bike chain repair

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  #1  
Old 05-10-10, 11:45 AM
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bike chain repair

My bicycle chain broke. So I thought I'd try to fix it by myself, which I've never tried before. I bought a new replacement chain and the chain tool. I read online how to measure for correct length for replacement, and was able to remove a section of links to shorten the new chain to the right length, although since messing around I will need to add one link to the length again. Here's a few pictures of the new chain and the parts that came with the new chain and the tool. At this point I'm totally stumped and don't seem to understand how to put the chain back together. The directions on the repair/tool packages don't seem to help, I'm confused. I would appreciate any help from someone who could explain the remaining steps so I might be able to accomplish this.
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Old 05-10-10, 05:11 PM
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Which part is causing you trouble? Is it how to assemble the master link?

I found several videos online by searching for "master link chain" and selecting videos.
 
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Old 05-10-10, 06:06 PM
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Hi sgull,
First, is this a multi-speed bike with one of those multi-sprocketed clusters on the rear wheel? Or a single speed bike with one sprocket in front and one in the rear. They use different width chains and are not interchangeable, although, the parts you show seem to be both the old master link style and the 10-speed style which presses together.

Check to see what it said on the package, ie 1/2" by 1/8" or 1/2" by 3/32" and let us know what the bike is.

Came back to be sure I was thinking correctly, but couldn't find the post under bicycles, it's under motorcycles. Is this a bike or a bicycle? .

Bud
 

Last edited by Bud9051; 05-10-10 at 06:25 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 05-10-10, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Check to see what it said on the package, ie 1/2" by 1/8" or 1/2" by 3/32" and let us know what the bike is. couldn't find the post under bicycles, it's under motorcycles. Is this a bike or a bicycle?
Bud
Bud, it's a multi-speed bicyle, and chain package says 1/2" by 3/32". Not posted under bicycles because have posted there in the past but never got any kind of response, maybe because there is no moderator there available, not sure.
 
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Old 05-10-10, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane View Post
Which part is causing you trouble? Is it how to assemble the master link? I found several videos online by searching for "master link chain" and selecting videos.
Well, now that I see some of the videos, I can see how the master link is supposed to work. Trouble is, I ended up using the tool when I shouldn't have on it (before seeing these videos, not knowing what I was doing), and I pressed out and ruined one of the pins on the master link. Now I would need to understand how to reassemble the chain without the master link. I'm guessing I would a need a few new pins? But even if I had a few new pins I don't get how to press them in and what keeps them secure...
 
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Old 05-11-10, 05:26 AM
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OK, there is no master link on a multi-speed bike. All links are identical and that is where the tool comes in, although the little hand tools are not the easiest to maneuver.

The section that you removed should provide the links you need. Chains are made up of rollers and links. the links hace two side plates and two pins. If you push the pins out just enough to release one side plate, the remaining plate with the two pins is your new repair link. Connect it between two roller ends, position the other plate over the rollers so the pins will come through and be pressed into the holes as needed. Once in place, check both sides to be sure the new link is centered. Once centered, you can usually just flex it side to side to loosen it up so that it will flex freely as it goes through the derailleur. The tool can be used to move the pins slightly if the flexing doesn't do it, but in all of my years in a bike shop, I never had to. In fact the shop tool doesn't even have that capability.

Master links are not used on the 10 speed style bikes because they are too wide, and interfere with the cluster and derailleur. A bike shop will do this for you for a couple of bucks, but it is very helpful to know, so well worth the effort learning.

Give that a try and I'll watch to catch any further questions.

Bud
 
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Old 05-12-10, 09:32 AM
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Welcome Bud as topic moderator here. Still looking at chain. Will post back soon, hopefully with success story. thanks
 
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Old 05-13-10, 04:07 AM
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While we have a thread open on bike chains, I'll add some info.

As a multi-speed chain wears, it gets longer and once there is too much wear, replacement of the chain and the rear freewheel may become necessary. As a guide, I usually measure 12" of the chain, center of one pin to center of the pin that should be 12" away. Since every pin falls on a 1/2" mark, follow out to 12" and a worn chain will show something like 1/8" or greater in extra length. At that point, the rider may be experiencing a skip in high gear under high pressure.

How a worn chain affects the rider depends upon how the rider uses the gears. All too many riders just leave it in one position most of the time, usually the small sprocket in the rear, and that results in a worn out sprocket as well. Since a new chain does not like a worn sprocket and a worn chain does not like a new sprocket, they often need to both be replaced.

If you ride a lot, start monitoring the performance of your chain and sprockets and their related stretch. Over time, you will determine when YOUR chains need to be replaced before they damage either the front or rear sprockets.

sgull, while you have your chain off, it is a good time to get the tape measure out.

Bud
 
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Old 05-16-10, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
The section that you removed should provide the links you need. If you push the pins out just enough to release one side plate, the remaining plate with the two pins is your new repair link.
Finally had time to try today, and can report success! My main problem before was that I had pushed the pin(s) all the way out with the tool, and could not for the life of me understand how to push them back in. Now that I understand you aren't supposed to push the pins all the way out of both plates like that, I finally got it. Was able to to use the section I removed to get the links I needed, as you mentioned. Also, before I couldn't understand how the pin would stay put (if I managed to get it in) without just slipping out, I thought it was kind of like a rivet, but no that's not the case at all. Apparently it just presses into the hole tightly and somehow stays there because of the close tolerance. thanks
 
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Old 05-16-10, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
while you have your chain off, it is a good time to get the tape measure out.
Thanks for the info on measuring chains for wear/replacement. I can't measure my old chain because I threw it out after it broke. The reason it probably broke was because the bike had been left out in the elements for years and years and it had rusted totally stiff. I used rust-busting penetrating oil (PB blaster) and worked each and every link until it was workable, and got it flexible enough to operate, but that much rust likely weakened the chain too much to expect it to last very long in the first place.
 
  #11  
Old 05-17-10, 03:01 AM
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Glad you got it. The chain tool is one of several that are nice to know how to use. Don't hesitate to post if you need more advice.

Bud
 
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