I just installed a new Shimano 105 11sp chain on my bike using a park tool chain tool to put in the pin. But I screwed it up 3 times 🙄. After each time, I popped out the pin and used a new pin (ended up using 4 pins). Is it safe?

I only ask because I didn't know if by pushing so many pins through the link I may have opened the link hole too much or something.

On the 4th time, I pushed the pin a little too much so the link was tight, so I rotated the chain tool around and gave it a 1/32 turn to push it back a quarter-hair.

If you must know how the hell I did it wrong so many times:

  • time 1: Inserted the pin from wrong direction & and it was outside one of the jocky wheel tabs
  • time 2: outside one of the jocky wheel tabs
  • time 3: outside one of the jocky wheel tabs (yep, it was early and I seriously just popped out the pin and put a new one without fixing it)
  • 1
    What does 'outside one of the jocky wheel tabs' mean? Do you mean outer chain plates? May 25, 2018 at 15:42
  • 1
    No, there are tabs at the jockey wheels on the derailleur that keep the chain from falling off the wheels. I didn't thread the chain through properly so it was riding on the tab and not the wheel
    – Adam Meyer
    May 25, 2018 at 15:48
  • The tabs at the jockey wheel are part of the rear derailleur cage, bent over to keep the chain in. I've made the same mistake but unscrewed the jockey wheels instead of breaking the chain. On some RDs you don't have to complete remove the screws.
    – Chris H
    May 25, 2018 at 15:51
  • 2
    I did the thing with the jockey wheels tabs last week -- dumb! The thing to do is to not re-break the chain in the same place, but break at least several links away from the last spot. May 25, 2018 at 17:39
  • 2
    Consider adding a quick link or two to your on-bike toolkit in case of breakage later.
    – Criggie
    May 26, 2018 at 3:23

1 Answer 1


You should never break the chain at the connecting pin. Once a connecting pin is in there, it should not be removed.

Removing a regular rivet enlarges the holes in the chain plates slightly. A connecting pin has a slightly greater diameter than a regular rivet so it fits properly. When you push out the connecting pin the holes get enlarged slightly again, so now a new connecting ping is slightly too small.

So you have weakened the chain and run a increased risk of breaking it. You'll have to decide if you want to take on that risk. Personally, I would fix the chain for peace of mind.

If you want to fix it you have a couple of choices:

  1. Replace the damaged chain links with new links from the small length of chain left over when you shortened the new chain, using two new connecting pins, and being extra careful to not screw it up this time.

  2. Replace the damaged outer chain links with a Shimano Quick Link. Beware that most quick links are one-time use so make sure the chain is routed properly before completing installation.

I recommend #2

BTW, if you threaded the chain through the derailleur cage incorrectly, you can remove one cage side plate instead of re-breaking the chain.

  • 1
    Sometimes you can disassemble the derailer, sometimes not. May 25, 2018 at 17:40
  • 5
    @DanielRHicks if you do disassemble the derailleur to re-thread the chain, make sure to use loctite thread locker on the jockey wheel screws, otherwise the derailleur could spontaneously disassemble itself in the near future.
    – Rider_X
    May 25, 2018 at 19:19

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