40. How to Use a Quick Release Chain Link

Shows how to disconnect and reconnect two of the most common quick release chain links.

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How to Use a Quick Release Chain Link
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This video is available on DVD

Today we’ll learn how to use a quick release chain link. There are two common link types, for which all you need is a good set of pliers.

Type 1

The first type of quick release link is found on bmx and single speed chains. There are three parts: one link plate with two chain pins attached, a plate with no chain pins that slides on the other side, and a clip that holds the link together once installed.

Disconnect Type 1

To disconnect this type of link, place one jaw of your pliers on the chain pin, and the other jaw on the open end of the clip. Then squeeze your pliers until the clip pops off. Then you can remove the outer plate and slide out the rest of the link.

Reconnect Type 1

To reconnect, simply reverse the process: slide in the link with the chain pins, place the outer plate on the other side, and then put the clip back in place. This time place one jaw of your pliers on the closed end of the clip, and the other jaw on the opposing chain pin. Then squeeze them together until the clip snaps into place.

Type 2

The second type of quick release link is found on multi-speed chains. There are only two parts to this style. Each of the two plates are identical, and each has a chain pin on one end.

Disconnect Type 2

To disconnect this style, simply place the pliers on opposing ends of the link as demonstrated, and then squeeze the pliers together until you hear a click. Now you can slide both links out.

Reconnect Type 2

To reconnect this type you don’t even need any tools. Simply slide both ends of the link together and then rotate your chain on the bike until the quick release is on top and the pedal is facing forward. With both wheels on the ground, compress your brakes so your bike doesn’t move. Then step down on the pedal. It doesn’t take that much pressure to pull the links so they snap into place.

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