I own a few chaintools, some work ok, some don’t work because they are bent or broken and some work badly because they are hard to hold properly or you need 3 hands or the chain never sits right and I should really just throw these ones out. Then there are the problems of remembering which tool is best for what speed chain and then there is the special tool I have for the motorcycle sized chains that NZ Post spec on their bicycles.
Damn, I need a separate toolbox just for my chaintools.
Having similar issues are you? Say hello to this ingenuous tool from Birzman. It looks real trendy and stylish like some sort of Scandinavian sculpture, and maybe it could be propped up on your mantelpiece but for me this little beauty has just made all my other chaintools defunct. It is actually very very comfortable to use with large well designed handles and I can’t fault the quality and precision of the manufacturing. But the wonderous feature that got me is the sliding spring-loaded chainplate receiver tab. It slides in and out to accommodate any speed/width chain and the spring holds the chain in place so tool pin to chain pin alignment is spot on, and it’s replaceable! No more fettling with the chain position once it’s in the tool, and there’s a spare pin included for when you stuff things up, but I reckon that will never happen due to that perfect chain placement everytime. Brilliant!
So I've had this little puppy in the workshop for a year now and I love it. But just the other day I was breaking an 11 speed chain and I had it looped through the bike getting the length just right. I wasn't really paying the correct amount of attention as Metallica was playing on the wireless and I was getting my groove on. As I started winding the handle up and I got to that resistance bit that means you have to add a bit more muscle, well I wasn't really watching what I was doing and the pin was off centre because I wasn't holding the chain in the tool properly. And I was tired (I haven't been sleeping well lately) and then "pop", no resistance, and I thought wow that was too easy until I looked down and the whole cast steel handle piece of the tool had just snapped off.
Now I now I'm pretty strong but really? Yeah, it was my fault, I should've been on point, but we all make little mistakes and I don't think this tool should have broken so easily. So it's gone from a 10 out of 10 to a broken tool that just got chucked in the bin. Next!
So...In a nutshell. Great tool if you use it correctly all the time. I thought it was foolproof, but maybe I'm more fool than I thought.