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Ooops!

Old 01-07-12, 10:39 AM
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closetbiker
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Ooops!

Ok, so maybe I'm a troglodyte.

I used to replace chains before they had these new, "master" links (is that what they call them?) so when I replaced my old chain with a new one, I ignored the link packaged in a separate, tiny bag and just used my chain tool to determine the length of new chain needed (for my igh hub) left the fancy link in it's bag and connected the chain together and headed off to work.

I thought that it might be a good idea to bring the chain tool with me (in case I wasn't as careful as I should have been) but since in the 27 years I've been commuting I've only needed a chain tool once, I left it behind.

I think you could guess what happened. While making a turn, I stressed the improperly connected chain too much and it came apart.

So should I have used this fancy link, or did I just not quite push the pin in far enough?

I'll have to take out the link I used to connect the chain because the female portion is now broken. I think that's OK because if I used the "fancy" link, I need to make space for it.

Oh, the trials of an amature mechanic (aka - cheapskate)

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Old 01-07-12, 10:45 AM
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Those masterlinks aren't exactly new, they have been around for about 20 years now atleast, Craig Metalcraft were producing them in the early-mid 90's
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Old 01-07-12, 10:55 AM
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the early 90's is new to me. I'm old.

I have replaced chains since that time though however, I can't recall if I ever have used a master link.

It's been quite a bit of time since I replaced a chain (for a number of reasons - new bikes, cassettes changes that shops did because I only had freewheel tools) but if I think about it, I seem to remember replacing a chain that had a master link that I didn't use.

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Old 01-07-12, 11:05 AM
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? thats only a few year after you started commuting, of all the big chain brands (KMC, SRAM, Wippermann & Shimano) only Shimano don't come with one now, and they require a special rivit. You can join the other brands using the old method, as you did, but it's far easier to use a masterlink. for 8/9 speed, all are re-usable, for 10 speed, SRAM's arn't, KMC are.
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Old 01-07-12, 11:07 AM
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How is not using something you already paid for being a cheapskate?

You should have used the fancy link. Or tossed it in your seatbag with the chain tool, just in case...

I use the supplied masterlink when replacing a chain -- to not do so when it is clearly stated in the installation instructions is not best shop practice...

Having said that, I just installed a 9sp chain like you did on a friend's bike because he didn't have a masterlink and said he'd been doing in that way for some time. He's a messenger, puts huge miles on his bike, and has not had issues. So maybe not pushed in all the way?

If you have a masterlink, why would you not use it...? Quicker, easier, makes chain removal a literal snap...
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Old 01-07-12, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
? thats only a few year after you started commuting...
I started bike commuting in '84
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Old 01-07-12, 11:25 AM
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Modern narrow chains have much thinner sideplates and shorter pins then their predecessors and stay together because the pin ends are flaired and riveted in place. Pushing out one of these pins removes the flair and reams out the sideplate hole. Rejoining the chain reusing the same pin leaves a much weaker joint and is a recipe for failure. These new chains are properly joined with a supplied master link (KMC, Wippermann, SRAM) or a specific joining pin (Shimano). BTW, all new chains come with an instruction sheet for their proper installation. RTFM

mconlox's friend who claims to have successfully rejoined 9-speed chains with the standard pins is either extraordinarily lucky or has really been using the Shimano replacement pin.
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Old 01-07-12, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
How is not using something you already paid for being a cheapskate?
I sometimes consider myself a cheapskate because I almost always do the work myself instead of hiring someone who is much better at it than me.

At other times, I just think of myself as resourceful, self-sufficient, and game to try things I haven't done yet

You should have used the fancy link. Or tossed it in your seatbag with the chain tool, just in case...
I agree. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?

