How To Remove Bike Chain Without Master Link: [Problem SOLVED]

The bike’s chain is the key component in many of the issues. Maintenance and timely replacement are required. Learn here how to use a chain riveter and get instructions on how to accomplish it….

One of the most significant things to perform as a bike rider is to replace the chain. Your bike chain will eventually wear down and rust, and at that point, you’ll need to remove it and replace it.

It’s still conceivable, of course. Using a chain tool and turning it counterclockwise, as well as other simple actions, it is possible to remove the chain link from a bicycle. Read this article for the solution to the query, “How To Remove Bike Chain Without Master Link?”

The chain may be quickly and easily removed by using a master link. A new bike chain may be installed with minimal effort and minimal equipment. But would it still be as simple as it should be if the bike doesn’t have the master link?

At What Mile Marker Should You Change Your Bike Chain?

It’s possible that the pins that connect your bike chain’s links will wear out after a lot of miles have been ridden. The chain on your bike will wear out and need to be replaced when it stretches too much or rusts.

Another clue that your bike chain needs replacing is if it makes noise or if shifting gears is difficult. 

An essential portion of your bicycle chain that can be quickly removed is the master link. It’s an easily distinguishable detachable link that may be used with any chain.

The master link is easily identifiable since it is a different color than the rest of the chain. When tried to compare to the other links, it also has a higher shine. When you study the chain attentively, you will see that the master link stands out.

To detach the chain, just twist the link off using pliers and use this crucial component. You may easily unlink the remainder of the chain from the master link by pushing and twisting it.

It expedites the process greatly and eliminates the need to find a professional bike technician.

How to find master link on bike chain

To what extent, though, would the job be the same if we eliminated it?

Of course, dismantling the bike chain won’t be a walk in the park. It’ll take some effort, but you can still disassemble your bike’s chain without the master link. Basically, all you have to do is follow these simple yet powerful instructions:

  • Prepare your bike by cleaning the chain and the bike.
  • Turn off your bike’s derailleur and stop using the brakes.
  • Inject the pin into one of the chain links using the chain tool.
  • Keep driving the chain tool into the link in a circular direction.
  • Take off the link’s pin using your chain tool.
  • Simply jiggling the link will cause the chain to separate.
  • The bike’s chain has to be taken off.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before you start, gather the necessary tools and materials to make the process smoother:

  1. Chain Tool (Chain Breaker): A chain tool is essential for pushing the chain pin out of the chain. Make sure you have a reliable and appropriately sized chain tool for your specific chain.
  2. Wrench or Pliers: You’ll need a wrench or pliers to hold the chain tool in place and provide leverage when turning it.
  3. Chain Lubricant: Having chain lubricant on hand is useful for cleaning and lubricating your chain during maintenance.
  4. Rags or Cleaning Tools: Prepare some rags or specific cleaning brushes to remove any dirt or grime from the chain during the process.
  5. Replacement Pins or Master Link (Optional): Depending on your specific needs, you may want to have spare chain pins or a master link on hand for reinstallation.

Having an understanding of the procedure

  • Preparation and Cleanup.

Cleaning and prepping the area is essential for any kind of maintenance or repair work to go well. At this point, you’ll want to gather the equipment you’ll need to dismantle the bike’s chain.

It is possible to remove the bike’s chain with the use of a chain spade or chain breaker.

Remove a rivet from your bicycle frame and start dismantling the chain with this handy device. You may now clean your bike’s chain as you have the necessary gear at hand.

How to remove bike chain quick link

Using a towel or grease removal solution, you must remove the grime and oil from the bike chain. To remove your bike chain in this method is simple. Then, you may suspend or mount your bike so that you’re at the right height and angle to remove the chain.

  • Turn off the derailleur and the brakes.

If you unlock the brake and release the derailleur gear on your bike, you may easily remove the chain. This pair fastens the bicycle chain to the frame. Therefore, the work will be more difficult if they are firmly fastened to the bike chain.

Knowledge of the inner workings of a bicycle chain is essential for grasping this concept. The components of your bike chain are:

  • Distinctive Coverings
  • Layers inside
  • Rollers
  • Pins

More than the others, we’ll be working with pins and chain rollers. In conjunction with the chain tool, these two will make it possible to disassemble the bicycle chain.

Bike Chain removal Tool

Tools for the Bike Chain are a Common Accessory for Cyclists

You may have a chain wear tool, new pin or master link, chain tool, and master link pliers on hand to make chain maintenance for your bike much simpler, as recommended by REI.

  • A chain wear gauge may be used to determine how worn a chain is and, in turn, when it should be replaced.
  • The chain’s endpoints will be connected by a master link. When fixing a chain, you might also need to purchase new pins.
  • If you need to replace a broken pin in your chain, you may do it with the assistance of a chain tool.
  • You may use master link pliers to easily remove and replace the master link.

With the prongs of the chain tool firmly lodged between both the links, you may crank the tool’s handle clockwise to drive the pin deeper into the link. Repeat this procedure until you are positive that the pin has reached the exact middle of the chain loop.

