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Sticky chain link

Old 08-28-10, 10:56 AM
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Sticky chain link

Hey everyone. I've been recently having a problem with one of the links in my chain. In the lower gears (bigger cog) its not much of a problem, just a light clicking, but in the higher gears (smaller cog, more flexibility required in the chain) it can become a real problem, sometimes causing a foot to come out of the toe clips. I tried spraying it with a penetrator, then cleaning the whole chain with soap, then re-lubing with a wax lube and still no success. The bike is about 25 years old, but they were all years spent in a garage, so there's no rust on the drivetrain.

Is it possible that the pieces of the link are pinched together and it's not a dirt/lube problem? Also, can you buy single links of chain or should I replace the whole thing? Would differences in wear between the gears and the chain be an issue because this bike has less than 400 miles on it?

-Jack
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Old 08-28-10, 11:12 AM
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There are a few causes of stiff links, which most commonly just need some lubrication and work in. You might also try to gently but firmly flex the chain sideways with your thumbs on either side of the stiff link to spread the outer plates apart and free it.

Given the age of your chain, especially if it's a 5 or 6 speed bike, it's possible that the inner plate is pushed off it's bushing and jammed against the outer plate. If so, it's non-repairable, though if your chain is long enough, it can be cut out and then chain re-spliced one inch shorter. Bushing chains of this design were becoming rarer 25-30 years ago, so this would only apply to a chain of the older design, and the tip-off is a visible gap of about 1/32" between the inner plate and roller with the bushing peeking out.

Worst case scenario, you need a new chain, but garden variety chains are fairly inexpensive.
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Old 08-28-10, 11:24 AM
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If the chain is rusty why not change it if its 25 years old.
If you don't want to replace it you can try pushing the pin out some to loosen it between plates, this can be done with a chain tool they are made to push pin out as well as relieving plate pressure.
Here is a link on how to use the tool to relieve plate pressure if you are not sure how to do this. http://bicycletutor.com/chain-tool/ Note: 2:40 into video.
As far as replacing the link if that's the case and it's only one link get a master link and use it to replace the tight spot.
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Old 08-28-10, 11:43 AM
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Do you own a chain tool? they are, at least the older ones,
made to both press in the pin,
and in a second operation loosen tight links .
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Old 08-28-10, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Do you own a chain tool? they are, at least the older ones,
made to both press in the pin,
and in a second operation loosen tight links .
+1 Most good chain tools have this feature.

+1 Just replace the chain. I get 5/6 speed chains for under $5 each at Niagara Cycle.
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Old 08-28-10, 02:05 PM
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I have two chain breakers, one is a park tool that has lots of feature like a swiss army knife, and the other is just a chain breaker. How do I use it to loosen a tight link? If I can't get a quick fix, I guess I will probably get a new chain. This bike actually happens to be a 12 speed, 2 chainrings and 6 cogs in the back. Are chains for this setup just as cheap?

Edit:

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Do you own a chain tool? they are, at least the older ones,
made to both press in the pin,
and in a second operation loosen tight links .
This was it. I checked the parktool website to see how to use this feature. I broke both my chain breakers in the process, but I got the link loosened up.

Last edited by JTred; 08-28-10 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 08-28-10, 04:20 PM
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If one of the chain breakers that you "broke" was a Park tool, they will probably replace it for you.
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Old 08-28-10, 05:03 PM
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[QUOTE=JTred;11370592]I have two chain breakers, one is a park tool that has lots of feature like a swiss army knife, and the other is just a chain breaker. How do I use it to loosen a tight link? If I can't get a quick fix, I guess I will probably get a new chain. This bike actually happens to be a 12 speed, 2 chainrings and 6 cogs in the back. Are chains for this setup just as cheap?

Edit:




READ! post #3 should of added watch
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