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  1. #1
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    How to find the master link on my chain???

    I got my SRAM 9-Speed Powerlink in the mail and want to put it on my Shimano HG73 chain. Have trouble finding the master link however. Any advice?

    I know it really doesn't matter where you put it on the chain, but would like to know how to find the master chain link for future reference.
    Congressman Earl Blumenauer once said: "Let's have a minute's silence for all those Americans who are currently sitting in traffic on the way to the gym to ride a stationary bicycle."

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    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    I know what you mean, It's actually pretty tough to see once it's been on the chain and ridden for a while! What I do is spin the pedals slooowly backwards and look for it. The thing to look for is the "gap" around the pins (which is what allows you to break the link by hand). Hope that helps.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    Isn't it gold?

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    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barba
    Isn't it gold?
    Yeah, I think the 9-speed SRAM quick links *are* gold. I know that a silver quick link isn't easy to spot on a black chain, however, so I'm not sure how much color helps.
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    oh, sorry I must have worded it wrong. What I meant was how do you find the master link on the original Shimano HG-73 chain. If I can find the original master link, I can remove it and replace it with the PowerLink. Sorry for any misunderstanding.
    Congressman Earl Blumenauer once said: "Let's have a minute's silence for all those Americans who are currently sitting in traffic on the way to the gym to ride a stationary bicycle."

  6. #6
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h2o_polo_boi
    oh, sorry I must have worded it wrong. What I meant was how do you find the master link on the original Shimano HG-73 chain.
    There *is* no master link on Shimano chains I would've thought that was the reason you bought an aftermarket link!
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    There *is* no master link on Shimano chains I would've thought that was the reason you bought an aftermarket link!
    Great! Thanks for the clarification.
    Congressman Earl Blumenauer once said: "Let's have a minute's silence for all those Americans who are currently sitting in traffic on the way to the gym to ride a stationary bicycle."

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h2o_polo_boi
    I got my SRAM 9-Speed Powerlink in the mail and want to put it on my Shimano HG73 chain. Have trouble finding the master link however. Any advice?

    I know it really doesn't matter where you put it on the chain, but would like to know how to find the master chain link for future reference.
    Look for a pin that's a different color than the rest. Replace the wide link that's connected by that pin.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MudPie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    There *is* no master link on Shimano chains I would've thought that was the reason you bought an aftermarket link!
    I don't know why Shimano does not offer a masterlink in their chains. Initially (5+ years ago), I switched to SRAM chains because of the powerlink feature, and I will never go back to a Shimano chain (unless they offer a master link feature). Too many pros with the SRAM Powerlink.

  10. #10
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudPie
    I don't know why Shimano does not offer a masterlink in their chains. Initially (5+ years ago), I switched to SRAM chains because of the powerlink feature, and I will never go back to a Shimano chain (unless they offer a master link feature). Too many pros with the SRAM Powerlink.
    Yeah, it's bizarre. And why do Shimano chains need those stupid replacement pins? It's even weirder because their chains are made by KMC, and most KMC chains have quick-links.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member MudPie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    Yeah, it's bizarre. And why do Shimano chains need those stupid replacement pins? It's even weirder because their chains are made by KMC, and most KMC chains have quick-links.
    Wow, I didn't know about the Shimano/KMC connection. Using a chain breaker and those replacement pins seem so 1980s-ish.

  12. #12
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudPie
    Wow, I didn't know about the Shimano/KMC connection.
    Neither did I! I was convinced Shimano makes their own chains - go figure?!

    Quote Originally Posted by MudPie
    Using a chain breaker and those replacement pins seem so 1980s-ish.
    Don't knock the 80's! That was a good time with fine music and the home computer frenzy was in full swing - ahh.. nice memories

  13. #13
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    The 10 speed Shimano chains seem to be especially susceptable to failure at the special prelacement pin. It is a stupid system, and the likelyhood of misinstallation seems to be unacceptably high.

  14. #14
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barba
    The 10 speed Shimano chains seem to be especially susceptable to failure at the special prelacement pin. It is a stupid system, and the likelyhood of misinstallation seems to be unacceptably high.
    This is only true because most people don't pay attention to details. There are two different 10 speed ampules. The 7800 and the 7801. They are not compatible. Using the wrong one will cause the chain to fail. Also failing to orient the chain properly when assembling is problematic. On the lower section of chain, when apart, the outer links should be open to the rear, not the front. They don't know why this works better, but their team mechanics in the field have found it's just better.

    Having said that, I stock very few Shimano replacement chains. We prefer Sram and KMC. The KMC links are not intended to be reused. Sram were, but this has changed with the advent of their new 10 speed chain. From now on, if you want the ability to pop your 10 sp chain apart quickly, you'll need to obtain the appropriate Wippermann/Connex link.

  15. #15
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1
    Having said that, I stock very few Shimano replacement chains. We prefer Sram and KMC. The KMC links are not intended to be reused. Sram were, but this has changed with the advent of their new 10 speed chain. From now on, if you want the ability to pop your 10 sp chain apart quickly, you'll need to obtain the appropriate Wippermann/Connex link.
    Is there *any* advantage of the Shimano chains??? They don't shift better, they look ugly, and they're a pain to take apart and put back together.

    Also, why aren't the KMC/SRAM quick links supposed to be reused? I've reused all manner of them on 7/8/9 speed chains, though I haven't used 10 speed chains myself.
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  16. #16
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    Is there *any* advantage of the Shimano chains??? They don't shift better, they look ugly, and they're a pain to take apart and put back together.

    Also, why aren't the KMC/SRAM quick links supposed to be reused? I've reused all manner of them on 7/8/9 speed chains, though I haven't used 10 speed chains myself.
    I can't point to any specific reason for using a Shimano chain above another.

    KMC uses what is called a "Missing Link". It is designed for assembly only and not intended for reuse. Check out the KMC site.

    Sram has always featured a reusable link, but not on the new 10 speed chain.

  17. #17
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1
    I can't point to any specific reason for using a Shimano chain above another.

    KMC uses what is called a "Missing Link". It is designed for assembly only and not intended for reuse. Check out the KMC site.

    Sram has always featured a reusable link, but not on the new 10 speed chain.
    Hmm... I've always reused the KMC missing links in the same way as with SRAM quick links. They are nearly identical in appearance so I figured they were functionally identical as well. Haven't had any problems with this, I might add.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1
    This is only true because most people don't pay attention to details. There are two different 10 speed ampules. The 7800 and the 7801. They are not compatible. Using the wrong one will cause the chain to fail.
    I recently bought shimano 10 speed pins from PBK. When checking out their supersize picture of the product, prior to order, I specifically looked for CN-6600 compatibility. Right to go, so I ordered. Well actually NO, when they arrived they were CN-7800 pins which do not have the 3 groves on the brake off end.
    After emailing them they have actually credited my CC & I still have the pins. Seemed silly as they did not even sell CN-7800 chains.
    Edit:- Just checked their site & now they currently do not offer any 10 S shimano pins.

  19. #19
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Don't knock the 80's! That was a good time with fine music and the home computer frenzy was in full swing - ahh.. nice memories
    Yeah, the good ol' days...


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