Do you really trust Half Links?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do you really trust Half Links?

    i have had bad experience in the past with a half link. I need to run one now to be able to swap cogs easier with my EBB. If installed correctly do you feel they are as strong as the rest of the links in the chain?

  2. #2
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    I've used a half link and it worked OK ... except, the first time I installed it, I didn't get it right and my joint failed during the first ride.

    I hear there's also "link and a half" which does the same thing but should be easier to get installed without mistakes.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  3. #3
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    Yes. I've not had a problem with one yet. In fact, KMC has a chain made entirely of half links.
    Chain Kmc 1/2x1/8 Pt710 Bmx 1/2link Silver PT-710NP/60 Best Prices - Road Bikes, Fixed Gear Bikes, Tri Bikes
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  4. #4
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    Like with most things there are high quality half links and low quality half links. I've been using a good one for several years now, and I have no doubts about its strength. What you want to do is order two of these:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=vglnk-c587-20

    And one of these in 3/32:
    Universal Cycles -- Gusset Slink Half Link

    Then join the half link to your chain with one of the masterlinks of either side of it.

    The KMC master links in the link above is nickel plated and very nicely made, unlike most BMX style master links. They'll also digest any half link out there while still working nicely with a multispeed chain. I highly recommend them. By the way, the Amazon vendor I listed above is about the only place I've found them available separately, and the price is great.

    The Gusset half link is another quality product. The entire thing is nickel plated, unlike most half links. They also sell it already joined to a set of inner plates, the reason being they can peen the ends of the pin for extra strength. Also, unlike other half links, the Gusset is the superior bushingless design.


    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered View Post
    Yes. I've not had a problem with one yet. In fact, KMC has a chain made entirely of half links.
    Chain Kmc 1/2x1/8 Pt710 Bmx 1/2link Silver PT-710NP/60 Best Prices - Road Bikes, Fixed Gear Bikes, Tri Bikes
    More than one half link in a chain is useless.

  5. #5
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    Another thumbs up for the Gusset S Link. I wasn't too thrilled in the past with standard half-links, but this one has stood up to some riding. I use them to get the shortest chainline possible on my Stickel.

    Using the 1/8" on a PC-1 with snap links on both ends.



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  6. #6
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    ping ping pop pop snapped chain once twice not stupid enough to allow a third time for me.
    ymmv, but that's my experience.
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  7. #7
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    Gusset Slink: half-links done right. Very reliable for me over the past year.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by byknuts View Post
    ping ping pop pop snapped chain once twice not stupid enough to allow a third time for me.
    ymmv, but that's my experience.
    Sounds like either a cheap chain, cheap half link, or a bad installation.

  9. #9
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    I know the OP is talking about single half-links, but it needs to be said that chains made entirely of half-links are stupid. they stretch like crazy! those KMC Pintle chains are horrid. Empire BMX used to sell them and they dropped the product because nearly every single chain they sold on month came back to them snapped in several places under normal riding conditions.

    if you want to run a 1/8" chain, Odyssey makes the Blue Bird chain, which comes with a single half-link already installed on one end.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mango12 View Post
    Do you really trust Half Links?
    No worries... Slink is the **** yo.


    Untitled by scc4, on Flickr

  11. #11
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    ^^^ if your half link set up does not look like Troutbum's above, then NO I would not trust it.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Sounds like either a cheap chain, cheap half link, or a bad installation.

    I've also been told by a roadie-specific LBS that they've never seen someone shear the bolt out of Campy's ultra-torque crank, and yet...

    Sometimes people can be on the same equipment and have very different results.
    Question was: "do you trust half-links" my answer was "no".
    My answer stands.
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  13. #13
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    Wish I had read this thread before I installed my link and a half. Especially since I did not use masters o either side just spliced it in. I do carry extra chain links just in case.

  14. #14
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    I am considering half link because i want to shorten my chainline...The way i look at it i trust anything that works on a BMX since they go through way more abuse...but i could be wrong Ill try it and see

  15. #15
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    thanks bad mechanic, i ordered what you listed

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroutBum View Post
    No worries... Slink is the **** yo.


    Untitled by scc4, on Flickr
    Call me crazy but I always run my quick connect outer link "clip" with he opening facing backwards. So If it bumps something while riding the clip wont fly off.

    Yeah, Im probably crazy
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by byknuts View Post
    My answer stands.
    Allow me to rephrase:
    Had you used the parts listed above and made sure they were properly installed, you would not have had a problem.

