecting that!
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Old 10-11-18, 01:08 AM
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Stick with the KMC Missing Links (there are two widths, match them correctly to the chains). I use 'em with Z72, Z33 and Z50 chains. No problems.

The Missing Link is a little tricky to pop open the first time or two but loosen up enough to open with any makeshift tool. Some folks use Bulldog clip handles, heavy duty paper clips, etc. I just use heavy duty hemostats or fine needle nose pliers.

After a couple of reuses they'll open with just finger pressure. But the Missing Links hold securely, even when I've dropped the chain on sloppy front derailleur shifts. I carry a spare Missing Link in my saddle bag but have never needed one.

I've used other types of quick links but the KMC's work fine and prices are reasonable.
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Old 10-11-18, 05:59 AM
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1. You will for sure have to remove links when you install your new chain. The chain manufacturer doesn't know what kind of bike you have so they sell chains that are too long for most bikes and depend on you to shorten it to fit.
2. I size chains using the big/big method: Wrap your chain around the biggest chainring and biggest rear cog bypassing the derailleur. Figure out the shortest place you can rejoin your chain. Add 2 links (one inch) of chain to that. Don't forget to account for your master link (or whatever it's called). That's the shortest chain you can safely use with your drive train. When you are in the big/big, your derailleur will be pulled nearly horizontal. That's okay. That's what it's designed to do.
3. Interestingly the length of the derailleur cage doesn't factor into this chain length calculation.
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Old 10-11-18, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
1. You will for sure have to remove links when you install your new chain. The chain manufacturer doesn't know what kind of bike you have so they sell chains that are too long for most bikes and depend on you to shorten it to fit.
2. I size chains using the big/big method: Wrap your chain around the biggest chainring and biggest rear cog bypassing the derailleur. Figure out the shortest place you can rejoin your chain. Add 2 links (one inch) of chain to that. Don't forget to account for your master link (or whatever it's called). That's the shortest chain you can safely use with your drive train. When you are in the big/big, your derailleur will be pulled nearly horizontal. That's okay. That's what it's designed to do.
3. Interestingly the length of the derailleur cage doesn't factor into this chain length calculation.
I think that cage length doesn't affect the minimum chain legth in a significant way. Either long, or short cage - both get bent towards the front chainrings when using big-big combo. Chain just has to make two bends around jockey wheels, whether they are closer (short cage), or further apart (long cage).
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Old 10-11-18, 11:31 AM
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If the chain is clean, no grit or grime, sometimes it'll open with my bare hands. I've always been able to open a quick link using an ordinary pair of pliers. Squeeze the chain so the QL is standing proud, hold the pliers at an angle to press on the fixed side of the pins, and squeeze.
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Old 10-11-18, 12:35 PM
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Problem is bike shops in my tiny town don't have things like that,
although they may not have them on speculation when you walk in unannounced,
if you ask they can order them with their next parts order and get it quickly enough..

they may have one for their own shop use and pop your quick link open, for you.

in the meantime..

By the way there have been a number of creative workarounds,
for those who were lacking the Ideal tool, but are able to Improvise,
you might find looking on the internet,
which may lead back to things posted here, in the past.





...
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Old 10-11-18, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by johnspack View Post
Yeah dam, I should of had that park tool. Problem is bike shops in my tiny town don't have things like that, so I'll have to order it on ebay and pay a small fortune for it. So hard to get things right when you live in a small town in the middle of nowhere.
So if I have that, will I still be able to remove 2 links from my x8.99 chain? Will the missing link fit on the remaining links? Sorry for the dumb questions, but I did think this would be easier to do......
lots of better options than ebay for ordering parts and tools..... Jenson USA is a good start and a chain link tool is a life saver, I have the park, but I think shimano (hard to find) may be better....
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Old 10-11-18, 06:39 PM
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Thanks again! I went to a 2nd bike shop, and got a park tool ct-5 and another chain. And a missing link for 2 bucks! The ct-5 cost 30can but the chain and link only 12. My gawd what a difference.....
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