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  1. #1
    beerowulf
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    KMC MissingLink - reuse, file?, throwaway?

    Hi all - this is my first post. I know there are similar threads, but not on point...

    I have 3 or 4 SRAM PC48 and rotate them thru a couple of bikes, popping the PopwerLink silvers on and off, easy as pie..

    I have built a singlespeed conversion for fun, and used old Shimano chain to get the line set up as I mixed and matched cogs and lengths and the dropouts etc, before buying a new chain for the SS.

    The SS chain line is so short that I thought I'd try the KMC Z-51 from MEC ($9 with the Missing Link included) as I'm shortening it by almost half anyway...and see how the chain performs....(so far chain is fine)

    Problem - As many of you may know, the KMC Missing Link is plastered with lawyer yap about "must break with a chain breaker"...Since the Missing Link (new style) appears identical to the PowerLink, I assume that KMC is worried about infringement issues with SRAM or Craig over a reusable no-tool link, and just says it is not able to be cracked. Sounds stupid to me. I didn't read the box when I bought the KMC, I just looked at the chain and included link...

    Since the whole purpose for me was a quick connect/ disconnect link, I should have just used another SRAM, but I am cheap, so my Question is this:

    Q: I want to crack and reconnect my KMC Missing Link - (if I have to buy another MLink to reconnect, I'll just chuck the thing and use a SRAM silver PL instead) - Has anyone cracked and reused the ML and any tips or hints on it?

    Q: I have heard that one should file the nibs on the ML, but not obvious to me at all?

    thanks

    cheers

    dmc

  2. #2
    just along for the ride
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    I have no problem re-using the ML on my KMC chains if you are careful in removing it.

  3. #3
    beerowulf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brown_Teeth
    I have no problem re-using the ML on my KMC chains if you are careful in removing it.
    Hi Brown_Teeth - thanks for the note...do you remove by hand (as with SRAM)?

    I have seen threads where people use needlenose, even vicegrips, and there is a Park tool for crimping as well...

    With the SRAM I just loop the chain in to ease pressure on the link and push my fingertips together along the link to slip the outer plates off the pins and apart?

    Thanks

    dmc

  4. #4
    Cuánto pesa?
    Reputation: Jake Pay's Avatar
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    For those times when it becomes a PITA: (click>) Park Tool MLP-1 Master Link Pliers $12.95
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    just along for the ride
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    Best by hand but it really gets clamped in there and if you have any dirt/grit you need to use plyers, needle nose work best. The link is different than the sram, its more of a jam fit and not keyed like the sram. Best use a dry/wax lube that repells grit like white lightning or Boeshields to keep the chain clean. I find the KMC chains to be a great value, usually 1/2 the price of shimano and just as strong and last as long, have fun!

  6. #6
    beerowulf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brown_Teeth
    Best by hand but it really gets clamped in there and if you have any dirt/grit you need to use plyers, needle nose work best. The link is different than the sram, its more of a jam fit and not keyed like the sram. Best use a dry/wax lube that repells grit like white lightning or Boeshields to keep the chain clean. I find the KMC chains to be a great value, usually 1/2 the price of shimano and just as strong and last as long, have fun!
    Hey Brown_Teeth - thanks, I realize now the ML is more 'ramped' as opposed to 'keyed' as per PL, keyed is the perfect term. I'll give it a go...

    Hi Jake Pay - hehe, I figured I would get away with LESS tools.......hehe..

    Cheers

    dmc

  7. #7
    Cuánto pesa?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmc
    Hi Jake Pay - hehe, I figured I would get away with LESS tools.......hehe..

    Cheers

    dmc
    I hear ya dude
    I'm one of them tool junkies

    Jake..

  8. #8
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    I use the KMC chains, and the instructions say the link has to be broken like a regular link once it is locked in...

    So I use the SRAM link, and keep the KMC link for repairs on the trail.

  9. #9
    ...idios...
    Reputation: SteveUK's Avatar
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    Top plate is the KMC Missing Link, bottom is SRAM's Powerlink...

