Usually, when breaking a bike with Shimano reinforced pin, the general recommendation is that you find the reinforced connecting pin but then move to another pin, a few links aways.

It is the "original pin" connected to this "other part of the chain" that will be pushed out of the chain, effectively breaking the chain.

As far as I understand, the reason for that is that the reinforced connecting pin relies on mechanical deformation of the receiving plate in order to stay in place. So far so good.

However, what happens when someone wants to break a Shimano chain to install a KMC or a Wippermann quick link?

  1. Should they break the reinforced link? or

  2. Should they break one of "common" pins?

Reason would tell me: Break the reinforced connecting link as that external plate holding the reinforced pin (which I assume is the part subject to deformation) will be discarded as part of the missing link install.

However, I could not find instructions confirming this.

Would anyone know?

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    I do not think it matters. Personally I would break the reinforced pin to have all links the same. Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 11:27
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    Shimano advises against breaking a chain at a connecting pin because the pin has widened the hole and a new pin will not be properly seated. They recommend breaking the chain at any other link. I would say that the best thing to do is breaking the chain at the installed pin, remove the entire link and reconnect the chain with a quick link.
    – Carel
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


You are correct, the pins have an interference fit in the outer plates only.

When a regular pin is forced out the hole in the outer plate is enlarged. The reinforced replacement pin has a slightly greater diameter than the regular pins and so forms a interference fit in the outer plate again. This is why you cannot replace the reinforced pin.

If a outer link with a reinforced pin is replaced with a quick link the deformed outer plates are discarded.

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