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Master links.

Old 08-03-20, 11:25 PM
  #1  
Bicycle...and D
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Master links.

Bike is a '73 Motobecane. Chain is original and in pretty good shape, however, it is continuous. I want to remove it for cleaning and ease of rear wheel maintenance, but I don't know if I can get a master link to fit.

So...are these old chains a different size? Is there a way to tell what size?
Will any chain breaker work and where do I get a master link to fit?

As always, thank you for your help.
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Old 08-04-20, 07:14 AM
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G to your Local Bike Shop(LBS) and ask for a quick link. they should have them for 5,6,7 speed, 8 speed, nine speed, 10 speed and 11 speed chains.
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Old 08-04-20, 07:59 AM
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Chains from that era were pinned, not riveted, and no master link was used because the pins could reliably re-close the chain. As the number of sprockets on the rear cluster increased beyond seven, chains needed narrower width, and the protruding pins on old-style chains interfered with this. Riveted chains were developed to address this, with peened ends on the rivets to hold them in place. Pushing out a rivet destroys that peening, so the rivet cannot reliably re-close the chain after being pushed out. Instead, a master link is used to close the chain.

If your current chain is still good, you can continue to use it without a master link until it wears out. Once that happens, you'll need to replace is with a riveted chain and a master link, as pinned chains for derailleur bicycles are no longer commonly available.
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Old 08-04-20, 09:09 AM
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& as the flexible derailleur chain became bushing-less (& shifting Indexed)


I liked the old style wider plate full bushing chain , pins, proud, just slightly deformed on the ends..

but not as precisely riveted as currently done

Now relegated the wide single speed chains.. hard to find other than 1/8" wide, there are different master links for those 1/8" chains
3/32" chains, perfect on my 3 speed & R'off, even harder to find..






..
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Old 08-04-20, 11:12 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
G to your Local Bike Shop(LBS) and ask for a quick link. they should have them for 5,6,7 speed, 8 speed, nine speed, 10 speed and 11 speed chains.
Okay, is this like a master link? Reusable and such?
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Old 08-04-20, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Chains from that era were pinned, not riveted, and no master link was used because the pins could reliably re-close the chain. As the number of sprockets on the rear cluster increased beyond seven, chains needed narrower width, and the protruding pins on old-style chains interfered with this. Riveted chains were developed to address this, with peened ends on the rivets to hold them in place. Pushing out a rivet destroys that peening, so the rivet cannot reliably re-close the chain after being pushed out. Instead, a master link is used to close the chain.

If your current chain is still good, you can continue to use it without a master link until it wears out. Once that happens, you'll need to replace is with a riveted chain and a master link, as pinned chains for derailleur bicycles are no longer commonly available.
Weird. When I was a kid, all the chains on everyone's bikes had master links. My first encounter with a continuous chain was on my 1980 CB750F.
This chain is still good, but removing the rear wheel is such a struggle as the derail mechanism has to be removed to get said chain out of the way. And that mechanism does not go back on without a fight.
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Old 08-04-20, 11:32 AM
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Fietsbob. There used to be a park, right near Astoria, with the best paved bike roads I've ever seen. Are they still there?

Any time I was going to be working on the coast there, this Motobecan was hung off the back of my '68 Buick Electra and taken to those roads.
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Old 08-04-20, 01:00 PM
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You Mean Ft Stevens? its an Oregon State Park..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Stevens_(Oregon)

there is another Ft Stevens a National park in DC..

Both Civil War Military sites..




...

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Old 08-04-20, 01:51 PM
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I remember some old parapets and some kind of museum/gift shop.
It's been at least 40 years since I've been there so I suspect there have been lots of changes. Do the bike roads still exist?
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Old 08-04-20, 02:09 PM
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'73 and original chain. Bike must not have been used often. Make certain the chain isn't worn out. If the pin at the twelve inch mark is an 1/8 inch or more longer than 12 inches from your starting pin then it's way beyond life. Some replace when they are only 1/16" out.

Yes we did have quick links in the olden days of vintage bikes. But more often than not my older bikes were just pinned. But you always can get a master link, quick link or whatever they want to call them.

They are specific to the info leob1 mentioned in post #2 Though the same dimension internally, chains got narrower externally. Thinner side plates and things.
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Old 08-04-20, 03:48 PM
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I'll see if I can measure the chain. The bike only has 1900 miles on the odometer and I'm pretty sure I put the speedo on it when first purchased.
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Old 08-04-20, 03:57 PM
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Oh.... if you know the mileage history and it's only 1900 miles or even double that then it's probably okay. Doesn't hurt to check it though. Didn't realize this was always yours.

I use a chain checker just because it's quicker and doesn't require me to be in a well lit area with my glasses on. Some chain checkers can fail a good chain under certain conditions though. So if they show any wear I double check with a steel scale.
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Old 08-04-20, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bicycle...and D View Post
Weird. When I was a kid, all the chains on everyone's bikes had master links. My first encounter with a continuous chain was on my 1980 CB750F.
1/8" chains used on single-speed and bikes with internally geared hubs often used clip-type master links, but that type of master link wouldn't always pass through the pulley cage of a derailleur system. The master links used on modern riveted chains don't have that problem, but they have to be sized specifically for the chain they are joining. E.g. you don't use a 9-speed master link on an 11-speed chain, or vice-versa.
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