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Thread: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

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    Default Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    What is it that I don't get about the usefulness of chain pliers on the trail? I've been riding mountain bikes for nearly 30 years and have been doing just fine with a mini chain tool for the duration. In that time, I've had a few twisted chains, popped outer plates and broken quick links (SRAM) and my solution has always been the same; remove the offending amount of chain and reassemble. I still carry my difficult to use but effective chain pup, a couple of pins and a Shimano master link. If I have to use the master link, I'll assemble it above the stay and use crank pressure to pop into place.

    What type of situation would have to present itself to need to remove a reuse-able master link trailside?
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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by VertigoCycles View Post
    What is it that I don't get about the usefulness of chain pliers on the trail? I've been riding mountain bikes for nearly 30 years and have been doing just fine with a mini chain tool for the duration. In that time, I've had a few twisted chains, popped outer plates and broken quick links (SRAM) and my solution has always been the same; remove the offending amount of chain and reassemble. I still carry my difficult to use but effective chain pup, a couple of pins and a Shimano master link. If I have to use the master link, I'll assemble it above the stay and use crank pressure to pop into place.

    What type of situation would have to present itself to need to remove a reuse-able master link trailside?
    Ignorance and not enough hugs as a child. Just a guess.

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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    Yeah, I've been considering the same thing. The only thing I could think of is if you packing your bike in a box and flying with it and you want something smaller than the normal pliers.
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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by s_curran View Post
    Yeah, I've been considering the same thing. The only thing I could think of is if you packing your bike in a box and flying with it and you want something smaller than the normal pliers.
    This is why I have a set. They're in my travel kit so that if I need to swap a chain in a hotel I have an easier time with it. I wouldn't ride with them, though.
     

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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    I bought one, hope to never use it ... light enough and fits in my tool pouch.

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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Strongin View Post
    This is why I have a set. They're in my travel kit so that if I need to swap a chain in a hotel I have an easier time with it. I wouldn't ride with them, though.
    I keep my full-size Park master link pliers in my S&S case but am not planning on bringing them or a cuter version on my upcoming tour. Chain tool and spare links will do the job.
     

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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    I am a bike mechanic, I carry one of these with me on every ride.images.jpg
    Bill Fernance
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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    I bought and installed a Shimano master link for the first time a couple of months ago. Man, was it a bear to put on. I ended up using a Park master link plier, which I thought I was going to break because I was jamming on it so hard. It sure didn't behave like a KMC link. I've since read one other person on line who had the same experience. I don't know what your experience using the Shimano link might be, but I'm wondering how tricky it might be using crank pressure to snap it in place.
     

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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    I totally get it for packing a bike. We have managed twice now to have a chain so wrapped up that I had to break the chain to sort it out. The chain looked like a cruel joke. Luckily both times were on the trip home.
     

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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    I just bought one of those Wolftooth lightweight/portable link plier things. I have never had an issue, but I've had recurring nightmares of needing chain surgery somewhere far away. I know, I know, a chain tool will do it all, but this is extra insurance. Plus, it is fun to play with!
    Andy Cohen

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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    what are chain pliers.
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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by mingc View Post
    I bought and installed a Shimano master link for the first time a couple of months ago. Man, was it a bear to put on. I ended up using a Park master link plier, which I thought I was going to break because I was jamming on it so hard. It sure didn't behave like a KMC link. I've since read one other person on line who had the same experience. I don't know what your experience using the Shimano link might be, but I'm wondering how tricky it might be using crank pressure to snap it in place.
    My experience with installing the Shimano link (11-speed) has been very uneventful -- very easy. BTW, KMC manufactures for Shimano.
    Chikashi Miyamoto

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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    +1 for the Wolf Tooth pliers. I replaced my tyre lever in my saddle bag with these - they work as a tyre lever, hold two quick links and are a perfect set of pliers. They actually weigh less and take up less space than my old tyre levers so that's a plus as well. Plus they protect the links over time whereas the cardboard packaging or a plastic baggy to hold one or two of those tends to degrade over the course of a year. I've used them twice on bike camping expeditions as a set of pliers and numerous other times as a tyre lever.
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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by mingc View Post
    I bought and installed a Shimano master link for the first time a couple of months ago. Man, was it a bear to put on. I ended up using a Park master link plier, which I thought I was going to break because I was jamming on it so hard. It sure didn't behave like a KMC link. I've since read one other person on line who had the same experience. I don't know what your experience using the Shimano link might be, but I'm wondering how tricky it might be using crank pressure to snap it in place.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chik View Post
    My experience with installing the Shimano link (11-speed) has been very uneventful -- very easy. BTW, KMC manufactures for Shimano.
    My experience has been similar to Chik. No easier, no worst than any others...which means it was pretty easy.


    Until I read this thread I didn't know that there was such thing as 'packable chain pliers' (not counting packing tools for shipping bikes). For me a chain issue on a ride meant some work with an actual small chain tool as described by the OP. And generally this was do to an unexpected encounter with a slick or rock while in the woods.
    Brian McLaughlin

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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Octave View Post
    +1 for the Wolf Tooth pliers. I replaced my tyre lever in my saddle bag with these - they work as a tyre lever, hold two quick links and are a perfect set of pliers. They actually weigh less and take up less space than my old tyre levers so that's a plus as well. Plus they protect the links over time whereas the cardboard packaging or a plastic baggy to hold one or two of those tends to degrade over the course of a year. I've used them twice on bike camping expeditions as a set of pliers and numerous other times as a tyre lever.
    This is funny, when I emptied out my flat kit on the gravel grindrr to put the links in the new Wolf tooth pliers, the paper packaging had rotted from moisture and gave the whole kit a nice funk. Won't miss that . . . Also enabled me to get rid of the valve core remover I was carrying around.
    Andy Cohen

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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Octave View Post
    +1 for the Wolf Tooth pliers. I replaced my tyre lever in my saddle bag with these - they work as a tyre lever, hold two quick links and are a perfect set of pliers. They actually weigh less and take up less space than my old tyre levers so that's a plus as well. Plus they protect the links over time whereas the cardboard packaging or a plastic baggy to hold one or two of those tends to degrade over the course of a year. I've used them twice on bike camping expeditions as a set of pliers and numerous other times as a tyre lever.
    On this rec I just bought them.
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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by joosttx View Post
    On this rec I just bought them.
    I'll contact Wolf Tooth for my commission.

    And yes, I forgot to mention (because I don't run tubeless) that they have a valve core remover. Solid addition to the saddle bag in my opinion - you only have to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken chain once to appreciate the value of a good set of chain pliers..
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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by mingc View Post
    I bought and installed a Shimano master link for the first time a couple of months ago. Man, was it a bear to put on. I ended up using a Park master link plier, which I thought I was going to break because I was jamming on it so hard. It sure didn't behave like a KMC link. I've since read one other person on line who had the same experience. I don't know what your experience using the Shimano link might be, but I'm wondering how tricky it might be using crank pressure to snap it in place.
    Sounds like a possible misalignment of the plates over the pins.
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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    Sounds like something I need too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Octave View Post
    I'll contact Wolf Tooth for my commission.

    And yes, I forgot to mention (because I don't run tubeless) that they have a valve core remover. Solid addition to the saddle bag in my opinion - you only have to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken chain once to appreciate the value of a good set of chain pliers..
     

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    Default Re: Packable chain pliers. Are they necessary?

    I have the wolf tooth ones

    The shimano links can be crazy stiff so Iím happy.
     

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