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Splitting Shimano HG53 chain

stuart_c-2stuart_c-2 Posts: 805
edited October 2009 in MTB workshop & tech
I've decided to take the chain off my bike to give it a proper clean and relube. The bike is currently on loan to me from a friend so have no manuals and therefore no idea on how best to split the chain. I have a chain tool. I have read some other posts about this chain having a main link pin. Is this the 1 I should use or avoid? I may well buy some powerlinks before do it as everone seems to use them.

So basically, where best to split the chain and should I put a powerlink in while I'm at it?

Guide me oh wise ones.
"I ride to eat"


  • Andy BAndy B Posts: 8,115
    The Shimano master links are single use only, so once fitted, they've been used.

    Split the chain anywhere & use a powerlink to rejoin (you need to remove a set of outer links as a powerlink replaces these links)
  • Andy_B, nice one. Cheers.

    Is it overly obvious which 1 is the master link? You just know I'm going to randomly pick the 1 I shouldn't.
    "I ride to eat"
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    When you're installing a missing/power/quick link, personally I don't think it really matters which rivets you take out (as long as they are both in the same outer plate) just take them out and replace the plates and the two removed rivets with the missing/power/quick link. Then again I have (only once, in an emergency) re-used a connecting pin, which is another big Shimano no-no with no problems (apart from trying to get it back in without the snap off section).

    However Shimano think different and explain in this Service Instruction how to identify the different pins. ... 686193.pdf
  • blorgblorg Posts: 1,169
    The connecting pin is a different colour and has a slightly different indentation to it. It's pretty obvious which one it is if the chain is clean. You are specifically NOT meant to push this one out and rejoin in that place, you are meant to push a normal link out and rejoin with a new connecting pin.

    Personally I clean the chain on the bike and Shimano specifically advise against removing a chain to clean it (presumably as it tends to weaken it.) I tried it once (chain in a bottle method) and it was an unholy disaster, gunk everywhere and chain ended up no cleaner. A good clamp on cleaner like the Park one works very well.
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