3 Different Ways To Join Your Chain | Mountain Bike Maintenance

(upbeat music) – The chain is one of the most
important parts of the bike. It has to go through a
hell of a lot of stress. If it wasn't enough that
it has to put up with the torque that your leg
power puts through it is also has immense twisting forces from all of the gear range. So, it's not surprising that here and there you snap the chain. So here's three ways to rejoin your chain. (upbeat music) Tools for the job:
you'll need a chain tool or a multi tool that's
got a chain tool on it, particularly one with
a second set of jaws.

You'll also need a bent
spoke or a third hand tool, a Shimano joining pin, a master link and a pair of pliers. (upbeat music) So there are three ways
to rejoin your chain using a dedicated Shimano pin, using the chain tool itself or using a powerlink. Now, these are really handy because you can pretty much just snap together a chain quickly. Great if you're out on
the trail in the rain, perhaps in a race. They're also really good because you can use them on
different branded chains. This one is made by Connex and is compatible with Shimano and SRAM. SRAM and Shimano also make
their own respective ones. This is how you use them. To start with, before
you use the powerlink you need to make sure you've got two male ends of the chain. If you've snapped your chain you may have twisted part of the link so make sure you remove those. Also, take note if you
take out too many links you're not gonna be able
to use all of your gears so just be cautious of that.

With the opposite sides
of the link in place you simply clip them together
and you pull them tight. As you can see, this one isn't
pulling tight very easily so I've got a nice little
trick for you to do this. Cycle the chain until
this link is on the top and then you can use
the force of the pedals to click it into place. Here we go. Now you want to hold the back wheel. Ideally you would do
this stood over the bike. This is just for demonstration. And you just push down on the pedal. (upbeat music) This method is a classic
method of joining a chain using a proper chain splitting tool. I always prefer to look for one that's got two sets of jaws on it. Reason for that is you've got one set that's splitting the chain and the other set is
to remove a stiff link.

I'll show you how to use
both of those right now. When you're splitting your chain and when you're tightening it up in order to rejoin it correctly make sure you don't draw
off the pin all the way out. You need to have enough on
the inside of the link here so you can snap the chain
links back together. Nice little tip for you to do at home here is make sure that you drive it out towards the outside of
the bike which means you've got access to
the tool from this side.

Now it's a case of
snapping the links together as you can see here. There we go. The next stage is to drive the pin back through using the chain splitter. The objective here is to drive the pin back through into the chain. Now you've got to be careful here. You don't want to come out
too far on the other side so the chain pin isn't
staying into the outer link. So just monitor it as
you drive it through. You will feel a slight hard push as it locates on the far side. It goes in nice and easy up til here and I can feel it just about to grip and push into the back side plate. Now I can see that and
it's equal on both sides. If you look here, you'll see the chain looks like it's new almost. Now sometimes when
you're rejoining a chain using this method you'll get a stiff link.

This is caused when you're
pushing the pin through and it actually pulls
both the outers together quite tight on the inner roller. To remove that, what you do is you lay the chain into the next set of jaws which is a further away set from what you were just using and by applying pressure on the pin driver you'll actually pull the outer
plate slightly further away.

You only want to do this a minute amount. Literally like the tiniest hair of a turn will be enough just to free the link. As you can see that is nice and free. Ready to ride. (upbeat music) The third method for joining a chain is by using a Shimano joining pin. With a Shimano chain it's important to use a joining pin or a master link rather than rejoining the chain using the existing pins in it. Now the reason for that is
the profile of the Shimano pin is slightly flanged at both ends and if you drive out an
existing pin in the chain and you push it back in again you'll find it's minutely smaller.

The chain will still join but it will be a weak link and at some point it's
definitely gonna fail. This is why Shimano have
these dedicated pins. They're quite long and
you push them into place and you snap off the additional material. So to join a Shimano chain using a dedicated Shimano joining pin you need a male and a
female end of the chain. As before, if you snap your chain and it's damaged in any way you need to remove those damaged links. Again, if your chain is
shortened by doing this to an extent that you
can't use all of your gears just be cautious of that until you can add in some more links. Now it's just using your
trusty third hand tool to help you join the chain up.

That's holding it nicely for me and I'm ready to put the pin in place. Note that all of the existing pins here on this chain this is how they look. See this darker one? This is an actual Shimano joining pin. One that was probably used to
start with to join this chain. I'm just lining the chain up. Then I'm just gonna
push the pin into place. As in the case of using the chain tool you want to drive the pin through and you'll feel a natural
resistance where it stops. Stop right there. Chain is sat in the
first set of jaws here. I'm just gonna drive this pin into place. As I said, you've gotta pay attention when you're doing this and you'll feel it push
all the way through and there'll be a nice, natural resistance when you get to the correct position. Which is… about there on this chain. So the chain is joined at this point. You'll notice there's a large part of the Shimano joining pin
poking out the back of the chain so if I move my third hand tool here I should be able to see this a bit easier.

This piece simply snaps off. You've gotta be pretty careful doing this. You want to hold the chain
with both hands ideally because you don't want it
to risk twisting, okay? Now use a pair of pliers. If you've got a multi
tool in your trail pack it's kind of good to
have that sort of thing. And you just gently snap off the end. I'm going with the
direction of the chain here so it can't add any sort
of twisting stress to it. I'm just gonna snap this off. And there we go. So the chain is joined successfully using the Shimano joining pin. However, just like any
other joining system you still need to check that you haven't got a stiff link. Chances of that are pretty slim because of the design of the pin but here we go anyway. As you can see it moves nice and freely. Job done. Don't forget to click here to subscribe.

If you want to find out a bit more about replacing a chain, click up here. If you want to find out how to clean your drive
chain, click down here. Don't forget to give us a
thumbs up if you like the video..

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