Easy chain removal

SRAM Powerlink

If you fit one of these links to your chain it can be opened and closed as many times as you want without using any tools. This makes it easy to take the chain off to clean it properly. A clean chain is important to prolong the life of your chain, the chain rings (big cogs at the front) and the gear cluster at the rear.
The only other way to remove the chain is to use a chain breaker. These devices are a pain to use and require experience to do the job properly. And if the chain is not rejoined securely it can come apart during a ride, especially when it is under strain, and this can be dangerous as well as annoying when the tool is at home.

So the last job for your chain breaker can be, after you ‘break’ the chain and remove it from your bike, is to remove a chain end segment that has the side plates, as this link is an outer link. It joins two inner links together when on the bike.

The chain picks up sand and grit which will wear the chain and the other components mentioned above. The only really effective way to clean the chain is to remove it from the bike, put it in an empty clean jam jar with some kerosene or degreaser (kinder to the environment) and give it a cocktail shake for a minute or two. Repeat at least once. You will be amazed at how much gunk comes out!

Re-lubricate the chain with your favourite lubricant, making sure it penetrates into each of the rollers. You can wipe off excess lubricant from the side plates. Clean the chain rings and cluster with an old paint brush and degreaser and then fit the chain back on the bike. If not sure how the chain serpentine around the cogs, have a look at another bike you have in the shed. It can be tricky!

I purchased my links from here.
The cost was $5.41 + $7.75 postage. Make sure you order the right ‘speed’ as chains come in different thicknesses – 8 and 9 speed. (Also ten speed but that’s another story!)

There is a small knack in removing this link easily. Grab the link across the diagonal between your fingers so that you squeeze it together and shorten it at the same time. If you wriggle it a bit it will collapse in and shorten. Then just pull apart. Make sure you don’t lose the rollers off either the end of the now separated chain. There is not much holding these on at this stage and they are really hard to find if they fall on the floor!

At long last you can clean your chain properly and prolong the life of these components.