Remove Chain Master Link. How to Find, Remove With Recommended Tools?

Do you want to know how to remove chain master link in your bike? If you have a bicycle, then this is something you must know. Removing chain master link is different for different types of chain links. There are generally Shimano, SRAM and Clip-style or C-style master links. From these three, SRAM is most commonly observed in bicycles. 

It would help if you had the understanding to remove master link from your bike. Even when this is simple, it can be quite challenging for a novice. However, initially, you need to find master link on bike chain. To help you better understand, we will look into a comprehensive guide. 

There can be a hundred reasons for removing the bike chain. If you are in such a situation, you need to know how to remove a master link. Doing something without knowing everything about it can lead to more disastrous conditions. 

Professional bicyclists need to have the tools ready to remove the bicycle chain master link. Since it is very common, you must be aware of techniques. So, without any further ado, let us look at how to remove the chain master link. 

Remove Chain Master Link

There is a need to know the different types of master links. You will mostly find these three types of master links on the bicycles. 


Shimano is a type of master link that can be a tough one. It is hard to remove and mostly confuses the new cyclists. Thus, we will first look into bicycle chain master link removal for the Shimano master link. 

Shimano is not a master link in reality. This chain enables you to take any rivet from the link. It is a great thing about this chain. However, this can be not easy when you don’t have a tool. You can find a screw-type chain tool available on Amazon to ease the removal process. 

The previous master rivet link was easier to remove as it looks a lot different from other pins. Please consider that you must not take off the older master links as they can wear down the joint. 

SRAM is one of the most commonly seen kinds of master links. If you wish to know how to remove master link, you need to know its way. There is a need for a tool to remove SRAM master links. It is the Quick Link Chain Remover tool.

This is a lot different from the Shimano master link. So, you require searching for the master link on the chain itself. Like Shimano has the link, known as a quick link, SRAM is different. If you wish to remove bike chain master link, you might need to search a lot. 

The master link blends amazingly with the chain, which is why it becomes challenging. Check for a little gap that is available near rivets. You will always find a little bit of a gap. It is a quick link or SRAM master link. 

If you find them, you have to take them apart. You will find that the link would come off into two different parts. 

With a tool like Master Link Pliers available on Amazon, you can easily remove chain master link. If you don’t have a tool, you can still remove it, but it requires time and effort. 

Clip-Style or C-Style: 

You will not find the C-style master links pretty easily. These can mostly be found on single-speed bikes. It is not very hard to remove this style of master links. 

So now that you know about the different links let’s check out the way to remove master link bike chain. 

An Overview of master link removal for different Chain Links: 

Shimano Master ChainPark Tool Screw-Type Chain Tool – CT-3.2 Press the attached pin
SRAM Master LinkPark Tool Chain Link Pliers Squeeze the adjacent links to secure the master link
Clip-Style “C-Style”A flathead screwdriverPush and slide to clip off the CLink

Shimano Master Chain: 

For removing the rivet pin, you need a Park Tool Screw-Type Chain Tool – CT-3.3 available on Amazon. This will take only a few seconds and save you from frustrations. 

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  • This tool has the attached pin, which will drive it down like a drill press. It forces the pin from the link and detaches its chain. 

Without the tool, it can be very challenging. However, let’s find a way to remove it. 

  • You will need a nail and hammer. It is not wrong, but it can be time-consuming compared to using a tool. 

The best part is that Shimano has included the quick link very recently. It can make life a lot easier for cyclists. 

As mentioned earlier, it is the most common type of link that can be seen on most bikes. To remove the master link, you will need the Park Tool Chain Link Pliers available on Amazon

  • You have to insert the prong ends of the tool into the master link’s adjacent links. 
  • Once you have done that, you need to squeeze in releasing the master link. 

If you don’t have a tool, you can still do it. You will need a shoestring which is commonly available with us. 

  • Thread the shoestring on both sides.
  • Cross the laces to each other.
  • Pull the ends of the shoestrings. 

It is one of the easiest and commonly found things that can perform the job. However, you can also use other pliers that are available at home. 

Clip-Style “C-Style”:

As mentioned earlier, this is not a common type.  

  • Removing master link bike chain will need you to look for a flat head. It will push and easily slide the clip, which is C shaped easily. 
  • After this, you will need to pull the second plate. 
  • Then pull the pieces consisting of both pins. 

A flathead screwdriver can work for this type of master link. 

So now that you know how to take off master link, you need to look at the way to find it. Being a novice can be frustrating to find master link on bike chain. 

How to find master link on bike chain?

If this is the first time you are removing master link, you will initially need to find the master link first. However, you must know that it is pretty easy. 

  • Put your bike on the work stand. 
  • Stand on the side of the drive train to find the area of the chain. 
  • Keep turning the pedals very slowly to find the link of the chain. 
  • If you notice properly, you will find that one of these links is wider than the others. 
  • Once you check properly and find the link, it is time to remove chain master link.


If you have the SRAM Master link, you need to take off the halves from the master link and keep it in a safe place. You might wonder what is so new about it! The reason is that if you lose one, you will not be able to perform the task. It can be even more frustrating. 

How to Understand a Bad Master link? 

If you have been using the cycle for a long time now, the chances are that the master link has gotten old. It would wear out if you don’t maintain it properly. However, even if you lubricate and maintain the pivot points and chain, it will lose its potential. 

The first sign of a bad master link is when it becomes loose. It can be due to the wearing down of the master link. You must know that chain stretch can result in digging the pin into the outer and inner plates. It can result in wearing down of metal. 

Not paying proper attention can result in causing havoc on rear gear cassette, chaining, jockey wheels, and pedaling efficiency. 

Final Verdict

Now that you know about the bicycle chain master link removal techniques for different links, you can do it easily. All you need is to know about the way and have proper tools to make the job easier. 
So make the master link removal on yourself and keep pedaling your dreams. 

About Martin

I am Martin, I am the author of this blog. My main interests include cycling. That's why this blog was created. I have always been interested in technology and how bicycles are made, so I built one myself.

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