Jan 31

Chain and Half link lessons please!!


I purchased a heatsink tensioner for my Hex, replacing the Trialtech two wheeled tensioner I have been using for years. I now have more chain than I would like hanging down. I am a half link away from being able to shorten any further and would like to use a half link.

This is where it gets confusing, I have never done this before and have read on every chain description on Tartybikes that the split link that comes with every chain sold is not recommended for trials use. There are no alternatives given. I have read that people just push a link pin out enough to remove the required links and push the partially removed pin back in. This makes me uncomfortable. If I was to use a half link I would have to do this twice or, I would have to use two split links which is not recommended for trials use by Tartybikes to put the chain together. Both options sound sketchy to me.

Can someone with experiential knowledge and experience please explain how I can use a half link without compromising the chains integrity so I won't worry about my chain snapping on every drop?! Split link image provided for those who may not know what it is.


Feb 4

I've had several successes with pushing out pins and then pushing them back in- I do have a nice chain breaker/riveter. The problem is if you press the plates too tight you get a tight spot in the chain that you can't fix without pressing that pin out again starting over.

I've also used half links and they seem fine- probably stretch a bit quicker than traditional links.

And I like the "quick link" I've never broken an SRAM chain with quicklink but have broken KMCs with traditional master links.

Good to here about the pin working. I found a chain with a half link attached. KMC 510HX. Unfortunately I had to use the split link as my breaker didn't open enough to push the longer than usual pin back in. I'll stay low to the ground for a while till I figure out what to do :)


How to video from Tartybikes so you know this method is trials proven. I have used the KMC 610 installed this way for the last year with no problem. I would just make sure your re-installed pin has the same amount of pin protruding from each side of the chain. I would have thought any chain tool would work to install a chain but I could be wrong, I’ve got the small Park chain tool and it works great.


I was going to recommend the KMC that you mentioned because they do have the half link already installed on one end so then you know the pin pressed into the plates of the half link will retain the mushroomed ends for security. You then connect the other end of the chain like normal.


I have not used the half link on these chains myself but I was considering the same tensioner setup you mentioned and I think I would be comfortable with it installed correctly.


My phone isn’t letting me edit my comment but the 610 hx is what I was going to recommend, they do come with the half link installed and is a 3/32 chain whereas the 510 is 1/8th.

For the sake of closure, here is a complete KMC Single speed chain chart.


Post up a picture if you get the heatsink setup going?

Feb 22

I dunno man... The golden rule has always been AVOID half links and NEVER use a quick link... it's your teeth, why did you get a new tensioner? If it aint broke...

Mar 19

New tensioner. Works quite well. Jump line, backward riding and drop approved. It's nice to know I won't have to worry about the easily bent hanger anymore. Not my choice of chain colour. It was the only half link installed option available at the indoor park I made the mistake of having chain issues at.





I've ridden with a quick link on all my trials bikes for about 15 years. Never broken the quick link (I don't think). Haven't broken a chain for at least 5 years though. For reference I've weighed over 200lbs for most of that time.

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