RE: [rootsradicals] Re: specifically advice for chains
I am with Nathan on this topic. I think I actually have a drive chain with a master link in it, but I have never bothered with them. They might make it really quick and convenient for a bike mechanic to whip on a new chain, but I could care less if I have a chain with a master-link or not. Ever since I was in a group cycling on desolate roads at dusk in the Black Forest of Germany and one of our riders had their chain break I made a point of buying my own chain tool (a Topeak Alien multi-tool for starters). Fortunately I had never had a chain break on me during a touring ride before. I always just walked to a bike shop before. It makes you think.
Anyway, ever since I got a chain tool I have always fixed my chains, if not installed them myself. For a while I tried to use a stainless steel brand of chain (sorry the name slips my mind at the moment). I thought the steel would not only avoid rust issues, but also be stronger. Well, I never did have to worry about rust, but it turned out the chain actually broke more often! It got to the point where I would worry about going up hill with a load or passenger. It really sucks to have a chain snap on you at night when the bike shops are already closed. With a chain tool though I could always just reduce the chain by a link or two, switch into a slightly lower gear and get back to riding again.
Needless to say I stopped using those stainless steel chains for my bike. I did find an awesome use for them though! J I cleaned them off and started making jewelry for my girlfriends and now wife. In fact I actually bought new stainless steel chains to make more refined designs. J I find a combination of using piercing jewelry and the steel bike chain works fairly well. In bicycle drive-chain jewelry making… obviously a chain tool is definitely essential.
Oh and by the way, while it IS truly a major pain in the butt to do, getting a completely popped-out pin back into a chain CAN be done. Although, as a number of people have already pointed out, there really is no reason a pin should have to be popped out all the way.