What is your opinion on riveted master links versus the generic alligator clip style? I was wondering this when the new chain I bought had two master links inside—one standard and the other a rivet model.
Right off the old shirt sleeve, Mr. Mark M, is that there is not a serious racing team on the planet that does not use riveted master links. The disadvantages are minuscule, the only one being that they take additional time to install, and chain removal requires a chain breaker (though some companies suggest grinding the rivet link on chains #520 and above). Also, you need a proper chain tool to rivet a hollow-nosed master link. I have used a Motion Pro breaker and riveting tool with good results.
The reasoning behind steering clear of the clip type is that they can prematurely wear and can get flicked off when coming in contact with terrain obstacles, such as rocks, roosts and branches. I have seen them pop off when a rider is rolling his machine backwards; a slightly bent chainguide can catch the clip and pick it off clean. The unsuspecting rider rolls down the trail, and the master link launches, as well as his driveline. No bueno.
If you remain with the standard clip type, take the time to inspect it before every ride. Watch for unusual wear. Key during an install is to always run the open end of the clip opposite that chain’s driveline. This reduces the chance of catching an edge under acceleration.
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