    KMC SRAM.jpg

    The plates ar every similar, though their differences are also quite obvious. Note the slightly more elongated pin hole and the 'bump' on the KMC; it's this that locks the two plates together at the initial fitting. I did consider filing this bump down, but figured that it's designed to do a job so that's the job I'd leave it for. I use the KMC X9 and don't mind paying another couple of Pounds for a SRAM link. I've found the X series KMC chains to excellent quality with very tight shifting and superb longevity on both 8 and 9 speed systems.
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  10. #10
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    I've been using X9SL and X10SL chains for the last 6 months, and have no trouble opening and closing the missing link by hand, repeatedly.

  11. #11
    beerowulf
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    Good job!

    Hi all;

    Thanks everyone and thumbs up to SteveUK for the image of the two links to compare. I never looked to the inside plate of the ML vis a vis the PL.

    Thanks!

    dmc

  12. #12
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    As something of a coincidence, I got a new X9.93 through the mail this morning and the Missing Link doesn't have the 'bump' and works in exactly the same way as the SRAM link. I'm wondering if KMC have quietly done away with it. I'd be interested to know if the link that BlownCivic is using does or doesn't have the bumps, because I found the first 'bumped' link I had impossible to re-open by hand. I even used the one from my next chain to turn my excess links into a keyring.

  13. #13
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    same here

    got a couple of those kmc x9 chains in and the bumps are off of the connecting links

  14. #14
    beerowulf
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    As something of a coincidence, I got a new X9.93 through the mail this morning and the Missing Link doesn't have the 'bump' and works in exactly the same way as the SRAM link. I'm wondering if KMC have quietly done away with it. I'd be interested to know if the link that BlownCivic is using does or doesn't have the bumps, because I found the first 'bumped' link I had impossible to re-open by hand. I even used the one from my next chain to turn my excess links into a keyring.
    Hi SteveUK and mountnrideher - I did a quick check of chains at the local MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op for those in Canada). They stock a couple of economy KMC chains, Z-51 and X-8.93, both with Missing Link included, and the current stock of each still has the 'bumps' on the inners...

    Since SteveUK could not open the 'bumped' version by hand, I'm guessing that I am going to have a problem doing so...

    I guess the final answer is probably i) check any KMC ML to see if it still has 'bumps' and avoid it or replace with a SRAM PL or ii) if the KMC ML is 'bumpless' than good to go...

    One other note for the frugal - MEC sells both the KMC ML (Cdn $2) and the SRAM silver or gold PL (Cdn $6) for shipping only in Canada, but the SRAM pack is a two-pack of PL, so really they are $3 a pop. The SRAM are still made in France while the KMC is made by Continental Chain in China.

    When I was pricing the links at first, I failed to notice that the SRAM was a 2-pack, and thought that $6 was a bit steep, when the KMC chain and ML was only $8.75 ...hehe... but I was trying to build my SS for less than $50....so there you go...

    Thanks for all the good comments

    Cheers

    dmc

  15. #15
    beerowulf
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    One final note....

    Just by coincidence, I broke the rear cog on the SS with the KMC chain, and tried to remove the MissiingLink (with 'bumps' or 'nibs') by hand when I had the rear wheel off.....not a chance....hehe..

    I chain-broke ( is that a verb? "to chainbrake") the link, thru it away and replaced with a SRAM silver PowerLink.....all good now..

    Thanks again for the help

    dmc

  16. #16
    beerowulf
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    Dammit - KMC and SRAM Powerlink - foiled again....

    Another note on point;

    I have been using a SRAM Silver Powerlink (8-speed silver) to replace the KMC MissingLink (with 'bump') as a reusable link on a KMC Z-51 - the econo 6-7-8 speed KMC chain.

    I bought another KMC Z-51 a day or two ago, along with a pack of SRAM Silver Powerlink and THIS KMC Z-51 does not work with the SRAM PL, too wide and the PL binds on the plates.

    The specs on the KMC Z-51 (s) are exactly the same, but to make the second (new) KMC chain work, I had to replace the last two bushings on the KMC with the (narrower) bushings from an SRAM 8-speed chain, and then the SRAM PL works just fine....

    I am very suspicious now of the quality control of KMC - For the sake of saving $10 a chain I have now dicked around with non-reusable 'bumped' Missing Links and incompatible chain sizes with the same model of KMC econo chains, and will stick with SRAM from now on.....

