Removing your bike chain is always a hassle, whether it’s for a repair or just for regular cleaning of your two-wheeler. But not with master links. This quick-release segment of your bike makes chain replacement, detachment, and attachment super-easy. In fact, you won’t even need a chain tool to disconnect your bike chain!
Now, the question is, do all bike chains have a master link? No, not all bike chains come with master links. You’ll find them on BMX bikes and single-speed bikes. If a 3-speed town bike has internal gears, it might also feature master links. Typically, bikes with more sprockets lack this extra-wide quick link.
Let’s explore more about master links and find out how to locate a master link on your bike.
How to Tell If Your Bike Has Master Link?
Master links come in many different styles, sizes, and shapes. The easiest way to tell whether the bike chains have master links is to inspect them visually. Traditional master links connect to the side plates with a clip or pin. Usually, the pin or clip has a slightly darker color, making it easy to locate.
So, if you notice any dark clip or pin going through the usual brass-colored side plates, your bike does have a master link.
As for modern master links, they don’t have any attachment pins. Instead, the exterior plates of the master link come in a different color than the bike chain plates.
Another way is to measure the space between the link plates of your bike chain. If the gap is 1/8 inch or wider, the chain features an extra-wide master link.
How to Locate Master Link on A Bike Chain?
First things first, you must know what a master link looks like if you want to locate it. A master link consists of two exterior plates similar to those of a bike chain. Here, the difference is that the master link is wider than regular chain link plates and is often in a different color.
Now, follow the step-by-step process below to locate the master link easily.
Step 1: Gather Necessary Equipment
Luckily, you won’t need any fancy tools for this job. All you need is a bike stand. It will help you to have a better look at the lower parts. You won’t have to strain your bike as well if you use a stand.
However, in case you don’t own a bike stand, or you’re in the middle of the road, you can just flip your bike to a side to access the lower components. Let the bike be stable on the saddle and handlebars before proceeding to the next step.
Step 2: Select A Suitable Position
Choose a position from where you can easily access the bike chain. It’s better to stand or kneel in the drivetrain area. This will allow you to look straight on the bike chain and move freely.
Step 3: Turn The Pedals
Now, turn the pedals slowly so that the chain rotates. Closely inspect each chain link as they pass by. If you notice a darker or lighter exterior plate, it’s probably the master link.
Also, it will be wider and thicker than the regular plates. You can use brighter lights to quickly locate the master link.
So, do all bike chains have a master link? There you have the answer. Typically, the BMX and single-speed bikes have master links for easy detachment of the bike chain.
The wide size and deep color of the master link make it easier to locate. Follow our detailed guide to find out whether your bike chain has a master link or not.