Having said that, I just installed a 9sp chain like you did on a friend's bike because he didn't have a masterlink and said he'd been doing in that way for some time. He's a messenger, puts huge miles on his bike, and has not had issues. So maybe not pushed in all the way?
That's what I'm thinking

If you have a masterlink, why would you not use it...? Quicker, easier, makes chain removal a literal snap...
I think I will now. I guess I was just a bit careless and rushed this morning, plus it had been a while since I last replaced a chain. I looked at the pin and thought it would be more difficult to remove and since I may not get the length right the first time (it was the first time replacing without a derailuer) I thought it best to go with what I've done in the past
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Old 01-07-12, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Modern narrow chains have much thinner sideplates and shorter pins then their predecessors and stay together because the pin ends are flaired and riveted in place. Pushing out one of these pins removes the flair and reams out the sideplate hole. Rejoining the chain reusing the same pin leaves a much weaker joint and is a recipe for failure. These new chains are properly joined with a supplied master link (KMC, Wippermann, SRAM) or a specific joining pin (Shimano). BTW, all new chains come with an instruction sheet for their proper installation. RTFM

mconlox's friend who claims to have successfully rejoined 9-speed chains with the standard pins is either extraordinarily lucky or has really been using the Shimano replacement pin.
How about the wider chains used for single speeds, like the one I'm using for my igh? Would they have thinner side plates as well? I wouldn't think that they do.
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Old 01-07-12, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
How about the wider chains used for single speeds, like the one I'm using for my igh? Would they have thinner side plates as well? I wouldn't think that they do.
i've recently bought a number of single speed specific chains (sram pc-1 i believe) and you should feel comfortable with them. they seem to work well with the old method of using a chaintool to make modifications. although they come with some kind of master like or something, i, like you, leave 'em in the bag.

and while i'm at it, i think it is entirely reasonable to do what you did. i've done the same until recently and got away with it. BTW, nobody has seen fit to mention that lengthening a new (type) chain, apparently, is now impossible without using multiple master links, isn't it?

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Old 01-07-12, 12:03 PM
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You connected the chain together how? Did you reuse the pin you pushed out? That's basically a no-no. Shimano chains come with a special pin with a lead in to join chains and others provide new-fangled fancy quick-links.

Once you push the pin out, the holes in the plates and the diameter of the used pin no longer provide enough interference for it to be reliable.
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Old 01-07-12, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
i've recently bought a number of single speed specific chains (sram pc-1 i believe) and you should feel comfortable with them. they seem to work well with the old method of using a chaintool to make modifications. although they come with some kind of master like or something, i, like you, leave 'em in the bag.

and while i'm at it, i think it is entirely reasonable to do what you did. i've done the same until recently and got away with it. BTW, nobody has seen fit to mention that lengthening a new (type) chain, apparently, is now impossible without using multiple master links, isn't it?
I guess it would be.

I used to keep the extra links thinking that one day, I would get a new chain out of it.

I misplaced the container I kept the links in though. Too much time makes things disappear.
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Old 01-07-12, 12:07 PM
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Since the advent of Hyperglide, or gated shifting, with it's cut down teeth which make shifting easier, chains have had to have peened rivets to prevent the plates from spreading when shifting. That's been 20 years or so, starting with 7 speed.

So all chains intended for 7s and more gears need to be closed with a master link or the special pin, otherwise the chain will break sometime after a hard shift under load.

If the OP is lucky, he cut the chain to the long side, and can afford to remove the damaged link, and re-close his chain properly using the pin provided. If not he'll need two pins. One at each end of a spliced in section to close the chain at the correct length.
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Old 01-07-12, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
You connected the chain together how? Did you reuse the pin you pushed out? That's basically a no-no. Shimano chains come with a special pin with a lead in to join chains and others provide new-fangled fancy quick-links.

Once you push the pin out, the holes in the plates and the diameter of the used pin no longer provide enough interference for it to be reliable.
I didn't push the pin all the way out, just far enough that by bending the chain, I can pop the link free.

Once upon a time, by accident, I did push one all the way out. It was pretty tough to get the rivit back in.

And it isn't a Shimano chain. I forget the brand (but I think it had a big Z on the box)
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Old 01-07-12, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Since the advent of Hyperglide, or gated shifting, with it's cut down teeth which make shifting easier, chains have had to have peened rivets to prevent the plates from spreading when shifting. That's been 20 years or so, starting with 7 speed.

So all chains intended for 7s and more gears need to be closed with a master link or the special pin, otherwise the chain will break sometime after a hard shift under load.

If the OP is lucky, he cut the chain to the long side, and can afford to remove the damaged link, and re-close his chain properly using the pin provided. If not he'll need two pins. One at each end of a spliced in section to close the chain at the correct length.
Well that explains it. My "new" bike was bought in '97 on sale because it was last years model. It has 7 cogs in the cassette. My previous bikes were 5 and 6 speed freewheels and I never used a master link.

