Chain Link Tool - Page 1 of 8

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When you are designing your own DIY human powered vehicles, you will likely be using standard bicycle transmission components to transfer your leg energy to the drive wheel. These standard bicycle transmission components consist of a crank set, a rear freewheel, a set of derailleurs to change gears, and of course, the bicycle chain. Recumbent bikes and trikes are longer than an upright cycle, so they require a chain that is also longer. Some recumbent cycles are so long that they may require a chain of more than two times the length of a standard bicycle chain, so you are faced with the challenge of joining one or more chains together to create the necessary long recumbent chain.

This tutorial will demonstrate the use of a chain link tool, which will make your job of lengthening or shortening a bicycle chain extremely easy. If you only purchase one inexpensive bicycle specific tool, then make it this one because it will save you so much effort when joining up chains. The only alternative method to using this tool involves hammering the link pin out with a punch and a finishing nail. That process is so annoying that I am not even going to demonstrate it.

You can purchase the small hand held chain link tool from any bicycle shop for about $20 or less. This tool will last a lifetime and can be used to open up any size bicycle chain as well as garage door opener chain, which is the same pitch and width as single speed BMX chain. You will probably use this tool several times during a bike build as you find that optimal chain length.

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You can build it yourself from our easy to follow DIY plans!