I just bought a new 11 speed Shimano chain online. The wide end of the chain had a flat pin half sticking in, I tried to use a chain tool to release it a bit allowing for more room to connect the other end of the chain. Instead I accidentally removed it completely.

Now I can't get it back in like the other chain connectors. Do I need a Shimano chain Connector or is there another way to do it?

Can I just get some of the left over chain and add it to the other end getting rid of the part with the pin I knocked out or is it required?


  • 1
    The lazy way is to buy some 11 speed compatible quicklinks or master links. Getting the pin back in is hard. You might be able to buy replacement snap-off 11 speed compat pins too, at your LBS.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 20:14

2 Answers 2


All Shimano chains I've fitted recently have come with a special connecting pin in the box, rather than a pre-fitted flat pin.

This dealers' manual for Shimano 11 speed chains only describes use of the bullet-shaped connecting pins: https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-CN0001-02-A-ENG.pdf

You can buy packs of 3 or more. Fit one then to avoid long walks, keep the others in your wallet or in your puncture repair kit.

  • Yeah that is what I did. It was very simple and its nice that they come in a pack of 3. Thanks. Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 16:59

On 10/11 speed chains, the tolerances are fine enough that you really should use the special connecting pin (Shimano) or special link (master link/quick link; e.g. SRAM , KMC) provided with the chain for closing it. Its good advice for lower speed chains as well, if you have the pin/link.

Re-fitting the existing pin increases chances of the chain failing at that location. While manufacturers only recommend you use their pin/link, manufacturers like KMC sell their Missinglink (brand of special link) for use with other manufacturers' chains. These are handy to have around, regardless of who made your chain (e.g. if your chain breaks in the wild; I keep one in my work bag just incase if my chain breaks).

  • 1
    Even with the special Shimano pin, fitting is a high precision that can easily be messed up. I did not only use a KMC Missinglink on the 11sp chain, I've taken the chain as well. Which I don't regret as it has lasted 3600km so far versus 1500 for the other brand. (I don't get any money from KMC! ;) )
    – Carel
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 15:12

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