Author Topic: Chain tool?  (Read 2033 times)

Chain tool?
« on: July 09, 2017, 06:11:54 pm »
I've been riding fixed / single speed for several years now, on rides up to 600 km. I've always carried a chain tool out of habit but have never needed to use it. I was wondering if it was really necessary with a 1/8" chain and joining links?

Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2017, 06:18:27 pm »
The day you don't carry it is the day that you'll need it.
DAHIKT.

Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2017, 06:24:21 pm »
Yeah, I was thinking the same but was interested to hear if the thicker chains have a tendency to break, at all?

The only time I've had a chain snap on a geared bike was when I hadn't installed the joining pin properly, so my fault and I've always used links since.

Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2017, 06:30:40 pm »
I commute 150 miles per week riding 1/8th fixed.
I get through chains, although I've  never busted one.
Maintenance. Maintenance. Maintenance.
I change them when they get too long.
Never broke a chain.

ETA - I'm around 65kg so not exactly stressing the chain / frame.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2017, 06:37:50 pm »
I've never had a chain snap (not counting an incompetently fitted quick link coming undone during a gear change), but I like to have a chain tool - if only a basic one built into a multi-tool - with me.  Admittedly that's on geared bikes where shortening the chain can usefully bodge around catastrophic derailleur problems (which seem about as likely to me as a broken chain).

Like my 6" adjustable spanner, my chain tools have seen a decent amount of action fixing problems on other people's bikes, so they've earned their place in the tool kit on that basis, if not by being attached to some useful allen keys.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2017, 09:19:52 pm »
The only two chains I've broken (as in a link sideplate has snapped, clearly under the influence of my AWSUM POWR) have been on fixed, though I once popped a joining pin out, back before I discovered quick links.

In one case, lack of a chain tool was mitigated by being 300 yards from Decathlon, though that resulted in me owning an extra chain tool I wouldn't otherwise have needed.

Even with a quick link, you'll need a chain tool to push out a pin and allow you to fit it, unless you plan to get both creative and lucky with your choice of tools improvised from roadside debris.

Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2017, 09:37:46 pm »
I have only ever broken 1/8" chains—2 of them, both snapped a plate.  I think it was probably my fault for buying cheap chains. A chain-tool was necessary for both repairs.  I tend not to carry one. The first time I borrowed one from a (disapproving) friend; the second time, in France, I rode gently, click-click-click, to the nearest town with a bike shop.

I still don't carry a tool.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2017, 09:55:42 pm »
I've snapped a 1/8 chain, or rather had one fail more than once, so I normally carry some spare links as well a chain tool (one no good without the other).

More recently had a 9sp chain break several times... must have been a model that cannot be joined except by a joining link. Except the pack included a spare rivet as well as ajoining link. The first time it went it trashed my front derailleur... the repair lasted about six weeks and then broke when exceptional circumstances meant I didnt have a chain tool with me.

On the one hand if possible, I'll never use a chain tool on a 9sp chain again, on the other I'll never travel without a chain tool. Its a n essential piece of kit. YMMV.

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2017, 10:07:15 pm »
I snaped a 7/8 speed chain side plate.  That chain was from from wilco.

But then I don't ride far.

Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2017, 10:34:45 pm »
I broke a 1/8" chain on an Audax. Luckily, I was in Saffron Walden at the top of a hill, with a bike shop at the bottom. I'd normally just carry a joining link though.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2017, 06:16:04 pm »
i've snapped a 1/8" chain, which was my own fault. i didn't check that the tension needed adjusting due to stretch, so the chain came off the 'ring/cog bending rear axle and snapping itself.
i wouldn't carry a chain tool on audaxes as there is virtually zero chance of needing it.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2017, 04:59:12 pm »
Heres a thing. Shortly after my last post, I ordered another multitool with chain tool attached (I use a Topeak Hexus; a tadge heavy but does the job). Alas it didnt arrive in time for my 400km outing last weekend which I rode on my fixed wheel bike. Arrived on Monday and went into my saddlebag toolkit.

On Thursday the chain snapped.... I didn't have any spare links with me but as I was running the smaller sprocket on a double sprocket wheel, I had enough space to chop out the offending link and continue on. Interestingly the link had failed on the outer sidewalls rather than at one of the rivets, which is the more usual point of failure, I find. What a hoot.

I think I'm going to withdraw the love and fit a new chain regardless. I've two in the drawer so no reason not to.

... I'd normally just carry a joining link though.

But if the chain fails you'll likely need a chaintool to remove the failing links

Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2017, 09:28:40 am »
I'm thinking about that. Generally I've had the "outer" link fail, either at the pins or in the plates as you describe. Remove the broken bits and you can put in a joining link. What am I missing?

Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2017, 10:23:39 am »
I'm thinking about that. Generally I've had the "outer" link fail, either at the pins or in the plates as you describe. Remove the broken bits and you can put in a joining link. What am I missing?

The tool to remove the bits?

Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2017, 10:29:16 pm »
They've always fallen out in my experience. Have I been lucky?

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2017, 11:05:17 am »
They've always fallen out in my experience. Have I been lucky?

you'd need a chain tool in case one end of outer plates is still joined by a pin - that is how my chain broke when it derailed

fd3

Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2017, 12:12:30 pm »
For longer rides I carry a separate chain tool.  I only had my chai shatter once (it did more than snap) but have seen chain tools needed on about a third of the longer rides I've been on. 
I had one on a multi tool that didn't last it's first use; I would get a dedicated tool, not much heavier than it would be as part of a multi tool and much more efficient.

Re: Chain tool?
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2017, 10:48:54 pm »
you'd need a chain tool in case one end of outer plates is still joined by a pin - that is how my chain broke when it derailed

Blindingly obvious really. I knew I was missing something. I generally carry one anyway.