3 Different Ways To Join Your Chain | Mountain Bike Maintenance
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3 Different Ways To Join Your Chain | Mountain Bike Maintenance

October 8, 2019

(upbeat music) – The chain is one of the most
important parts of the bike. It has to go through a
hell of a lot of stress. If it wasn’t enough that
it has to put up with the torque that your leg
power puts through it is also has immense twisting forces from all of the gear range. So, it’s not surprising that here and there you snap the chain. So here’s three ways to rejoin your chain. (upbeat music) Tools for the job:
you’ll need a chain tool or a multi tool that’s
got a chain tool on it, particularly one with
a second set of jaws. You’ll also need a bent
spoke or a third hand tool, a Shimano joining pin, a master link and a pair of pliers. (upbeat music) So there are three ways
to rejoin your chain using a dedicated Shimano pin, using the chain tool itself or using a powerlink. Now, these are really handy because you can pretty much just snap together a chain quickly. Great if you’re out on
the trail in the rain, perhaps in a race. They’re also really good because you can use them on
different branded chains. This one is made by Connex and is compatible with Shimano and SRAM. SRAM and Shimano also make
their own respective ones. This is how you use them. To start with, before
you use the powerlink you need to make sure you’ve got two male ends of the chain. If you’ve snapped your chain you may have twisted part of the link so make sure you remove those. Also, take note if you
take out too many links you’re not gonna be able
to use all of your gears so just be cautious of that. With the opposite sides
of the link in place you simply clip them together
and you pull them tight. As you can see, this one isn’t
pulling tight very easily so I’ve got a nice little
trick for you to do this. Cycle the chain until
this link is on the top and then you can use
the force of the pedals to click it into place. Here we go. Now you want to hold the back wheel. Ideally you would do
this stood over the bike. This is just for demonstration. And you just push down on the pedal. (upbeat music) This method is a classic
method of joining a chain using a proper chain splitting tool. I always prefer to look for one that’s got two sets of jaws on it. Reason for that is you’ve got one set that’s splitting the chain and the other set is
to remove a stiff link. I’ll show you how to use
both of those right now. When you’re splitting your chain and when you’re tightening it up in order to rejoin it correctly make sure you don’t draw
off the pin all the way out. You need to have enough on
the inside of the link here so you can snap the chain
links back together. Nice little tip for you to do at home here is make sure that you drive it out towards the outside of
the bike which means you’ve got access to
the tool from this side. Now it’s a case of
snapping the links together as you can see here. There we go. The next stage is to drive the pin back through using the chain splitter. The objective here is to drive the pin back through into the chain. Now you’ve got to be careful here. You don’t want to come out
too far on the other side so the chain pin isn’t
staying into the outer link. So just monitor it as
you drive it through. You will feel a slight hard push as it locates on the far side. It goes in nice and easy up til here and I can feel it just about to grip and push into the back side plate. Now I can see that and
it’s equal on both sides. If you look here, you’ll see the chain looks like it’s new almost. Now sometimes when
you’re rejoining a chain using this method you’ll get a stiff link. This is caused when you’re
pushing the pin through and it actually pulls
both the outers together quite tight on the inner roller. To remove that, what you do is you lay the chain into the next set of jaws which is a further away set from what you were just using and by applying pressure on the pin driver you’ll actually pull the outer
plate slightly further away. You only want to do this a minute amount. Literally like the tiniest hair of a turn will be enough just to free the link. As you can see that is nice and free. Ready to ride. (upbeat music) The third method for joining a chain is by using a Shimano joining pin. With a Shimano chain it’s important to use a joining pin or a master link rather than rejoining the chain using the existing pins in it. Now the reason for that is
the profile of the Shimano pin is slightly flanged at both ends and if you drive out an
existing pin in the chain and you push it back in again you’ll find it’s minutely smaller. The chain will still join but it will be a weak link and at some point it’s
definitely gonna fail. This is why Shimano have
these dedicated pins. They’re quite long and
you push them into place and you snap off the additional material. So to join a Shimano chain using a dedicated Shimano joining pin you need a male and a
female end of the chain. As before, if you snap your chain and it’s damaged in any way you need to remove those damaged links. Again, if your chain is
shortened by doing this to an extent that you
can’t use all of your gears just be cautious of that until you can add in some more links. Now it’s just using your
trusty third hand tool to help you join the chain up. That’s holding it nicely for me and I’m ready to put the pin in place. Note that all of the existing pins here on this chain this is how they look. See this darker one? This is an actual Shimano joining pin. One that was probably used to
start with to join this chain. I’m just lining the chain up. Then I’m just gonna
push the pin into place. As in the case of using the chain tool you want to drive the pin through and you’ll feel a natural
resistance where it stops. Stop right there. Chain is sat in the
first set of jaws here. I’m just gonna drive this pin into place. As I said, you’ve gotta pay attention when you’re doing this and you’ll feel it push
all the way through and there’ll be a nice, natural resistance when you get to the correct position. Which is… about there on this chain. So the chain is joined at this point. You’ll notice there’s a large part of the Shimano joining pin
poking out the back of the chain so if I move my third hand tool here I should be able to see this a bit easier. This piece simply snaps off. You’ve gotta be pretty careful doing this. You want to hold the chain
with both hands ideally because you don’t want it
to risk twisting, okay? Now use a pair of pliers. If you’ve got a multi
tool in your trail pack it’s kind of good to
have that sort of thing. And you just gently snap off the end. I’m going with the
direction of the chain here so it can’t add any sort
of twisting stress to it. I’m just gonna snap this off. And there we go. So the chain is joined successfully using the Shimano joining pin. However, just like any
other joining system you still need to check that you haven’t got a stiff link. Chances of that are pretty slim because of the design of the pin but here we go anyway. As you can see it moves nice and freely. Job done. Don’t forget to click here to subscribe. If you want to find out a bit more about replacing a chain, click up here. If you want to find out how to clean your drive
chain, click down here. Don’t forget to give us a
thumbs up if you like the video.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. #askgmbn Hi GMBN, is it possible to attach a chain guide to the bb area where the crank set is,in the Canyon Spectral model?

