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View Full Version : Brief Me on Quick Release Chain Links


Peter P.
01-08-2018, 11:26 PM
You know; those things that take the place of one-time press in pins.

I'm getting tired of cleaning my chain on the bike. I need 9-speed.

Can those quick links be reused? Are they secure? Reliable? Are there lots of anecdotal stories of them breaking?

Who makes the best ones?

Are they worth it, to facilitate chain removal for cleaning?

Thanks in advance for your opinions!

p nut
01-08-2018, 11:28 PM
I've used Sram ones with good success. Removed and reinstalled several times. By the time the chain is worn, I toss it.

montag
01-08-2018, 11:32 PM
I’ve been using 9-speed KMC chains with the “Missing Link” exclusively for many years and never have run into any issues. Set and forget until you need to take the chain off.

SeanScott
01-08-2018, 11:34 PM
I have always used them with out any problems. It is so nice to be able to take a chain off and give it a good gasoline soak.

cadence90
01-08-2018, 11:37 PM
In quoted text.

You know; those things that take the place of one-time press in pins.

I'm getting tired of cleaning my chain on the bike. I need 9-speed.

Can those quick links be reused? Yes. Are they secure? Yes. Reliable? Yes. Are there lots of anecdotal stories of them breaking? Some, probably; "lots", probably not.

Who makes the best ones?
I have used KMC and Wippermann Connex, on KMC, Wippermann, and Campagnolo 10-S chains; both the links and the chains have been excellent.

Are they worth it, to facilitate chain removal for cleaning?
Yes.

Lastly, use 9-speed quick links with 9-speed chains.

Thanks in advance for your opinions!

Louis
01-08-2018, 11:39 PM
I've used the SRAM 9-spd "PowerLink" (the gold ones) with success on Shimano 9-spd chains. No problems at all.

I would definitely recommend them to others.

fogrider
01-08-2018, 11:47 PM
I like KMC, they are easy to remove without a tool and their chains are quiet. I've had SRAM chains fail on me so I won't use them...

sales guy
01-08-2018, 11:53 PM
Cadence answered everything well. But my 2¢, switch to a 10 speed chain for your 9 speed kit. The drivetrain is quieter. The chain and cassette last longer and you get better shifting. Since you are talking a new chain with a master link, go up one now.

SlowPokePete
01-09-2018, 04:25 AM
I like the Wipperman...

SPP

tuscanyswe
01-09-2018, 06:26 AM
Think the 9-10 speed most were reusable. On 11s i think not all are meant to be reused. That is likely just a way to increase sale as I'm sure they can be reused.

Bob Ross
01-09-2018, 06:28 AM
I've used KMC, SRAM, and Wipperman. KMC seemed to be the most no-brainer/no-problem of the bunch; I've had no issues with any of the KMC Missing Links, and now have KMC chains on all of my bikes.

speedevil
01-09-2018, 07:32 AM
+1 on Wippermann chains and Connex quick links. I've slowly switched over to Wippermann chains on all of my bikes, and the Connex link is solid and easy to disconnect when you need to clean the chain. I used KMC before that, and had to use the chain pliers to release the KMC links. The Connex links come apart easily without the need for the pliers.

I've personally never had a quick link break, but that's an admittedly small sample set.

Chain preferences are sort of like chain lube preferences - you will get different answers from folks whose riding styles are practically identical. But if we all liked and used the same items, we wouldn't have anything to debate.

avalonracing
01-09-2018, 07:49 AM
I wouldn't reuse a quick-link that is not recommended to be reused. It isn't worth the convenience or savings. I broke a chain under a very moderate load and it threw me to the pavement and separated my shoulder. The thought of it happening in a sprint is not a comforting one. Note- the chain I broke wasn't at a quick-link or pin. It was just a defective chain.

oldpotatoe
01-09-2018, 07:53 AM
Cadence answered everything well. But my 2¢, switch to a 10 speed chain for your 9 speed kit. The drivetrain is quieter. The chain and cassette last longer and you get better shifting. Since you are talking a new chain with a master link, go up one now.

Big maybe there. Much thinner chain and with 'some' shift systems, like shimano, which doesn't 'overshift' then center..and rely's on the next cog 'grabbing' the chain, 10s chain on 9s system, 'may' shift really poorly, particularly with a worn-ish cogset.

