KMC Missing Link pliers £11.99
Few inventions have eased the lot of the cycle mechanic, professional or amateur, quite as effectively as the asymmetric chain joining link. Now some 20 years old, the idea effectively rendered the old joining method – pressing one of the pivot pins far enough through an outer link side plate to permit the chain to be pulled apart, but not so far that it could not be readily joined again – obsolete outside the sphere of emergency repair.
However, while the idea of having two identical but opposing parts that lock together has made joining a chain so equipped the job of a few seconds, it has also encouraged those keen on thorough maintenance to split and remove the chain for cleaning. Sadly, the very locking mechanism that ensures safe operation of these links, of which KMC’s PowerLink is a typical example, also makes them tricky to get apart. The head of the pin on each of the link side plates slots into a keyhole with an indent that prevents the plates returning to the installation position unless they be pressed together to unlock the pin heads.
Doing this and simultaneously pushing the opposing ends of the Missing or similar link together is a task likely to test the patience of anyone, especially when the chain is caked with filth. Well, it was, but need be no longer thanks to KMC’s new Missing Link Pliers. These simply grip the two rollers at opposing ends of the installed link and press them together. The side plates must still be pushed together at the same time, but the pliers do the hard part of the job to perfection even when the chain is in place over the chainrings and sprockets. It will work on any 1/2″ chain, can be used for things like determining chain length and is a great addition to any serious mechanic’s toolbox.