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  1. #1
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    master link went stiff

    I built up a NOS bike earlier this year with Campy 11sp. I used the KMC link on the chain rather then deal with special tools. Link seemed just fine for a couple of hundred miles. This weekend I did a ride and I kept feeling a light thump in the drivetrain every 2 seconds or so, depending on speed and cadence. I guessed it was chain related and after the ride I inspected it and sure enough one end of the KMC link was stiff. I just replaced the link rather than try to work it out. This did get me to thinking as to what would cause the link the suddenly go stiff. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Lacking some info. What chain are you using & is it a 10spd or 11spd chain? Are you using the correct corresponding link? Is the chain properly sized? Did you lube the connecting pins before snapping it together?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan01 View Post
    Lacking some info. What chain are you using & is it a 10spd or 11spd chain? Are you using the correct corresponding link? Is the chain properly sized? Did you lube the connecting pins before snapping it together?
    Potenza 11s chain and KMC 11s link. Lubed and tested it during install. Worked fine for 200+ miles then suddenly went stiff. I installed a new link and life has been fine since. Scratching my head on this

  4. #4
    tlg
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    I'd speculate that a rough shift caught the link at the right/bad spot and put a little kink/bend in it.
    Do you still have the old one? Does it appear to have anything wrong with it?


    Technically, this is the correct direction to install the link. So that the full pin side catches the chain ring shift ramp and is less likely to bend.
    I've used them for years never paying attention to the direction and never had a problem. But with newer thinner 11sp chains, it's something to be more concerned about.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  5. #5
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    I think the old one is still in the tray on my workstand so I will take a look. I was not aware that there was a specific direction for install. I will check that also

  6. #6
    pmf
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    Interesting. I've been using links for years -- so much better than pins. I've got 4 Campy equipped 11-speed bikes and have never had a problem. I had no idea the way the link is oriented matters. Am I getting lucky? Guess it's 50-50 with ignorance.

  7. #7
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    In that picture the link is not seated, just say'in!
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  8. #8
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    In that picture the link is not seated, just say'in!
    Haha yes. And the caption from the site:
    Next, slowly turn the cranks forward to bring the link to the top of the drivetrain (where it’s above the chainstay)
    Now, grab the rear wheel firmly with your left hand to hold it still (not pictured) – and push the right crankarm with your right hand:
    Push firmly with your right hand until you hear the quick link snap in to place.



    There's an arrow shown on the link. I think it's a SRAM. Not something I've ever noticed. I use mostly KMC links.
    The SRAM links I've used were 10sp. I think it's new on their 11sp links.
    Last edited by tlg; 05-16-2018 at 06:30 AM.
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  9. #9
    pmf
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    Can't wait to get some 12-speed stuff

  10. #10
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    Park has a tool for removing and seating these. I find using it the best way to make sure the link is fully seated.

  11. #11
    pmf
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    Seriously ... a tool to seat a link? And as far as removing them goes, I just cut the chain since you're not supposed to reuse them.

  12. #12
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    When it comes to making sure a master link is secure, I am not willing to chance it. Yes, you can just stress the chain, look at it and conclude that it is seated, but with the tool, you feel and hear it. Sure is easier to take a chain apart than using a rivet puncher too.

    If you tried the tool, you wouldn't go back.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Seriously ... a tool to seat a link? And as far as removing them goes, I just cut the chain since you're not supposed to reuse them.
    yes, stepping on the pedals seems to seat them pretty well

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    When it comes to making sure a master link is secure, I am not willing to chance it. Yes, you can just stress the chain, look at it and conclude that it is seated, but with the tool, you feel and hear it. Sure is easier to take a chain apart than using a rivet puncher too.

    If you tried the tool, you wouldn't go back.
    So just like without the tool.

  15. #15
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    When it comes to making sure a master link is secure, I am not willing to chance it. Yes, you can just stress the chain, look at it and conclude that it is seated, but with the tool, you feel and hear it. Sure is easier to take a chain apart than using a rivet puncher too.

    If you tried the tool, you wouldn't go back.
    When you step on the pedal to seat the link, you hear and feel it click. You're not "stressing" the chain... far less than when you actually ride it.

    I have the tool. Still go back to just seating it with the pedal.
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  16. #16
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    Suit yourselves. I like feeling that seating click sensation right from the tool to my hand. And you can't break the chain quicker or cleaner than with the tool, even if you are just discarding it.

  17. #17
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Suit yourselves.
    Will do. Been doing it that way for almost 20yrs and never an issue.

    Per SRAM installation Instructions:
    Rotate the crank until the PowerLock® is above the chainstay.
    Check that the two halves of the PowerLock are properly aligned.
    Apply the rear brake and firmly push the crank arm down to lock the PowerLock.
    You should hear and feel the PowerLock click into place.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Seriously ... a tool to seat a link? And as far as removing them goes, I just cut the chain since you're not supposed to reuse them.
    It's an inexpensive tool and no need to cut anything, just remove and replace the link - no extra work involved.

    I won't be using my hands to remove or set any chain links.
    Last edited by Methodical; 05-17-2018 at 01:18 PM.

  19. #19
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    Some links are directional...some aren't. SRAMs are for example as shown above. Arrow points in direction of chain travel.

    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Park has a tool for removing and seating these. I find using it the best way to make sure the link is fully seated.

    The Wolf Toothtool is better all around:

    Wolf Tooth Master Link Combo Pliers Review - BIKEPACKING.com
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    So just like without the tool.
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Jay Strongbow again.
    Too old to ride plastic

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Some links are directional...some aren't. SRAMs are for example as shown above. Arrow points in direction of chain travel.




    The Wolf Toothtool is better all around:

    Wolf Tooth Master Link Combo Pliers Review - BIKEPACKING.com
    Why is that tool better? I think I know why, but wanted to get your opinion on it.

    Thanks...

  22. #22
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    That is a nice tool. I've got a couple of the park install/remove tools in the shop. Never once used the 'install' side. You can definitely hear/feel when the link snaps into place, especially w/ the new Shimano link. I usually put the bike on the floor and step on the pedal to seat them.
    I work for some bike racers
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    as far as removing them goes, I just cut the chain since you're not supposed to reuse them.
    So those folks who use quick links so they can remove their chain to clean it every week have to use a new link every time? I don't think so. Of course you shouldn't put an old worn link on a new chain, but you surely can reuse them a lot with the existing chain.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Suit yourselves. I like feeling that seating click sensation right from the tool to my hand.
    I just pop the pedal forward using my hand, don't even step on it...

    guess what? I can feel it in my hand and hear it.

    and fwiw, I change cassettes without using a chain whip...
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical View Post
    Why is that tool better? I think I know why, but wanted to get your opinion on it.

    Thanks...
    It is designed to fit in a saddle bag, also it does lots of things well without much compromise.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

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