IMHO, of course..AND 9s chains, like KMC, are cheaper..and very flexible...and come with a snap link..:)

palincss
01-09-2018, 07:53 AM
You know; those things that take the place of one-time press in pins.

I'm getting tired of cleaning my chain on the bike. I need 9-speed.

Can those quick links be reused? Are they secure? Reliable? Are there lots of anecdotal stories of them breaking?

Who makes the best ones?

Are they worth it, to facilitate chain removal for cleaning?

Thanks in advance for your opinions!

SRAM 9 and below are re-usable. Per SRAM, 10 and above are not. Yes they are definitely worth it to facilitate chain removal. I've been using them for years. Be careful how you install them and they're plenty secure. I've had links come apart exactly twice due to improper installation.

audiojan
01-09-2018, 08:21 AM
KMC Missing Link. Works amazing and is definitely long lasting. Will outlast the chain.

If you need a 9 speed KMC Missing Link, send me a PM. I'm pretty sure I have a brand new one you can have for the shipping cost.

shovelhd
01-09-2018, 09:36 AM
Getting the KMC pliers makes installing and removing the links a lot easier. Good investment.

Black Dog
01-09-2018, 10:15 AM
I think people get a bit confused buy what exactly single use means in this context. The links (defined as not reusable) are usable for the life of the chain and not intended to be moved over to a new chain. They can be opened many times during the life of the chain not just once when the chain is being replaced at the end of its life. Be warned that 11 speed KMC removable links on Campy 11 speed chains may create some wear that elongates the chain in at the link much faster than the rest of the chain. I have noticed this on all my campy 11 chains with the KMC link. It is not the link that wears as I have replaced the link and the stretch is not reduced.

Bob Ross
01-09-2018, 02:38 PM
Be warned that 11 speed KMC removable links on Campy 11 speed chains may create some wear that elongates the chain in at the link much faster than the rest of the chain. I have noticed this on all my campy 11 chains with the KMC link. It is not the link that wears as I have replaced the link and the stretch is not reduced.

Curious: Any reason you're not using an entire KMC chain on your Campy drivetrain?

djg21
01-09-2018, 08:50 PM
I like the Wipperman...

SPP

+1.

I reuse them despite the supposed warning not to. I typically replace them after 3-4 chains (1,500-1,800 miles each) just in case. I’m convinced that the warning was given largely to evade a now-expired patent on reusable master links.

https://www.google.com/patents/US5362282

Master links with fixed pins cannot “stretch” like ordinary chain links that have bushing that wear.

Peter P.
01-09-2018, 09:34 PM
Thanks for all the opinions. I guess reusable links are the way to go.

I'm gonna get one and report back.

Tony
01-09-2018, 10:34 PM
I think people get a bit confused buy what exactly single use means in this context. The links (defined as not reusable) are usable for the life of the chain and not intended to be moved over to a new chain. They can be opened many times during the life of the chain not just once when the chain is being replaced at the end of its life. Be warned that 11 speed KMC removable links on Campy 11 speed chains may create some wear that elongates the chain in at the link much faster than the rest of the chain. I have noticed this on all my campy 11 chains with the KMC link. It is not the link that wears as I have replaced the link and the stretch is not reduced.

On my 10 and 11 sp, 1x setups chains measure worn if the link is included in the area measured and almost new in all other areas. Replacing the link helps a little. I think the stretched link causes other links in its proximity to wear faster then the rest of the chain. I stopped using these links and went back to Shimano chains and pins.

Black Dog
01-09-2018, 11:08 PM
Curious: Any reason you're not using an entire KMC chain on your Campy drivetrain?

Have a healthy supply of campy chains and they work well and last a long time. Not opposed to a KMC chain at all and will try one when the campy chains are gone.

SlowPokePete
01-10-2018, 04:44 AM
by the way just saw the WolfTooth tool over on Bike Rumor looks pretty cool...

https://www.bikerumor.com/2018/01/09/wolf-tooth-components-master-link-combo-pliers-6-in-1-kinds-of-awesome/

SPP

BdaGhisallo
01-10-2018, 07:39 AM
I think people get a bit confused buy what exactly single use means in this context. The links (defined as not reusable) are usable for the life of the chain and not intended to be moved over to a new chain. They can be opened many times during the life of the chain not just once when the chain is being replaced at the end of its life. Be warned that 11 speed KMC removable links on Campy 11 speed chains may create some wear that elongates the chain in at the link much faster than the rest of the chain. I have noticed this on all my campy 11 chains with the KMC link. It is not the link that wears as I have replaced the link and the stretch is not reduced.