    Cheers

    dmc

  17. #17
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    dmc,

    The Z series are at the bottom of the KMC range. Check out the X series. I've been using the X9 9.92 or 9.93 9 speed versions over the XTR/DuraAce chains that I'd used for years. The X8 covers 7 and 8 speed systems. Don't be put off by the cheap stuff; it's not really designed or intended for heavy duty use. The X series are very reasonably priced, especially for 8 speed.

  18. #18
    beerowulf
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    Hacking up the Z series chains....

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    dmc,

    The Z series are at the bottom of the KMC range. Check out the X series. I've been using the X9 9.92 or 9.93 9 speed versions over the XTR/DuraAce chains that I'd used for years. The X8 covers 7 and 8 speed systems. Don't be put off by the cheap stuff; it's not really designed or intended for heavy duty use. The X series are very reasonably priced, especially for 8 speed.
    Hi SteveUK - Thanks for the note. I was getting the (two) KMC Z's for a couple of SS econo conversions, and hacking up the chains for different ring combos and tension attempts, so didn't want to spoil good chains....hehe.

    What got me going was that the two 'identical' chains were so different, even coming from the same shop..actually what it really was is that I have been happily telling people that they can just swap out the KMC 'bump' ML and use a SRAM PL......oops....

    Cheers

    dmc

  19. #19
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    Guaranteed, you can use the appropriate (8 or 9spd) SRAM Powerlink with KMC chains. I've used, and still do, the PL on the X9 series chains.
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    What luck for rulers, that men do not think - Adolf Hitler

  20. #20
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    No, I use one currently on the X9.93 and have previously used one on the X9.92. As I understand it, the differences between the .93 and the SL are that the SL has slots cut/pressed from the plates and uses hollow pins, hence the 30g or so you save in weight.
    The SL and the .93 both come with the same MissingLink.
    I've been through probably 15 KMC chains since I found them a couple of years ago, all of which used a Powerlink, and have never had a single problem, either with the link or the chain. My partner uses the X8 with a Powerlink on her hybrid and a friend of mine also uses the same set-up on his MTB.
    You may be able to use the MissingLink that'll come with the SL in the same way as a Powerlink (see up-thread #12 for the ins and outs).

  21. #21
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    Try the weight weenies website, or ask in the weight watchers forum. Listed weights for things often vary, as do actual weights, and although my choice of components tend to also fall at the lighter end of the scale, I don't actually check the weights of anything I buy.

  22. #22
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    Since the PL doesn't have that ridge to lock it in place couldn't you just remove the KMC link just like the PL and if the ridge gets filed down a bit in the process, no big deal right?
    Trek 4300 2006
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  23. #23
    ...idios...
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    "Since the PL doesn't have that ridge to lock it in place couldn't you just remove the KMC link just like the PL and if the ridge gets filed down a bit in the process, no big deal right?"

    Perhaps, the snag is that you may find it very difficult to remove the KMC ML if it has the little bump on each plate, as they were designed to be a permanent closure. Using tools, like a pliers, to open the ML may result in damaging the links or bearings. It's beginning to look as though the ML is now being produced without the bumps, but if you get one that still has them, you could try filing them off before fitting.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    "Since the PL doesn't have that ridge to lock it in place couldn't you just remove the KMC link just like the PL and if the ridge gets filed down a bit in the process, no big deal right?"

    Perhaps, the snag is that you may find it very difficult to remove the KMC ML if it has the little bump on each plate, as they were designed to be a permanent closure. Using tools, like a pliers, to open the ML may result in damaging the links or bearings. It's beginning to look as though the ML is now being produced without the bumps, but if you get one that still has them, you could try filing them off before fitting.

    True story
    I wonder if that park tool would allow more torque to be applied without damaging anything?
    Guess at that point you might as well just buy a PL and only use KMC how they were intended.
    Trek 4300 2006
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  25. #25
    Ski during the off-season
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    ... X9.93 and have previously used one on the X9.92.
    Are there any differences between the X9.93 & X9.92? I just purchased a X9.93 (listed as an X9)--my current chain is an X9.99. I curious if there will be any differences. The X9.99 is all silver.

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