  18. #18
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    YES! Most definitely. I use 3/32" KMC press pin style half links all the time to get my CS length where I want it. I use SRAM 8 speed chains too. I also use cassette rear hubs and get my chainline spot on. No problems for the last 5+ years.

    Looks like this:

  19. #19
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    I used to use those KMC ones mentioned above. I have never had one fail but I think i remember that I found the links do get stiff after some time.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by skibikeguy1 View Post
    I am considering half link because i want to shorten my chainline...The way i look at it i trust anything that works on a BMX since they go through way more abuse...but i could be wrong Ill try it and see
    most bmx riders are 13 year olds who don't know or care that their chains are stretched to death so long as they don't break. the Shadow Conspiracy chain is strong, but it will stretch and wear out your cog/chainring faster than anything, and it only comes in 1/8" and weighs a ton. There is no advantage to a chain made entirely of halflinks, but plenty of disadvantages. and single halflink to dial in your chain length is the best you can ask for.

  21. #21
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    Maybe after I've had a bike sit for a long time after a cleaning or something I've seen it stiffen, but I've never had one give me any real trouble. A little wiggling and lube has always freed it up too.

    I just splice it in, in the middle of the chain, and leave it there until the chain wears out. No master links next to it. It is a pretty simple piece though (like cheap BMX chains tend to be) so I could see it causing some difficulties under extreme use.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowridemo View Post
    I just splice it in, in the middle of the chain, and leave it there until the chain wears out. No master links next to it.
    That's not a great idea for a couple reasons:
    - The KMC half link is a little wider than SRAM 8 speed chains, so the SRAM pin will barely go all the way through.
    - SRAM 8 speed chainss pings have peened ends, so the end of the pin is mushroom shaped. When it's pressed out and back in again, both the pin and plate deform, and it won't nearly be as strong. This is why SRAM says to always use a Power Link to join their chains.

    Between the previous two issues, you stand a decent chain of having the chain break at the half link. I've personally run a setup exactly like yours and had that happen. That's why I decided to go find a half link system which works correctly.

  23. #23
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    SEE, SEE, thanks BADASS MECHANIC, thats what happened to me, Had it spliced into regular chain, then one day when i was really torqing on the pedals to get up a short steep climb, POP PING PLOP, got body slammed hard over the handle bars when the pin pulled out. Now i see why cause it was just a bit short. It really made me gun shy to really stand on the pedals with the half link.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mango12 View Post
    SEE, SEE, thanks BADASS MECHANIC, thats what happened to me, Had it spliced into regular chain, then one day when i was really torqing on the pedals to get up a short steep climb, POP PING PLOP, got body slammed hard over the handle bars when the pin pulled out. Now i see why cause it was just a bit short. It really made me gun shy to really stand on the pedals with the half link.
    That's funny because that's exactly how mine separated as well. You'll be happy once you get the parts and put it together. It works correctly and is burly.

    One thing I want to mention, if you're using a tensioner with a roller where the chain rides in a groove (like the DMR STS) you can run into a clearance issue because the masterlinks have the extra clip on one side. In my case, I just made the groove wider and problem solved.

  25. #25
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    Yes I trust a half link when properly installed.

    I've used the regular KMC half links before. They are cheap and readily available.

    - They work great with KMC singlespeed chains.

    - They work OK with SRAM singlespeed chains. The KMC half link seems to be a little wider than a SRAM chain but I've spread the connecting outer plate of the SRAM chain a tiny amount to give it the space needed to pivot smoothly.

    - They do not work well with 3/32 chains.

    I've also used the half links from a KMC half link chain before. I installed the chain for a customer who didn't care to keep the rest of the chain == free half links.

    - The half link chain is nickel plated and the links are a tad thinner than the regular KMC half links. I found that these half links work better with SRAM singlespeed chains but they are still too wide for 3/32 chains.

  26. #26
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    With ANY chain, proper installation is key. I've seen many chains break just from idiots putting them on wrong.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    That's not a great idea for a couple reasons:
    - The KMC half link is a little wider than SRAM 8 speed chains, so the SRAM pin will barely go all the way through.
    - SRAM 8 speed chainss pings have peened ends, so the end of the pin is mushroom shaped. When it's pressed out and back in again, both the pin and plate deform, and it won't nearly be as strong. This is why SRAM says to always use a Power Link to join their chains.

