Chains and Chain Tools- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Chains and Chain Tools

    What are you all using for a chain for your SS?

    I'm running a Tru-Vativ Stylo crank set with a SRAM 32 tooth chain ring up front and a 17 tooth Chris King stainless out back. The Stylo uses a bash guard, so clearance with a single speed chain is pretty limited. The 9 Speed chains have always been good to me and I don't really care about the ability to shift, obviously.

    I now have broken the chain twice in four rides and of course it happens while applying maximum torque and I get dumped on my ass. Last night was in rocks and it sorta hurt. I fixed it along the trail, but decided to head down instead of continuing to climb and risking getting dumped again.

    I suspect my chain tool is worn and doesn't properly align the pin as it pushes into the back plate, thus damaging the hole.

    I'm getting a new chain this afternoon.

    What do you use for chains and tools?
    "And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called, The Human Race..."

  2. #2
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    i won't press a pin back into a chain that's going on a SS for that very reason. buy a package of quick links/master links (6-10) and keep one in your pack for chain repairs. that way you always have a solid chain.

    i run 8 speed chains, switched from sram to KMC this year. so far so good.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  3. #3
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    KMC X8.93 chain. Cheap and virtually indestructible. I've run KMC chains on all my bikes for years and have broken exactly ONE link ever. It was fixed in 5 mins and never gave me a second's thought.

    I carry a spare "narrow" portion of the link and a quick-link. should it happen again. I run as short of a chain as I can, so the narrow part+ link allows me to maintain chain length.
    I don't carry a chain tool. A broken wide part can be pried apart and replaced with a quick link.

    I don't trust the 'push-pin' fixes except in dire emergencies, and only on a geared bike where I can baby the drivetrain.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    i won't press a pin back into a chain that's going on a SS for that very reason. buy a package of quick links/master links (6-10) and keep one in your pack for chain repairs. that way you always have a solid chain.
    Agree^ I'd never press a pin back in any chain (ss or otherwise) except in an emergency to limp it home. Also if I did break a chain I'd replace it asap unless it was nearly new. I think most chains are pretty good as long as the drivetrain components are in good condition and you don't try to stretch too many miles out of them.

  5. #5
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    I'm replacing the chain tonight with an XT 9 speed chain and a quick link. It shouldn't be an issue again.
    "And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called, The Human Race..."

  6. #6
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    I'll happily rejoin a chain using the chain tool rather than a quick link. I have a proper chain tool that has adjustment for the depth of how far the pin gets pushed in.

    My opinion is that the dinky little chain tools that you can carry on the bike are only good for temporary repairs, so any repair made with that tool is suspect. For that reason I carry a few links of chain and quick links.
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  7. #7
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    Quick links FTW

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    i won't press a pin back into a chain that's going on a SS for that very reason. buy a package of quick links/master links (6-10) and keep one in your pack for chain repairs. that way you always have a solid chain.

    i run 8 speed chains, switched from sram to KMC this year. so far so good.
    Do all of the KMCs have that goofy master link with the clip on it? I ordered a KMC and ended up not using it because I don't like MLs.

  9. #9
    Downcountry AF
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    ^ clip? not sure what your referring to? you ordered a KMC chain or just a link?

    I believe (someone correct me if i'm wrong) that any brand quick link will work on another brand chain so long as it's the same # of speeds. example: KMC 8 speed link will work on a Sram 8 speed chain. if you don't like one brand for some reason you can buy one you like better.

    i would imagine certain SS chains require specific links to be used. i briefly had a SS KMC chain like that.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DualRollers View Post
    Do all of the KMCs have that goofy master link with the clip on it? I ordered a KMC and ended up not using it because I don't like MLs.

    Like this?

    Name:  masterlink.jpg
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Size:  63.8 KB

    They are used on 1/8 (ss) chains but not 3/32.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    They are used on 1/8 (ss) chains but not 3/32.
    there are SS chains that are narrow - 3/32 - and use that master link. KMC z610hx, boom.

    if you use a master link with a clip like that, run the clip next to the bike instead of the outside so it does not snag on the bash guard.

    honestly, I see ZERO reason to run a 1/8" chain on a mountain bike. if you have a 1/8" cog or ring, get rid of it. I just use cheap SRAM 850 chains for SS, no reason for anything fancier. if you break chains, get a 610 chain, which I linked above. it's a narrow version of the z510hx, which is a burly 1/8" BMX chain that BMX riders like because it does not break after repeated bashing into handrails and ledges.

