Chain breaking - any tips?

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3/13/2018 10:55 AM

Good afternoon you fine motherfuckers of Vital.

As many of you know, I'm building up a custom S&M black magic. This frame is substantially larger than my last one, and so I need a new chain. My current chain has about 74 links in it, and I think I need 2-3 more.

So I picked up a KMC 710 Koolchain (because that's what I've been riding and its beefy as hell) and a chain breaker.

This all SEEMS pretty self explanatory, but I was just wondering if there were any pitfalls to avoid? I've watched a couple of tutorials and from what I can tell, you really don't want to push the pin all the way out, so that you're fumbling to get it back into the hole. Basically just leave a hair of the pin still in the outer link, and kinda snap the new link in.

I still have questions though -

1. I should probably break it at a length that'll leave me some room for adjustment, correct? Chainstays on this frame are 14.1" slammed, which is pretty long. I don't really want to be stuck with it slammed constantly.

2. A little confused on this reuse/don't reuse pins thing. Do they mean once you break a link, toss the original pin that was in there and replace it with the master link? I didn't set up or install the original chain.

Any other tips would be great. I'm usually a "make the mistake myself first and learn" guy, but I figured I'd ask.

Thanks guys.

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BMX over 30: Eat clean, Stretch, and Pray.

3/13/2018 11:17 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/13/2018 11:19 AM

I'm not sure what they were referring to about not using "old pins". I wouldn't suggest using a pin from an old chain in a new chain if I could help it. That's sort of "in an emergency" sort of thing.

As for breaking the chain, yes, DO NOT remove the pin all the way. What I do is to leave the pin sticking thru the one plate just a bit (see illustration).

Photo

Obviously, there's some exaggeration going on in the photo, but I leave a slight bit sticking thru the other plate for two reasons. 1.) it helps ensure you don't push the pin too far. Once at this point, remove the breaker & flex the chain slightly sideways (opposite it's normal bend) & it should pull apart easily. 2.) As you "cut the chain" to size and reassemble, you reverse this & when you flex the chain plate to get around the bit you left sticking up, it will pop into place. Once there, it sort holds itself in place while you get the breaker to finish putting the pin back in place.

After you have the pin installed, check to be sure that link bends freely as it's supposed to. If it does not a slight nudge of the pin in the opposite direction that you pushed it in from usually fixes the stiff link. Some breakers have a special slot for the chain to sit in for this procedure but it isn't necessarily needed. There's probably a YT vid on that if you need it.

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3/13/2018 11:37 AM

Just use a master link dude... I know people hate on them, but I've never broke one, and SundaybmxRR I remember said he has never broken one either and that dude shreds! I did the pin reuse thing once, and it was a pain in the ass to break the chain everytime and push the pin back in without fucking up the plate... I use a masterlink from a Bluebird chain in my KMC 710 and I've had 0 problems with it....

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I don't crash, I do random gravity checks...

3/13/2018 11:43 AM

HondaCRFRacer wrote:

Just use a master link dude... I know people hate on them, but I've never broke one, and SundaybmxRR I remember said he has ...more

That is true. I've never had an issue either. & the do sell new "pins" that aren't just t he pin. They have a "starter pin"
that goes thru your chain link without binding and works as a guide, then quickly tapers up to the actual pin. It is scored between the two & when you have the pin in place, you snap off the guild pin. Anyway, yeah, I never had a master link break on me either.

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3/13/2018 1:38 PM

When you push a pin out, you slightly deform the hole in the plate. That's why not reusing pins is a thing. But, a bmx chain is going to take a lot more abuse than a cheap 8 speed chain. That's how I've always installed my own chains. I've broken chains a few times from landing on them whilst grinding, but I don't have a clue if it's as a result of reusing a pin (it would be a bit of a coincidence to land on the exact plate that I've pushed a pin through). Other than landing on chains, I've never snapped one.

As for getting the right length. Slam your wheel, put the chain around your sprocket and driver, and connect the chain at the next compatible link. Bear in mind your chain will stretch a touch. But short of getting a half link, that's your only option. Dropouts are rarely long enough to play around with full links now

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3/13/2018 1:51 PM

I have used vice plyers many times to press the pin back into the links for the re-install. I only chose to do it because it is quicker and I didn't have that good of a quality chain tool. Adjust the plyers so that they will lock or almost lock after you squeeze the pin through the plate holes, don't squeeze it too hard because you can only get the pin 3/4 of the way through with plyers, and then with the chain tool you can press the pin in the rest of the way and home it, making sure the pin is centered just like the other ones on the chain and make sure the link moves freely as it should. But if you have a good enough tool that wont bend just use that. If you try the vice plyers make sure all holes are lined up before you try to squeeze the pin in.

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3/13/2018 1:58 PM

HondaCRFRacer wrote:

Just use a master link dude... I know people hate on them, but I've never broke one, and SundaybmxRR I remember said he has ...more

yeah my current master link is from a chain I bought in 2013 haha

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3/13/2018 2:01 PM

Thanks guys!

I will definitely be using the master link, I just couldn't get a straight answer on the "Do not re-use the pin" thing, which was in fact referring to using a pin from an old chain on a new chain. I won't/don't need to do that.

I got a minute break at work and decided to try to push the pin out and then back in (on a link I'll be removing) and it went pretty smoothly. So I should be all set.

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BMX over 30: Eat clean, Stretch, and Pray.

3/13/2018 2:33 PM

The question is...do you have a male or female axle?

If female, make the chain as short as possible. You just unscrew both female bolts all the way and drop the wheel.

If male, yes leave some room for adjustment, you should be able to slightly slide your wheel forward and pop one link of the chain off to the side of the sprocket and with one rotation the chain should come off without damaging the chain or sprocket.

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3/14/2018 6:40 AM

Bulletpup wrote:

The question is...do you have a male or female axle?

If female, make the chain as short as possible. You just unscrew both ...more

Not a fan of female axles, I run male front and back (thats what she said)

Thanks for the tip, bullet! Makes a lot of sense too. Chain is on and I used the supplied master link. Actually a really easy process. It's pretty tight, but if I loosen the back wheel, slam it, offset the chain with my hand and rotate the sprocket once, it comes right off.

Thanks again guys.

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BMX over 30: Eat clean, Stretch, and Pray.

3/14/2018 9:48 AM

Bulletpup wrote:

The question is...do you have a male or female axle?

If female, make the chain as short as possible. You just unscrew both ...more

TheDarkEnergist wrote:

Not a fan of female axles, I run male front and back (thats what she said)

Thanks for the tip, bullet! Makes a lot of sense ...more

Can I ask why? I used to bend and strip out my male front a lot but never had issues with female, back female is good but back male was also good so I understand male in the rear for simplicity but do you have a reason for male in the front? Or is it just a developed preference thing?

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Hmmm

3/14/2018 10:34 AM

Edman123 wrote:

Can I ask why? I used to bend and strip out my male front a lot but never had issues with female, back female is good but back ...more

Honestly just a developed preference. When I bought my bike years ago I really couldn't have cared less about the components or differences between them.

The only female rear wheel I've had was the one I yanked into the back of the frame on a hard start, so I didn't want that happening again, and the fronts have always been male for me. Just kinda keep on going with what works.

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BMX over 30: Eat clean, Stretch, and Pray.