    Between the previous two issues, you stand a decent chain of having the chain break at the half link. I've personally run a setup exactly like yours and had that happen. That's why I decided to go find a half link system which works correctly.
    I do appreciate your concern. Everything you say about the parts is entirely true. The 3/32" halflink is something like .2mm wider than a sram 8 speed chain, and the SRAM PC-8xx series is not designed to have the pins reused on the geared drivetrains it was designed for. But I have no intention of changing my usage. I have 4 different singlespeeds right now, and all of them have had a chain done that way at some point. If done carefully one will not have a problem with this, but as sasquatch says in his post a little later it all comes down to the user and technique. Plus one needs to have a spot on chainline. A lot of singlespeeds I see have bad chainline. That will cause chains to break. That's the reason I would never reuse a pin on a geared drivetrain. Those sideloading forces will rip a poorly installed chain apart.

    If someone can install a shimano 10 speed chain with the special pin without having to wiggle the chain afterwards or without having to push the pin in and out to get the links to move freely one can resuse the pin on a sram 8 speed chain on a ss with proper chainline. It's all in the feel and not pushing the pin in too far or not far enough.

    I probably shouldn't recommend stuff like this to the public at large. You never know a person's mechanical ability. Oh well. To truly be safe only use that KMC halflink on a matching KMC chain.

  28. #28
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    New question here. KMC half link (3/32") with SRAM PC-850

    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    - The KMC half link is a little wider than SRAM 8 speed chains, so the SRAM pin will barely go all the way through.
    Quote Originally Posted by cable_actuated View Post
    I've used the regular KMC half links before. They are cheap and readily available.
    ...
    - They do not work well with 3/32 chains.
    ...
    ... they are still too wide for 3/32 chains.
    I'm still a singlespeed newbie, and I just picked up a KMC 3/32" Half Link to connect it to SRAM PC-850 (3/32"). Upon installation, I was surprised to see that the pin on the half link protrudes visibly more than PC-850 chain/pins. I thought that the store sent me the 1/8" Half Link by mistake, but your info above sounds like my case.

    Q#1: For the usual "cheaply-converted" singlespeed setup, will this protruding pin be OK? (I don't think it'll hit anything, since it's a singlespeed = no cassette, etc.)

    Q#2: I have the Half Link connected between the chain & the Powerlink (chain --> Half Link --> Powerlink --> chain). I'm assuming that this location is OK (vs Half Link & Powerlink placed at the opposite on the chain)?

    Q#3: Connecting the Powerlink with the Half Link was pretty tight (for being wider, as mentioned above). But a good tug on the chain to spread-shut the Powerlink did it. Was that OK??? (I also wonder if I can even un-do the Powerlink when necessary - it might be pretty hard/tight...)

    Thanks for your further feedback in advance,
    - PiroChu
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  29. #29
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    I think you're asking for trouble with that setup. The only half link setup I trust is the one I've already detailed.

    Q1 - Yes.
    Q2 - No. The half link and Powerlink should not be connected to each other.
    Q3 - As I already stated I think that's asking for trouble.

  30. #30
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    Thanks for your quick/helpful feedback.
    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    What you want to do is order two of these:
    Amazon.com: KMC Z610H x -C/L Master Link Single 1/2 x 3/32 Silver: Sports & Outdoors
    And one of these in 3/32:
    Universal Cycles -- Gusset Slink Half Link
    Then join the half link to your chain with one of the masterlinks of either side of it.
    ...
    They'll also digest any half link out there while still working nicely with a multispeed chain.
    Yes, I saw your earlier post of these pieces, and I have a couple more of questions on these, just to be sure, please...

    Q#4: Will "two of these" + "one of these" work with my SRAM PC-850?

    Q#5: Will "two of these" + the KMC Half Link (3/32") I already got will work with my SRAM PC-850?

    I think I've read your above post correctly, but just want to re-confirm. Thanks again,
    - PiroChu
    Last edited by PiroChu; 09-10-2012 at 12:22 PM.
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  31. #31
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    I took a flyer on this chain. It ain't light but it has been bomber.

    Name:  Shadow Conspiracy.jpg
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    I might also add that I am a great mechanic so it was installed properly the first time.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiroChu View Post
    Q#4: Will "two of these" + "one of these" work with my SRAM PC-850?

    Q#5: Will "two of these" + the KMC Half Link (3/32") I already got will work with my SRAM PC-850?
    Q4: Yes.
    Q5: If you insist on using the KMC half link then you only need a single one of "those". Two are required for the Gusset half link due to its construction.

