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  1. #1
    Uncle
    Reputation: Entrenador's Avatar
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    Reconnecting a KMC Z chain - bad idea?

    Chain in question: KMC 3/32 / 7/8spd budget flat-plate Z-chain, with a half link in it.

    I disconnected the chain at a different spot (not at the half link), and I'm ready to reinstall it. It's a bit used, but certain not worn out.

    Am I asking for trouble here by reusing the pin the in the same hole, or is this a sound way to reconnect this chain again? This isn't one of the fancier chains - didn't come with any type of power link / quick link system, or replacement pins (a la Shimano). I don't really want to use a new chain since it's already the right length, and since it has the 1/2 link in it already.

    Is there a better way to reconnect it - i.e. KMC Missing Link connector? Are these durable enough for SS use?
    Thanks.
    Eat, ride, eat, rest, repeat.

  2. #2
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    15 years of singlespeeding, with and without half links, but never with a quicklink/masterlink/power link of any kind. Push pin(s) out, push pin(s) back in, ride like you're dying. I've snapped countless sram chains, but never a trusty Z.

    I worded that funny, just realized. I USED to use "quick link" type devices early on in my single speeding, but had chain breakage every time. Ditched the quick links, switched to Z chains, and started pushing pins... no more chain issues.
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  3. #3
    Gotta pay to play
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    I used a missing link connector on my previous SS chain. I didn't have any issues. I actually really like KMC chains for that- you just need a simple set of pliers (or tough fingernails) to take off the link connector in case you want to pull off the chain and throw it into a tub of cleaning solution.

  4. #4
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    you just need a simple set of pliers (or tough fingernails)

    or 20 seconds with a $5 chain tool
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  5. #5
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    I personally would never take a pin out and then put it back in expecting the chain to ride with the same reliability as it did before. I break a chain once to set it at the right length and then put on the appropriate brand's quick connect links and am done with it.

    If it is working for you then that is awesome. I don't want to risk it.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, everybody has their preferences, and particular ways of doing things. I would totally use the quick links if I hadn't had such a bad time breaking them in the past.
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  7. #7
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    Reconnecting a KMC Z chain - bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelscott View Post
    I personally would never take a pin out and then put it back in expecting the chain to ride with the same reliability as it did before. I break a chain once to set it at the right length and then put on the appropriate brand's quick connect links and am done with it.

    If it is working for you then that is awesome. I don't want to risk it.
    I did this (using existing pin) with a brand new KMC chain and it broke within 6 miles on a virgin ride. I would not suggest re-using a pin.
    Please donate to IMBA or your local chapter. It's trail karma.

  8. #8
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    Lies! Lies and slander!
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  9. #9
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    I got hurt and stranded miles from home in my earlier bmx days from broken 1/8" chains that I reconnected this way. maybe it can be done "right" but i would not trust a chain pin once it's been pushed out and pushed back in.

  10. #10
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    Wow, yeah, either I"m on an unbelievable 15 year lucky streak, or I have a knack for chain breakery
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  11. #11
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    To counter what people are saying, YES it can be done. Should you do it? I wouldn't recommend it, KMC's Missing Links are damn easy to use and definitely worth it.

    However, the easy trick to pushing a pin through and surviving:

    -Push pin out with chain tool, leaving it hanging out the opposite plate
    -Do your monkey business with the chain
    -Push pin back in, opposite how you pushed it out; be sure to leave just enough on the unaltered end of the pin to keep the manufactured flare (peen) intact on the outside of the plate
    -Take anything metal that will have heft and place it in contact with the unaltered side of the pin
    -Take ball-peen hammer and tap the previously-pushed-through side of the pin with enough force to deform the metal and effectively mimic the factory peening (this should be very visible if you squint and compare the altered pin to any of the stock pins)
    -Rejoice in the fact that you won't die when your chain *doesn't* shear the end of a pin off

    This sounds cumbersome, but the most important step is simply having backing material on the side of the pin that wasn't messed up by shoving it through the plates of the chain. I do this to ensure that I'm deforming the metal of the pin and not changing how the pin is aligned between the ends of the plates. Before I started using this practice, I once broke five links on a SRAM 9 speed chain because I had simply pushed a pin back in. Since then, with every chain I have used in a single speed application that has required pulling a pin, I have not had one break.
    For the record, I've seen a few German tools intended for exactly this purpose, but they seem to be held by the retro-grouch hoarders of the world, so I've never personally used one. However, Campagnolo requires re-peening the assembly pin of its 11 speed chains, which Park makes a specific tool for, although I've never seen an 8/9/10 speed version of such a tool in modern times.

  12. #12
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    Back in the good old days it was standard practice to reuse the pins. I remember the old Sedis chains, and I never had an issue. I wouldn't do it now though...just isn't worth the possible pain for a $5 link. I broke this chain recently...not sure why, if the plate broke before or after a pin let loose. I was glad to see it wasn't the connector link, and that I wasn't standing and mashing at the time.
    Reconnecting a KMC Z chain - bad idea?-chainsnap_zpsee43a7cb.jpg

  13. #13
    Eli Broccoli
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    I don't like reconnecting pins myself because the tolerance is so tight that its going to be just that much off even with the most experienced chain master mechanic. Quick links are just fine in my book.

  14. #14
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    I have re-used pins and they have failed on me about 50% of the time. In the case where they don't fail, I believe I got the pin back in in a perfectly straight line (which isn't that easy to do). If that pin is just slightly crooked, the chain could snap on you. The only time you should re-use a pin is when you have no choice (out on the trail stuck, etc...) Otherwise you should just use a master link.

  15. #15
    openwound
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    Either way is fine as long as you know how to use a chain tool properly. I don't go through the whole peening process blackgriffen suggested, but I suppose you could if you wanted. IMHO, it's just unnecessary. I realize I'm probably going to bust a chain today for this, but I've never broken a chain in over 25+ years of riding.
    -- let's ride

  16. #16
    SSolo
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    Quote Originally Posted by voodoochild View Post
    Either way is fine as long as you know how to use a chain tool properly. I don't go through the whole peening process blackgriffen suggested, but I suppose you could if you wanted. IMHO, it's just unnecessary. I realize I'm probably going to bust a chain today for this, but I've never broken a chain in over 25+ years of riding.
    Yes, but I prefer to use a KMC quick link, they are very high quality and have better engagement than SRAM type imo.
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son...

  17. #17
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    I ride SS exclusively and always use either the cheapest KMC z-chain or the Z610HX (both 3/32). I have used a quick-link type of connector 50% of the time and 50% re-used a pin. I've never broken a chain. I guess the crux is re-using the pin properly and making sure it's properly seated in the outer plates (I'm pedantic about this).

    If in doubt, use the quick-link.

  18. #18
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    I always shorten my chains to the correct length and then reuse a pin. I never use a quick-link as I have had the same experience as goldencalf, always snapping the chain at the quick-link.

    In my 20 odd years of riding I have snapped quite a few chains, but never at the pin. In fact I actually believe I have a stronger chain doing it this way. You do need a high-quality chain tool if doing things this way though.

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