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Thread: Daenaerys Targaryen the breaker of chains

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    lordofthemark's Avatar
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    Default Daenaerys Targaryen the breaker of chains

    Ok.

    On the way home on Saturday, going up the "hill" on North Hampton, fortunately only a couple of blocks from home, I managed to get my chain very badly stuck in my front gears. As in all wrapped/entangled. The wheels still rolled, and I walked the bike home to the bike room. We had a trip to Baltimore planned, and I had no time to address this till yesterday evening.

    I cannot brute force the chain out (though maybe if I tried a LOT of lube?)

    It seems to me there are two approaches. 1. Loosen the pedal arm/chain rings 2. Break the chain

    I was unable to loosen the pedal arm at all.

    Breaking the chain ring then presents two options. A. Open the master link B. Open another link

    I found the master link and managed to wriggle it away from the chain rings. It is far too stiff for me to open with my hands, and my bike room does not have the "master chain link opener" I see referenced on line. Some online videos suggest making your own with a wire coat hanger.

    To open one of the regular links, you use a more standard chain opener tool. My bike room DOES have that. I refrained from using it, as the videos etc warn that once you open a link that way, you cannot reuse the rivet (at least for many gearings).

    POTM (my daughter) arrived home Monday night, and reminded me that she knows how to use the tool to open links (she did that in making the bike chain menorah) but she cannot speak to rivet reuse.

    Should I 1. Open one of the links with the tool and just reuse the rivet 2. Same as 1, but try to find another rivet to replace (if I can find the leftover chain from the menorah project, or buy a rivet?) 3. Just buy a new chain (no I am not sure if the chain is stretched - don't think so) 4. Buy a tool to open the master link. 5. Try to make my own tool with a wire hanger (or assign this project to POTM) 6 Give up and take it to Phoenix or Spokes ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    Ok.

    On the way home on Saturday, going up the "hill" on North Hampton, fortunately only a couple of blocks from home, I managed to get my chain very badly stuck in my front gears. As in all wrapped/entangled. The wheels still rolled, and I walked the bike home to the bike room. We had a trip to Baltimore planned, and I had no time to address this till yesterday evening.

    I cannot brute force the chain out (though maybe if I tried a LOT of lube?)

    It seems to me there are two approaches. 1. Loosen the pedal arm/chain rings 2. Break the chain

    I was unable to loosen the pedal arm at all.

    Breaking the chain ring then presents two options. A. Open the master link B. Open another link

    I found the master link and managed to wriggle it away from the chain rings. It is far too stiff for me to open with my hands, and my bike room does not have the "master chain link opener" I see referenced on line. Some online videos suggest making your own with a wire coat hanger.

    To open one of the regular links, you use a more standard chain opener tool. My bike room DOES have that. I refrained from using it, as the videos etc warn that once you open a link that way, you cannot reuse the rivet (at least for many gearings).

    POTM (my daughter) arrived home Monday night, and reminded me that she knows how to use the tool to open links (she did that in making the bike chain menorah) but she cannot speak to rivet reuse.

    Should I 1. Open one of the links with the tool and just reuse the rivet 2. Same as 1, but try to find another rivet to replace (if I can find the leftover chain from the menorah project, or buy a rivet?) 3. Just buy a new chain (no I am not sure if the chain is stretched - don't think so) 4. Buy a tool to open the master link. 5. Try to make my own tool with a wire hanger (or assign this project to POTM) 6 Give up and take it to Phoenix or Spokes ?
    I doubt opening the master link or otherwise breaking the chain will help you here. Where is the chain jammed, between the crank and frame, or between chainrings? If between the crank and frame, you will need to move the right crank arm to the right, and how to do this depends upon the crank/bottom bracket type. If the chain is jammed between chainrings (unusual) loosening the chainring bolts with an allen wrench (usually 5mm) should work.

    It would be a good idea to post some pictures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bentbike33 View Post
    I doubt opening the master link or otherwise breaking the chain will help you here. Where is the chain jammed, between the crank and frame, or between chainrings? If between the crank and frame, you will need to move the right crank arm to the right, and how to do this depends upon the crank/bottom bracket type. If the chain is jammed between chainrings (unusual) loosening the chainring bolts with an allen wrench (usually 5mm) should work.

    It would be a good idea to post some pictures.

    its hard to describe - IIRC between the frame and the chain rings, but then kind of wrapped around/through the chain rings.

    I can take a picture when I get home.

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    Here are some pics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    Here are some pics.
    That's a mess. Either buy a new bike or take it to Phoenix, IMO.

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    disassemble the crankset maybe? that's impressive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    That's a mess. Either buy a new bike ...
    LOL

    In this case, breaking the chain might help because you might be able to pull the chain straight out (with some effort) instead of having to wrestle it back up between the small chainring and frame.

    Before I had a master link chain tool, I'd use a pliers or a Vise-Grip to open them:

    Open Master Link using Vise-Grip Pliers by ricky d, on Flickr

    The reason you don't want to reuse a pin is because they are bigger diameter on the ends to help hold them in place. When you push it all the way through, the hole in the chain plate becomes also becomes bigger. Pushing back in an old pin will result in a looser fit, which may give as you are putting down the power climbing a hill.

    You'll notice with those replacement pins that the sections that engage with the outer plates (the red arrows) are slightly bigger than the center section. (The green arrow points to the section that you snap off after installing the pin.)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    If all else fails, bring it to a shop
    Last edited by drevil; 05-30-2018 at 06:49 AM.

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    From the pictures it looks like you shouldn't need to break the chain. Just pull the crank arm, however, that'll require a square-taper crank arm puller:

    CCP-22

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    Whenever you get the chain fixed, I would also suggest making sure that the lower limit screw on your front derailleur is properly set. It's possible to drop a chain no matter how well your FD is adjusted, but if the lower limit is set too far inward, it makes this type of thing much more likely.

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    Unless that chain is nearly new, I'd just break it and get a new one.

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