9

An advert for their PC-1031 chain on chainreaction said the Powerlink Powerlock was one time use only; you couldn't attach the chain, detach it and then attach it again without a new Powerlock.

I understand Powerlocks probably only guaranteed the first time, but in practical terms does it really work that way? Do chains usually snap if you try to reuse the Powerlock?

  • Out of curiosity, why would you consider this? Unless you're cleaning your chain off the bike (which likely goes against manufacturer recommendations), you shouldn't need to break the chain except when you need to replace it. And when you buy a new SRAM chain, you get a new powerlink/lock (as appropriate for the chain). – Batman Nov 10 '17 at 2:13
  • Two reasons really. First cleaning the chain as you said. Secondly, it makes it easier to take the bike apart and carry it on the train. – Ne Mo Nov 10 '17 at 8:10
  • Not a direct answer, but KMC chains don't say you can't reuse their "magic links" and personally I think they're better chains than SRAM. The KMC 10.93 chain is at same price point as the SRAM PC-1031. As a more direct answer, I have not had any problems reusing SRAM powerlocks, but I have only needed to do that a few times. – Hans L Nov 18 '17 at 4:00
15

For 9 speed or below, SRAM sells the Powerlink, which is a reusable way of opening and closing a chain. You can open and close these a few times, at least for the life of a chain.

For 10 speed and above, SRAM sells the Powerlock, which is a one-time use way of closing a chain. It is not designed to be opened and closed, and it is not suggested that you re-use it.

Do people re-use Powerlocks? Sometimes. Do they get away with it? Fairly often. Do they come apart? Also reasonably often. Would I recommend it? Of course not -- they're cheap, just buy a new one each time. It's generally going to be worth the potential costs of dealing with chain failure when you're out riding.

If you want to use a quick link for a 10 speed+ chain thats able to be opened and closed repeatedly, try the KMC Missinglink for 10 speed chains or the Wipperman Connex link. Both are designed to be reusable. (*)

(*) Officially, chain manufacturers don't recommend mixing brand X's chain closing mechanism with brand Y's chain when X!=Y, but people have generally found it safe to mix quick links between manufacturers. So, with this in mind, I'd still recommend the KMC or Wipperman if you want to detach and reattach the chain repeatedly.

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4

Do not reuse 10 or 11 speed quick links. Doing so could result in a snapped chain. This will potentially cause injury to yourself and/or others and it's not worth the risk.

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3

I've had no problems with re-using them (on both mountain and road bikes).

Be aware though that unlike 7/8/9 speed SRAM powerlinks you can't remove the 10 speed ones by hand, you'll need pliers. (You can get special chainlink pliers designed for the job which make it very easy.)

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  • Downvotes as the OP is clear that are referring to the 10 speed powerlocks and thus the first sentence is dangerous advice. – RoboKaren Nov 10 '17 at 17:19

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