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One piece chain connector rant..

Old 08-01-20, 11:52 AM
  #1  
wayne2000
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One piece chain connector rant..

I bought a new chain for my cruiser. The old chain had a connector that is U shaped and snapped right in. The new chain has a one piece solid connector with two holes punched out. I tried everything to snap that @#$$&#$&)()$## on. Nothing. The holes are about 1/16Ē too far apart. I finally took the U shaped connector off the old chain and used hat.

How the heck do you use the chain connector that is one piece with 2 holes punched in it?
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Old 08-01-20, 12:44 PM
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You don't, you throw it away and use the vastly better two piece symmetrical design used by SRAM/KMC/Wipperman et al.
My recumbent bought in 2001 had a chain with one of those, back then the symmetrical design was not easy to find but
available.
I assume you refer to the design with a side plate with two pins in it and a separate side plate with two holes that pop
onto the pins to join the chain? Yeah terrible design.

On further thought, you may refer to the design with a master link with a U shaped link that slides over the ends of the
pins, which have tiny slots cut in the ends outside of the outer plate. Sort of like snap ring washers. Not what I refer to as the symmetrical design.
Those date to the 50s in my experience but could be older.

Some pix of various designs: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=bicycle+ch...ages&ia=images

Last edited by sch; 08-01-20 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 08-05-20, 06:25 AM
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Does anyone use the chain link tool to disconnect and reconnect the chain? That is what diy ended up doing. Any issues with this?
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Old 08-05-20, 06:34 AM
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The two piece master link described is likely for a 1/8" chain, not a 3/32" der chain. The side plate with two holes does have the hole spacing closer then the pins are. One places the plate with pins intop both ends of the chain and then flexes the chain laterally so to bring the ends of the pins closer together and allow the holed side plate to be slid over the ends. Then when the chain is in use the tension will keep the pin ends trapped in the side plate, unless the chain is again bent laterally.

My preference is to use the three piece master link instead for 1/8" chains. Andy
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Old 08-05-20, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by wayne2000 View Post
Does anyone use the chain link tool to disconnect and reconnect the chain? That is what diy ended up doing. Any issues with this?
If you have a 1/8" chain with pinned links, such as found on most single-speed and internally geared drivetrains, no problem.

If you have a modern, riveted 3/32" chain, such as used on derailleur-equipped bikes with 8 or more sprockets on the rear cluster, then no. You need to use an appropriately sized master link of some kind to close the chain.
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Old 08-05-20, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
The two piece master link described is likely for a 1/8" chain, not a 3/32" der chain. The side plate with two holes does have the hole spacing closer then the pins are. One places the plate with pins intop both ends of the chain and then flexes the chain laterally so to bring the ends of the pins closer together and allow the holed side plate to be slid over the ends. Then when the chain is in use the tension will keep the pin ends trapped in the side plate, unless the chain is again bent laterally.

My preference is to use the three piece master link instead for 1/8" chains. Andy
^^^This.
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Old 08-05-20, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
The two piece master link described is likely for a 1/8" chain, not a 3/32" der chain. The side plate with two holes does have the hole spacing closer then the pins are. One places the plate with pins intop both ends of the chain and then flexes the chain laterally so to bring the ends of the pins closer together and allow the holed side plate to be slid over the ends. Then when the chain is in use the tension will keep the pin ends trapped in the side plate, unless the chain is again bent laterally.

My preference is to use the three piece master link instead for 1/8" chains. Andy
The first time I encountered one of these links, I was confounded as you. the OP, were. Then I read the instructions (frequently the last resort) and all was good again.
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Old 08-05-20, 09:32 AM
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and too things are of great help a quick link tool (one the the better tool investments I have made)

and a piece of wire bent at both ends to hold the chain in place while you fiddle with the link
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Old 08-05-20, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by wayne2000 View Post
I bought a new chain for my cruiser. The old chain had a connector that is U shaped and snapped right in. The new chain has a one piece solid connector with two holes punched out. I tried everything to snap that @#$$&#$&()$## on. Nothing. The holes are about 1/16Ē too far apart. I finally took the U shaped connector off the old chain and used hat.

How the heck do you use the chain connector that is one piece with 2 holes punched in it?
You connect the master link through the chain like normal making sure it is pushed through the chain completely. Hold the outer plate against the master link, usually aligning one hole with a pin on the master link, then using both hands and a thumb holding the plate in place, gently bend the chain in toward the tire at the master link, this brings the two pins closer together enough to slide the plate onto the pins, when it snaps into place release the chain, The plate is held in place via the master link pin groves and chain tension. Easy peasy.
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Old 08-05-20, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by canopus View Post
You connect the master link through the chain like normal making sure it is pushed through the chain completely. Hold the outer plate against the master link, usually aligning one hole with a pin on the master link, then using both hands and a thumb holding the plate in place, gently bend the chain in toward the tire at the master link, this brings the two pins closer together enough to slide the plate onto the pins, when it snaps into place release the chain, The plate is held in place via the master link pin groves and chain tension. Easy peasy.
This

For these style links.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-old-sto...-/303111651154
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Old 08-06-20, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
and too things are of great help a quick link tool (one the the better tool investments I have made)

and a piece of wire bent at both ends to hold the chain in place while you fiddle with the link
Perfectly agree and as old spoke makes the perfect tool for the "wire"
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Old 08-06-20, 03:14 AM
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Helps too if the chain isn't on the sprockets, so you can flex it properly.
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Old 08-06-20, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
The two piece master link described is likely for a 1/8" chain, not a 3/32" der chain. The side plate with two holes does have the hole spacing closer then the pins are. One places the plate with pins intop both ends of the chain and then flexes the chain laterally so to bring the ends of the pins closer together and allow the holed side plate to be slid over the ends. Then when the chain is in use the tension will keep the pin ends trapped in the side plate, unless the chain is again bent laterally.

