Chain Extending

by kiemcd   April 17, 2014  


I recently changed my chain for the first time without getting the shop to do it, unfortunately the instructions I followed has led to the chain being too short to fit on the largest cog when on the big ring. Of course this is bad practise but for the times it happens by mistake I don't want to find a jammed chain.

It is a Shimano Ultegra chain currently joined together with a quick link. My question is, can I extend the chain using the pin that comes with the Shimano chain and keep the quick link in place. These will obviously be quite close together so I am unsure if this weakens the chain. My alternative is a new chain which I do have.

With thanks,

6 user comments

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you can, I dont remember the last time I saw a chain break at the QL or pin, but I would make the distance as far apart as you can, if you need 2 links, but have 10, I would cut the chain 8 links back and add all the spare links you have.

Also do a google on how to measure your chain, there is some good vids out there, but basically there are 2 standard methods and both work well

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
17th April 2014 - 8:36

1 Like

I have had to do this recently - still going strong...

If you have enough spare links I would shorten the chain further so there is a bit of a gap between the joining links and then add a longer length (rather than one link).

I have never had a good experience with the Shimano pins - two chain breaks at the pin. I must be doing something wrong but it shouldn't be so hit and miss.

I would therefore suggest using another joining link - SRAM Powerlinks are great.

posted by Pauldmorgan [185 posts]
17th April 2014 - 8:37


How many links do you need to put back in?

Your best bet is to go to the middle of the chain, take a chain breaking tool and stick in another quick link if it is just a case of one link.

I have a recumbent trike, it's chain is almost the size of three normal chains, I have four quick links in and never had an issue.

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
17th April 2014 - 12:00


Thanks for all the replies. The chain is fine on the 50/25 but jams the derailleur on the 50/27 so I am guessing 3-4 links but I might be wrong.

posted by kiemcd [3 posts]
17th April 2014 - 13:03


If its a like for like replacement, ie not changing cassette ratios, count the links of the old chain and replicate with the new. If you have a genuine link pin it shouldn't fail no matter where you put it in. I would (like the other comments) use as much of the removed part of the chain as possible as the pinned link maybe a little less flexible.
Youtube has many videos showing how to measure for a new chain length from scratch, its not as tricky as it sounds.

posted by Mart [109 posts]
17th April 2014 - 13:47


If you need to add one more set of inner plates and another set of side plates I would be tempted to take the inners and rollers with pins pushed all the way out and simply fix in place with another quick link.

posted by MKultra [286 posts]
17th April 2014 - 14:53