Most cyclists are not strangers to the occasional mechanical problem. Luckily many are just a nuisance that can be dealt with at home (or at your local shop) later. But there are a few that will prevent you from getting home on your bike. One such incident is a broken chain.
An essential tool for every cyclist is the chain “breaker” tool. It is a simple screw which pushes the rivets out of (and back into) a chain. There’s not much to it, but without one it is nearly impossible to repair a chain out in the field.
We once encountered a group of three riders in the middle of the Dundas Valley trail system who were off to the side working on one of the bikes. One rider had broken a chain, and they were trying to use a rock to bash the pin back in. Needless to say, this caveman approach was not working. It was mid summer, so the days were long, but it was nearing dusk. Luckily, between us, we had two or three chain tools in our group, and we were able to put the chain back together for them.
The distance that you can travel at a 20-30 km/h average bicycle speed is much greater than can be covered on foot at 4-5km/hr. In other words, a broken chain at the worst moment can turn that one hour round trip ride into a three hour walk. If we had not encountered that group, I’m certain that they would have faced a very long, dark walk home!
Many multi-tools include a chainbreaker, and Park makes a high quality dedicated mini chain tool that is easy to carry with you:
Another tip: Bringing a quick link that matches your chain will make the repair much quicker (and more permanent). Quick links are available for 7, 8, 9 or 10 speed systems, and each is sized to match. So count your rear cogs and get the right one!
Whether you’re going into the woods, or going across town, a chain tool (and links) is as essential as a tube and pump to make sure that you don’t get stranded.
Drop in and pick one up from us and we’ll show you how to use it too 🙂
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