  33. #33
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    Stay away from low quality half links

    I've snapped 3 low quality links before going back to my tried and true tensioner.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Q5: If you insist on using the KMC half link then you only need a single one of "those". Two are required for the Gusset half link due to its construction.
    Great, thanks for the additional info.

    Since this is for my "cheap" project (vs "nice" project), I'll try #5 first.

    Just curious about a minor thing with #4, though. How long is the pin on the nice Gusset Slink Half Link (3/32")? Just wondering if it's closer in length as PC-850 chain pins, or will it be longer/protruding just like the KMC Half Link pin.

    Thanks again.
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  35. #35
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    The pin on the Gusset half link is normal length. It's already installed and has it's ends peened, which is one of the reasons the Gusset is significantly better than the KMC.

  36. #36
    Hhhnnnngggg!!!
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    Thanks for the tip! Now I have to buy a butt load of chain links for all of the SS bikes.

    Can't I just buy a whole Slink chain and break it apart?
    Last edited by TwigJumper; 09-11-2012 at 12:37 AM. Reason: I'm stupid.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mango12 View Post
    i have had bad experience in the past with a half link. I need to run one now to be able to swap cogs easier with my EBB. If installed correctly do you feel they are as strong as the rest of the links in the chain?
    I've been using the basic KMC half links on 8-speed sram chains for a couple years without a single issue. Based on my experience, improper installation is what can cause failures. YMMV. Half links are not expensive. Buy a few, try them out for yourself.

  38. #38
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  39. #39
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    Like with most things there are high quality half links and low quality half links. I've been using a good one for several years now, and I have no doubts about its strength. What you want to do is order two of these:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=vglnk-c587-20

    And one of these in 3/32:
    Universal Cycles -- Gusset Slink Half Link

    Then join the half link to your chain with one of the masterlinks of either side of it.
    @ Bad Mech, If I may, two questions for you:

    1) Will this technique works with SRAM PC890?

    2) I have in my bin several KCN X1 and some KNC 3/32 half-links. I am better off using the technique you describe, or going native and using the KNC half-link?

    Thanks...

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climber999 View Post
    1) Will this technique works with SRAM PC890?
    Yes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Climber999 View Post
    2) I have in my bin several KCN X1 and some KNC 3/32 half-links. I am better off using the technique you describe, or going native and using the KNC half-link?
    I would still use the Gusset half link since it's a much superior product.

  41. #41
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    Thanks a bunch...

    On the selection of the Missing Link, you recommend using the Missing Link Z610HX, which is 7.80mm pin length. However there are other products with different pin length. For example, the Missing Like 1 is 7.10mm pin length. Shouldn't one choose the Missing Link most fitting for their chain, or the Missing Link Z610HX will cover every 8 speed chain?

    Here is a link to their product line:
    Missing links - Connectors - Products - KMC Chain

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climber999 View Post
    Thanks a bunch...

    On the selection of the Missing Link, you recommend using the Missing Link Z610HX, which is 7.80mm pin length. However there are other products with different pin length. For example, the Missing Like 1 is 7.10mm pin length. Shouldn't one choose the Missing Link most fitting for their chain, or the Missing Link Z610HX will cover every 8 speed chain?

    Here is a link to their product line:
    Missing links - Connectors - Products - KMC Chain
    It's not a Missing Link, what I linked to is just a normal master link. It's fine if the master link is a little wider than the rest of the chain, but it's obviously a problem if the master link is little narrower than the rest of the chain.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    It's not a Missing Link, what I linked to is just a normal master link. It's fine if the master link is a little wider than the rest of the chain, but it's obviously a problem if the master link is little narrower than the rest of the chain.
    Stand corrected...I think it's 7.8mm, so it should work well both for the X1 (6.7mm) and the SRAM 890 (7.1mm). Cheers!

  44. #44
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    A small ballpien hammer to work the ends of the pin after install helps a lot. My half links had a long pin so I had room to lock them in.
    lean forward

  45. #45
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    Do you really trust Half Links?

    How many chains do you reuse a 1/2 link and master link on?

    I like Bad Mechanics approach- those nickel pieces look very nice. Since you have a master link on each side, can this setup live through a few chains?

    Thanks

  46. #46
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    I generally use it through two chains before replacing the half link and both master links. I think good indicator of wear are the pins on the master links.

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