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Monday, July 17, 2006
The one tool you absolutely need!
You want to impress some babe that is stuck with a broken chain on her bike in the middle of nowhere? You want to avoid walking 20 miles because your chain just broke for no reason? You want a tool that might pay itself and maybe get you that free Ipod? Ok, maybe not that last part about the free Ipod, but the chain breaker tool is the one tool that will pay for itself by either avoiding you a long walk, saving some poor guy stuck with a broken chain who will give you cash for saving the day without your asking or get a phone number from a gorgeous babe that you saved in the same predicament.
Chains break off some times for no apparent reason or when we ask a bit too much of them. I had chains break on me while riding normally in the city and I always had my trusty chain breaker with me. It paid itself a few times over by helping out stranded cyclist on many occasions.
Don't be cheap and buy a decent one. Park Tools makes a good one and it's not expensive. It is pretty easy to use. You put the chain in the tool, align the pin of the tool with the pin of the chain link, screw in and voila! Just make sure you don't push the pin out completely, then you'll be screwed and you'll have to scrap that link and start all over again. Keep the pin and threads of your chain breaker well lubed with, you guessed it, automatic transmission oil. The tool creates a lot of heat with the friction from pushing the pin and that heat damages it. The oil will prevent that and the tool will last forever.
Tip of the day: Just fixed a chain on the bike path and you got filthy hands? Wet your hands with the water of your bottle, put some sand in there, scrub, rinse and you'll have clean hands.