11-speed Chain Service with the CT-11

This article will review the Campagnolo® 11-speed chain service. This requires the use of both the Park Tool CT-4.2 and CT- 11.


Getting Started

The 11-speed Campagnolo® chain has very narrow rollers of 1.98 to 2.0mm width. A typical 10-speed has rollers of approximately 2.1mm. This small difference make a difference how the chain sits in a chain tool. Use the Park Tool CT-4.2 (or previous CT-4) for work on the Campagnolo® 11-speed chains. Do not use the Park Tool CT-5, CT-6.2, CT-2 or CT-3.



The Campagnolo® 11-speed chain can be removed and re-installed if necessary. However, it is recommend to leave the chain in place until it is simply worn out. It is not recommended to remove the chain, clean if off the bike, and re-install. Clean in place with a chain cleaning system such as the Park Tool CM-5 Chain Scrubber.

Begin the removal process by first locating the coupling pin from the previous installation (figure 1.) DO NOT remove this pin. It is recommend to use a rivet some distance from this rivet to separate the chain.

Place the chain in the pocket of the Park Tool CT-4.2 (figure 2). Turn the handle and drive the chain rivet fully from the chain side plates. Unthread the chain tool pin from the chain, and remove the chain from the pocket.


Figure 1. Special coupling rivet. DO NOT remove this special rivet


Figure 2. Use CT-4.2 to remove chain pin and chain from bike


Installation - New Chain

A new Campagnolo 11-speed chain comes with a zip tie at the end of the chain through the outer side plate (figure 3). This side plate is stamped with a number in addition to the “11” as a “date code”. This special side plate is used when installing a new chain on the bike. The chain may be cut shorter from the non-zip tied end. This will be the end with inner plates. New chains also include a special coupling pin to join the chain.

Figure 3. Components of the 11-speed chain system. Note the extra number stamped on the original outer plate.

Determine chain length. Select the correct rivet to remove, again, from the end of the chain without the zip tie (figure 4).

Figure 4. Select rivet from side of chain without zip tie

Place chain in pocket of CT-4.2 at point where it should be shortened (figure 5). Turn handle and press rivet fully from chain. Unscrew handle and remove chain from pocket.

Figure 5. Use CT-4.2 to shorten chain to correct length

After cutting chain to size, cut zip tie from outer side plates. Feed chain through rear derailleur and front derailleur. Join ends together below chain stays. The coupling pin must be pressed so it pushes from the inside outward. In other words, press with the handle of the CT-4.2 against the spoke side, with the drive pin moving to the right of the bike (figure 6).

Figure 6. Orientation of coupling pin with pilot facing to right side of bike

Lubricate connection rivet and place rivet pilot (the small tapered end) from the inside of the chain (figure 7).

Figure 7. Lubricate coupling pin

Press the coupling pin fully into the chain plates (figure 8). The coupling pin has flared sections and these can be felt as you push the pin fully home. Carefully press coupling pin until the head of the pin in flush with the side plate. The pressure on the handle will ease at this point. Stop pressing, unscrew handle from tool, and inspect.

Figure 8. Note feel of resistance on chain tool hanlde turn into coupling pin as it enters chain plates

The pilot from coupling pin will be sticking outwards, toward the right side of the bike. Inspect head of coupling pin. It should appear nearly equally press as any neighboring pin head. Resistance to the pin is felt in the handle of the CT-4.2. Stop when a relief is felt and the head on the coupling pin is correctly aligned. (figure 9). Continue to press the coupling pin if it sticks out slightly (figure 10). However use care not to press the end of coupling pin past the outer plate.


Figure 9. Correctly pressed coupling pin


Figure 10. Incorrectly pressed coupling pin

The pilot will be sticking out of the side plate after being fully pressed. This pilot must be removed and will snap off. The CT-4.2 has a hole in the main body which can also be used to snap the pilot (figure 11). Support back side of chain and place the end of tool over the pilot. Twist horizontally either left or right to snap the pilot.

Figure 11. Use CT-4.2 to break pilot from coupling rivet

It is also possible to break off the pilot with pliers (figure 12).

Figure 12. Use NP-6 to break pilot

After the pilot is broken off, it is now necessary, as stated by Campagnolo®, to perform a secondary operation of “deforming” the coupling pin. The coupling rivet will have extra material sticking outward (figure 13). The secondary process effectively “de-burrs” this piece by pushing on it.

Figure 13. Coupling pin with remnant pieces of pilot

This secondary “deforming” process is performed by the Park Tool CT-11. The CT-11 only performs this secondary operation. It will not push a rivet out of or into the chain. The anvil section of the CT-11 is used to press this pin and press down any burr (figure 14).

Figure 14. Anvil section of CT-11. Notice there is no hole for removing pins.

Install chain into pocket of CT-11. Handle should be toward right of bike, and driving pin facing the broken end of coupling rivet.

Figure 15. CT-11 facing broken side of coupling pin

Turn handle slowly until driving pin just contacts coupling pin (figure 16). From this point, turn handle no more then 1/4 turn clockwise.

Figure 16. Coupling rivet after being "deformed" by CT-11

The CT-11 pin applies a modest force to end of coupling pin. This pushed the broken tip inward to smooth the pin end (figure17.)

Figure 17. Finished coupling pin after use of CT-11


Installation - Previously Installed Chain

It is generally recommend to simply ride the chain until it wears out and replace with a new chain. If the chain must be removed, begin by locating the original coupling pin (figure 18). Select a chain pin that is some disance from the first coupling pin for removal. Use the CT-4.2 to fully press out this pin.

Figure 18. Inspect for the previously installed coupling rivet

The chain must be installed with a new coupling pin for each service. The procedure for installing the coupling pin is the same as on new chains.