How to Fit a Shimano Chain

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How to Fit a Shimano Chain

Shimano, Incorporated is a Japanese manufacturer of cycling and other types of equipment, including fishing tackle, golf supplies, and rowing components. The company's bicycle component sales comprise fifty per cent of the global market. The line includes cranks, chainrings, cassettes, wheel hubs, chains, and more. Cyclers interested in proper bicycle function should follow certain guidelines when installing a new Shimano bike chain to their derailleur, hub, or cassette.


Types of Shimano Chains

The Shimano line includes BMX, comfort, road, and mountain bicycles. The company offers different types of chains for each style of bicycle. Shimano offers a number of different bicycle models in each category. The type of chain required by the bicycle depends on whether it contains a hub, derailleur, or cassette system. Buyers should consult the owner's manual for proper specifications related to the cassette or chain assembly for their particular bicycle model.


Chain Construction

A bicycle chain includes a number of parts. Owners should understand the basic construction of the Shimano chain before attempting to remove and fit it.

Over time, chain pins wear out and do not engage the bicycle cogs properly. Further, as the pins wear out, the play in the links increases, causing stretch in the overall chain. Stretched chains are not safe and may cause damage to other components of the Shimano system if not replaced or fitted properly. Further, misaligned pins cause chain failure; fitting a new Shimano chain requires careful inspection to ensure no protrusion at the side plates.


Chain Tools

Removing and installing a Shimano chain requires a chain tool. The chain tool includes a driving pin and cradle which holds the chain roller. Certain models of chain tool have two cradles in which the primary cradle supports the chain plate. A tight link cradle is specific for repairing a tight link. Owners should refer to the instructions included with the chain to verify correct procedures before using the chain tool.


Removing Shimano Chain Pins and Chain

Shimano chain pins are preened, meaning their ends feature a mushroom effect that adds strength to the chain plates. The preening sheers off on the side pressed by the chain tool and the pin cannot be reused. If an old pin is reused in a new chain, the owner risks creating a weak link in the chain at that point. Shimano chains require a special replacement pin that has flaring. A tapered pilot guides in the replacement pin and must be broken off before riding.

The chain separates at the place where the pin is removed. Use the chain tool to push the pin from the chain plates and flex the chain toward the protruding portion of the pin.


Fitting and Sizing a New Chain

Remove the old chain and engage the shift levers until the front derailleur is at the largest chainring and the rear is at the smallest sprocket. Thread the new chain over the sprocket and chainring. Proper chain measurement includes the points at which the chain ends meet, plus two additional pin-holes of extra links. Cut the chain so that it ends with the inner plates. Fit inner plates into slightly opened outer plates; align the plate holes with the pin. Use the Shimano connecting pin to affix the chain once it is threaded onto the chainring and derailleur.

Newly installed chains are stiff but should offer free movement. Before a first ride, owners should verify proper chain alignment, pin placement, and tightness. Further, the pilot guide must be removed before the initial ride. Owners should refer to both the maintenance manual of their particular bicycle as well as the installation guide of the chain to verify fitting procedures.


How to Buy a Shimano Chain on eBay

There are many reliable sellers on eBay who offer Shimano chains and bike parts for purchase. Use the general search option to find Shimano items or narrow results quickly to your specific bicycle through the advanced search feature. Search by item condition, price, and type and if you require both a chain and chain tool, consider searching for sellers who offer bundled shipping options for shoppers with more than one purchase. To save on shipping costs, be sure to include your postal code.

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