How to remove a bike chain without Master Link?


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Trying to break your chain? You might need to break your chain from the bike for many reasons. Repairing, tuning, or washing. But missing the master link AKA the quick release of the chain?

No worries, I am here to help you out. You can break a chain easily without any master link. Just keep going through this article and you will know how to do it.

First thing first for starters.

What is a Master Link in a chain?

A Master Link of a chain is a part of the chain which can be disconnect easily in order to break the chain.

How to find a Master Link in a chain?

It is different specially in color from the rest of the chain’s outer plates and rivet. Is usually is shiny.

How do I know if my chain has Master Link or missing it?

If you check your chain carefully, you will know if your chain has a master link. It usually is shiny than the rest of the chains.

Usually, SRAM chains have a master link. In Shimano Chain, all of it contains master link type pins. Buy a driver you can drive out or push in or can do doth by a chain tool.

Before breaking a chain, you need to know the four parts consisting of it.

  • Rivet or Pin
  • Inner Plate
  • Outer Plate
  • Roller

For breaking a chain all, we need is to pull out the Rivet or pin from a single link of the chain. For connecting it all you need to put the pin again.


How can I break my chain without a Master Link?

If you had a master link in your chain then breaking it is very easy. All you needed to do is to pull the two rollers of the master link to the center by pliers. Now as you are missing it you have to try out other ways.

For breaking your chain, first, you need to get it off from the sprockets and derailleurs. It will stop the chain from rolling and stay less motionless position while you try to disconnect it.

The ways of breaking a chain without a master link.

Using a Chain Tool/ Chain Breaker/ Rivet puller

Chain Tool or Chain Breaker whatever you call it is a very essential tool for a cyclist specially when need to get off the chain from your bike. With this tool, you can easily push out a rivet from your bike.

Just put a part of the chain correctly in place so that when you pull the lever of the chain breaker the pushed pin can get out smoothly by the hole of the opposite side. You can either get the pin fully out or to an extend where you can disconnect the chain.

It’s better to put a new pin in the disconnected part while you join them again. But no worries, if you don’t have a new rivet you can easily put the old one in place with the help of the chain tools.

This tool isn’t that expensive, in fact very much cheap and can find in any repairing or bike’s shop. Get one if whenever you can as it is a very essential tool.

Without any special tools, just a Hammer and nail

For applying this technique, you need some basic tools. These tools are

  • A Hammer
  • Anything with a sturdy small tip such as a Nail punch
  • Something with a hole to push out the pin

First, you need to figure out a way to lay down the bike in a position in which you can hammer the chain. Then put the chain in a sideways position on a wood or a brick where the pin or rivet can get out easily by not sticking anywhere else.

Then you need to place the nail punch or narrow screwdriver or whatever you can on the center of the rivet.

Now you need to tap the rivet with the hammer again and again until it pops out fully. This will remove the link from the chain.

For connecting the chain again, you can put the rivet back by hammering again. But not all chains support old rivets. For some kind of chain, you might need to get a new rivet as it deforms while breaking the chain.

Using saw or steel cutter

By using a saw or a cutter, you can easily cut off the chain from your bike. But this process is not recommended. It could deform and wicked the chain. Sometimes you even can’t connect the links to put the chain back again.

Putting the Chain Back

For putting the chain back, connecting it again, you can use a chain tool or hammer. But it is very easy if you get a master link. It is very cheap and helps you later while breaking the chain again.


1. How to remove a bike chain without a chain tool?

You know the answer to how to break a chain with a hammer and a needle.

2. How to break a bike chain without a tool?

Removing the master tool without chain pliers is a bit difficult but not impossible. You have to adjust the link in an angular way where you can pull out the master link but the force of the hand. It is a bit tricky and needs a lot of force.

3. How to remove a bike chain without breaking it?

It’s almost impossible to remove the chain from the bike with a rear derailleur. But you can easily remove it from a bike without any rear derailleur by being a bit tricky by pulling out the rear wheel.

4. Do all bike chains have a master link?

Nope, not all chains have master links. If your bicycle has derailleurs, it means it’s unlikely that your bike’s chain will have a master link.

5. How do you put a chain link back on a bicycle?

You know how you can put the link back as mentioned above.

6. How do I get rid of missing links without a tool?

By using a hammer and needle is the same way as shortening a chain.

7. Can you put 2 master links on a chain?

Yes, you can. But you have to place them far aside to avoid breaking your chain in the ride.

8. Do Shimano chains have a master link?

For years KMC, YBN, SRAM and Wippermann chains contained such links, But Shimano and Campagnolo chains held out and stuck with special replacement pins or rivets. But nowadays Shimano has chains with master links.

9. How do you break a chain with a master link?

It’s very easy as pie with the help of a chain pliers tool. The procedure is described at the beginning of this article.

Final Word of Advice

I hope you now know how you can take off the chain from your bike in several ways even if it is missing a master link. But be cautious while trying out these tricks. Wear thick hand gloves to protect your hands from any kind of accident and stay safe.