budget chain tools

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budget chain tools

Postby trainmahon » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:56 pm

So I'm looking at getting a chain tool but at the moment I can not afford something like a park tool so I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for a less expensive tool that may last at least a years.
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Re: budget chain tools

Postby frictionshift » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:25 pm

I don't feel right suggesting Walmart's chain tool for under $10.00... simply because I don't know how many chains you may need to use tool with.
It might be an OK tool though. I just don't know how frequently you may use it over a years time.

That said...
I bought a TOPEAK MINI18+ (around $18.00) at my LBS last summer and have used it to service several bikes.
Its a multi-hex tool with a chain tool, and I imagine that it'll last me a couple of more years.
I'm the old man you see on the bike.
I love my 10 speed, but can't resist taking my 20 inch for a spin.
So I bought this cheap bike to use for donor parts, but find myself trying to build it back up now...
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Re: budget chain tools

Postby jasnooks » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:16 pm

frictionshift wrote:I don't feel right suggesting Walmart's chain tool for under $10.00... simply because I don't know how many chains you may need to use tool with.
It might be an OK tool though. I just don't know how frequently you may use it over a years time.

That said...
I bought a TOPEAK MINI18+ (around $18.00) at my LBS last summer and have used it to service several bikes.
Its a multi-hex tool with a chain tool, and I imagine that it'll last me a couple of more years.

I looked at the Walmart one today in the store, and it was about $8.
The finish looked "cheap", which makes me think, soft steel. I'm sure it'll break chains, but for how long?
And for almost ten dollars, it only does one thing..
I agree that a decent multi tool is a better investment.
I bought a crank brothers M19 a couple years ago for about $20 and I use it all the time, at home or on the road/trails, with no failures. Still looks and functions like new.
7 hex bits, 2 torx, 1 flathead, small and large Phillips, 4 spoke wrenches, chain breaker, and a 8mm, and 10mm open end wrench I guess they are (never used those).

Nice and compact.

The only bad thing I've heard about this tool (hasn't happened to me yet) is that people complain about the screws holding it together come loose. But 4 drops of lock tight or super glue will fix that.

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Spoke wench comes off for ease of use.
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No sign of wear or mushrooming on the chain breaker pin. I've used this 20 or more times.
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Re: budget chain tools

Postby to the beach » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:09 am

I bought the cheapest park chain breaker tool. It was less than $10 on amazon(free shipping too). It works but the pin did mushroom a little on a badly frozen chain though. Replacement pins are available.
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Re: budget chain tools

Postby dddd » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:58 pm

The cheapest tools probably won't be able to break a high-performance chain like most 9-speed chains. The pin bends, breaks or mushrooms and the tool's parts fit together sloppily.

I use Shimano's most-basic chain tool, but it is not cheap, close to $30. It has lasted 15 years already, though I also have a newer one that I was given for attending one of Shimano's technical seminars for their annual new-product roll-out at the Interbike trade show.

Newer and better chains have gotten to be much harder to push the pin out of in most cases. Super-cheapie chains on bikes like my Mongoose Hondo can be broken with a cheaper tool, and maybe even ok to push a pin back in after breaking the chain with the tool.
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