I can't find the Master link..(to shorten my chain)

I’ve looked over the entire length of the chain three times and didn’t see a master link or anything else that looked as though it would allow me to shorten the chain.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

A lot of chains don’t have a removable link. You need a chain link tool to push out one of the pins. If you want to shorten the chain you’ll need a tool anyway even if the chain has a removable link.

It is possible to tap the pin out with a hammer and punch (or nail) but it’s much easier and more controlled with a proper tool. They aren’t expensive (about £6 or £7 in the UK). You need to remember not to push the pin all the way out on the link you want to reconnect - push it far enough to unlink the chain but not completely out otherwise they’re a bugger to get back in.


EDIT: If this chain is on a unicycle (giraffe?) you should take up slack by sliding the axle further down the dropouts. If the chain is a whole link too long you’ll have an enormous amount of slack. You should only need to remove links if it’s a new chain or something else has been modified (such as fitting smaller sprockets).

I’m making a slightly-reclined unicycle out of an old bike frame and it’s wheel. I’m sure that I can get this to work, but I need to get rid of the derailleur. This means that I have a lot of extra chain to remove.

I’ll try setting up a vice at home, and using a hammer and nail (or something better) to push one of the pins down. Thanks for telling me not to push the pin all the way out; I’m sure I would have done that :roll_eyes: .

Re: I can’t find the Master link…(to shorten my chain)

When I was in the robotis team in high school, the master links we used
were permanent. If we needed to do something with a chain, we used one
tool to snap a link and another tool to apply LOTS of tension in the
chain while we applied a new “master” link. If you have a lot of chain
to remove, breaking it in two places would probably be quickest.


The master link allows you to open up your chain without special tools, but does not make it any easier to change the length. Okay, shortening wouldn’t be a problem, but making it longer still requires a chain tool.

Chain tools are pretty cheap. I highly recommend you invest in one, as you’ll probably have future use for it. It will save you a lot of time and hassle. And nails. :slight_smile:

You can’t find the master link, but link can find the master sword…

Go to your LBS and spend 10-15 bucks on a real chain tool. ( http://www.bikeworld.com/components/catalog/product.html?pid=168&cat=221 )

Don’t screw with that vice and punch junk. That’ll just screw up the chain. Real chain tools are worth their weight in gold.

I agree with seager. Use the right tool for the right job, using that hammer and punch method is bad news. Believe me, I tried it once. :stuck_out_tongue:

unless that bike has horizontal dropouts, youre gonna have a lot of slack…

LOL…nice :smiley: