How to Find the Master Link on Bike Chain

Written by : Mr Mamil
Last updated :

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This article discusses how to find and locate the chain master link.

A master link is a chain roller accessory that allows for easy connection and disconnection of a bicycle chain without needing a chain tool. The master link comes in two metal pieces that form the chain’s outer plates.

Some cyclists also refer to the master link as a quick link.

Use the Master Link Plier to Install and Remove the Link
Use the Master Link Plier to Install and Remove the Link

Master link is one of two ways to connect a bicycle chain. The other way is using a connecting pin.

Here’s how to find the chain master link on your bike.

  1. Make sure you’re in a well-lit area.
  2. Place the bike on flat ground or the bike repair stand.
  3. Stand on the drivetrain side (right of bike).
  4. Slowly turn the pedal backward.
  5. Take a closer look at the chain and find a chain link that is different and unique from the rest.
  6. The master link is usually slightly bigger or has a different color.
  7. If you can’t locate it, try a few more times and look closer.
  8. If you still can’t locate it, then the chain doesn’t use a master link but a connecting pin.

Shimano and SRAM do not recommend re-using the master link for reliability and safety reasons. Third-party manufacturers such as Wipperman, KMC, YBN master links can be reusable up to five times.

Yes. Check the chain brand (SRAM, Shimano, or Campagnolo), and the number of speeds (8, 9, 10, 11, or 12). These will determine the type of master link needed.

Some third-party brands, such as KMC and YBN are compatible across several chain brands. Always double-check the compatibility before buying and installing.

The master link provides an easy way to connect and disconnect the chain for cleaning or replacing.

Some cyclists carry a spare master link in their saddlebag if their chain breaks mid-ride.