I have always wondered about this. Is this the case for sure? I cannot find anything on the sites of the manufacturers of quick links to define exactly what 'single use' actually means.

That said, I do use a single KMC 11sp quicklink on my Shimano 11sp chains across multiple openings of it. I will fit a new link when I change the chain. Each quicklink probably gets opened and closed 6-8 times before I chuck it. I have never had an issue to date and have been using the KMC links for about five years now.

El Chaba
01-10-2018, 07:52 AM
I would discard the quick link with each chain. It is just crazy to replace a worn chain only to-literally-insert the proverbial weak link.

Black Dog
01-10-2018, 07:59 AM
I have always wondered about this. Is this the case for sure? I cannot find anything on the sites of the manufacturers of quick links to define exactly what 'single use' actually means.

That said, I do use a single KMC 11sp quicklink on my Shimano 11sp chains across multiple openings of it. I will fit a new link when I change the chain. Each quicklink probably gets opened and closed 6-8 times before I chuck it. I have never had an issue to date and have been using the KMC links for about five years now.

Liability vs marketing. They will say single use. If they say "can only be opened once" then whats the point in buying one? If they say multiple openings then they are exposing themselves to liability if something goes wrong. If someone opens it a few times and the link fails they can argue that it says single use and take that literally. They are being specifically vague IMHO.

I open mine a few times through the life of the chain, no problemo.

Mark McM
01-10-2018, 10:31 AM
Master links with fixed pins cannot “stretch” like ordinary chain links that have bushing that wear.

I do not understand what you mean. What is a "fixed pin" master link? While I understand that link "stretch" refers to wear, what prevents the pins on a master link from wearing? Pin wear occur has occurred on all master links I've ever used (and in some cases, the master link pins wear faster than the rest of the chain pins).

Also, no modern derailleur chains use bushings.

Black Dog
01-10-2018, 10:47 AM
I do not understand what you mean. What is a "fixed pin" master link? While I understand that link "stretch" refers to wear, what prevents the pins on a master link from wearing? Pin wear occur has occurred on all master links I've ever used (and in some cases, the master link pins wear faster than the rest of the chain pins).

Also, no modern derailleur chains use bushings.

Perhaps he meant the rollers.

https://thebicyclechain.com/images/library/site/chain_installation_parts_03.gif

cgolvin
01-10-2018, 01:31 PM
Be warned that 11 speed KMC removable links on Campy 11 speed chains may create some wear that elongates the chain in at the link much faster than the rest of the chain. I have noticed this on all my campy 11 chains with the KMC link. It is not the link that wears as I have replaced the link and the stretch is not reduced.

Very interesting and helpful for me.

I have used KMC connectors on my Campy 10 builds for a number of years, and have re-used them after cleaning without issue.

I recently added a Campy 11 build, bought some YBN connectors, and just last week after a thorough chain cleaning (meaning, break and re-use connector) I noticed a periodic roughness in the drive chain that I attributed to the re-use so I put a new connector on. Before doing so I had checked the chain wear and found it less than 0.5" — but based on the above I just re-checked and confirmed Black Dog's experience: chain wear measures just over 0.5" when the measured length includes the connector. YMMV.

djg21
01-10-2018, 01:31 PM
I do not understand what you mean. What is a "fixed pin" master link? While I understand that link "stretch" refers to wear, what prevents the pins on a master link from wearing? Pin wear occur has occurred on all master links I've ever used (and in some cases, the master link pins wear faster than the rest of the chain pins).

Also, no modern derailleur chains use bushings.

You’re right about bushings. My nomenclature is off. Even so, on master links like the Wipperman, the pins are attached to the outer plates and do not rotate in relation to thise plate, so there no chance for the pins to wear wear where an ordinary pin would pass through the outer plate. There could be some wear where the pin passes through the inner plate. Assuming an ordinary pin would wear at points of contact with both the inner and outer plates, it would seem that pins on a master link should wear at half the rate of an ordinary pin. This is my amateur engineer at best, but as a practical matter, I’ve been refusing Wipperman connex links for years without any problems, and I change my chains more frequently than most here.

