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Need help replacing chain

Old 11-20-04, 09:08 PM
  #1  
Hobbes
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I've had my bike for about a year now. So it was overdue for a chain change. I bought the chain from the bike store but declined having them put it on for two dollars. Its not that I thought two dollars was allot of money. Its just that I wanted to learn how to do stuff like that myself. Anyways.

I break the old chain. I spend hours trying to figure out how to thread the new chain through the rear derailler (and when I finely did figure it out, it was with help ) but now I got a new problem.

When I took off the old chain I carefully checked its length against the new chain. I did this several times to be sure counting link per link. So I removed three links from the new chain. But now the ends are mismatched. On both ends are wide links. What do I do? Did I possibly miscount the links? Should I take another link off the new chain so has matching ends? Might that make the chain a link too short?

Also I used a pair of cloth gloves to handle the chain (because that grease is so very hard to get off ones hands) big mistake. Now the new chain has little pieces of lint stuck to it in spots from the gloves. Should I wash the new chain or will those tiny pieces of lint make much of a difference?

Thank you ahead of time for any help
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Old 11-20-04, 09:24 PM
  #2  
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Yes remove the half link so the two ends will mate and don’t worry about the lint on the chain or about getting a little grease on your hands, you will never be able to work the chain tool with gloves on.

Learning to properly fit and connect a chain is something that is best learned by watching someone who is proficient at it. Things like just how much side pressure to apply to the chain after the pin is pressed in to eliminate kinking is very hard to explain in a written description.
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Old 11-20-04, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Hobbes
When I took off the old chain I carefully checked its length against the new chain. I did this several times to be sure counting link per link. So I removed three links from the new chain. But now the ends are mismatched. On both ends are wide links. What do I do? Did I possibly miscount the links? Should I take another link off the new chain so has matching ends? Might that make the chain a link too short?

Also I used a pair of cloth gloves to handle the chain (because that grease is so very hard to get off ones hands) big mistake. Now the new chain has little pieces of lint stuck to it in spots from the gloves. Should I wash the new chain or will those tiny pieces of lint make much of a difference?

Thank you ahead of time for any help

Assuming you still have your old chain, lay it out on a table and place the new chain along side it. On the old chain, note the position of the wide and narrow end links - this will be the correct length. Adjust you new chain to match. Hopefully you don't have to add a link.

I wouldn't worry about the lint in the chain.
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Old 11-20-04, 09:36 PM
  #4  
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Go Jo gets rid of grease like no other
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Old 11-20-04, 09:42 PM
  #5  
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Won't that make the chain a link too short though? Or is it not quite that sensitive that a link would make a difference?

I don't have the old chain. I started working on this last night but got sudden inexplicable and very painful heartburn. So I figured I would finish it tomorrow. I threw the old chain in the dumpster as it was coated with a years worth of oily silt (it was pretty nasty) and had checked the length link per link 4 or more times before tossing it. Just a moment ago I tossed some items around in the dumpster hoping to spot it. I didn't and I really don't want to "dumpster dive"
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Old 11-20-04, 11:13 PM
  #6  
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This is hard to describe in writing. A single chain link consists of the outer plates and the inner narrower portion. I think you cut the chain at a half link. You could remove 1/2 link from either end and rejoin the chain. This will make your chain 1/2 shorter than it was before. It probably won't matter unless your old chain was cut to the limit that your derralieur can handle. Just make sure next time that one end of the chain is wide, and the other end is narrow. Also never push the pin out all the way. The links that you joined together will be stiff. Before you ride, loosen them by working the stiff areas sideways back and forth ( more grease for your gloves). It's best to have someone show you or to get a good bike mechanic book like the one by Lennard Zinn. The other replies are correct though and lint won't hurt the chain.
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Old 11-21-04, 02:45 AM
  #7  
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Never push what pins all the way out?

Is it really as difficult/sensitive to insert a pin/connect a chain as worldwind suggests?

As long as I'm cautious and remove and check pin position every bit of turn near the end I should be fine right? If I were to accidental push the pin a little too far out the other side, would it be fine to simply push it back the other way or would the pin be ruined and create a lose fit?
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Old 11-21-04, 05:12 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Hobbes
Never push what pins all the way out? Good advice.

Is it really as difficult/sensitive to insert a pin/connect a chain as worldwind suggests? Yes.

As long as I'm cautious and remove and check pin position every bit of turn near the end I should be fine right? If I were to accidental push the pin a little too far out the other side, would it be fine to simply push it back the other way or would the pin be ruined and create a lose fit?

Hey, if you want to push it all the way out, go right ahead. You will find out, in time, that Hobbes is right on. Personally, I have never seen a loose fit after re-installing a pin. Anyone????

In fact, what you usually end up with is a slightly stiff link and you actually need to bend the chain (gently now) to get the alignment correct and make the link behave as it should. Just curl the fingers of both hands over the chain and push very gently with your thumbs (imagine trying to break a pencil, but much easier). Just flex it a little and you'll usually get it right away. Once you've done one, it'll be just like riding a bicycle ;-)
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Old 11-21-04, 08:16 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Hobbes
I've had my bike for about a year now. So it was overdue for a chain change. I bought the chain from the bike store but declined having them put it on for two dollars. Its not that I thought two dollars was allot of money. Its just that I wanted to learn how to do stuff like that myself. Anyways.

I break the old chain. I spend hours trying to figure out how to thread the new chain through the rear derailler (and when I finely did figure it out, it was with help ) but now I got a new problem.

When I took off the old chain I carefully checked its length against the new chain. I did this several times to be sure counting link per link. So I removed three links from the new chain. But now the ends are mismatched. On both ends are wide links. What do I do? Did I possibly miscount the links? Should I take another link off the new chain so has matching ends? Might that make the chain a link too short?

Also I used a pair of cloth gloves to handle the chain (because that grease is so very hard to get off ones hands) big mistake. Now the new chain has little pieces of lint stuck to it in spots from the gloves. Should I wash the new chain or will those tiny pieces of lint make much of a difference?

Thank you ahead of time for any help
Why don't you cut thru all this garbage and nonsense and check the repair section at www.parktool.com
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Old 11-21-04, 12:25 PM
  #10  
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@sydney Thanks, I had found that site before though, I still had some questions after reading it though which is why I posted here.

@Cascade
Beyond everything else you didn't even answer my question, which was which pin are you even talking about?!?

Originally Posted by parkertool.com
Some chains, including Shimano®, use chain rivets which are peened. This creates a "mushroom" effect at the ends of the rivets, which adds to the strength of the chain side plates. When a rivet is pressed even partially out, this peening is sheered off on the side pressed by the chain tool. If this rivet were reused, it would create a weak link at that rivet.
See Cascade!?

@ everyone
If I accidentally push the pin/rivet too far so that it comes out the other end, will that have sheared off the preen or can I reverse the tool and push it the other way so its lined up right?

Also, my chain came with a pin partially out. The instructions at parkers tool seem to suggest that I put the replacement guided pin that came with my chain through that spot forcing out the pin halfway out. A guy at the bike shop said it would be alright to use that pin partially out for the chain joining. What do you guys think? Is it there just as a guide of some sort or can it actually be used so that I can save the separate pin that came with it for if I ever need to break and rejoin in the future?
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Old 11-21-04, 01:16 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Hobbes
@sydney Thanks, I had found that site before though, I still had some questions after reading it though which is why I posted here.

@Cascade
Beyond everything else you didn't even answer my question, which was which pin are you even talking about?!?


See Cascade!?

@ everyone
If I accidentally push the pin/rivet too far so that it comes out the other end, will that have sheared off the preen or can I reverse the tool and push it the other way so its lined up right?

Also, my chain came with a pin partially out. The instructions at parkers tool seem to suggest that I put the replacement guided pin that came with my chain through that spot forcing out the pin halfway out. A guy at the bike shop said it would be alright to use that pin partially out for the chain joining. What do you guys think? Is it there just as a guide of some sort or can it actually be used so that I can save the separate pin that came with it for if I ever need to break and rejoin in the future?
It's hell getting a pushed pin back in a chain. I wouldn't do it or mess with trying to do it.Duno what chain you have. Shimano says to use the special replacement pins for connecting the chain. A new chain should have come with them if required. A Sram chain is less hassle as it comes with a no tool connecting link that can be easily removed. A sram 9 speed link can be used on a shimano 9 speed chain. A big part of doing this stuff involves doing it RIGHT. Chains are simple things,yet people do all kinds of dumb things to them and then gripe when they fail.
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Old 11-21-04, 04:38 PM
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I have a shimano IG51.

Should I use the unpushed factory set pin already partially in the chain or the special replacement pin that comes with guide that came separately wrapped with chain? I'm worried that if I try to use the partially pushed in pin, without the guider its peen might be sheared off. But that pin must have some purpose and I can't figure it out via the limited instructions that came with the chain.
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Old 11-21-04, 04:42 PM
  #13  
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You should have paid the $2.00 and asked the guy to observe when he/she replaced the chain! Even offer a tip...

Pedal On,

Bob Light
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Old 11-21-04, 04:44 PM
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The reason you have the pin protruding from your new chain is to joing the ends of the chain together.

Doc
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Old 11-21-04, 05:06 PM
  #15  
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Actually you should clean that "grease" off the chain before it even goes on the bike. That stuff is Cosmoline and is like glue for dirt... it just a shipping/packing protectant they use in VW's, Guns, and apparently, bike chains.
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Old 11-21-04, 05:27 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Hobbes
I have a shimano IG51.

Should I use the unpushed factory set pin already partially in the chain or the special replacement pin that comes with guide that came separately wrapped with chain? I'm worried that if I try to use the partially pushed in pin, without the guider its peen might be sheared off. But that pin must have some purpose and I can't figure it out via the limited instructions that came with the chain.
Use a real chain made by Sram.
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Old 11-21-04, 08:17 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by DocF
The reason you have the pin protruding from your new chain is to joing the ends of the chain together.

Doc
Well then whats the guided pin that came with it but separately packed for then? Backup? Why doesn't the protruding pin come with a guide as well?
.
Originally Posted by seely
Actually you should clean that "grease" off the chain before it even goes on the bike. That stuff is Cosmoline and is like glue for dirt... it just a shipping/packing protectant they use in VW's, Guns, and apparently, bike chains.
How would you recommend washing off that grease?
.
Originally Posted by sydney
It's hell getting a pushed pin back in a chain. I wouldn't do it or mess with trying to do it.
You mean if I were to accidentally push the pin in too far so it slightly protrudes from the other side I should just get it all the way out and throw it away? Perhaps the chain as well? (since the chain holes could have been damaged?)
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Old 11-21-04, 09:18 PM
  #18  
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I'm with spending two bucks and not worrying whether your experiment worked everytime you jump on the bike. I have just done my first three chains, but I did the reasearch on parktools/Sheldon Brown etc and read the instructions that came with the new chains. Once you get how it works, it is easy.
Key thing is - do not re-use link pins, always use a fresh one, and never break and relink where it has been relinked previously. Be careful not to push it through too far.
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Old 11-22-04, 01:22 AM
  #19  
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I do thank you guys for your assistance thus far but this is getting very frusterating. No clear answers to my last questions and no matter how hard I search shimanos webpage I can't find a email for them so its kinda hard to ask them.
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Old 11-22-04, 01:39 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Hobbes
I started working on this last night but got sudden inexplicable and very painful heartburn.
How old are you? Physical condition? I would consider seeing a doctor once you have the chain issue worked out, just in case.

Cheers...Gary
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Old 11-22-04, 08:15 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by gmason
How old are you? Physical condition? I would consider seeing a doctor once you have the chain issue worked out, just in case.

Cheers...Gary
I think he needs to get help before he messes with that chain any more.
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Old 11-22-04, 09:38 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Hobbes
I do thank you guys for your assistance thus far but this is getting very frusterating. No clear answers to my last questions and no matter how hard I search shimanos webpage I can't find a email for them so its kinda hard to ask them.

When you get a new chain it is almost always longer than you need it to be.
A new chain may have a “unpushed factory set pin” at one end. Don’t take links from this end. Measure your old chain (count links) and push out a pin at the other end that corresponds to the proper link on the new chain exactly as far as the factory set pin on the other end is. Now remove the unwanted links by slightly bending the chain sideways with the protruding pin to the inside of the arc until the section pops out.

The loose pin is a spare put it in your patch kit so you don’t loose it.

I don’t recommend washing off the grease it will come off buy itself just clean and re-lube after your next ride.

You wont push the pin in to far because you will take the removed section of chain that you removed when you measured your old chain and you will practice taking it apart and re attaching links until you can do it properly every time.

When you have become proficient at this you will have learned two things. How far to push out a pin so you can just remove the link and still have enough left inserted to hold the other end of the chain in place against the pull of the derailleur cage when you install it. And you will know just how far to press the pin in to get a good set that doesn’t bind the links.

Now you can put your new chain on your bike.

If you make a mistake on a chain that specifies not to reuse pins and you believe them, just remove that link. Having a slightly shorter chain is no big deal. It only becomes an issue when the chain is too short to get on the big ring and the biggest cog.



Hobbes don’t let this get to you, all you need is some good info and some practice.

I was just like you when I started out with bikes. Driven to do it the exact right way I was frustrated by the experienced wrenches cavalier attitude and their unwillingness to explain every last iota of detail about why a certain task was done a certain way. There is a lot of history and tradition in the world of bike wrenching, and a lot of years of refining methods to achieve the best and quickest.

Seek out a mentor that you can trust and become the vessel by which he can pass on this knowledge.

Last edited by WorldWind; 11-22-04 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 11-22-04, 09:51 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by WorldWind
A new chain will have a “unpushed factory set pin” at one end. Don’t take links from this end.
None of my DA or ultegra chains do, and In fact I don't recall any new chain I ever got that did.
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Old 11-22-04, 10:06 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by sydney
None of my DA or ultegra chains do, and In fact I don't recall any new chain I ever got that did.


Look at the end of the new chain, top of picture.
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Old 11-22-04, 10:17 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by WorldWind
Look at the end of the new chain, top of picture.
And I have 7 shimanos, 5 Srams and 2 campys that don't. So, obiously,they ALL don't.
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