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Chain tool suitable for use in a bike co-op?

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Chain tool suitable for use in a bike co-op?

Old 07-26-11, 12:25 AM
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Chain tool suitable for use in a bike co-op?

I volunteer in a bike repair co-op, and although we keep our CT-3 chain tools in back and out of sight, customers and inexperienced volunteers often seem to get their hands on them. With the CT-3, if the chain is not held firmly in the tool, then the pin bends and must be replaced. If the customer tries to use a tool with a bent pin, then the actual tool bends and becomes useless.

Can anybody recommend a chain breaker that is less prone to becoming damaged, and would be suitable for unsupervised use in a bike repair co-op environment?

Thanks!
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Old 07-26-11, 12:36 AM
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Are they using the tool on the wrong type of chain?, the CT-3 is only for 6,7,8,9 & 10 speed chains, not 11 or BMX type. The CT-3 is pretty heavy duty, what about a CT-5, it's small but works well.

Although you have this in use in a co-op, should you not give some basic instruction to volunteers on what tools can and can not be used on, and how to use them to prevent this sort of damage, and also to reduce the risk of injury to them?
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Old 07-26-11, 01:13 AM
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I don't think that wrong-size chain is as much of an issue as is the chain sliding up out of the tool. We get some single-speeds (and use a different tool on them), but I can't remember the last time I saw a 10-speed drivetrain in the shop. Even if it is a wrong-size-chain problem, we still need something that won't get destroyed if we forget to put it away and somebody grabs it and starts using it.

Is the CT-5 significantly more resistant to bending than the CT-3? Or is it otherwise more suitable?
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Old 07-26-11, 06:24 AM
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The CT-5 is a light weight "portable" chain tool intended for occasional use, not shop abuse. The CT-3 is Park's heavy duty tool. Any chain tool has to have a a pin thin enough to push out the connecting pins and long enough to reach all the way through the chain plates so loading it off center is going to bend it.

Park makes the CT-2 Plier chain tool that looks pretty rugged but, IIRC, it's limited to use on older, pre-8-speed chain where the pins are reusable.
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Old 07-26-11, 12:44 PM
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The CT-2 can be use 8 speeds chain if use with the newer pins than park makes for Ct-3 .
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Old 07-26-11, 01:04 PM
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I find the CT3 to be one of the better, more durable chain tools out there. If people are just cutting chains to throw them away, I would hand them a set of bolt cutters instead.

+1 CT5 is light duty in comparison. Ditto the Performance/Nashbar/Spin Doctor branded chain tools.
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Old 07-26-11, 03:17 PM
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I actually prefer this type over the fancy ones and sometime find them for about 3 bucks....

https://www.amazon.com/Pyramid-Bicycl.../dp/B0006JI0XO
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Old 07-27-11, 12:00 PM
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I guess we'll be sticking with the CT-3. Or possibly the CT-2, but it looks a little expensive and I'd hate to see it get stolen.

Thanks for the replies, everybody. They are much appreciated.
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Old 07-27-11, 01:44 PM
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Might have a How to, lesson in a group class.. so people learn the knack.
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Old 07-27-11, 08:19 PM
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As I recall the CT-3 has an aluminum pin. Somewhere out there I've seen steel pins for those.
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Old 07-27-11, 08:54 PM
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You can also make several darn solid pins out of an old dull drill bit of the proper size.
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Old 07-28-11, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jccaclimber
As I recall the CT-3 has an aluminum pin. Somewhere out there I've seen steel pins for those.
That's not correct and never has been. The first version of the CT-3 had an aluminum frame and it was too fragile as the chain supporting "shelves" tended to break off. Park quickly replaced it with a steel frame version and the problems were over. The pins and press screw have always been steel.

You can also make several darn solid pins out of an old dull drill bit of the proper size.
Not for the CT-3. The pins are threaded on one end and screw into the press screw.
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Old 07-28-11, 12:24 PM
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Cheapest I could find.
https://www.opentip.com/Sporting-Good...p-1982323.html

Better rules for use might help. For example only authorized people may use park tools.

Does it have a replaceable pin. Contact park and order a bulk lot.
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Old 07-28-11, 01:11 PM
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Any of them will break or bend if used improperly.
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Old 07-28-11, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
I find the CT3 to be one of the better, more durable chain tools out there. If people are just cutting chains to throw them away, I would hand them a set of bolt cutters instead.

+1 CT5 is light duty in comparison. Ditto the Performance/Nashbar/Spin Doctor branded chain tools.
hell yea bolt cutters are the heat. 1 chop on the top run and the chain is on the floor ready for scrap unless its a rusty heap.
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Old 07-29-11, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider
That's not correct and never has been. The first version of the CT-3 had an aluminum frame and it was too fragile as the chain supporting "shelves" tended to break off. Park quickly replaced it with a steel frame version and the problems were over. The pins and press screw have always been steel.


Not for the CT-3. The pins are threaded on one end and screw into the press screw.
The cycling club at my undergrad definitely had a steel one, I'll see if anyone I know there can get to it and take a picture. It's entirely possible that it was made in the school machine shop by a fed up engineering student, and not purchased online. I do remember that it had a hex instead of that silly interface the aluminum ones have.
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Old 07-29-11, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jccaclimber
I do remember that it had a hex instead of that silly interface the aluminum ones have.
As I said the CT-3 never had aluminum pins. I had one of the aluminum frame versions that Park replaced under warranty but it's pin was definitely steel as is the newer one. I don't think anyone ever made aluminum pins for any chain tool ever.
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Old 07-31-11, 06:38 PM
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Gotcha, I read that the other way around. I'll really have to find that chain tool next time I'm back, because we had two pins, a silver one and a darker one. I feel a bit silly assuming the silver ones were aluminum seeing as that makes no sense whatsoever given the application. Good thing my machine shop buddies don't read this forum because I'd never hear the end of this otherwise.
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