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  1. #1
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    Master link versus connecting pin on Shimano chain

    My shop built my bike up and insisted on a master link instead of the standard Shimano connecting pin. They said it was far stronger and they only use master links when building new bikes.

    Truth or just an opinion of one shop owner? I've been running connecting pins on Shimano chains since 1988 and haven't had problems. Of course, those were 6-speed chains back then...
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  2. #2
    Plays with tools
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    That's just the incorrect opinion of the shop owner. In 15 years as a professional mechanic I've never seen a Shimano instal pin fail. I'm sure Shimano has tested master links and found they weren't a better way to do it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    That's just the incorrect opinion of the shop owner. In 15 years as a professional mechanic I've never seen a Shimano instal pin fail. I'm sure Shimano has tested master links and found they weren't a better way to do it.
    +1. Shimano connecting pins are rock solid and hard to get wrong.

  4. #4
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    I've been using SRAM quick links with SRAM and Shimano chains on Shimano drivetrains for 15 years, both road and MTB (all 9 speed), never had a single problem. I prefer using quick links because my OCD kicks in hard when I try to center the Shimano pins properly in the link :-)

  5. #5
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    Zero problems with connecting pins. They're only inconvenient if you have a habit of taking the chain off the bike before it's time to replace it, but that's another argument for another time.

    Master links simply make the drivetrain easier to dissemble for deep cleaning and make connecting the chain save an extra second or two. I truly have no preference between the two, just use what comes with the chain.

  6. #6
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    I've used and still use both on the very rare occasions I've had a chain failure its never been at a connecting pins / removable link, It wouldn't really bother me if that's what the LBS wants to do - but I don't think he has any solid evidence for his belief that quick links are stronger.

  7. #7
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    I am going I x 10 this week on my bike and need to remove the front derailleur. I have a shimano chain and need to break it to do so. Can I reuse the connecting pin?

  8. #8
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    No - don't split the chain at the connecting pin, split it 120' away. You either push the pin completely out and use a new connecting pin or dont push the link all the way out - just enough to remove the narrow link you can then push it back in after shortening the chain if required.
    With 7,8,9 speed chains the second method works fine - not sure whether it's recommended with 10 speeds and the pins seem to be in a lot tighter - so with 10 speed chains I've always used a quick link or a new connecting pin

  9. #9
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    Re: Master link versus connecting pin on Shimano chain

    NO you CANNOT REUSE a pin. Use a new one each time..........yea I know people who say they have, but I never have successfully.
    Never had a problem with a new one.

  10. #10
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
    Reputation: thomllama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    Truth or just an opinion of one shop owner?
    Truth, but only in the sense that the pins are more a pain to install correctly. I have seen them fail,.. but again.. user/installer error.. quick clips are much faster, easier,.. and dummy proof.. therefore stronger.

    I have never seen a quick link fail (though i have heard of them failing, but not often)

    I just prefer them as like others have said they make cleaning much easier and in a way encourage people to clean the chain and other drive train.

    I used to know a racer guy who was a masher and broke his ultra light chains during races a lot. Would buy 2 or 3 chains,.. break them at 3 or 4 equal spots. that way if he broke it during a race he'd just slap in a new section between the quick links, much faster than getting out a chain tool and dealing with it. He never broke a quick link so I got to say they are pretty solid
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
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    On my SS I have broken several quick links, never have broken a Shimano pin.

    There was a chain test done recently somewhere. The pin is stronger then a quick link, but usually only fails if the chain is past its usable life.

  12. #12
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    Ordered pins and a new chain tool. My current tool was bought at Duckwalls 30 yrs ago. Not sure if it would be compatible with 10 sp. Probably be fine, but the pins are a bit pricey and don't want to risk it.

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