Condensed Answer: Yes, Shimano’s quick links are directional. On the quick link, you will see an arrow. If the link is installed properly, the arrow will pointing in the direction of the chain’s forward travel during forward pedaling.
- When the link is positioned on the topside (above the chainstay) during its rotation, the arrow will point towards the front wheel.
- When the link is on the bottom side (below the chainstay), the arrow will be pointing towards the rear wheel.
FAQ: Why is the direction of the quick link so important?
The direction of the quick link ensures that the connection is reinforced during normal pedaling. If the link is installed in the wrong direction, it can come undone, especially if it’s worn. When that happens the rider will lose the chain. The result could include an unpredictable accident.
Another issue would be shifting. If the link is in the wrong direction, it’s also upside down. In that case, the shape of the link will prevent smooth shifting, although it’s questionable to what degree the issue will be noticeable. Nonetheless, it’s recommended to put the quick link in the correct orientation.
FAQ: Are Shimano’s quick links reusable?
The short answer is no. You can find more information here.
FAQ: What is the purpose of quick links?
Quick links have two main goals:
a. Make it easier to connect a chain once it’s been shortened as required for the bike’s drivetrain.
b. Repair a chain quickly if it breaks unexpectedly in the middle of nowhere. (Hence why some cyclists wrap a quick link with tape around their cable housing.
FAQ: How do I install a Shimano quick link?
Consult the video below to learn how to install a Shimano chain and quick-link.
FAQ: Do I need special tools to install a Shimano quick link?
You don’t need special tools to install the link. You can use your hands to snap it into place as shown in the video above.
However, you will need a chain tool to break the chain and prepare it for the installation of the quick link.
It’s also highly recommended to make a chain joining tool out of strong wire. The chain joining tool keeps the chain connected while you’re working the quick link (consult the video above).
You can use the handle of a large paper binding clip to make the joining tool.
It’s also recommended to get a set of quick link pliers for the removal of the quick link in the future. That said, those are not needed as it’s possible to open the link with needle nose pliers or even a shoelace. The dedicated pliers are nice to have, though.