Vanis

New to trials bikes - power links in chains?

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Hello people, first post on here. I've been lurking for some time and had loads of useful info, so thanks to all for that. I'm one of those mid-40s MTBers who's wanted to learn trials for 20 years but only just got a trials bike to do it on. So a few months ago I bought a 2nd hand Onza T-Pro from about 2008 and I'm having to replace a few bits.

I wondered what are trials riders' thoughts on using power links / split links to join chains, and is there a preference for 1/8 or 3/32 chains? I noticed that the sprocket and freewheel are 3/32 but the bike has a 1/8 chain fitted with an old school split link. I thought I'd probably put an 8sp chain on for a more snug fit. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

 

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HI Vanis.  If you have 3/32 sprockets then a 3/32 chain will definitely be a better fit.  I'd recommend a kmc 610 or 710 in the 3/32 width as they are pretty cheap and damn strong, far stronger than an average 8 speed chain.  I happily run a split link, but only the type that has a second side plate and spring clip as i feel the quick springy snappy ones are far less tough. 

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I've used split links a few times over the years and never personally had an issue, but I know lots of people who have had them repeatedly give out before the other links in the chain so the general rule would be: if you have a chain tool (which you'll need anyway to shorten the chain to length), join the chain fully - just in case. Chain snaps are Just. The. Worst.

As Rob said - 3/32" would be a more snug fit on 3/32" sprockets, but there's no real need for it. I run a 1/8" on 3/32" sprockets. If you're in the market for a chain, your best options would hands down be the KMC Z510 HX or KMC Z610 HX. They're the same plates, but the 510 is 1/8" and 610 is 3/32". The HX is VERY important. It means they're heat treated. They do non-HX versions for a few quid cheaper, but they are MUCH less tough.

I personally run the Z510 HX because I've had a few issues with links splaying out on the 610 in recent years. This is not a trend - I just seem to have had a run of bad luck. The pins in the 510 protrude outside the plates ever-so-slightly more than the 610 (TINY amounts... 0.25mm or so), and that seems to be enough to make the difference for me. But most everyone I know runs the 610s without this issue I have.
It's a common misconception that the wider chains are stronger. This isn't the case. The plates are identical. The thinner chains have marginally better clearance too, but that's not so much an issue these days, especially on a mod.

I'd advise going for the Z610 HX, and fit it without the power link.

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Wow, thanks for that. As it happens there's a 610hx in the shop where I work, ordered in for a customer who didn't take it. I'll have that then, cheers for the recommendation.

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On 27/05/2019 at 8:42 PM, Vanis said:

HI'm one of those mid-40s MTBers who's wanted to learn trials for 20 years but only just got a trials bike to do it on.

Hi. Similar boat to me. Nothing to add other than have fun!

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What's stronger? A re-joined chain or this? https://www.tartybikes.co.uk/chains/kmc_split_link/c7p11014.html?pos=454&search_params=YTo3OntzOjEyOiJjYXRlZ29yeV9pZHMiO2E6MTp7aTowO3M6MToiNyI7fXM6MTY6ImNhdGVnb3J5X3JlY3Vyc2UiO2I6MTtzOjg6ImtleXdvcmRzIjtzOjA6IiI7czo5OiJicmFuZF9pZHMiO047czo0OiJtb2RlIjtzOjM6ImFsbCI7czo0OiJzb3J0IjtzOjk6InByaWNlX2FzYyI7czoxMDoiY291bnRyeV9pZCI7czozOiIyMzEiO30%3D

:huh: An unanswerable question perhaps without a myth busters experiment. My guess would be the joining link with plate, as pushed out pins/plates must deform in one way or another causing weakness?

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Posted (edited)

On paper, I'd say you're right.

But from first hand experience, the opposite. 

Obviously I've seen many chain snaps with no split link involved, but out of 10-15 snaps with a split link installed, I only recall one single instance of it being not the split link give way (in which I was the unfortunate individual :/ ).
I don't understand why, because in theory it shouldn't be, but I can't argue with my own statistics :lol:

 

Edit: I've just this minute realised a bunch of those were a long time ago, so might have been pre-HX chains, which would potentially skew data.

Edited by aener
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When I join chains with a chain tool I then hit the pins with a hammer to mushroom them over. Any excuse to get a hammer involved.

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I've had 3 fairly traumatic chain fails; 2 with quick links, 1 with a half link. After the quick link fails I ponied up and got a Rohloff Revolver 3 chain tool. It allows you to re-rivet chain pins and I've never had another chain snap. Chains only snap at the worst possible time so for me it was a worthwhile precaution. I only use KMC 610HX also.

revolver 3.png

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Aha, didn't know about those. Good shout, cheers. Got that 610HX chain now so hopefully I can get the bike working this weekend, had a couple of other things to deal with but those are different threads.

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On 28/05/2019 at 11:23 PM, marg26 said:

Hi. Similar boat to me. Nothing to add other than have fun!

Thanks. I have been so far, in between the expletives.

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