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How to Find the Master Link on a Bike Chain – 3 Simple Steps

Written by Gary Johnson / Fact checked by Henry Speciale

how to find the master link on a bike chain

Masterlink is an important component of your bike chain. It is a quick-release link because it provides an easy attachment and detachment system for the chain. You can use the master link when changing your chain or doing bike repairs.

It is important to determine where the master link is located. This will help you remove your bike chain a lot faster and easier without even using a chain tool. Knowing how to find the master link on a bike chain can also make bike chain repair less tedious.

Things You Need for This Tutorial


Finding the bike chain master link or master rivet is simple if you have the right tool in your work area. A bike stand is not required but can make the process more convenient and easy. A bike stand gives you better access and view when inspecting your bicycle chain.

When searching for the master link, it is essential to know what the master link really looks like. The master link normally consists of two exterior plates similar to the outer plate of a regular chain. The color of the master link is also different compared to the rest of the chain links.

The master link can be of two types. You may find a rivet-style master link or a clip-style master link. Depending on the brand and product model, the style of the master link differs.

The rivet-style master link is preferred among bikers. It is highly durable and makes the bike chain secure and tight. If you want to be a professional biker or you plan to make this hobby long-term, using a rivet style master link is advisable.

A clip-style master link, on the other hand, gives users convenience. It is easy and safe to install, unlike the rivet style. For beginners and amateur cyclists, a clip-style master link is what we recommend. It provides a convenient setup but less secure attachment compared to the rivet style.

Finding the Master Link


Step 1: Use a bike stand

If you want to locate your bicycle chain master link, it is vital that you get good access to the lower components of your bike. Using a bike stand allows you to have a better view of the bike chain. Furthermore, with the use of a bike stand, you will not compromise your posture when working. Your lower back will not be strained with the use of proper equipment.

In case you do not have an available bike stand, you can just simply flip your bike upside down. Ensure that the bike rests on its handlebars and bike saddle. You have to make sure that the position of the bike is stable before locating the master link. This will prevent any untoward incident that may harm you or damage the bicycle itself.

Step 2: Stand on the drivetrain side of the bicycle

Once your bike is properly positioned, you can stand on its drivetrain area. With this setup, you will be able to look straight down on the chain. You can have better access to the bike chain as well as the master link.

Step 3: Turn the pedals gradually


Of course, you cannot easily locate a master link for a bike chain just by looking at the bike chain. It is important to turn the pedals slowly to rotate the chain. In this way, you can inspect the link one by one, and identify the most unique link.

You can watch the links go by and stop when you spot a slightly lighter or darker chain link. In some cases, the master link can be wider than the rest of the link. It can also be thicker and easily stands out in the entire bike chain.

If you cannot spot the master link right away, you should find an area with better lighting. You can also measure the width of the gap connecting the link plates. If the measurement is around ⅛ inch, the bike chain definitely has a master rivet.


Do all bike chains have a master link? Nowadays, bicycle chains usually have a master link or quick-release link. It allows you to easily connect and disconnect your bike chain. Knowing where the master link is located gives you the upper hand when repairing or changing your chain.

May the guide we mentioned above provide you with the right information on how to find the master link on a bike chain. We included three simple steps about finding the link properly.

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