Constant rotation causes the rivet to be driven away from the chain. As such, it might be seen as a sign that the link in the chain can be severed.

One of the simplest procedures is removing the pin from the link using the chain tool. To lock the handle in place, spin it counterclockwise until it clicks. Then you may pull the chain gear out of your bicycle chain.

Now you may go on to the final two stages.

How To Remove Bike Chain Without Master Link

Continually remove the link’s pin with the chain tool:

One of the simplest procedures is removing the pin of the chain tool from the link. Turning the knob counterclockwise will cause it to cease rotating. Once you’ve done that, you may remove the chain tool from your bicycle chain.

From here, the final two measures can be taken.

Additional Tips and Considerations


When you’re ready to reinstall the chain, you’ll need to use the chain tool again. Position the chain with the inner and outer plates aligned, then push the pin back into place. Ensure it’s flush with the outer plates.

Chain Length:

Removing a chain without a master link may shorten it. Be sure to have the appropriate length of replacement chain or extra links available if necessary.

Special Chains:

Some modern chains require a specific connecting pin for reinstallation. In these cases, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for chain installation.

Professional Assistance:

If you’re uncertain about removing your chain or face any difficulties during the process, consider seeking assistance from a professional bike mechanic.

Pros and cons of Master links on chains


  • Easy Chain Removal and Installation: One of the primary advantages of a master link is that it simplifies the process of removing and reinstalling the chain. This is especially useful for maintenance tasks, such as cleaning the chain, replacing a worn-out chain, or fixing a flat tire.
  • Tool-Free Operation: Master links are designed for tool-free use. You can engage or disengage them with your fingers, which is convenient when you’re on the road or trail without access to tools.
  • Quick Repairs: If you experience a chain breakage while riding, a master link allows for a relatively quick and straightforward repair. You can simply remove the damaged section and reconnect the chain using the master link.
  • Chain Length Adjustment: Master links provide flexibility when it comes to adjusting the length of your chain. If you install a new chain or need to fine-tune your gearing, it’s easy to add or remove links without using a chain tool.
  • Reuse: Master links are designed to be reusable. When you replace a chain, you can often transfer the master link to the new chain, saving you the cost of purchasing a new one.


  • Compatibility: Not all chains are compatible with master links. The type and design of the master link need to match the specific chain you’re using. Different speed drivetrains (e.g., 9-speed, 10-speed, 11-speed) require corresponding master links.
  • Durability: Master links may not be as durable as the rest of the chain. In some cases, they can be weaker points, and if not properly maintained, they may break. Regular inspection and maintenance are essential.
  • Added Weight: While the weight of a master link is minimal, some riders who prioritize weight savings may opt for a chain without a master link to reduce the overall weight of their bike.
  • Potential Noise: In some cases, a master link can create a clicking or ticking sound when passing through the drivetrain components. This can be minimized with proper installation and maintenance.
  • Cost: Chains with master links may be slightly more expensive than chains without. However, the convenience they offer often justifies the added cost.

frequently asked questions (FAQs)

here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to removing a bike chain without a master link:

Why do some bike chains lack a master link?

  • Some bike chains, especially older or specific models, are designed without a master link for various reasons, including cost savings, weight considerations, or compatibility with certain drivetrain components.

Can I reuse the same chain pin when reinstalling the chain?

  • It’s not recommended to reuse the same chain pin when reinstalling the chain. Reinstalling the same pin may weaken it, potentially leading to chain failure. It’s advisable to use a new pin or a master link for reinstallation.

How can I determine the appropriate length for a replacement chain?

  • To determine the correct length for a replacement chain, count the number of links on your old chain. Ensure that the replacement chain is the same width as the old one and has the same number of links.

What should I do if the chain pin is stuck during removal?

  • If the chain pin becomes stuck, avoid applying excessive force, as this can damage the chain tool or chain pin. Carefully inspect the chain tool for alignment and consider applying some penetrating oil to loosen the pin.

Can I remove a chain without removing the rear wheel?

  • In most cases, it’s more convenient to remove the rear wheel to create slack in the chain and facilitate its removal. While it’s technically possible to remove a chain without removing the wheel, it’s often more challenging.

What should I do if my bike chain keeps falling off during rides?

  • Frequent chain derailments could be due to issues like worn chainrings, cassette, or derailleur components. It’s essential to inspect and replace these components if necessary. Proper derailleur adjustments can also help prevent chain drop.

You should feel more prepared to fix and maintain your bike after reading our comprehensive guide. We apologize if some of these instructions seemed unclear or illuminating; we made every effort to present them in a straightforward and helpful manner.

The condition of a bicycle chain may be evaluated with a chain gauge. A chain loses its effectiveness as it expands. Your chain will be good as new after a simple cleaning and lubrication. It’s better for the environment if we can avoid constantly replacing things.

Mark Webster is bike enthusiast and researcher in bike industry from last 15 years. Mark had been working in different bike manufacturing companies for research and development of new models. Mark has mission to make bike design safest for bikers. The dream of Mark is to make bikes too mainstream that we can reduce global carbon emissions.

Leave a Comment