I put master link on my bike and it keeps falling off the chain or snapping. The chain makes clicking noises or gets stuck then jumps off crank or the link snaps off. There's less than 5 miles on the chain is there any way to repair it without a chain tool? I've never used a snap on master link and usually use the traditional linking through pins.

  • 2
    There are several varieties of master link/pin. Pictures would help. The master link is actually opening up and the chain comes apart? Or it just hops off your drivetrain? Apr 13, 2017 at 17:52
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    Sounds like you haven't actually snapped in the master link fully. For example, on a KCM master link, you have to pull the chain taut to lock the master link in place. (See kmcchain.com/en/images/upload/images/…) However normal force during pedaling should have done this. What type of link are you using?
    – Ross
    Apr 13, 2017 at 17:52
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    You like have the wrong master or and installing it incorrectly. A picture with chain size and name of master link would help.
    – paparazzo
    Apr 13, 2017 at 18:16
  • @Ross - you have to lock it in place by hand. If you don't do it, theres a chance it will unlock.
    – Batman
    Apr 13, 2017 at 19:42
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    @user32304 - Did you also post this question? Snap on master links were essentially phased out in the 7 speed days AFAIK for the current type (e.g. SRAM power link).
    – Batman
    Apr 13, 2017 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


Sounds like your chain is not suitable for the master link, or the master link is not closing right.

There's no need to use a master link if you prefer to use the more traditional pins. If you only ever take a chain off to change it, the advantages of a master link are not relevant.

Its possible to use sliding lockjaw pliers to push a pin in, but you run the risk of twisting it and making a poor seat. Buy a chain tool if you're serious about riding a bike, or ask around other riders who may have one already.

If you can provide more info on your master link (like a clear photo) then it may be obvious to the rest of us what is happening.

  • "There's no need to use a master link if you prefer to use the more traditional pins." - This is false. Manufacturers specifically provide them because pushing the pin out and pushing it back in can not sufficiently close up a chain (especially in 10-11 speed), which can lead to chain failure. This is why you should close the chain according to manufacturer instructions (master link for SRAM/KMC, special rivet for shimano, etc.).
    – Batman
    Apr 17, 2017 at 3:58
  • @Batman Fair point - By "traditional pins" I meant the replacement use-once pins that shimano offer, as opposed to pushing out and back in on the same pin. OP hasn't told us how many gears his bike has.
    – Criggie
    Apr 17, 2017 at 10:39

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