Chain pliers, needed?

Talk about anything.

Moderators: Bearbonesnorm, Taylor, Chew

User avatar
ootini
Posts: 1356
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:45 pm

Chain pliers, needed?

Post by ootini » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:30 am

hi.

For the first time ever, my chain broke on a ride last weekend. I didnt have a quick link or similar, nor any spare standard links. I saved my ride by simply squeezing the existing link back together with a pair of small needle nose pliers i carry.
With this in mind, I've bought a new chain, and a few quick links, in order to repair on the trail.
Question is, do I need dedicated chain pliers, or can you use quick links by hand? Any hacks that can reduce the tools I need to carry?

Thanks

Landslide
Posts: 995
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:00 pm

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by Landslide » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:37 am

To open a quicklink (can vary by brand/design), it's generally a case of moving the two chain links together. Dedicated pliers make this easy, but you can do the same on the trail using a shoelace.
To close the link, it's normally a case of putting the link together on the top run of the chain, holding the brake on, and applying pressure to the pedals.

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 19231
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:38 am

I just use my fingers. Obviously you may need a chain tool to remove any damaged links prior to fitting a quick link.
What value a life half lived if the half you lived was the wrong half?

User avatar
ScotRoutes
Posts: 6322
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:56 am
Location: Cairngorms
Contact:

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by ScotRoutes » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:38 am

You certainly don't need special pliers to put them together. Line up the two parts, spin the cranks so that the join is on the top chain run. Apply brakes. Stamp on pedal.

User avatar
ootini
Posts: 1356
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:45 pm

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by ootini » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:39 am

Brilliant. Thank you. I have a mini chain tool on my multi-colour for removing pins

User avatar
FLV
Posts: 3485
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:12 am
Location: Northern Edge of the Peak - Mostly

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by FLV » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:40 am

You can assemble by hand for sure.

Pop them together and back pedal to have the quick link on the top of the chain run, between the front ring and cassette, brake on, push on the pedal to tension the chain and it will click into place. Make sure its clipped together correctly before you do so of course.

For trail side repairs, its unlikely that you would need to split the chain at the quick link so therefore I have a chain tool on a multi tool (or a mini one separate) and if needed I will remove the offending broken section of chain and mend back together with a spare link.

If you're lucky, the chain will be about the same length and you're golden. If unlucky and you have to remove a little more, you may lose the easist gear on a 1x but 2x you may lose 1 ratio. Worth observing the mech position shifting into the extreme chain lengths before doing so in anger of course.

Lazarus
Posts: 1622
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:49 am

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by Lazarus » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:14 am

you can do the same on the trail using a shoelace
Have you ever tried this -its not a method i would like to rely on - others include using the wire from a gear cable or putting the link on top of the cranks and hitting it to split them

Personally I take woolftooth plierfor the trails and have a dedicated one at home

Its one of those things - like pumping up tubeless tyres with a standrad pump - I often here others say it can be done and its easy but my attempts do not agree with this hence the dedicated tool.

Landslide
Posts: 995
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:00 pm

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by Landslide » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:48 am

I've never had to use the technique, so in the spirit of putting my money where my mouth is, I just tried it.
Lace from my running shoes, KMC/SRAM style 10 speed quicklink. It worked.
As I mentioned, dedicated tool is much easier, but in a pinch and/or TLS...

Lazarus
Posts: 1622
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:49 am

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by Lazarus » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:05 pm

Perhaps | am ham fisted[ex car mechanic draw your own conclusions ] but it did not work for me

User avatar
Jurassic
Posts: 629
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:46 am
Location: Helensburgh, Scotland.

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by Jurassic » Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:34 pm

I've successfully done the shoelace method as well so rely on that for trail fixes but I have pliers for home usage and they do make life a lot easier. If the Wolftooth tool was a bit cheaper I would be tempted to get one to carry with me but as it is I'll stick with laces and cross my fingers.

User avatar
ScotRoutes
Posts: 6322
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:56 am
Location: Cairngorms
Contact:

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by ScotRoutes » Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:35 pm

I've never tried the bootlace trick. OTOH I always carry a chain tool so I'd just split it elsewhere and add a new link.

