Quick Link Removal
They are a clever piece of modern bike technology, simple and effective, but they can be a real pain to remove once they are fitted. Quick links can prove to be quite stubborn to remove by hand, especially ones that have been on a chain for a long time. I have managed to get a few off by just pushing the chain links together, but generally this method won’t work. The worst thing to do would be to damage or break your chain, so don’t use any other tools to try and bend or push the link out.
Just a Gear Cable
Normal pliers won’t work, so you need to buy a special pair of quick link removers, like these ones. However, if you’re stuck on the side of the road, or need to get the link off pronto here is a video showing how I removed a link without using special pliers. I would recommend buying the specialised pliers if you want to do it the best way, but this method in the video does actually work.
This method should be a fairly easy way of pulling apart the link that is locked into your chain. Because the 2 quick link plates need to be pulled in opposite directions, a gear cable can be wrapped around the link, doubling the wrap makes it more secure, and then you will have the two ends of the cable in your hands. By pulling these two ends apart, you are essentially releasing the links from their locked positions. It may be possible to do this by hand, or by using two pliers for more force.
Choose the Correct Quick Link
There are different quick links for different chains, so they should match and for best compatibility it’s best to buy the brand that makes your chain. If you have an old 6 x 2 speed, you shouldn’t use an 11 speed quick link. Many vintage bikes will still have their original pin-secured chains on them, or at least older chains that were secured by this traditional method. Today you have the choice to use either type of chain, so if you have a traditional chain tool you can still choose which chain is best for you.