How to remove a bike chain (with quick link installed)
Removing your bike chain can be handy when you need to clean it, or you are installing new components on your bike. If you’ve got a quick link, it’s a really simple thing to do – here’s the process you need to follow:
It’s always easiest to do any repair job with your bike in a repair stand if you have one
Locate your quick link – it will look a little different to the other links on the chain, so just inspect each link and you’ll find it easily enough.
Rotate your cranks until the link is at the lowest position, parallel to the chain stay. Make sure that you are in the smallest ring at the front and the smallest cog at the back to avoid the chain whipping when the link is opened.
You’ll need a set of master link pliers (you can pick them up for a few pounds) – place between the outer plates of the chain, with the quick link inbetween the pliers so that when you close them, it compresses the quick link. The links may open at this point, but if not, you might need to fiddle with them a little to get them open.
Carefully remove the chain, ensuring you don’t scratch your frame or components. Place the chain and the links in a safe place (unless you are going to clean them).
Once you’re ready to reinstall the chain, place the chain on the smallest rear cog and thread it through the front derailleur and place over the smallest chainring. Remember, some chains have an orientation so be sure to check manufacturer instructions on correct chain installation.
Feed the chain through the jockey wheels. There are small metal guides on the jockey wheel cage – the chain should be fed through the inside of these so that it sits between them and the jockey wheel.
Re-attach the quick link (one part on either side of the chain) and fit the two ends of the chain together. If you are unable to lock the quick release links by hand, rotate the chain until the quick link is in the highest position and parallel to the chain stay, apply the rear brake and rotate the crank at the same time to lock the link.
Shift up and down the cassette to ensure the chain is properly fitted. If the chain is moving freely through the mechanisms, you are ready to hit the road/trails 🙂
Remember to always check manufacturer instructions on how to properly install specific components and parts.
Check out this quick video of the process on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/nnkuZIPV3Pg