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  1. #1
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    Most moron proof quick link for Shimano chains

    I've never broken a chain but have been doing some extremely remote rides so got to thinking I should prepare for that just in case.

    I use shimano chains and don't have any problems with the pin, at home where I have a good rugged chain tool, good lighting, and take my time. But I'm thinking on the road where I'd rather carry a smaller chain tool and who knows what circumstances I'd be doing the repair under that a quick link might make more sense (please correct me if I'm wrong about that).

    So, what's the most moron proof quick link that would be good to carry for emergency use? Or are they all pretty much the same in this regard?
    I use Dura Ace or Ultegra 11 speed chains. Assuming any link that works on one works on the other.

  2. #2
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    SRAM and KMC are available nearly everywhere.

    BTW, if you've installed a new chain before, but never 'broke' one, I'd bet that your chain is too long.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  3. #3
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    SCRAM links are a PITA to use, unless your in the garage, u might as well carry pins. The best easiest link is connex.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    SRAM and KMC are available nearly everywhere
    BTW, if you've installed a new chain before, but never 'broke' one, I'd bet that your chain is too long.
    I've broken lots in that context of the word and chain length is just fine. I assumed the context of being prepared for it during remote rides would have explained what I mean by broken in this case. I've never had a chain come apart during a ride is what I meant.

    Thanks, but although I wouldn't go to the end of the earth for the best one availability isn't what I care about. Do you find one easier and more fool proof than the other?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    SCRAM links are a PITA to use, unless your in the garage, u might as well carry pins. The best easiest link is connex.
    Thanks. That's what googling indicates too. Except I saw some dudes saying for Shimano chains one should use the Campy connex link not the one for the wipperman's shimano compatible chain. But couldn't find a definitive answer on that and got confused.
    Is that true do you know?

  6. #6
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    Wipperman are the easiest to install, and can be removed by hand too, but not totally moron proof as they have a right way and wrong way.

    As with most things, if you follow the instructions you should be OK.

    Same comment applies to KMC and SRAM. Nothing difficult, no right or wrong way. No special tools to install. Just assemble with the link at the bottom. Rotate chain slowly to get link at the top. Lock rear wheel and press on pedal, and link will snap together. These require a tool to remove though.
    We just don’t realize the most significant moments of our lives when they’re happening
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    Wipperman are the easiest to install, and can be removed by hand too, but not totally moron proof as they have a right way and wrong way.

    As with most things, if you follow the instructions you should be OK.

    Same comment applies to KMC and SRAM. Nothing difficult, no right or wrong way. No special tools to install. Just assemble with the link at the bottom. Rotate chain slowly to get link at the top. Lock rear wheel and press on pedal, and link will snap together. These require a tool to remove though.
    Thanks. Think I'll try a KMC or Sram then. Sounds easy enough and I'll practice on a chain I plan to replace anyways at home just to make sure I'm good with it.
    I read that pins are stronger so will stick with those generally and this is just for emergency on the road.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Thanks. Think I'll try a KMC or Sram then. Sounds easy enough and I'll practice on a chain I plan to replace anyways at home just to make sure I'm good with it.
    I read that pins are stronger so will stick with those generally and this is just for emergency on the road.
    Unless you do a shift under load and jam the chain...it is very unlikely you'll sheer a masterlink. I think in 10 years I've snapped maybe two--and both were boneheaded shifts under load. Lube them well initially, since the links come bone-dry and that is a recipe for the masterlink pivots lengthening faster than the rest of the chain.

    KMC or SRAM are great. Wipperman 11s are way more expensive than the competition, last I looked, for really no benefit.
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  9. #9
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    Go ahead and try SCRAM links, but do it in the garage first. The you'll throw that shiet in the trash.
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  10. #10
    hfc
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    +1 for KMC. I use them on my Campy and KMC branded chains.

    Easy to put on, although you'll want a master link tool to take it off. I use the Park one.

  11. #11
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    Wipperman are the easiest to install, and can be removed by hand too, but not totally moron proof as they have a right way and wrong way.

    As with most things, if you follow the instructions you should be OK.

    Same comment applies to KMC and SRAM. Nothing difficult, no right or wrong way. No special tools to install. Just assemble with the link at the bottom. Rotate chain slowly to get link at the top. Lock rear wheel and press on pedal, and link will snap together. These require a tool to remove though.
    This is incorrect. The 'arrow' on the side of the link MUST point in the direction of chain travel on the outside of the chain...away from the bike. Meaning the pin that is in the quick link must be on the leading end of that link so it hits the backside of the chainring first. If you install it the other way that can lead to broken quick links.

    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Go ahead and try SCRAM links, but do it in the garage first. The you'll throw that shiet in the trash.

    You have no clue about quick links.
    I work for some bike racers
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    and a bunch of skateboards

  12. #12
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    I guess I was familiar with SRAM 10-speed only. But I've used KMC both 10 and 11 and don't see any arrow. Don't see anything about directionality in instructions either.

    Most moron proof quick link for Shimano chains-kmc-11speed-missing-link.-gold.-539x487.jpg

    Just checked SRAM 11-speed. Yep there's an arrow.

