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I am new to bike maintenance. When I tried replacing my bike chain at home, the connection rivet was very tight and I wasn't able to loosen it without using a screw driver and force it between the two metal plates. Now the connection rivet is loosened, but I noticed the upper plate is slightly bent, Oh!

My question: is this chain done? Or I am fine riding it with limited time? Or the segment would be durable and I am completely fine?

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    It's probably fine, but in the future read the instructions for your chain tool. Most include notches that allow you to insert the tool a certain way and loosen a link. It's not uncommon to need to do this after installing a chain with a chain tool. – Daniel R Hicks Mar 3 at 13:42
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I'd totally ride on that chain - The main contact point with the teeth is the roller, and the side plates hold the rollers on the pins. So a little bend won't make any difference.

There is a potential for problem if the side plate comes off the pin, or if the side plate catches on any other part of the bike. But it looks perfectly serviceable to me.

In the future, don't use a screwdriver as your go-to tool. Do some research, ask questions here before defaulting to the pikey tools.

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    yeah of course. I was in a hurry and couldn't find a special tool that does the job. However i do wish i used the other side of the chain (without the pin sticking out) to guide the chain. – Yang Wang Mar 3 at 23:32
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    I am back again. Had to remove another rivet and remount the chain, because I installed it in a wrong way (what a sad day) Then I drove back the same rivet use chain tool. The same problem emerge again, and simple flexing won't make it loose enough. If not using screw driver, are there any other ways to loosen it? Am I fine just leave it there? There is a noise when the stiff link goes through derailleur but otherwise the drive train works. – Yang Wang Mar 4 at 8:12
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    Normally you cannot push a rivet out and then back in again as it loosens the interference fit between the rivet and plate (at least that's what Shimano tells you about theirs chains). I have a feeling you are not going to be stressing this chain a lot though. Try pushing the rivet back slightly with the chain tool. – Argenti Apparatus Mar 4 at 10:58
  • @Argenti Apparatus Not meant to pester here, It makes little difference when I push it back with 1/8 turn, if I go more, one end of the rivet would stick out and wouldn't it rub the cog and make noise? – Yang Wang Mar 4 at 17:14
  • @YangWang stiff links are common after pushing in the pin. You can either grab the chain in your fists with the stiff pin between, and give it a good back-and-forth bend in the "sideways" direction. That should be enough to get it rotating better. – Criggie Mar 4 at 23:25
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Presumably you drove the connection pin (the one with a snap-off leader section if its a Shimano chain) in with a chain tool, then found that pin was tight so prised it apart with a screwdriver? Just FYI the proper thing to do is flex the link until it loosens up.

The link does not seem too bent and it may run through the drivetrain and shift OK. I'd be worried about having weakened the interference fit between the bent plate and the pin.

One easy solution is to get a quick link type connecter which replaces one outer plate link. You MUST get the correct connector for the brand and speed of chain you have, SRAM, KMC, Shimano etc use slightly different links.

If you had a Shimano chain (I know you don't from comments, but this is for future readers) another solution would be to get two new connector pins, remove the bent outer plate and the two inner ones either side and splice in three new links from the bit of chain you have leftover from cutting the chain to size.

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  • It's a $10 schiwinn chain. Long story short: the connection rivet does not have snap-off part, it just comes with one end inserted and wait to be driven in by chain tool. The upper plate got squeezed when I guide it through the derailleur (there are some narrow parts). – Yang Wang Mar 3 at 17:09
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    I see, then the solution is to throw that away and get a decent quality chain with a quick link. OK, I'm joking but if the bent link is hitting the derailleur cage you may just want to call this a $10 mistake and get a new chain. – Argenti Apparatus Mar 3 at 18:30
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    I don’t think that one always has to match chain connector brand to chain brand unless you’re on 10s chains. I’ve used KMC links on Campagnolo and Shimano chains without issue, as well as Wipperman links on Campy and Wipperman chains. You do have to match number of speeds. For 10s and 9s chains, the chains may differ in width between manufacturers, so one would need to do some homework there. In the general case, replacing the damaged link with a quick link is a superb idea. – Weiwen Ng Mar 3 at 19:10
  • i was riding a schwinn 21 speed, and I found this $10 cheap one claiming itself "schwinn chain", hopefully my bike won't be ruined by this. However, the item should come with a master link according to the description, but no master link was included. Maybe that's why its cheap. – Yang Wang Mar 3 at 23:30
  • I am back again. Had to remove another rivet and remount the chain, because I installed it in a wrong way (what a sad day) Then I drove back the same rivet use chain tool. The same problem emerge again, and simple flexing won't make it loose enough. If not using screw driver, are there any other ways to loosen it? Am I fine just leave it there? There is a noise when the stiff link goes through derailleur but otherwise the drive train works. – Yang Wang Mar 4 at 8:13

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