I bought a chain riveting tool. Here is how it looks like:

bicycle chain tool

It works fine, I was able to push the rivet out of a test chain. But faced an unexpected difficulty: after I restore the rivet to it's proper position the chain link becomes very hard to move.

I think, the cause of this is that my tool is not as precise as those, used in the factory, when manufacturing the chain. And when I restore the rivet, I shift it a little bit from it's ideal position. It creates extra friction, not allowing the plates to move freely as they should.

enter image description here

Is it normal? Am I doing something wrong? Maybe, there are better tools?

  • That looks like a miniature tool, so yes there are other tools about. Try looking for a tool described as a "workshop" tool - these tend to be beefier but also heavier and not as portable. Ideal for sitting at home, not so good for taking on a ride.
    – PeteH
    Nov 5, 2014 at 8:50
  • A good mini tool is significantly cheaper than a cheap shop tool.
    – Batman
    Dec 2, 2014 at 16:04

4 Answers 4


This often seems to happen. Sometimes it helps to use the tool to push the rivet back out the other way a fraction of a mm.

If you are using a Shimano chain, then using the pins with a snap-off driver can help.

  • 1
    A simpler solution in many cases is to use a SRAM chain which has a quick link for <9 speed.
    – Batman
    Nov 6, 2014 at 12:20
  • 3
    @Batman You don't even need a SRAM chain. The powerlinks will work with any chain (of the same speed),
    – Holloway
    Nov 6, 2014 at 12:40
  • But then you have to buy the powerlinks separately, which becomes more expensive than just buying the SRAM chain in the first place.
    – Batman
    Nov 6, 2014 at 14:59

Read the instructions. After you push the pin in, you place the link over the left-most set of teeth (so that the teeth are between the plates) and give the crank about 1/2 turn. This loosens up the link.

(Note that you should be pushing the pin in the direction opposite of how you inserted it.)


Normally the solution is to wiggle the link a bunch and it loosens up. After installing the rivet, try flexing the chain in the direction of the rivet back and forth. If that doesn't work, use the other setting of your chain tool in order to loosen the link up (see the chain tool manual for details).

  • Haha, chain tool manual. I have a similar one, and it didn't come with one.
    – Vorac
    Nov 5, 2014 at 8:17
  • Well, its the same for nearly every tool - See the instructions for the Park Tool CT-5 (click resources then instructions).
    – Batman
    Nov 5, 2014 at 12:10

Loosen stiff link

Like somone else has said (I can't comment yet so I have to post as a new response) a common practice to loosen stiff links is to wiggle the chain back and forth around the stiff link, as shown with the red arrows. Also, putting some Triflow on the pin before you drive it back in will happy in the future. Really you should be using new chain pins or powerlinks.

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