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Broken chain link, what now?

wilshawkwilshawk Posts: 119
edited January 2010 in Road beginners
I took my chain off to clean it and managed to damage one of the links when putting hte chain back on (was using one of those chain tools for the first time), I tried to use the damaged chain but it snapped at the damaged link, so I have to get rid of that link.

I dont have any spare links and I looked on a couple of bike websites but they didnt sell spare ones, so now Im wondering if instead of replacing the link I can just take it out and see if the chain works okay with one less link in it.

It is a derailleur system with 21 gears, so Im wondernig if the derailleur will just adjust to the new shorter chain lenght and all will work fine...

what do you think? worth a try or not?

Posts

  • MikeWWMikeWW Posts: 723
    What make of chain?
    You can't just break and make the Shimano ones and even the SRAMs are meant to come apart at the powerlink
    Assuming its a 9 speed I would just get a SRAM powerlink and fit that to replace the damaged link
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    There is a good chance it will still work with one link less - try it (before you ride it) with the chain on the large front ring and the large rear sprocket (it is wrong to cycle in this gear but you have to be prepared for accidentally shifting into it). If it goes comfortably, then fine.

    You could add a KMC missing link
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    My chain is 2 links shorter than it should be. It's fine as long as I don't use the 50+25 or 50+23 combination, which I never do anyway.
  • If it's 21 speed, then it'll be a 3 cogs up front and 7 out back. It won't be a 9speed chain.

    I have known people run the chain too short, and it can be ok, but it's not adviseable. Why take the chain off? Well, you'll know for next time....don't take it off.

    To put the chain back on, using your chain tool, almost push out the pin to the link previous to the broken link, NOT ALL THE WAY, then rejoin chain and VERY CAREFULLY push the pin back in with the chain tool. Remember you are putting a lot of muscle power on a tiny area, so be careful. Chains and tools are tough if they are used correctly. I work in a bike shop and see loads of chain tools being brought back broken.
    I generally push very slowly, to insure the pin is going in correctly, nothings bending or breaking. Mind you, if your Local Bike Shop has SRAM split links you could use the 8 speed split link which would save a lot of hassle.
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  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    I know it's not applicable here, but someone will read this and not realise the relevance.

    Shimano road chains can be split with a normal chain spliter tool, but that pin should never be re-used to reconnect. You always need a new pin or better still the power link joiner instead.

    If you re-use the pin, the chain will split at about 11.3 miles out, leaving you with a walk to the pub just down there by the canal where you have to phone home to get your wife to come and collect you, being sure to tell her that you're a good 20 minutes walk away from said pub. No point in wasting the opportunity.
  • wilshawkwilshawk Posts: 119
    I dont have my chain in front of me right now, I think it is probably shimano though as the gears and the cogs(?) are shimano. The reason I took the chain off is because this bike chain had never been cleaned in 15 years of occasional use so was very filthy and I wanted to give it a thorough clean.

    I dont understand why you cant reuse a pin though, does it get damaged in some way when you take it out?

    Also I get confused when people talk about 8 or 9 speed, that seems odd seeing as most bikes are ateast 18 gears, does the 'speed' just refer to the number of cogs on the back cassette or something? Thanks.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    You CAN re-use a link. If the link is breaking, you need to practice using your chain tool a bit more because you've installed it incorrectly. You have to push the pin in exactly the right ammount otherwise it'll be a hell of a lot weaker and will ultimately break.

    The fact that the chain hasn't been cleaned for 15 years is probably why the chain snapped. You should replace them waaaaaay earlier than that.

    The speed refers to the number of sprockets on your cassette (or "cogs" as you call them).
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    You can re-use it, but the chain may split; mine did, and when I looked into it the pin re-use was the reason. Shimano ROAD chains specifically warn against this, and I'd rather not risk my gentleman's area coming into sudden unplanned violent contact with the crossbar halfway up a decent hill.
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    CiB wrote:
    I know it's not applicable here, but someone will read this and not realise the relevance.

    Shimano road chains can be split with a normal chain spliter tool, but that pin should never be re-used to reconnect. You always need a new pin or better still the power link joiner instead.

    If you re-use the pin, the chain will split at about 11.3 miles out, leaving you with a walk to the pub just down there by the canal where you have to phone home to get your wife to come and collect you, being sure to tell her that you're a good 20 minutes walk away from said pub. No point in wasting the opportunity.

    I have split shimano chains many times, even 10speed but they are more tricky.
    I NEVER use the power link after hearing of them fail so often.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    CiB wrote:
    I know it's not applicable here, but someone will read this and not realise the relevance.

    Shimano road chains can be split with a normal chain spliter tool, but that pin should never be re-used to reconnect. You always need a new pin or better still the power link joiner instead.

    If you re-use the pin, the chain will split at about 11.3 miles out, leaving you with a walk to the pub just down there by the canal where you have to phone home to get your wife to come and collect you, being sure to tell her that you're a good 20 minutes walk away from said pub. No point in wasting the opportunity.


    I NEVER use the power link after hearing of them fail so often.

    Really??? I haven't heard that mentioned on this forum.
  • I have re-used shimano links and I used that chain for 2 years and this included quite a bit of riding, incl 2 Fred Whittons. Reconnect carefully though, but probably safer to use a sram or kmc link.
  • wilshawkwilshawk Posts: 119
    I found a SRAM link on ebay; its very cheap so Im going to give that a try;

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SRAM-Powerlink-Si ... 4ceb118ca2

    hopefully that will fix things, cheers all for the advice.
  • blorgblorg Posts: 1,169
    If it is 15 years old AND you have damaged it just get a new chain for goodness sake, they are not exactly expensive (£5.99, free shipping.)
  • fnegronifnegroni Posts: 794
    My 2 pennies worth:

    - use a proper chain tool: big handle, replaceable pin: I use a Pedros Pro Chain Rivet Tool after trying several 'toy' chain tools most LBS's will pass on as good for the job.

    - you can use more than one KMC 'quick-link' on the same chain. They don't weaken the chain any more than having one quick link already.
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