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Bike Tools – A Spare Bike Chain Link

By Jo 2 years agoNo Comments

Choose to know what to do with a spare chain link…

Let’s gain some knowledge that will help when you are reaching for this particular bike tool under a little bit of time pressure and you need it to work the first time. All you want is for everything to go smoothly so you can get on your way, how hard could that be?

To ‘get ready’ you need to invest a little bit of time to understand your bike tools. Choose to know what to do then you can goRide with a SMILE.

What is a spare chain link?

A spare chain link is a spare part that you carry to assist with repairing your bike chain. It is a spare outer link for your bike chain. This spare part needs to match the size of chain you have on your bike.

On you bike you will be a 5 -12 speed bike (depends on the number of sprockets in your rear cassette). See know your bike chain for more details. You will need a spare link to match.

For example:  I have a 10 speed bike (10 sprockets in my rear cassette) I need a 10 speed chain link

Why do you use it? 

You will need to use your spare chain link to replace either a broken or twisted chain link. The damaged link or links is removed using a chain tool and then the spare chain link is used to replace the damaged link and reconnect the chain.

How do you use it?  

Carry a spare chain link that is the right size to match the bike chain you have. They are available in many different brands and the brand does not need to match the brand of your bike chain.

Reconnect a bike chain by using your spare chain link

Once you have removed the damaged outer link or links using your chain tools (this will mean removing 2 pins). See Bike Chain Tool

  1. Removing the damaged outer link with your chain tool will now give you a chain with an inner plate at both ends.
  2. Make sure the chain is traveling along its correct path. You do not want too much tension in the chain making it too hard to reconnect. Popping the chain on the small chain ring at the front should help. See know your bike chain 
  3. It is easiest to make the re-connection with the broken chain at the top. Use your spare outer link to reconnect the chain. Pop one half of the spare link onto the inner link on one end of the chain. Repeat with the other half of the spare link onto the other end of the chain – now bring them together. The pins/rivets will fit into into the larger circle. The chain link now needs to click into place. You can try to use your hands to pull apart. If it does not click into place
  4. Engage the back brakes with your right hand and push down on the pedal this should snap the link into place.

Note:  sometimes you may have a chain that has more than 1 link damaged or twisted. You will need to remove all the damaged parts and then use the spare link. You will have a shortened chain and this will limit the gears that you can use for the ride home. Avoid the chain being on the largest sprockets and chain rings.

2 inner links of bike chain

Removing the damage link/s will give you 2 inner plates.

The z of teh bike chain goRide

Make sure the chain is in the correct position. Find out more Know your bike chain

Connector link new bike chain

Make the re-connection on the top of the chain. Place the chain in the smallest chain ring to reduce tension. Insert spare chain link. Place the rivets into the larger holes.


The  link now needs to click in place. You can try to pull apart but the easiest is to engage rear brakes (right hand brakes) and push down on the pedal with your foot – like you are going to pedal the bike

get Ready and goRide –  Bike Tools – A spare Bike Chain Link

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Bike Tool Terms

Bike Tools – Bike Chain Tool

Bike Repair – How to fix a broken or twisted bike chain

Know your Bike chain

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