Date Reviewed: November 4, 1999
Strengths: Simple, cheap, strong and effective.
Weaknesses: None, so far.
The issue is not so much which master link you use, but that one uses a master link, at all. By being able to take the chain off of the bike, you can not only get it much, much cleaner than a crank through cleaner box(Park, Vetta, etc.) but you get it cleaner quicker, plus dry and re-lubed faster. The crank-through cain cleaner boxes leave your chain coated inside and out with degreaser. In no more time, you can pop the chain off, soak/swirl it in a pan of degreaser, switch to a solvent, such as lacquer thinner or carb cleaner and then blow it dry. If you don't have an air gun, letting it drip dry is still going to take less time than waiting for degreaser to evaporate. Does it work? Is it worth it? To prove the point (see my review on R.J.Hock's Chain Wax)I tried identically lubed chains on two bikes, riding the same miles in the same conditions. When sufficiently exposed to grunge, I ran one, while on the bike, through a Vetta cleaner box and left it to dry, while removing the other with the aid of the master link. This chain went into a small pan of degreaser and was swirled around for a minute or two, then switched to a similar pan of lacquer thinner, which washed out the degreaser and any remaining grunge and grit. I combined the two solvents and poured the liiquid off, leaving the dirt and grit from the chain, behind. Additional trips to the solvent bowls did not result in any more grunge coming from this chain. To prove the point, I then took the chain cleaned in the Vetta crank-through box and put it into clean lacquer thinner and swirled it around. Though it had been through the Vetta cleaner box, the additional bath of solvent(thinner) still washed an appreciable amount of grime (grunge and grit)form this supposedly clean chain. I have repeated this experiment, numerous times, all with the same result. Even without the aid of an air gun, the chain removed from the bike was solvent free and dry more quickly than the other because the degreaser was washed out by the thinner, which, then, evaporated quickly. With an air gun it takes even less time. Putting lubricant onto/into a chain that is still wet with degreaser, designed to remove that same lubricant, cannot result in the best lubed chain, nor the cleanest. If one is using a hot dip wax, such as R.J.Hock's Chain Wax, (available direct or through Nashbar), even more time is saved as any remaining lacquer thinner is instantly boiled off by the heat of the wax. Applying any lubricant to a dirty chain or one wet with degreaser, will compromise the lubricant. Grit down inside a chain will make it wear more quickly and degreaser will not do the lubricant's properties any good, at all. Chains wear out at a higher rate than sprockets and rings. You will get more life out of your drive train if you spread the wear of these parts over the life of multiple chains. Becaasue I use Missing Link master links, I always keep an identical, spare, waxed chain on hand for each of my bikes. Rather than make my friends wait for me to clean and lubbe, I just pop off the old chain, drop it in a bowl of degreaser and then pop on the new clean one. My Schwinn-Paramount is still running on the same pair of chains it had in early 1993. My new AMP/B-4 is on the same two chains that were with the same drive train when it was all on a 1994 AMP/B-3. Both bikes have many miles and plenty of races. To see how much the chains have worn since new, I checked their stretch against the two new chains I put on with the new drive train on my road bike. I use the exact same Sachs chains on everything, so I don't have to worry about getting master links mixed up. In a pinch I can even switch chains. Though the used chains were a lot stiffer, laterally, they didn't measure any difference in length. The oldest, now in use for over 7 years appeares to show little if any wear. If being able to have chains that last for ever is not enough, see just how valuable the master links are when you, or someone else, breaks a chain deep in the woods. No more fumbling for breaker and pin, then dripping the pin into the leaves. Just remove the offending plates and pins and reassemble the junction with a Missing Link on the top run. Hold the braakes, step down on the pedal until you hear a click and you are ready to roll. It will get you home a lot more securely than a link that has lost its pin. If you have a little tube of drip lube for the master link, you can forget it ever happened. All master links rule, especially Missing Links!
I'm getting my first bike this week, and I'm in the process of getting a some things to carry in my bag. I want to carry an extra link for my chain, but not sure which one to get. I'm getting a new Enduro Comp and it comes with a KMC X10 chain. Which missing link will I need? [url=http://www.kmcchai ... Read More »
I took my chain off today to clean it (KMC 10-Speed), when I went to re-install the chain, the missing link didn't "Snap" like it normally does, but it did go together. I had a 6-Pack of KMC Missing link's sitting around so I decided to use a new one of those. For whatever reason, I cannot get the ... Read More »
I've got a really tight one. I do not have the closing tool and I can't get it to close by adding alot of pressure through the drivetrain. Tried pinching it shut with pliers, not working either...
Now what?Read More »
I just got a kmc x9.93. i was not impressed with the missing link. it was not hard to get the missing link together and locked in place compared to a shimano pc-951 power link. power link has a definite click so you know it was locked in place. missing link just slid in place.Read More »