    So, the vote for most idiot proof is KMC.
    Last edited by bikerjulio; 07-12-2017 at 07:12 PM.
    We just don’t realize the most significant moments of our lives when they’re happening
    Back then I thought “well there'll be other days”
    I didn’t realize that was the only day
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9yrupye7B0

    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?
    One.
    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  13. #13
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    It only makes sense to install the KMC link the same way. They are functionally identical to the SRAM link. As oriented in that photo the link would be on the bottom run of the chain, not the top.
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  14. #14
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    Gentlemen, the OP was questioning using at a remote location, not in a shop full of tools room.
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  15. #15
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    any of the 3 mentioned can be installed by hand in a remote location. if one has broken a chain, one might still need a chain tool to remove the bad bits, but after that - no problem.

    it looks like only one person here could get the kmc on correctly though. the rest of us are on a 50% chance
    We just don’t realize the most significant moments of our lives when they’re happening
    Back then I thought “well there'll be other days”
    I didn’t realize that was the only day
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9yrupye7B0

    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?
    One.
    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Gentlemen, the OP was questioning using at a remote location, not in a shop full of tools room.
    Right. With a seatbag friendly size chain tool probably as part of a multi-tool. I'll stick with the pin for regular chain installs but I think a quick link would be easier on the road given that I'd rather not carry a full size chain tool. There's also the issue of breaking off the pin but I assume I could manage that without pliers.

    Although if I find those small chain tools are fine for pins I could just carry a few pins. I'l play around with a spent chain to find out.

    Hopefully this is all moot but with the remoteness of some of the rides I do I want to be prepared for the 1 in a million, so to speak, chance I snap a chain.

  17. #17
    tlg
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    I've been using Quick links since 8speed. Sram and KMC. I've never broken one. And I reuse them (even though they say not to, shhhhh). I'm no Andre Greipel, but at 165# I'm not really a light weight. They're plenty strong.
    Once you use them, you'll never want to use the silly replacement pins.

    I carry one in all my bags. There's no reason not to. While I've never had to use them on the road, I've saved a handful of riders with broken chains. One time we had a guy with a broken RD. We broke the chain, made it a single speed, and quick linked the chain back together.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    They're plenty strong.
    Once you use them, you'll never want to use the silly replacement pins.
    I know it's one in a million vs 1.1 in a million but I think it's fact that pins are stronger so that's why I wanted to keep using them. But now that I think about it, if carrying a spare quick link who cares if one breaks.

  19. #19
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I know it's one in a million vs 1.1 in a million but I think it's fact that pins are stronger so that's why I wanted to keep using them. But now that I think about it, if carrying a spare quick link who cares if one breaks.
    I would dispute that the replacement pins are stronger. They also have the potential of incorrect installation. Push them in a little too far, or not enough, and they can break open.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  20. #20
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    I've been lucky and have never broken a chain on the road.....yet. I once bailed out a rider whose chain broke as I had a mini chain tool on my multi-tool and some extra pins.

    I still carry a mini chain tool and extra pins, but also carry both a 10-speed and 11-speed KMC quick link. These are a quicker and easier repair, but I still carry both.

    If it were me, I would replace that chain after the ride. Where there is one broken link, there are probably more not far behind.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I've been lucky and have never broken a chain on the road.
    I disagree. It has not been luck, but rather statistics. Short of damage, poor installation, or ham-handed shifting (and I mean really ham-handed) on-road chain breakage is really rare.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    I would dispute that the replacement pins are stronger. They also have the potential of incorrect installation. Push them in a little too far, or not enough, and they can break open.
    I'm with you, I've never broken one on road or mtb. I save all my old ones from worn out chains and carry two on my mtb, they'll always get you home. They're dead simple to use if you're closing them, I don't see what the issue is? Easy to get off too if you have a pair of pliers. I have done this on the trail, it was more of a struggle than this, but it works.


  23. #23
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by harryman View Post
    Easy to get off too if you have a pair of pliers. I have done this on the trail, it was more of a struggle than this, but it works.

    That was the case with 8 & 9 speed.
    8sp would easily pop open with fingers.
    9sp not so bad if the chain wasn't too greased up. Difficult or impossible if the chain was greasy.
    10sp & 11sp impossible without a tool.
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  24. #24
    .je
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    If it helps, I've been using 10 speed kmc links (real ones imo) for years, taking it apart w/o tools that way, or just wiggling the chain side to side while pushing the link together. "It" because ive been using the same one over and over again even on different chains. It hasnt broken or come apart so it must be pretty moron-proof. You should try it!

  25. #25
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    Well I have broken a chain on a MBike ride, fixed it with a piece of wire to get back to the car.
    I also have disconnected my chain several times to remove it when it got jammed down below the crank arm & chain ring below the pin. It is way easier to just disconnect remove and reinstall back on the chainring. If this ever happened to you you would want to do the same rather than fight & twist the chain to get it pack out from behind that pin.
    So, if you use a master link, I would always recommend one you can take apart and reinstall on the road. If you use a connex, you don't need a tool to remove or reinstall, period!
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