Mark McM
01-10-2018, 01:43 PM
You’re right about bushings. My nomenclature is off. Even so, on master links like the Wipperman, the pins are attached to the outer plates and do not rotate in relation to thise plate, so there no chance for the pins to wear wear where an ordinary pin would pass through the outer plate. There could be some wear where the pin passes through the inner plate. Assuming an ordinary pin would wear at points of contact with both the inner and outer plates, it would seem that pins on a master link should wear at half the rate of an ordinary pin. This is my amateur engineer at best, but as a practical matter, I’ve been refusing Wipperman connex links for years without any problems, and I change my chains more frequently than most here.

I'm still not following. In use, the pins on all links (standard links and masterlinks) do not move with respect to the outer plates, so there is no wear between the pins and the outer links. The wear is from the inner links rotating on the pins, and the loads and rotations are the same for both standard links and master links).

Due to the different requirements of a master link pin (such as the need to cut a shoulder into one end of the pin, and the need to permanently fuse the other end to the side plate), the pin on a master link may be made from a different alloy or have a different temper (i.e. heat treatment) than standard pins, so they may wear at a different rate.

El Chaba
01-10-2018, 01:54 PM
The problem with re-using a master link over and over isn't necessarily with it breaking-although that certainly does become an increasing concern over time. The problem is with the STRETCH. The combined effect of pin wear and elongation of the link places a re-used master link increasingly out of spec with respect to length over time. If you are diligent, elongation is the first factor that would make you retire a chain. The master link stretches at approximately the same rate as other links on the chain. When you consider that on a 15 or 16 cog the load is spread over three or four links, each time the chain passes over the cassette cogs, there is significant elongation of the chain at that point and wear is increased. If you are the type-like me- who prefers to replace a chain early so as to extend cog life, this is something to consider. I don't think it's insignificant.

Mark McM
01-10-2018, 02:39 PM
I think it comes down to the definition of 're-use' of the master link. If it means removing and installing the master link on the same chain (as for removing the chain for cleaning), this should be fine for most master links.

If it means moving the master link to a new chain, that would probably not be a good idea. As noted above, the master link wears as fast as (and sometimes faster than) the rest of the chain, so by the time the chain is worn out, the master link will be worn out as well. If installed on a new chain, the chain will have one link that has an abnormally long pitch (the worn master link), and will not mesh well with the rest of the drivetrain.

johnniecakes
01-10-2018, 05:15 PM
My thought is new chain, new link. When the chain is done so is the link. They cost like $4.00 at the LBS, not even a second thought about putting a used one on a new chain, aint happening

weisan
01-10-2018, 05:24 PM
Ahem...they are like a buck apiece on bay. Free shipping too. But it comes in a boat, be ready to wait three months.

Peter pal, I have to say...I am a bit surprised that the query came from you. I always thought you were there at the beginning when they first invented the bicycle and knew everything.

Thank you for exemplifying the spirit of lifelong learning.

Peter P.
01-10-2018, 08:27 PM
Ahem...they are like a buck apiece on bay. Free shipping too. But it comes in a boat, be ready to wait three months.

Peter pal, I have to say...I am a bit surprised that the query came from you. I always thought you were there at the beginning when they first invented the bicycle and knew everything.

Thank you for exemplifying the spirit of lifelong learning.

That's funny!

I'm a retrogrouch, and a cheap one at that. It's taken me until now to pry open my wallet to try a quick link, then put the moths back in the wallet.

AngryScientist
01-10-2018, 08:30 PM
That's funny!

I'm a retrogrouch, and a cheap one at that. It's taken me until now to pry open my wallet to try a quick link, then put the moths back in the wallet.

Peter - just buy KMC chains online. They come with the quick link and are cheaper than most other chains. they are all i use now on all my bikes.

Wolfman
01-10-2018, 11:50 PM
I actually had my first quick link fail a couple of strokes after a red light trackstand about a month ago... it was a transfer-over from a worn chain to a drivetrain with both new chain and chainrings.

Besides that, I'm with most others in that I'll take it off 6-8 times for cleaning and leave it on the same chain. Never had one fail when it was on the first chain it ever touched.

oldpotatoe
01-11-2018, 09:51 AM
Ahem...they are like a buck apiece on bay. Free shipping too. But it comes in a boat, be ready to wait three months.

Peter pal, I have to say...I am a bit surprised that the query came from you. I always thought you were there at the beginning when they first invented the bicycle and knew everything.

Thank you for exemplifying the spirit of lifelong learning.

:eek: