While breaking the chain, I pushed the pin too far and pushed it out completely. Now the chain is too short. How do I re-insert this pin, or should I look for other options.

6 Answers 6


What type of chain - Shimano have chain connector pins for exactly this task for many of their chains. Note the pin must exactly match the chain. If you have a length of the same chain (I always keep the left overs when I put ion a new chain) break the chain again and remake the chain with the leftovers.

I have (in desperation - bike shops 100km away, no spare chain parts), used a vice and pointy grips to do press the pin in - the repair was dodgy but got us on the road.

Alternately, use a quick link or a new chain.

  • 1
    Chain is Shimano 105 10-speed. I didn't know you could purchase the break-apart pins separate from a new chain. Might be good to have a few of these spare. In the end I took links from an extra chain. Tried the dodgy operation, and lost the pin when it flew out of my pliers! Aug 24, 2014 at 22:56
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    Wipperman makes 10 speed quick links, which are probably most convenient. Splicing in another segment of chain is likely the easiest option since those shimano pin things are annoying.
    – Batman
    Aug 25, 2014 at 1:27
  • A decade later, my answer changes - use a quick-link.
    – mattnz
    Feb 13 at 20:09

I always carry the cutoff from a new chain (or a few links of it) in my kit. Take the chain apart at the next link down from where you lost the pin (being more careful this time) and then take two half-links from the cutoff and install them.

And, while you have that cutoff piece handy, do a trial to see how many turns of the crank it it is to take the pin almost all the way out, write down than number, and store it with the tool.

Or just use quick links.


Easiest way to put the pin back?

Pull the link apart just enough to set the pin from the inside. Make sure one side is straight and tap it in with a hammer. Flip it over and tap the other side in.

Can do it in about 30 seconds and no hootin' and hollerin'


I just tackled one of these myself, so I thought I'd share my alternative experience.

I am short on tools, so in absence of a decent pair of pliers/hammer, I put the pin inside the inner chain to hold it in place and positioned it on top of one of the outer chain's legs (resting on the ground or an elevated surface). Note that this might require you to reposition/turn the outer chain's legs so that you can access the the hole from straight up. Then take a flat, metal surface (I used a dull bread knife) and place it on top of the pin positioned over the outer chain hole. The idea is just to apply a lot of pressure at as straight an angle as possible. Since it's a flat area you are applying force on, you can really put some muscle into it. For me, the pin slid in a bit within a few tries of repositioning.

From there on, as soon as it's a bit in, it's the traditional stuff.


I know this is an old thread, but figured I’d chime in since I just went through this. I was able to get the pin back in the outer link. I followed a similar route to AccidentalBiker. I was in my garages and not on the road, but ultimately used the chain, pin, the chain tool, and another delinked chain! No knives or pliers or hammers or muscle! Just an excess of fretting and cursing.

Essentially, I put the pin in the barrel hole of the inner link, which I placed in the upper notch of the chain link tool (closest to the crank); I then placed the outer link of the same chain on the lower notch of the tool so the holes were lined up, and cranked the tool until the pin pressed firmly against the outer link (I wiggled the outer link around until I felt a click so I knew it was mostly aligned); then I took another chain and fit the inner link of that chain into the lower notch inside the primary chain’s outer link—this keeps the outer link from bending and flexing; Then I went alternating 1/4 turn, wiggling the links in the lower notch, 1/4 turn again, back and forth until the pin began sliding back into place. When I felt it connect, I just took out the other chain, and re-linked the primary chain as normal.

Picture featuring my basic approach. I needed something solid to keep the outer link from bending, and happened to have extra chain links (not pictured), but it could’ve been anything

^ Picture featuring my basic approach. I needed something solid to keep the outer link from bending inward, and happened to have extra chain links (not pictured), but I could’ve used anything that fit.


In an emergency, you could always push out the pin of the next link (not fully, obiously) and reattach it where you removed the first pin. You'd lose a link (and possibly a gear) but you'd be able to ride home.

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    In most cases, this results in a too short chain which can be dangerous (hence emergency only). In most cases, however, the other answers are much better options. In any case, if you have a little saddle bag, a few spare links isnt a bad thing to have on hand (or a few quick links).
    – Batman
    Aug 25, 2014 at 23:28

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