User avatar
stevewaters
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:23 am
Location: Dark Peak

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by stevewaters » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:30 pm

I have just got a pair of these "Granite Talon Tyre Levers with Quick-Link Chain Removing Pliers" which feel strong and appear good quality. As the name suggests, they double up as tyre levers, quick link 'uncoupling' pliers and spare quick link holder:

39g for the pair.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087Q5ZH98/ ... 4127440567

User avatar
Jurassic
Posts: 629
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:46 am
Location: Helensburgh, Scotland.

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by Jurassic » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:00 pm

stevewaters wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:30 pm
I have just got a pair of these "Granite Talon Tyre Levers with Quick-Link Chain Removing Pliers" which feel strong and appear good quality. As the name suggests, they double up as tyre levers, quick link 'uncoupling' pliers and spare quick link holder:

39g for the pair.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087Q5ZH98/ ... 4127440567
Oh those look decent and are much more reasonably priced than the Wolftooth ones. :-bd

rufus748
Posts: 916
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by rufus748 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:06 pm

Great timing! My chain snapped on Monday (less than 300 miles old) just before the quick link. No way I could open the quick link by the roadside (Stu must have fingers of steel!). I have been looking for a tool to carry with me so that ones just been ordered :-bd

wriggles
Posts: 736
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:52 am
Location: South Chilterns

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by wriggles » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:59 pm

Think ease of opening a quick link depends a lot on what speeds the chain is. 9 speed, easy by hand. 11 speed significantly more difficult.

jamiep
Posts: 464
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:34 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by jamiep » Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:05 pm

this is cheap and light weight but robust. Ive used them on the trail without issue. Hidey place for a split link too
[url]https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000295 ... 23420/[url]


User avatar
stevewaters
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:23 am
Location: Dark Peak

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by stevewaters » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:08 pm

I have a pair of plastic ones like those on the first Aliexpress link above but found they weren't strong enough for my 11 speed links. Not all plastics are the same so those might be better.
The Granite Talon ones are far better and the same weight as my 'old' Pedros plastic tyre levers.

Lazarus
Posts: 1622
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:49 am

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by Lazarus » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:26 pm

agreed 11 speed are considerably tighter than 9 speed ones
taking them of a clean chain is considerably easier than when its full of grime
Plastic might work but I dont think I would want to rely on it
The woolftooth [gift] is phenomenal and light but I dont think i would spend that on it

googling the talon above i got this " copy" of the woolftooth for £13
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gyratedream-Mu ... 0G2HQQ55V0

I strongly do not recomend shopping at the amoral tax avoiding bastards that i consider Amazon to me- other ethical views are available- but it only seems to be available there from my short search.

Fat tyre kicker
Posts: 859
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:39 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by Fat tyre kicker » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:40 pm

I carry the Wolftooth ones, worth the money but I'm a tool geek,
Lovely to use, great quality :-bd

wriggles
Posts: 736
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:52 am
Location: South Chilterns

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by wriggles » Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:07 pm

+1 for the wolftooth. Used it a couple times in last year and its ace.

User avatar
stevewaters
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:23 am
Location: Dark Peak

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by stevewaters » Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:11 pm

You only get one tyre lever on the Woolftooth types wheras personally I prefer to have 2.

Al
Posts: 455
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:53 pm

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by Al » Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:33 pm

If you pull the quick link forward one tooth on the chainring so it sticks up like a triangle, then tap the side with a convenient object it splits easily.

I used this all the time until I saw a cheap pair of quick link pliers to use at home.

frogatthefarriers
Posts: 417
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:31 pm
Location: Wrexham

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by frogatthefarriers » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:28 pm

Al wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:33 pm
If you pull the quick link forward one tooth on the chainring so it sticks up like a triangle, then tap the side with a convenient object it splits easily.
^ This is what I do, but I’ve got a thick/thin chainring so have to do it on the cassette. A bit fiddly on the back, but works every time.
Konia kują, żaba noge podstawia...

User avatar
BigdummySteve
Posts: 2363
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:16 pm
Location: Oxfordshire

Re: Chain pliers, needed?

Post by BigdummySteve » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:04 pm

I’ve tried the shoelaces trick, couldn’t open the link. Possibly it might work better on a link which has previously been opened a few times?
I’ve got a oneup EDC pump and the tool kit which fits inside, it’s equipped with a mini tool, chain breaker, tyre lever, tubeless plug tool and a small but effective pair of link pliers plus place to keep a set of spare links.
Great but if kit, the pump head even comes off and can be used as a co2 inflation thing.
‘ it’s good to be lost, I don’t want to be found’ -HMHB

Post Reply