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Stiff Chain Link

clarousel2012-04-21 17:23:12 +0000 #1
Hi all,

I found out I have a stiff chain link today and I'm not sure how to go about fixing it. Firstly, should I try cleaning my chain first? When I touch the chain I get black oil on my hands and I'm not sure if it's dirt or just some kind of black chain oil

Secondly, I searched the web a bit and some websites say using a chain link tool will fix it but I don't have one. I was also wondering how do chain links become stiff?

I'm a newbie so please bear with me!
radacrider2012-04-21 17:35:22 +0000 #2
Definitely go for cleaning first, may have lot's of gunk built up.

One part of the chain link tool allows you to release the pressure between a link, especially after the chain has been opened and put back together.

I had to replace a chain on a friend's bike because it had been sitting and just the ambient moisture caused rust in the pivot, no amount of anything would free her's up, so I had to replace.
OakLeaf2012-04-21 18:07:18 +0000 #3
I would just replace the chain. There's a reason the link got stiff, and if there's abnormal wear in the one link it's likely to be pervasive. It's not as huge a deal as it is on a motorcycle, but if your chain breaks, you'll either need to put it back together or you're stranded. Meanwhile, your sticky link is damaging your chainrings and rear cogs.

Basically, assuming a good initial installation, the reason links get stiff is lubrication washing out, wear and rust.

You'll need a chain tool to remove the old chain even if you get a new one that installs with a master link, so either get a chain tool and learn to use it, or take it to your local bike shop.

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