Reusing Master Links?

I’ve reused master links dozens of times and had zero issues. Has anyone ever experienced an issue with reusing master links on a SRAM drivetrain? I suppose I will use a new link for races, but it seems overkill beyond that. Thoughts?

I wax the chains on my 4 bikes and reuse the KMC, SRAM, and now Shimano quick links all the time. On my dedicated trainer bike I have about 5k plus miles on that link and never had an issue.

The only chain I have ever snapped was a KMC hollow pin and it didn’t break at the QL. I also carry a spare QL that is concealed with Duck Tape under my seat (I’m too cool for saddle bags).

:slight_smile:

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Hi, I keep reusing the same master link on my SRAM 11 speed chains. So far, I have never experienced any issues. I use park tool Master link pliers (MLP-1.2) to set it up / release it.

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I’ve reused master links multiple times on Sram, KMC, and Shimano chains with zero issues. In my opinion, replacing them is a good way for the company to make extra money. It just comes down to making sure the link is installed correctly and fully set.

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I re-use them on my turbo and commuting bikes. I always use new links on my CX / road bikes, mainly because I sprint more on those and the consequences of a failure are worse.
That being said the only times I’ve had a chain break are due to my poor maintenance and leaving a worn chain on too long, never at a link.

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I re-used an 11sp link. I think it was a KMC. It failed on the first ride. Removed and reinstalled with proper Park tool pliers, chain had less than 0.5% wear. I just clean my chain on the bike so don’t usually have a need to re-use the links, but snapping a chain isn’t much fun so I won’t risk it again.

Not a big deal, chains don’t break often and when they do it’s not the master link

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The official position from the companies is don’t do it. That being said, I’ve reused Shimano and kmc 11 speed quick links/master links without a problem. Just make sure it’s properly locked into place and isn’t misshapen. As for sram, I’m not sure because I’ve never used sram chains. I’ve heard/read that their quick link option has a higher chance of deforming upon reuse. However, I do know people who have reused the sram links just fine. Officially though, yor reuse them at your own risk.

I recommend Wippermann Connex links. I think it is the only company that officially states you can reuse their links many times and they are so ridiculously easy to use. You can literally take them apart and reassemble them in 2 seconds with your hands!

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+1 Wipperman Connex, why aren’t all master links like this. All my bikes and all my chains have these, not cheap compared to others but will easily last the whole lifespan of the chain.

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I’ve been reusing my quick links for years. Zero problems.

+1 here.

10 spd, 11 spd, 12 spd with no issues yet

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if you dont struggle a little getting it on, move to a new one

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I wax chains and rotate them all the time - I swap the SRAM quick links every season, whether they need it or not :joy:

Never really had problems but I do occasionally grab a new one before a big race just as a preventative measure

this right here. If I can fully snap it back in with just my hands, time to replace it. I have reused for thousands of miles and rotate through about 12 of them.

Can I just double check - I believer the comments here relate to breaking a chain at the factory fitted master link to remover the chain for cleaning/waxing. Is that correct? If so I have a couple of questions:

If removing the chain at home why not just use a chain tool to break and then reconnect the chain at a regular link? Is there some reason why this is not a good option?

If you fit a quick link out on a ride to repair a chain break, can you leave it in there or should you remover and reconnect the chain with a proper link (requiring chain tool) or would you just replace the chain?

I have wondered about these issues for a while so would be great to have some input.

I’ve re-used my Quick Link / Master Link (a rose by any other name…) from KMC and not had an issue. I did notice that over time it became easier to break apart and easier to fit so I used a new one. This was just as easily broken apart and re-joined so I felt confident in my decision to re-use and continue to do so.

Fundamentally they will stretch as much as a normal chain link so will have a similar life-span to your chain, BUT as they are so small it is more difficult to measure the ‘stretch’ or wear.

In answer to @iMatt66 I think you’re talking about pushing the pin through i.e. “Using a chain break tool”. Through bitter and costly repair for a new FD the chains today do not take kindly to that kind of fix. Its happened twice luckily only one new FD so now I don’t bother I just fit a QL/ML.

And technically if your chain breaks in one place it’s probably one step away from the recycling bin so whilst you can fit two or three QL/MLs I’d not waste them as they are more expensive and that chain is not long for this world - IMHO

Thanks Jules, very helpful.

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Been re using quick links for years with zero problems too. I do prefer the connex links though as no tools required and carry a spare in case of a snapped chain.

@JulesC Re link/chain stretch, it’s actually the rollers in the chain that wear down, fractionally across the length of the chain, hence the “chain stretch” the actual links don’t stretch.

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On my CX bike I reused a SRAM link on a Shimano 105 5800 chain 3 or 4 times. When measured for wear I found a lot of wear across the quick link but the rest of the chain was measuring up as new. This wasn’t even anything like big mileage, we talking under 1000 miles.

Each time I refitted I made sure the quick link was clean and wet lubed it.

Anyone else found this? Either way I do still use them as have a decent stash from a deal a year or so back, but just keep a close eye on wear across the joined part of the chain.