Sorry if my technical English is a bit imprecise.

I just put on new Shimano CN-HG53 chain. I joined the ends not with regular pin, but with provided reinforced one (like one of those below).

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The problem is the tip (end) of that pin is entirely outside the link now, and I should break it off. But it is so well made, that I cannot do this. With bare hands -- not possible at all. With pliers

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I move the pin tip up-down, but entire chain is rotating (even if I grab it with my hand). I could hold still chain with another pliers but I am afraid of damaging the link I would hold with pliers.

So what tool is required to break it off, and how to do it?

  • 2
    I've never done one (prefer SRAM links instead) but I've watched a bike mechanic do it a few times. IIRC he just took a pair of pliers and snapped them off -- it took all of about 3 seconds. Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 14:48
  • Thank you, apparently I am not that skilled, but with a little help I did it :-). Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 16:13

3 Answers 3


Ok, I did it! :-D I took two plates of steel, drilled a little hole in one of them (for the pin), then put the chain between them (pin goes through the hole of course). This served as vice, but because it was not mechanically clamped I could control the force.

Then I used pair of pliers, and without a sweat, pin snapped.

I used the same chain before, but I used regular pin, after a year it came out of the chain (partially), thus this time I used reinforced one. We'll see how good it is...


I've done it a few times on Shimano nine speed chains (for road bikes and mountain bikes) with no problems.

Are you sure it's the correct pin? Are you sure it's inserted fully?

If it's correct and fully inserted, then the gap cut into the pin should be fully visible outside the link. Here's how I do it:

  1. Hold the chain in one hand so that a few links are exposed as a small loop. One of these links should hold the newly-inserted pin. The portion of the pin to be removed should be facing towards you.

  2. Grab the pin with the pliers so that the pin & pliers are perpendicular.

  3. A quick, sharp, opposite direction twist of both wrists should snap the pin. There will be resistance, but it will snap.

If all goes well, the pin will break so that the remaining portion is flush with the outer edge of the chain.


Two points not made in other answers.

1) Made sure the pin has gone through the chain first. The pointy end goes right through and out the other side. This is the bit which gets snapped off.

2) I have used sidecutters or pliers to cut the pokey bit, or I've also used bullnosed pliers, but pulled them back toward the chain in the horizontal plane rather than trying to pull the pliers around the chain.

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