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Shimano launches SM-CN900-11 quick links

Stu Bowers
8 Jun 2017

Japanese component giant finally concedes to chain-linking wisdom

Speed links, quick links, split links, power links… they get called all sorts, and certainly aren’t a new concept, but regardless of what you call them until now there has always been one big ‘missing link’… Shimano.

Despite the tool-less connectors making a lot of sense for speedily and efficiently joining a chain, the Japanese giant has resolutely stuck to its guns regarding how its chains should be connected.

Shimano preferred instead that a complete new joining pin be used each time. This was never as straightforward as it seemed, and often inexperienced or ill-prepared home mechanics would make a right mess of it, potentially even damaging a brand new chain beyond use straight out of the box.

Essentially the joining pin system required that the new pin be driven through the link – in the age-old fashion – using an appropriate chain tool.

But that was only the half of it. The joining pin had a tapered, sacrificial end, that meant lining everything up was far simpler, but once in place, the sacrificial part needed to be snapped off – so often the point at which things went pear-shaped, as the link was easily damaged if you were a bit ham-fisted.

Stiff links

Even if you managed this bit correctly, there was still always the risk of a ‘stiff link’, which opens another can of worms unless you know what you’re doing with a chain tool.

Anyway, all is now well in the world (of chains), as finally, Shimano has conceded and got on the quick link bandwagon.

Its SM-CN900-11 quick links are designed to work with its 11-speed chains, costing £11.99 for a pack of two.

Shimano has not tried to be clever – why change a design that clearly works? – and as such its quick links look very similar to those currently available from the likes of Sram and KMC. It’s a product that we are very happy to see, and I’m certain we won’t be alone. Mechanics everywhere, rejoice.

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