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Splicing together SRAM chain (old + new)

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Splicing together SRAM chain (old + new)

Old 01-07-17, 09:32 AM
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elcyc
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Splicing together SRAM chain (old + new)

I have used SRAM PC-890 chain for a long time, but it has been discontinued.

I have several (new) splice-removed sections from the main section used in the original splice (I used the provided Power Link for the main in-use chain).

That used section is now over 6 years old and has a few broken plates (only two, I think). I do have all this unused splice sections that I can re-splice in.

Bottom line questions:

When I break a SRAM chain, how safe/secure is it to re-use those same links (and not a dedicated master or Power Link)?

I also have some brand new sections of same-size Shimano chain. I was thinking of combining the SRAM and Shimano chain to complete one new complete chain. Any objections here?

Thanks!
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Old 01-07-17, 09:46 AM
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yes it works.

no, it isn't as reliable as a new chain or a master link unless you are VERY careful about how well you align the pins.

yes you can probably join a shimano and a sram chain remnant together.

a new cheap chain is around $10 and even a nice one is not much more. just buy a new chain.

FWIW, I use chain remnants to make keychains, and I give them to friends!
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Old 01-07-17, 09:49 AM
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also, if you've run a chain long enough to actually break it, that means it was incredibly worn, and has probably already ruined your cassette and possibly your chainrings. if you put a brand new chain (made of new remnants or not) on a worn cassette and chainrings, it will likely skip under power, and the worn cogs will, in turn, accelerate chain wear on the new chain.

seriously, just get a new cassette and chain and call it a day. ebay has these things very very cheap.

just curious, what drivetrain? how many speeds? what are the components on there now?
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Old 01-07-17, 10:00 AM
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I would echo the above. There's no sense in replacing parts of something that has already had multiple failures, anyway...it's time for a whole new system, in this case.

KMC (8.99) and Wippermann (808) are both equivalent, fully plated chains.
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Old 01-07-17, 10:03 AM
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Why bother trying to keep your old chain after you have experienced trouble with it? A new 8 or 9 speed chain is pretty cheap if you buy it online. Most current chains have the ends of the pins spread out so it makes it difficult to come apart on their own but that also makes it more difficult to rejoin sections of chain once you have driven the pin part way out of the chain. It is also not a problem to use multiple master links. Both of my recumbent trikes have three master links because it takes about 2+1/2 standard chains. I could buy a single length from a recumbent shop but the cost per foot is twice what individual chains cost. I've never had a chain failure in many thousands of miles.


You can also buy master links for less than a dollar each postage included if you use international ebay sellers. They are genuine KMC master links just like the ones that come with the new chain.


KMC master link 8,9, or 10 speed $.75 postpaid 2Pcs Portable Bicycle Bike Chain Master Link Joint Connector 10 Speed Quick Clip | eBay


8 speed KMC Z51 chain $8.55 postpaid KMC Z51 6/7/8-Speed Bicycle Chain 1/2" x 3/32" 7.1mm for 18/21/24-Speed MTB/Road | eBay
8 speed SRAM PC-830 chain $9.48 postpaid SRAM PC-830 BICYCLE BIKE 1/2X3/32 CHAIN 7/8 Speed New | eBay
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Old 01-07-17, 12:26 PM
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New chains are so cheap I can't even see doing this. I don't even check them anymore, just replace it every spring.
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Old 01-07-17, 12:33 PM
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Chains are cheap. KMC chains are less expensive than SRAM, and I think better than SRAM.

Go buy a KMC chain.
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Old 01-07-17, 12:34 PM
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Every time I try to re-rivet a SRAM chain, it works for a day or so then the rivet backs out. Not worth the aggravation.
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Old 01-07-17, 01:44 PM
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No point mixing new and used chain parts - it will just cause uneven wear on the chain and your drivetrain
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Old 01-07-17, 01:58 PM
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Thx for all the fdbk!

Yes, I posted a while back that I was going for the KMC chain.

Too bad SRAM discon'd the SC-890. What a durable, smooth chain it is.

