Topeak Super Bicycle Chain Tool
First i will admit i have never used a bicycle chain tool before but i have used a motorcycle one which is the same concept so im fairly mechanical. Never in my wildest dreams did i think it would be so easy. If anyone is afraid to do it fear not it is very very simple provided you still have your old chain to measure against your new one.
I purchased this based on reviews to replace a 15yr old chain on a Jeep mountain bike i bought at sears (yes i know its not a real bike but considering 15yrs later the tubes still hold air after never been replaced im ok with that). This tool is incredibly tiny. My first reaction was wow this will never push a pin out of a chain it is that small. Weight comparison it weighs as much or little as a garmin 500 computer (very very light). Quality after breaking old chain and sizing new chain seems very well made.
How to use:
First thing to do is to break the old chain off the bicycle. This is where the chain hook comes in very handy. If you loose it fear not you can make the same out of metal clothes hangers. Hook the chain hook anywhere on the chain preferably on the bottom so its easier to work with more room. Put the chain tool on the link and turn into it contacts the pin. I prefer to have it dead center on the pin even though there very small its fairly easy to do. Next step is to push the pin out. A smooth continuous motion with the hex key is best as it will give you a nice smooth effortless push. For this step if you are not reusing the chain its fine to push the pin all the way out.
Second step is to cut down your other chain. Same tool used for the process the exact same way. Measure the old chain vs the new one and de-link to size. If your chain is really worn then it will be slightly off, make sure you round off the new chain to the closest link SHORTEST to the end of the chain. Use the tool to push the pin out but this time be careful not to push the pin out all the way as its needed to put the chain back together. I pushed it thru until it started just getting difficult again then stopped and pulled the link apart. Although its not recommended you shouldn't reuse the pin you just pushed out slightly as it will have slightly deformed while pushing out. Best thing to do is to replace the pin. A drop of oil on it makes it much easier to go in. There fairly cheap to buy in a pack and are good to have. If you're using a masterlink make sure you have 2 INNER links so the masterlink fits, put it on the chain give it a quick yank will squeezing the link together and done. Don't forget to lube up the pins on the masterlink as well.
The chain tool looks fairly quality, was able to break a 15yr old chain and de-link a brand new KMC 7speed chain without any bending or breaking of the pin or links. Tool gets a 5 out of 5 as an initial review.
Another reason to buy this over cheaper single chain tools that only have one spot to break the chain is that you can also de-stress a link that has just been re-pinned if it feels very tight.
Larger hex key can be used for leverage if needed.
The pin is removable it comes as the whole screw mechanism. I wasn't able to find one online except for a store in the UK. There about 4euros each so cheap replacement pin.
Cons: The chain hook is very sharp at the ends i would be careful keeping this in a multibag with a tube, do not keep this in your jersey pocket.
I can easily see myself losing this if i keep it somewhere and forget where it is, its really that small not really a con just a heads up.
Hope this review helps and if there's any question or comments feel free to ask.
P.S. Don't think of this as a shop tool that can be used heavily and roughly. Its made to use in a pinch or for the home mechanic who replaces chains a couple times a yr.