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Discussion Starter #1
Many years ago (50 - 60 years ago), when I worked on my bike the chains had a built in disconnect link. Bend the chain and remove the outside plate and pull the pins. Chain came off and made easy work of working on the crank and/or rear coaster brake assembly.

Do the chains for modern multi speed bikes have the disconnect link like old days?
 

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They were not common on quality bike chains for many years but thankfully, master links have returned! I use Sram Powerlink chains.
 

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Yeah? I know Shimano chains of recent vintage require a special rivet to re-connect, but I didn't know Shimano chains now use a master link. If so, they're late to the game, but better late than never!
 

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Two skinny J's
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They were not common on quality bike chains for many years but thankfully, master links have returned! I use Sram Powerlink chains.
I use the SRAM PC1071 and for me it's easeir to treat it like a Shimano chain. I have never been able to get a Powelock apart, I think they make an app for that:)

I'm guessing the powerlink is different than the Powerlock?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the replies, especially the hint on how to disconnect the Powerlinks qmsdc15. Now when the weather is warmer, I'll go check and see what chain is on my 21 speed Schwinn.
 

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Treating like a Shimano chain as in using a chain tool to break and a Shimano connecting rivet to rejoin?

Powerlock is the master link on Sram's ten speed chains. I'm not sure how they differ from the Powerlinks I'm familiar with.

A neat trick for opening Powerlinks here: http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Magazine/201107050.pdf

It works great!
Edit. I see same chain-link, my bad! I have tried 1/2 heartily to remove and gave up. So yes I use a chain tool to a replace the hollow pin with a Shimano 10 speed pin. I've asked before if it was safe to do. I think the dimensions are the same and it's just a weight difference, I hope :)

Per SRAMS Technical manual PDF the Power lock is for one time use and must be removed with a chain tool.

" Once the Powerlock has been installed It can only be removed by means of a chain tool."
http://www.sram.com/sites/default/files/techdocs/my10-sram-tech-manual-rev-a.pdf
 

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If you don't want to buy the special pliers, try the method in the link posted above. It works really well. :thumbsup:

Rojas, When I began using master links, Taya chains and Sachs (did Sachs chains become Sram chains?) the instructions were to not reuse the master link, and the chains came with an extra master link or two. Lately from what I've read, people are reusing the links, and I don't think Sram is discouraging doing so except for the ten speed chains.

I never install a used chain on my bike. When I remove a chain, it goes into the recycling bin. I've been removing my chains with a chain tool, not at the master link, but at any random pin, and discarding the whole thing. I've only recently learned of this method of opening a Powerlink.

Because I replace my chains before my chain measuring tool says I should, between good and fair on a scale of new/good/fair/replace, I figure the master links are still useable and can be salvaged and carried for emergency chain repair. I always carry a spare Powerlink, somehow I have an extra one, but since the chains no longer come with extra links, the ability to remove and possible reuse the Powerlinks may come in handy.

If I ran a ten speed cassette, I wouldn't try to reuse the master link. In fact I've never reused a master link, but I think it might be OK on eight or nine speed chains.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Question, my current bike is said to have 21 speeds. That is a combo of 7 gear sets on the the rear hub and three on the crank. Qsmdc15, you refer to chains of eight or nine speeds. Are some bikes equipped with a smaller number of gear sets or is there something else I don't understand (most likely)?
 

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Question, my current bike is said to have 21 speeds. That is a combo of 7 gear sets on the the rear hub and three on the crank. Qsmdc15, you refer to chains of eight or nine speeds. Are some bikes equipped with a smaller number of gear sets or is there something else I don't understand (most likely)?
This should help explain things for you.
Shimano Cassettes & Freehubs
 

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The chain I use with my 8-speed cogsets, Sram PC870 works with 6/7/8 sped clusters according to this link. Sram PC 870 6/7/8 Speed Chain > Components > Drivetrain > Chains | Jenson USA

Chains designed for use with 5, 6,7,8 and 9 speed cassettes are all 3/32" internal width. The outer width varies, so you can't use a six speed chain with a nine speed cluster, the nine speed cogs are closer together, but as I understand it, you can use a nine speed chain on a five speed freewheel. I wouldn't though, the wider 5-speed chain will be more durable, but an 8-speed chain should work well with your 7-speed cogset. If your current chain is badly worn, you will need a new freewheel (or cassette) and possibly new cranks (or chainrings).
 
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