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of chain tools and aliens(6 posts)

of chain tools and alienssimstress
Feb 15, 2002 12:15 PM
There is a chain tool on my Topeak Alien, but something tells me the job would be easier and more enjoyable with a proper chain tool. Which one do you like for breaking a Shimano 9-speed chain? And is a chain tool used to install replacement pins as well? How many replacement pins should a novice have on hand for her first attempt at this? Thanks!
ParkSpoke Wrench
Feb 15, 2002 12:39 PM
I personally prefer the Park mini took kit to the Alien, possibly because I'm somewhat of a retro-grouch. I find the individual tools easier to orient and use. The Park kit includes a mini-chain tool. Just don't loose the replaceable chain tool pin.

I don't think you will have any particular problem with your first attempt at installing a hyper-glide pin. You use the same chain tool to push it into the chain. You'll probably need a plier or a similar tool to break off the end after you get it installed. Also, check the broken-off stub to be sure that it feels flush. Sometimes it's necessary to take a file to the stub.

Good luck.
re: of chain tools and aliensDrD
Feb 15, 2002 12:48 PM
Actually, I have found the chain tool on the Alien to work quite well - I actually prefer it to my park chain tool (I have the little park one)

One pin should be fine to get the chain together - it's actually easy to do - the pin has the little guide portion which you insert first which holds the chain together, then you just drive it home (don't push it too far - you want to avoid driving end of the pin all the way through the sideplate - if you look closely at the pin, there are two ridges on each end - the sideplates need to be between the two on each end)
re: of chain tools and alienscyclaholic
Feb 15, 2002 1:12 PM
Having witnessed two broken chains in the middle of the boonies, I carry a very small (Pedro') multitool that has a chain tool included. I figure that the chaintool is for emergencies only and, since chains are so good these days, I hope I never use it. Keep the shopworthy chain tool at home.

I wouldn't even bother bringing replacement pins because, even though their weight is negligible, you have to drag along pliers to break off the excess.

In a pinch, you can make the chain work without a replacement pin. Just pushing the old pin back should be enough to get you back home. When you do get home, you put a proper replacement pin in.

I've done a lot of experimenting with chains. Not too long ago, I used one of the black 8-speed replacement pins on a 9-speed chain. I broke off the excess and then filed down both sides of the pins with a Dremel tool. Worked just fine. That chain is still being very actively used.
re: trust no one...Akirasho
Feb 15, 2002 2:20 PM
Oh, wait a minute, when I saw the word Alien I had an X Files flashback...

I've got an Alien but never used the chain tool... I've got the Park mini (CT-5), and it works well out on the road... I've got the Park T handle (CT-3) and it works well at home but is too bulky for the road... I've got the Park plier tool (CT-2) and find little use for it.

In general, it's easier to replace the Shimano pin than on many "standard" chains (especially if you accidentally push the pin completely out of the link side plate)... the biggest pain is in buying a special pin! You only need enough pins to complete the job... and replace the one that falls into your heat vent when Murphy's Law takes over (I carry 2 extra pins in my ride tool kit but have yet to need them... all my other pins are the ones that came with the replacement chain).

We abide.

Remain In Light.
re: of chain tools and alienssgray8110
Feb 17, 2002 11:20 AM
I also like the Alien chain tool.. it's a little small but easy to use.. I've never had a Park chain tool, but of the two other tools that I've had, one broke and one is really a challenge to use. I'm speaking with fresh experience here, I just got a new chain and while trying to break off the extra links in a chain the tool that came with a damned cheap made in Taiwan tool kit which looked pretty sold broke.. the piece that is made to hold the chain broke off before I even had a chance to put any pressure on the chain. So I promptly switch to the Alien and it worked like a dream..