My preference is to use the three piece master link instead for 1/8" chains. Andy
Just out of interest, Andy, why do you prefer the three piece master link design? Is it the ease of removing the chain again after fitting?

Thanks!
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Old 08-06-20, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt Gaunt View Post
Just out of interest, Andy, why do you prefer the three piece master link design? Is it the ease of removing the chain again after fitting?

Thanks!

No but that's exactly why I like the 3 piece master links, they are harder to come undone. For those who believe that der chains see the hardest use what with shifting stresses and all spend a season servicing kids bikes and you'll likely change your opinions. Kids don't think about their chains (even though the chain is often the critical link (pun) in their brake system), run then loose/tight/rusted. Have skidding contests, jump their little BMX bikes over any curb cut or plywood ramp they can find. Leave their bikes outside all week. Bend their chainrings on other bikes or their legs. Get those training wheels removed by clueless Dads and big sister's boy friends.

I've seen more then a few 2 piece links fail from bent rings/teeth producing the needed lateral prying. No, I'll take a 3 piece any day over the 2 piece. And on my own bike that use 1/8" chain (all with Sturmey Archer IGHs) I'll connect the chains with a pin, just like we used to do with der chains when I was young. Andy
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Old 08-06-20, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
No but that's exactly why I like the 3 piece master links, they are harder to come undone. For those who believe that der chains see the hardest use what with shifting stresses and all spend a season servicing kids bikes and you'll likely change your opinions. Kids don't think about their chains (even though the chain is often the critical link (pun) in their brake system), run then loose/tight/rusted. Have skidding contests, jump their little BMX bikes over any curb cut or plywood ramp they can find. Leave their bikes outside all week. Bend their chainrings on other bikes or their legs. Get those training wheels removed by clueless Dads and big sister's boy friends.

I've seen more then a few 2 piece links fail from bent rings/teeth producing the needed lateral prying. No, I'll take a 3 piece any day over the 2 piece. And on my own bike that use 1/8" chain (all with Sturmey Archer IGHs) I'll connect the chains with a pin, just like we used to do with der chains when I was young. Andy
Nice to read a account written that has immense experience, and an intention to explain and help. Thanks, Andy.

As far as kids doing accelerated high stress testing of their poor bikes, I resemble that remark. Lost a bit due to the mists of time, but...

We also torture tested skateboards. Our friend's house was on the shallow slope of small valley. Their driveway pointed straight down that slope and intersected the street which ran up and down that valley. Across the street the valley slope continued downward to a creek. We build a skate board ramp sloping up. I think some building site acquisition of materials was made. So you zoomed down the hill, crossed the street, hit the ramp at high velocity, and went up. We build the ramp big enough and with enough slope so that it wasn't a jump (it would have been about a 15 foot drop into the creek). We had fun with skateboards, then tried bikes. Insanely fun. A parent would be arrested for child abuse today if they let their kids do that. Sigh. Good times....
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Old 08-06-20, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
No but that's exactly why I like the 3 piece master links, they are harder to come undone. For those who believe that der chains see the hardest use what with shifting stresses and all spend a season servicing kids bikes and you'll likely change your opinions. Kids don't think about their chains (even though the chain is often the critical link (pun) in their brake system), run then loose/tight/rusted. Have skidding contests, jump their little BMX bikes over any curb cut or plywood ramp they can find. Leave their bikes outside all week. Bend their chainrings on other bikes or their legs. Get those training wheels removed by clueless Dads and big sister's boy friends.

I've seen more then a few 2 piece links fail from bent rings/teeth producing the needed lateral prying. No, I'll take a 3 piece any day over the 2 piece. And on my own bike that use 1/8" chain (all with Sturmey Archer IGHs) I'll connect the chains with a pin, just like we used to do with der chains when I was young. Andy
Really helpful insight - thank you!
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Old 08-06-20, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
No but that's exactly why I like the 3 piece master links, they are harder to come undone. For those who believe that der chains see the hardest use what with shifting stresses and all spend a season servicing kids bikes and you'll likely change your opinions. Kids don't think about their chains (even though the chain is often the critical link (pun) in their brake system), run then loose/tight/rusted. Have skidding contests, jump their little BMX bikes over any curb cut or plywood ramp they can find. Leave their bikes outside all week. Bend their chainrings on other bikes or their legs. Get those training wheels removed by clueless Dads and big sister's boy friends.

I've seen more then a few 2 piece links fail from bent rings/teeth producing the needed lateral prying. No, I'll take a 3 piece any day over the 2 piece. And on my own bike that use 1/8" chain (all with Sturmey Archer IGHs) I'll connect the chains with a pin, just like we used to do with der chains when I was young. Andy
I have learned as much in the last ten years fixing kids bikes at our local non-profit shop than I did in a lifetime of fixing my own familyís and friendís bikes. You learn what components are most vulnerable to abuse, you learn that one measurement is better than ten guesses, and you learn how to spot quality in any given component. It is a shame that bike mechanics donít get more respect as a profession.

I am the guy in our neighborhood who keeps all of the kidís bikes rolling, but I have much respect for those who do this for a living.
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