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Chain links

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bungeejumper
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Chain links

#223761

Postby bungeejumper » May 22nd, 2019, 6:13 pm

A very occasional cyclist writes:

I've finally decided that the reason the front derailleur on my BSO can't reach the outer sprocket is that the damn thing is knackered. Distorted. Bent. Not fit for purpose. I dunno any more. Even if I take the travel stop screws right out and tighten the cable more than the laws of physics will allow, the cage still won't move out far enough to make the switch to the outer sprocket. Absolutely refuses. (And no, the cage is swinging clear of the sprocket, so it's not that.)

I could tell you a lengthy story about how my local small-town bike shop spent two and a half ruddy weeks with my bike in their workshop before they told me that they hadn't got round to looking at it yet. But let's just say that I decided to cut out the middleman and order both a Shimano mech and a new shifter for the handlebar, which really didn't cost as much as I'd expected.

That's the good news. The bad news is that I spent a long time puzzling about how to get the one-piece chain through the new mech's cage, before the horrible truth hit me: I'm supposed to break the chain by driving out a rivet (or so it seems?), and then force the separated link back together afterwards as though no crime had been committed, and that's all right then?

That feels suspiciously like bodgery to me. Wouldn't be allowed in any other field of engineering, I suspect. Is it really all right to re-use a chain link that you've forced apart? Or should I get a proper split link like we used to have in the good old days?

BJ

djbenedict
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Re: Chain links

#223765

Postby djbenedict » May 22nd, 2019, 6:49 pm

bungeejumper wrote:Is it really all right to re-use a chain link that you've forced apart?


You might get away with it on 6/7/8-speed chains which have much wider tolerances. But not reliably beyond that.

bungeejumper wrote:Or should I get a proper split link like we used to have in the good old days?


Yes, just do this. Again these vary depending on the chain/number of rear sprockets.

dspp
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Re: Chain links

#223793

Postby dspp » May 22nd, 2019, 8:26 pm

bungeejumper wrote:A very occasional cyclist writes:

That feels suspiciously like bodgery to me. Wouldn't be allowed in any other field of engineering, I suspect. Is it really all right to re-use a chain link that you've forced apart? Or should I get a proper split link like we used to have in the good old days?

BJ


Clearly your cycling education omitted the very handy "chain link remover tool"

https://www.evanscycles.com/topeak-univ ... LEQAvD_BwE

such as has been in my toolbox for 35-odd-years from when I ran a bike workshop as a child. Radical technology these removable rivets !

- dspp

staffordian
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Re: Chain links

#223808

Postby staffordian » May 22nd, 2019, 9:24 pm

dspp wrote:
bungeejumper wrote:A very occasional cyclist writes:

That feels suspiciously like bodgery to me. Wouldn't be allowed in any other field of engineering, I suspect. Is it really all right to re-use a chain link that you've forced apart? Or should I get a proper split link like we used to have in the good old days?

BJ


Clearly your cycling education omitted the very handy "chain link remover tool"

https://www.evanscycles.com/topeak-univ ... LEQAvD_BwE

such as has been in my toolbox for 35-odd-years from when I ran a bike workshop as a child. Radical technology these removable rivets !

- dspp


And those useful bits of kit are also good for loosening tight links as well as simply splitting and re-joining chains.

EssDeeAitch
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Re: Chain links

#223838

Postby EssDeeAitch » May 23rd, 2019, 5:13 am

staffordian wrote:
dspp wrote:
bungeejumper wrote:A very occasional cyclist writes:

That feels suspiciously like bodgery to me. Wouldn't be allowed in any other field of engineering, I suspect. Is it really all right to re-use a chain link that you've forced apart? Or should I get a proper split link like we used to have in the good old days?

BJ


Clearly your cycling education omitted the very handy "chain link remover tool"

https://www.evanscycles.com/topeak-univ ... LEQAvD_BwE

such as has been in my toolbox for 35-odd-years from when I ran a bike workshop as a child. Radical technology these removable rivets !

- dspp


And those useful bits of kit are also good for loosening tight links as well as simply splitting and re-joining chains.


As is a weekly application of GT85 :lol:

bungeejumper
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Re: Chain links

#223872

Postby bungeejumper » May 23rd, 2019, 9:15 am

Thanks guys. Yes, I've ordered a link remover tool as well, so I should be all set. :)

I'll probably go for the "forcing the link back" approach for now, and will fit some sort of a connecting link later. Are Masterlinks better than the old-style split links?

