My "new" commuter was built using a SRAM chain, which includes a Powerlink, a special link in the chain that is designed to come apart when you push the bushings together from both sides of the link, making removing the chain for cleaning "easy". I chose that chain largely because I am a lazy person when it comes to caring for my chain. I never squeak, because I lube the chain quite often, but I clean it way too infrequently, and I thought it might help me mend my evil ways. I did get around to removing the chain for a proper cleaning sooner than usual. I struggled with that powerlink for something like twenty minutes. I fashioned a link squeezer tool from a spoke... no dice. Eventually I caved in and did the equivalent to asking directions when you're lost; I checked online to see if others had been having the same problem or if I was just stupid.
Yes, I do work on my bike while wearing business attire. Business attire is the only clothing I have, because living my life is my business, and I figure I had better dress accordingly and toe the line. I don't want to get fired from living my life! The only alternative would have been to work on my bike naked, which is not recommended while working on a fixed gear.
So, anyway, I wanted to know if I was just stupid or whether anybody else had been in the same position. It turned out that as with so many things, it was a little of both. Other people had also struggled. I needed to squeeze the side plates together while doing what I had already been doing, which I should have figured out. I got that sucker apart eventually, but even with that extra information, it wasn't easy, and my homemade tool came in handy. I don't remember any instructions coming with the chain. I remember experimenting with the link, and of course it worked fine when perfectly new and clean.
SRAM is a very popular brand of chain. Up until this one, I had been using Shimano. Just the same, I feel a little sheepish that as a "mature" cyclist and newly-minted builder of bikes I couldn't figure this out on my own. When I'm feeling insecure, nothing helps like asking a bunch of strangers on the Internet to opine on whether I'm a loser. So, if you have any experience with Powerlinks, please respond to the following poll!