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I just bought a new cassette and SRAM 9-speed PC 971 chain. On the outside of the package a power lock is pictured. However, inside the package only one half of the power lock was included. There must have been an error in packaging at the plant.

Can I install this chain by removing one of the end links, and use my chain tool to connect the two ends? I will need to re-use the pin that I had to pop to remove one of the end links. I bought this chain on line from Sports Basement. All those stores are in California and I am in New Hampshire so a quick fix is not possible.

Has anyone ever had something like this happen?

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    Have you cut the chain to length already? If not, run it a couple-of-links too long, and when you get the proper joiner make sure the once-split in is one that gets removed. – Criggie Apr 25 at 1:47
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No, don't do that unless it's to limp the bike home. SRAM says not to and I've seen sufficient evidence it's for good reason.

The theoretical/manufacturer-stated reason not to is that the press fit is prone to not being as strong as intended once you've pushed the pin out and back in.

The pattern I've seen when people, myself included, do this is that it can seem to be fine but is in fact prone to breaking. When it happens it's usually during a shift under load, particularly in front. It needs to be in just the wrong spot, so you can see how it can give the illusion that it's fine.

Re-using an old one for a while would be fine, as would be using a 9-speed KMC Missinglink if you can find that locally.

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    Concur - I reuse master links all the time. As long as they don't undo under light finger pressure, I'm happy. Plus they're not expensive in bulk - I get a pack of 10 from china for under $5 (compared to $10-$20 per joiner locally) Just have to order 1-3 months before you need them, so have stocks. – Criggie Apr 25 at 1:50
  • I went with getting a link – Brian Reinhold Apr 25 at 17:30
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It should work for now. I can't tell visually if this model of chain is riveted or not. If it is, you will be able to push it out, but will struggle to push it back in (sometimes to the point of impossibility). Re-pressing a riveted chain also significantly reduces its strength.

Try to obtain a proper master link as soon as possible though. It's nice to have a spare one on hand regardless.

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  • No, you'll be running into trouble. A master-link from any make is good. 9-speed chains are not of the kind where each company cooks its own soup of fancy shapes. – Carel Apr 24 at 17:44
  • @Carel As long as OP is not busting 1200W sprints with this chain, it should be fine until they get to the bike store I think. Yea, any 9s master link will work. – MaplePanda Apr 24 at 19:36
  • I've had good luck reusing a link pin on KMC chains. Shimano chains separate after a few miles if the same link pin is pushed back in to close the chain. In regards to experience with reusing a previously driven out link pin, it's been sparse due to the lesson learned with Shimano chains, availability and excellent performance of quick links, and ample anecdotal reports and advice NOT to due this. Note that I am NOT referring to Shimano's replacement or joining link pin used with their 8,9,10 and some 11 speed chains. Dozens of installs and never once had a problem related to these pins. – Jeff Apr 24 at 21:15

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