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How to install a Shimano chain pin in 3 easy steps

In an earlier article I explained how to measure the length of a Shimano chain. With the correct chain length sorted out it’s now time to learn how to install a Shimano chain pin.

Shimano does make quick-links but only for 11-speed chains as far as I know. But since the chain pin is included with the Shimano 6-speed compatible chain I bought, I see no reason why not to use it.

And yes, it is kind of a nuisance.

Video Tutorial

The Shimano chain pin

The chain pin is made up of two pins attached to each other. One end has a flat surface, the other a cone.

Step 1. Inserting the Shimano chain pin

The idea is to connect the two ends of the chain and put the pin with the flat part into place. You do so by entering the entire pin with the cone shape part for easy entry.

You then use a chain tool to push the pin into place. Be aware you must use quite a bit of force to push the pin into the chain. This is because both ends of both halves are thicker than the middle.

When you feel the pin sits correctly you can release the chain and test if the chain moves freely. You can do so by bending the chain in its natural direction.

Step 2. Troubleshooting an incorrect fit

Rotate the crank and see if the chain moves smoothly over the jockey wheels. If not the pin’s fit is too tight and you can do the following:

  • See if the pin sits correctly and adjust accordingly if not
  • Flex the chain where the pin resides from side to side so the pin can readjust.

Step 3. How to break off Shimano chain pin

You don’t need another tool than the chain tool you’ve already used. Put the opposite end of the chain tool on the part of pin extending outwards and snap it off.

Final thoughts on how to install a Shimano chain pin

Installing a chain this way isn’t exactly rocket science, but it’s way easier to do so with a quick link. These are readily available from premium brands like KMC (Missing Links), or SRAM (PowerLinks). Just make sure you get the correct one.

And that’s how to install a Shimano chain pin! If you like this article give it a thumbs up. If you have any questions or suggestions for new articles, let me know in the comments below. Cheers.