As to why the new/old splice: well, I just wanted to see if it would work and last. An experiment. I may even get a few new PowerLinks to replace the broken ones, and cont. to use the SC-890 in experimental mode
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Old 01-07-17, 02:14 PM
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The KMC chain I had in mind is: KMC X8.99 Bicycle Chain (1/2 x 3/32-Inch, 116L, Silver) (Amazon: $17)
It's bit pricier than the eBay ones some of you have suggested, but I want the smoothness and durability of the SRAM PC-890. I'm not sure KMC quality goes up w/price???

My drivetrain/hubs are Shimano Deore. And I use a Shimano HG70 cassette (7-spd).
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Old 01-07-17, 04:36 PM
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Re-use of rivet

Just a follow-up...

I think the key issue I was getting at was re-use (re-insertion) of the SAME rivet into the plate hole. How much does pressing out the rivet distort the rivet head (and/or the plate hole)?
Most bike repair/maint. books I've looked at note its okay. But this is hardly conclusive proof nor is it empirical evidence.
That noted, the initial press (when chain was being manuf'd) was also "stressful". Not sure if the chain manuf. presses when rivet/chain is warm/hot. In other metal fab, I know that rivets used to be red hot (see YouTube for docs on building Empire State Bldg., etc.)

Last edited by elcyc; 01-07-17 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 01-07-17, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by elcyc View Post
Just a follow-up...

I think the key issue I was getting at was re-use (re-insertion) of the SAME rivet into the plate hole. How much does pressing out the rivet distort the rivet head (and/or the plate hole)?
Irreparably, on a peened chain (of which yours is one). Basically, the pin's peened over head is 1) broken off, and 2) the hole that the pin passes through is enlarged slightly when the pin pops through it. Theoretically, with one of Rohloff's [very expensive] chain tools, you can re-peen a pin. You can usually limp on, in some fashion, after reconnecting a once-assembled chain, but they don't deal well with anything but a straight chainline, and shifting can potentially pull the enlarged sideplate off the pin.
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Old 01-08-17, 04:05 AM
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Old 01-08-17, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by elcyc View Post
The KMC chain I had in mind is: KMC X8.99 Bicycle Chain (1/2 x 3/32-Inch, 116L, Silver) (Amazon: $17)
It's bit pricier than the eBay ones some of you have suggested, but I want the smoothness and durability of the SRAM PC-890. I'm not sure KMC quality goes up w/price???
Here is a less expensive variant at $9.99, the X8.93:

Jenson USA - Online mountain & road bike parts, clothing and accessories shop | Jenson USA

The X8.99 will have nickel-plated inner links (all silver), whereas the X8.93 has nickel only on the outer links (for alternating shades).

Buying at least the 8.93 at ten bucks is a no-brainer. Don't splice links into that six-year-old chain.
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Old 01-08-17, 04:30 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
Here is a less expensive variant at $9.99, the X8.93:

Jenson USA - Online mountain & road bike parts, clothing and accessories shop | Jenson USA

The X8.99 will have nickel-plated inner links (all silver), whereas the X8.93 has nickel only on the outer links (for alternating shades).

Buying at least the 8.93 at ten bucks is a no-brainer. Don't splice links into that six-year-old chain.
IMHO KMC X8.93 is a better chain than the X8.99.
Dissimilar metals slide easier again one another than the same metal against each other.......
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Old 01-08-17, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by elcyc View Post
The KMC chain I had in mind is: KMC X8.99 Bicycle Chain (1/2 x 3/32-Inch, 116L, Silver) (Amazon: $17)
It's bit pricier than the eBay ones some of you have suggested, but I want the smoothness and durability of the SRAM PC-890. I'm not sure KMC quality goes up w/price???

My drivetrain/hubs are Shimano Deore. And I use a Shimano HG70 cassette (7-spd).
That KMC X8.99 looks good. The mushroom rivets with dimpled ends should be more precise and secure than the lower priced KMC chains with plain rivets and peened ends.

If I'd noticed it earlier I'd have used that on my errand and foul weather bike. I just put on a new KMC Z33 chain and Missing Link II. I actually had to splice together a pair of Z33 chains to make the 122 link chain needed for my errand bike -- it has a long wheelbase and chain stay so the standard 116 link chain isn't long enough.

Get a good chain tool with adjustable anvil -- it should work with any bike and chain you ever buy. There are several on Amazon from $10-$15. Venzo includes a good shop grade chain tool with their tool kit but I don't see it sold separately. There are other similar models.

And KMC has good tutorials. There are several good video tutorials on YouTube as well.

Incidentally, don't be in a big hurry to over-clean the KMC chain and strip out the original lube. Before I put a new KMC Z51 chain on my mountain bike in September I wiped the outside with a shop rag dampened with mineral spirits -- just enough to remove the excess without stripping the oil completely, so it wouldn't attract too much grit and still wouldn't rust. So far, so good. I've ridden hundreds of miles on gravel and gritty rural asphalt and chip seal, some light rain, and have only wiped down the outside of the chain with a dry shop rag. I haven't used a chain cleaning tool with solvent or needed to re-lube the chain. It still runs almost as quiet as when new. I'll wait until it's really grungy from riding in rain or mud before doing a thorough clean, which is easier to do with the chain off the bike in a container of solvent, then re-lubing and wiping down.

Last edited by canklecat; 01-08-17 at 04:54 AM.
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Old 01-08-17, 04:58 AM
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X8.93 has mushroom rivets too.
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Old 01-08-17, 04:04 PM
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Too late!

Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
Don't splice links into that six-year-old chain.
Too late ...

Only one plate was broken, so only used one new plate. Advice for anyone doing this. Have a vise or wide-mouth Vise-Grip to compress the plate/rivets.

Checked chain stretch with gauge and drivetrain wear. All Good to VG. To be expected (in spite of millage or age) given my non-aggressive habits and regular clean/lube maint.

Tested on my usual 10-mile every-other-day trip. Normal shifting, gentle riding. (I've NEVER been an aggressive cyclist, nor do I do anything other than city/commuting.) All smooth, and link secure upon check after ride.

Any bets on how long it'll last?

I did end up ordering the KMC X8.99 and will keep it in the pannier ;-) But I'll hold off installing until the SRAM gauges bad (stretch) or breaks another plate.

BTW: It's on this machine ... a much-modified Gary Fisher 20.5" 'Advance' mtb frame (late 1993). It's my grocery getter/commuter with probably over 20k miles....
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Old 01-08-17, 04:14 PM
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Orig. lube

Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Incidentally, don't be in a big hurry to over-clean the KMC chain and strip out the original lube.
I've asked about what the orig. (factory) chain lube is but never got a solid answer. I think it may be a hot wax/oil of some kind ???

I've used most commercial bike lubes, including some of the exotics. The main issue with these drip-type lubes is that they attract huge amounts of grime. I wrestled with this issue for some time -- finally settling on a White Lightning aerosol spray (semi-dry) (it's cheap and avail at Wal-Mart).
Ever 40 miles or so, I first dry-rag clean the chain/drivetrain. Then spray the lube over chain/cassette while back-pedaling. Let it soak in...done.
The spray lube aerosol attracts much less grime and applies/penetrates better, too.

Last edited by elcyc; 01-08-17 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 01-08-17, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by elcyc View Post
I've asked about what the orig. (factory) chain lube is but never got a solid answer. I think it may be a hot wax/oil of some kind ???

I've used most commercial bike lubes, including some of the exotics. The main issue with these drip-type lubes is that they attract huge amounts of grime. I wrestled with this issue for some time -- finally settling on a White Lightning aerosol spray (semi-dry) (it's cheap and avail at Wal-Mart).
Ever 40 miles or so, I first dry-rag clean the chain/drivetrain. Then spray the lube over chain/cassette while back-pedaling. Let it soak in...done.
The spray lube aerosol attracts much less grime and applies/penetrates better, too.
Just so you know, the only thing that needs the lube is the chain. Spraying it on the sprockets doesn't do anything (at best) but cover them in lube.
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Old 01-08-17, 06:54 PM
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Recycle that lube!!

Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
Just so you know, the only thing that needs the lube is the chain. Spraying it on the sprockets doesn't do anything (at best) but cover them in lube.
Right.
I only use the cassette sprocket as a backdrop-catcher for "overspray". Spraying blindly at a "flying" chain makes some of the droplets airborne and wasted. Sometimes, I'll also spray at the chain in the drail. pulley. But nothing "recycles" the lube as goods as a moving chain in the middle sprocket of a cassette/freewheel.
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