Will give the chain and sprockets a good clean down while I'm at it. Back in my motorbiking days, the usual form was to soak the chain in petrol, clean it down, then bathe it in oil to get the lubrication right in. I imagine that's been superseded by better products now?

BJ

didds
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Re: Chain links

#223975

Postby didds » May 23rd, 2019, 1:08 pm

bungeejumper wrote: the usual form was to soak the chain in petrol, clean it down, then bathe it in oil to get the lubrication right in. I imagine that's been superseded by better products now?

BJ


any decent degreaser to clean the chain, and there are specifc chain lubes avaiable rather than using oil which attracts dirt thus grit thus an abarsive.

didds

bungeejumper
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Re: Chain links

#225974

Postby bungeejumper » June 1st, 2019, 12:54 pm

Okay guys, next stupid question coming up. The new Shimano mech and handlebar shifter are in, and the travel on the mech is looking just as it should. (Yay!) I still don't know where my problem actually was, but now I don't need to wonder any more. :D Chain is going back on this afternoon. The chain tool drove out the link perfectly, so thanks again to all who've responded.

Next small challenge is that the mech won't clamp up tightly enough to the frame - it looks as though my frame (bog standard 21 inches) is a couple of millimetres too small in diameter! There are a couple of 'packing pieces' supplied with the clamp, but even they don't close the gap sufficiently betwixt clamp and frame. I have bodged up a circular collar out of a thin piece of bracket steel, but would prefer to get a proper collar if I possibly can. I can't be the only cyclist whose frame doesn't match the industry's expectations?

Any thoughts as to where I might find such a beast?

Cheers again

BJ

redsturgeon
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Re: Chain links

#226213

Postby redsturgeon » June 2nd, 2019, 1:34 pm

bungeejumper wrote:Okay guys, next stupid question coming up. The new Shimano mech and handlebar shifter are in, and the travel on the mech is looking just as it should. (Yay!) I still don't know where my problem actually was, but now I don't need to wonder any more. :D Chain is going back on this afternoon. The chain tool drove out the link perfectly, so thanks again to all who've responded.

Next small challenge is that the mech won't clamp up tightly enough to the frame - it looks as though my frame (bog standard 21 inches) is a couple of millimetres too small in diameter! There are a couple of 'packing pieces' supplied with the clamp, but even they don't close the gap sufficiently betwixt clamp and frame. I have bodged up a circular collar out of a thin piece of bracket steel, but would prefer to get a proper collar if I possibly can. I can't be the only cyclist whose frame doesn't match the industry's expectations?

Any thoughts as to where I might find such a beast?

Cheers again

BJ


They usually come with the mech, since frame diameters can vary considerably. You will be fine with your bodge though since the mech does not need to be clamped especially tight and the usual packers can be aluminium or plastic. If you have a nice friendly LBS they would probably have some spare packers. What is your frame made of?

You can't really adjust the mech until the chain is on though and it can be a right pain to get it right.

John

bungeejumper
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Re: Chain links

#226256

Postby bungeejumper » June 2nd, 2019, 2:34 pm

redsturgeon wrote:They usually come with the mech, since frame diameters can vary considerably. You will be fine with your bodge though since the mech does not need to be clamped especially tight and the usual packers can be aluminium or plastic. If you have a nice friendly LBS they would probably have some spare packers. What is your frame made of?

You can't really adjust the mech until the chain is on though and it can be a right pain to get it right.

Many thanks for that, RS. My home-made collar seems to be doing the business at the moment, so maybe it'll be all right like that after all?

The downtube is plain ordinary steel - this is, after all, just a 15 year old Halfords bike :) - if it had been carbon fibre I doubt that I'd have wanted to clamp anything to it! (Although AIUI, posh bikes have bolted mountings so no clamps necessary?)

Anyway, I think it might have been the loose-ish fit that did for the old mech. When I looked closely at the unit I've replaced, I noticed that the whole apparatus had gone slightly rhomboid in section, whereas it ought to have been rectangular. The whole damn thing had twisted, probably because the clamp had rotated on the downtube, and then the forces of nature had done the rest. No wonder the gearshift wouldn't travel very far outward.

But hey, whatever. (As they say.) The bike is fine now - the chain went back on just fine, and the chain tool did its stuff, and the movement stops were easily set. I am getting to be a bit of an expert at setting front derailleurs. ;) Now all I have to do is make sure I ride the thing....

Thanks again

BJ

redsturgeon
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Re: Chain links

#226276

Postby redsturgeon » June 2nd, 2019, 3:54 pm

Good to hear...get out and ride now, no excuses.

John


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