The bicycle chain is one of the essential components of your bike. However, most people take the chain for granted.
If you want to save some money from buying a new bicycle, it is imperative for you to know how to repair, or at least fix, it. You must also know how to take good care of the bike chain, or else, be ready for the replacement cost.
If your bike needs another chain, these are the steps for proper chain attachment.
Replacing a Worn Out or Damaged Chain
- Remove the Damaged Chain. You need to use a chain tool to push one pin out of the chain strands. However, if you find a chain link or two that can be squeezed, you can press them together to cut the chain quickly.
- Clean the Bike Cassette. It is a brilliant move to check as well the integrity of the bike cassette, including the chainrings. A worn out cassette is easy to spot as it looks like a shark’s tooth than a steering ring. Always remember, there’s no point of fitting a brand new chain into a damage cog.
- Thread the Brand New Chain. This step will require you to shift down your bike to the smallest chainring and sprocket. Then, thread the new chain over the front derailleur case. Pull the chain and coil it to the rear cassette before completely belting the top rider wheel on the derailleur.
- Measure the Appropriate Length. You need to measure and cut the chain appropriately to ensure a snappy ride. To do this, you must place the new chain around the smallest chainring and sprocket. You have to pull both ends of the bike chain to set it below the chainstay. Always remember to connect an internal link to an external joint.
- Cut the Chain. This step requires a chain tool. Experts recommend that the chain’s open tip must face backward. After measuring the perfect size of the chain, drop the excess link in between the jaws of the chain tool to have a clean cut.
- Add the Pin. Included in the package of your new bicycle chain is a joining pin. Use the pointed end of the joining pin to slot the tip of the chain. Make sure to do this with the bike facing the drive side. Just push the joining pin to hold the chain together on both ends.
- Push to Fix the Pin. Place the linked pins to the chain tool. You need to screw the handle down to push the pin back to its home. As the chain turns its surface even, it will become easy for you to manipulate the handle. Make sure to perform this step with utmost care; otherwise, the chain of your bike will not have a fine flush.
- Finishing Touches. Before you get out for another ride, make sure to check the link that you’ve joined. Make sure that it can move freely. If you find some problems on the pin, you need to reattach the chain tool and give some push to ensure that there are no protruding angles.
These are the steps that you must follow to have a safe chain replacement. Before asking for the bike chain prize, make sure that you have read these guides.
Safely Removing Damaged Bike Chain
- Start Securing Your Bike. In removing the damaged chain, make sure that your bike is in a fixed position. A bicycle rack with hooks is recommended or a firm stand, but if you prefer to turn your bike upside down, it is just fine. You can use either of the two but never rely only on the kickstand if you want a safe fix.
- Look for the Master Link. If you want to replace a worn out chain the fast way, make sure to locate first the master link. The chain’s master link is a unique joint with a slot or pin adjustment knob that enables you to manipulate the swing of the chain.
- Proper Chain Positioning. The appropriate positioning of the chain is the key to easy removal of the master link. Just try to imagine how difficult it is to remove the master link if it lies along the teeth of the bike chain or gear.
- Clean the Chain. To ensure that the newly attached chain will roll longer, you must thoroughly clean the derailleur. You can use a rag with degreaser to clean the rear and front derailleurs. If you do not have a degreaser, you can use isopropyl alcohol or paint thinner as alternatives.
- Time to Remove the Old Chain. You can do this by squeezing both ends of the master link inward until the pin detaches from its slots.
If you are asking “how to change a bike chain without a chain tool?” Do not worry because you can do this by just using your bare hands.
Remember to follow these guides so that it will be easier for you to fit the new chain. Also, these steps will make the next chain attachment faster and safer.
How to Determine if a Bike Chain Needs to be Replaced?
Not everyone knows the appropriate time to replace a bike’s chain. Some bikers do not even know the signs of a poor chain. Just consider the following ways of assessing the chain’s status.
- Spot the Difference. The easiest way of knowing if your bike already has a worn out chain is to look at it thoroughly. Look for any deformities or cracks. When you see a lot of uneven pins, it’s time to consider replacing the chain.
- Power of Ruler. From a base pin, measure 12 complete chain links. To do this, you need to put pressure on the chain to get an accurate result. If the distance between the 12-inch mark and the link pin does not reach 1/16 inches, the chain is fine. However, if the length exceeds 1/16 inches, you must change the chain as soon as possible.
- Techy Way. If you can afford an expensive chain wear indicator tool, you must acquire one for accurate assessment. As its name suggests, this tool will conveniently provide you with information regarding the status of the chain of your bike. The indicator will let you know if it is time to buy a new set of bike chain.
- Eye Measurement. This is another easy method of assessing the chain of your bike. You can make a safe assumption after placing the chain on the outer chainring and then lifting the chain from the middle. If you see that the link is raised more than half of a link, then the chain needs immediate replacement.
Providing the Best Care to Your Bike Chain
- Regular Cleaning and Lube. This is the best method to prolong the optimum performance of the bike chain. You must regularly clean the chain using a chain cleaner and also don’t forget to lubricate each roller and link.
- Filter Degreaser. Make sure that no traces of degreaser will spread into the bottom bracket of your bicycle. Spots of degreaser deposit will cause stripping of the grease that will result in additional problems.
- Maintain After Every Wet Ride. Another tip to extend the life of the chain is to clean it after passing through wet roads. Always remember that traces of water will cause rust and corrosion to your bike.
These are the steps to make sure that you’ll do the perfect chain replacement. So, if you want to have the best ride of your life, start from a proper bicycle chain attachment.
Starting on a starter tricycle at the age of 2, Danny has rarely been off a bike ever since. He spends most weekends riding through the woods near his house or taking longer bike trips on the road.