  2. Nice bike!! Guess you could do a video on how to select the right dropper post length though 🙂

  3. Shimano joining pin (just like one at 4:57) sucks major shit – broke my chain right where it was. Or someone assembling my bike could have been a half-ass and doing it wrong.

  4. I found positioning the shimano joining pin on the front ring when you snap it makes it a lot easier with less chance of bending the chain.

  5. But when you snap your chain it doesn't come apart. You need a chain tool to be able to get rid of the broken link so that you can use the quick link. It isn't easy to get that broken link/pins out of both chain ends. Chain tool is essential on every ride.

  6. Forgot to mention that the second method will definitely cause your chain to snap in the place you broke/linked it. NOT RECOMMENDED AT ALL. Just use a masterlink that matches your chain like this. Shimano on shimano. Sram on sram. KMC on KMC and Shimano. Note that I said ONLY Sram on Sram. I talk from experience and several broken chains

  7. #askgmbn How badly would you need to crash, in order to snap off your head tube on a carbon xc bike?
    #askgmbn When riding in extremely muddy conditions in the woods ( mostly pine woods), should I just keep on driving until the mud falls out by itself, or should I get the big chunks of mud out, that are blocking my RD from working properly?

  8. If you use method 2 make sure you check the chain regularly to start with – I didn't and broke my dropout because the chain snagged in the rear mech.

  9. Got my first enduro for the Welsh Enduro series at llandegla, any tips/tricks that I should do on race day? I.e. What to carry etc. Cheers

  10. I've heard that when inserting shimano joining pin from bike outwards due to snap off part tends to leave excess material which then grinds against cassette sprockets.

  11. you can use the jaws of the multitool to snap the extra bit of the Shimano pin. I do it all the time I have the same multitool

  12. Every time I buy a Shimano chain I throw the pin away. Quicklink is so much easier

    Shimano has a quicklink now too. Not sure if they include it with their chains though.

  13. or you buy a kmc chain it never brak I ride a lot and it never snap and you wil ride much longer whit the kmc chain

  14. I always carry two quick links and a couple of inches of chain for the simple reason I learned the hard way…….a lot of people don't know if you repair your chain too tight it can rip your derailleur clean off on a full sus doing a drop

  15. Rejoining a chain without a compatible Masterlink or Connector Pin will cause a weak link, which can fail. Only use this method as a last resort, just to get you home.

  16. Doddy is good presenter for sure, cant wait to see him riding… I hope that nice green canyon is his new bike. Yeah!

  17. Couldn't you loosen the tight link just as easy with the further away jaws or a "single jaw" chain tool? I watched the video a few times and can't see a difference.
    The other set of jaws is closer to the screw but looks to accomplish the same goal just as easy…. 🙂

  18. everyone knows the hack where you get two toothbrush and put them together to clean your chain. would it work if you got two brass or steel brushes and used that as there more heavy duty or would that wreck you chain

  19. I have a new HG93 (not even 100 km) that in an accident got hit in a link, I "fixed" it and next day my chain snapped off. I went to a local store and they told me master links doesn't work on that kind of Shimano chains, only the joining pins, also they told me that a chain (KMC for example) only can have at maximum 3 master links. Is that true? I bought the master link and I did 20k with the chain, no sound, no cracking, gears working and everything. Still … I think I should put the joining pins. How many joining pins can I put on a Shimano chain (in case of emergency)? Because I don't want to buy a chain THAT soon. Thank you

  20. The chain breaker on that Topeka multi-tool looked solid. The one on my Park Tool IB-3 has a flimsy pin driver. Looks like I need a new multi-tool.

  21. Thanks a lot!! I use to join Chains with Pin but the last chain came with power link and i didn't have the fucking tool.

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