When I bought my new bike I had read that 8 and 9 cog cassettes were coming sonI bought as many 7 hog cassettes as I could find. When I need a change, I just bring a cassette into the shop and let them do the work (because as I said, Inonly have freewheel tools)

The bike I was riding this morning is a rebuilt road frame with an ig hub. First chain change for me in a while.

I think I'll get it right tonight but I'm going to be careful not to push too hard (especially when cornoring) tomorrow
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Old 01-07-12, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
I didn't push the pin all the way out, just far enough that by bending the chain, I can pop the link free.
Bad. N.G. Don't do it.
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Old 01-07-12, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
How about the wider chains used for single speeds, like the one I'm using for my igh? Would they have thinner side plates as well? I wouldn't think that they do.
Nope. They often include master links, but you don't strictly need to use them.
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Old 01-07-12, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Since the advent of Hyperglide, or gated shifting, with it's cut down teeth which make shifting easier, chains have had to have peened rivets to prevent the plates from spreading when shifting. That's been 20 years or so, starting with 7 speed.

So all chains intended for 7s and more gears need to be closed with a master link or the special pin, otherwise the chain will break sometime after a hard shift under load.

If the OP is lucky, he cut the chain to the long side, and can afford to remove the damaged link, and re-close his chain properly using the pin provided. If not he'll need two pins. One at each end of a spliced in section to close the chain at the correct length.
This is the right answer and a very important point - pins cannot be reused in modern multi speed chains. Most companies now use a master link, while Shimano chains use a special pin they include with new chains, but you have to buy separately to have spares. But most Shimano chains are perfectly able to be used with master links from other manufacturers.
I have heard of a few people who claim to have ridden for many miles with re-used pins in Shimano chains, but this admission just indicates they are feeble weaklings.

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Old 01-07-12, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Since the advent of Hyperglide, or gated shifting, with it's cut down teeth which make shifting easier, chains have had to have peened rivets to prevent the plates from spreading when shifting. That's been 20 years or so, starting with 7 speed.

So all chains intended for 7s and more gears need to be closed with a master link or the special pin,
Nope. Campagnolo didn't switch to peened rivets until they introduced 10 speed chains in 2000. The C9 and no longer available 8 speed chains join just like they did on your old 10 speed when that meant 2 rings x 5 cogs.
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Old 01-07-12, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
Those masterlinks aren't exactly new, they have been around for about 20 years now atleast, Craig Metalcraft were producing them in the early-mid 90's

A lot longer than that. Probably since they had chains. We had master links when I was a kid.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/SKIP-TOOTH-B...#ht_1011wt_952

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Old 01-07-12, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
... game to try things I haven't done yet.
Like using a masterlink?
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Old 01-07-12, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Like using a masterlink?
Dude. Your avatar. Did you lose a bet?
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Old 01-07-12, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
A lot longer than that. Probably since they had chains. We had master links when I was a kid.
I think Jim was thinking of the low profile master links for derailleur chains, of which the Lickton Link (made by Craig Metalcraft) was the first.
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Old 01-07-12, 09:27 PM
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There is really a difference between a masterlink and a connecter pin or link. Materlinks are for single speed chains and they usually consist of two halves of a link and a clip that connect the two (although some do snap together). A connecter pin or link are designed to connect a chain without interfering with the derailleur and changing gears. Saying that, it certainly makes sense to use one if it came with the chain. However, one can reuse a pin if your careful; will it create a weaker link? Yes, but how much weaker is the question. I will not try this with riveted chains and have found that Shimano connecting pins work well with most chains in a bind. One should keep in mind that when to press out a pin, you rarely do any damage to the side plates, it's the pin that gets altered; so when reusing a pin, it all boils down to how well you can press one side of the pin into one plate. When you try this with a peened rivet, it will usually result in a small moon shaped sliver, that is a remnant of the rivet peening, but not the side plate. So now you have a chain that has one rivet that is not peened but the nice this about a peened chain is rivet is not flush with the plate. It will be a weaker link, but keep in mind that Campy connected their chains by reusing rivets until they went 10 speed, so one unpeened rivet will not necessarily make the chain blow-up .
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Old 01-07-12, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
Dude. Your avatar. Did you lose a bet?
Kinda. This is the tame one...
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