I came across a blog post a little while back discussing chain-cleaning. It’s a topic that comes up with some regularity which is no surprise since the chain contains the largest number of moving parts. If one of those 400-odd pieces does not work as it should, a repair out on the road becomes very tricky indeed. Keeping it oiled and clean, at the same time, is a priority.
They suggested that the best way to really do the job is to remove it from your bike and give it a thorough clean in a tray with the appropriate solvent. But that involves breaking the chain then rejoining it with a special connecting pin. You need the tools and the experience to get this exactly right.
A good and frequently advocated solution is to use a Quick Release or Master link.
Here we are using YBN’s 10 speed chain quick release.
It will look like this if fitted to your chain.
A QR link can be opened by pushing the ends of the chain that extend from either end. However, that can prove difficult. Using the specially designed pliers makes the job much quicker and easier.
Fit the pliers around the QR link.
Squeeze to release. You can now give the chain its thorough clean knowing that you can quickly re-assemble it.
When reinstalling a clean chain, it’s a good idea to use a new QR link. Thread each rivet through the corresponding aperture.
Make sure the fit is correct on both ends otherwise one end will lock into position first leaving the other unsecured.
When you are sure the fit is correct, give both ends a tug in the opposite direction. This may require a good grip on the chain
Using a chain hook takes the tension off the chain. This makes fitting the QR link together before snapping it home a good deal easier.
This is the updated version of YBN’s QR link. It offers an extra notch that needs considerable pressure in order to lock the link in position on installation. It’s an added safety feature virtually eliminating the chance of a QR link coming apart.
YBN have come up with two chain tools to make the process of both assembly and dis-assembly even easier. On the left is the CLP -102 for securing a QR link. You can lock the link home in seconds. It also enables lateral access eliminating the need to engage the chain vertically from below or above, which can be quite awkward. It works on the opposite principle to the QR link release tool: pressure on the handles translates into outward pressure on the plier jaws.
To lock the QR link make sure the rivets and aperture are lined up and fitting snugly.
Insert the tool accordingly.
Moderate pressure will snap the link home.
The CRP-101 makes opening the link particularly easy. The finely machined jaws slip neatly into position.
The lateral access make positioning a breeze.
Moderate pressure will collapse the link. Taking this link design apart is virtually impossible to achieve without this tool.
If you need to quickly remove the chain for any reason, these tools make the job of assembly and dis-assembly trouble free.