  12. #12
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    I've always pressed pins in and out without any issues, but after talking to my LBS friend, we decided that smartly, chain manufacturers have gone to an interference fit on the chains and pins. There's just no way NOT to enlarge the hole in the plate by pressing a pin out and back in again.

    I realize that I created my problem when I went from an 18t cog in the rear to a 17t. I added a piece of chain and likely damaged the plate when I pressed the pin in. If I had thought to peen or flare the end of the pin slightly, I may have been okay, but I was doing it more old school when I built it a couple of years ago.

    All good. Live and learn.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    I've always pressed pins in and out without any issues, but after talking to my LBS friend, we decided that smartly, chain manufacturers have gone to an interference fit on the chains and pins. There's just no way NOT to enlarge the hole in the plate by pressing a pin out and back in again.
    Yeah, "back in the day" we joined chains by pressing pins all day long, I can't remember exactly when but somewhere around 8 or 9-speed that option went away.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Like this?

    Name:  masterlink.jpg
Views: 242
Size:  63.8 KB

    They are used on 1/8 (ss) chains but not 3/32.
    Yes, those. I hate those... I had too many bad experiences with them back in my BMX days. I ordered a KMC chain from Jenson (I believe it was 1/8") and it came with one of them, so I just put it aside and went to my LBS to buy a SRAM chain.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    there are SS chains that are narrow - 3/32 - and use that master link. KMC z610hx, boom.

    if you use a master link with a clip like that, run the clip next to the bike instead of the outside so it does not snag on the bash guard.

    honestly, I see ZERO reason to run a 1/8" chain on a mountain bike. if you have a 1/8" cog or ring, get rid of it. I just use cheap SRAM 850 chains for SS, no reason for anything fancier. if you break chains, get a 610 chain, which I linked above. it's a narrow version of the z510hx, which is a burly 1/8" BMX chain that BMX riders like because it does not break after repeated bashing into handrails and ledges.
    I run an 1/8" chain on my fixed 29er. With only running a front brake, I find it comforting to have a burly chain... with that said, I always run 3/32" or even a 10spd on my freewheeled bikes.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    I've always pressed pins in and out without any issues, but after talking to my LBS friend, we decided that smartly, chain manufacturers have gone to an interference fit on the chains and pins. There's just no way NOT to enlarge the hole in the plate by pressing a pin out and back in again.

    I realize that I created my problem when I went from an 18t cog in the rear to a 17t. I added a piece of chain and likely damaged the plate when I pressed the pin in. If I had thought to peen or flare the end of the pin slightly, I may have been okay, but I was doing it more old school when I built it a couple of years ago.

    All good. Live and learn.
    You can still use the stock pin if you don't take it out completely from both of the plates. Press it back in and lightly peen the pin on the insertion end. Then you might have to work that link to loosen it up a little. You can see the flared end of the pin shear away when you take a stock link apart on 10 & 11 speed chains.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Yeah, "back in the day" we joined chains by pressing pins all day long, I can't remember exactly when but somewhere around 8 or 9-speed that option went away.
    Yeah those habits don't die easily. I still do this on occasion if I have to make an unforeseen length adjustment or if I made a sizing mistake.
    When 10 speed came about that's when they got away from replacing pins. I still have a little collection of the Shimano 9 speed replacement pins with the pointed break-away tip sections.



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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    ...honestly, I see ZERO reason to run a 1/8" chain on a mountain bike...
    I can. My area tends to be muddy, so wear on components is an issue. I'd like to have the ⅛" option to get a bit more life out of my chainrings and rear cogs. (I use steel chainrings)
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    When 10 speed came about that's when they got away from replacing pins. I still have a little collection of the Shimano 9 speed replacement pins with the pointed break-away tip sections.
    !0-speed Shimano chains still come with the break away connecting pins, I always use them.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    !0-speed Shimano chains still come with the break away connecting pins, I always use them.
    Ah, I switched to SRAM at the 10 speed change and haven't bought a Shimano chain for a while. It's not because of SRAM's better than Shimano, it's just that I get the hook up on SRAM and my newer bikes are pretty much all SRAM drive train.
    The BA pins work great are they using them on 11 speed as well?


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  20. #20
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    any chain that is $8-12. keep away from the $3 chains on ebay...

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