How to Remove and Install A Bike Chain Master Link

Written by : Mr Mamil
Last updated :

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

Things to note :

  • Always check the master link and chain compatibility before installing.
  • Third-party brands such as KMC and YBN make reusable master links up to five times.
  • The more times a reusable master link is reused, the weaker it gets. If the master link snaps on easily, it’s time to use a new one.
  • It’s highly recommended to use a master link plier to remove and install the master link to prevent damaging the chain rollers.
Use the Master Link Plier to Install and Remove the Link
Use the Master Link Plier to Install and Remove the Link
  1. Place the bike on flat ground or on a bike repair stand.
  2. Shift to the smallest chainring and smallest cog. This will reduce the chain tension and makes it easier to remove the master link.
  3. Gently turn the pedal backward and locate the master link.
  4. Continue turning the pedal backward and have the master link below the chainstay.
  5. Insert the master link plier into the chain rollers. Ensure that you’re using the right jaw that pulls the chain rollers together.
  6. Gently squeeze the plier to pull the chain rollers together and unlock the master link.
  7. Remove the master link from the chain.
  1. Ensure the chain length is right and both ends are open inner links.
  2. Place the chain over the smallest cog and smallest chainring. Keep in mind that some chains such as Shimano are directional (the engraving on the chain plate should be facing you).
  3. Have both ends of the chain below the chain stay and pull them together.
  4. Thread the master link pins through the chain rollers simultaneously.
  5. Ensure the master link pins are engaged and hold the chain together.
  6. Visually inspect master link.