Despite being one of the more common repair jobs, changing your bike chain is a job that many riders shy away from. However, it needn’t be so complicated and this guide will take you through the steps to replace your bike chain in some easy steps.
Assuming you have the right tools for the job, replacing a bike chain is a relatively straightforward process. Here is a list of the tools you will need:
- Chain Breaker: This is a specialised tool that is used to remove and install links in a chain.
- Pair of Pliers: You will need a regular pair of pliers and a pair of needle nose pliers.
- Wire Cutters: Used to trim any excess chain once the new one is installed.
- Rags or Towels: To clean up any grease that gets on your hands or clothes.
How to remove the old chain
The first thing you’ll need to do is remove the old chain from your bike. To do this, you’ll need a chain breaker tool. First, find the master link – this is the link that holds the two ends of the chain together. If your chain doesn’t have a master link, you’ll need to use a chain rivet extractor tool to remove one of the rivets holding the links together.
Once you have removed the old chain, it’s time to clean any dirt and grime off of it. This will help extend the life of your new chain. You can use a degreaser or solvent to clean the chain, but make sure it’s completely dry before proceeding. (You can purchase chain cleaners where you place the solution into it and run the chain through it so that it is a less dirty process.)
Now it’s time to install the new chain. Start by threading one end of the chain through the rear derailleur. Then run the chain through all of the pulleys on the drivetrain until you reach the other end. Once you have done this, you can connect the two ends of the chain using a master link or by riveting them together.
Finally, give your new chain a bit of lubrication before taking it for a test ride. This will help keep it running smoothly and prolong its life.
How to install the new chain
If your bike chain is starting to feel sluggish, it might be time for a replacement. Here’s a quick and easy guide on how to install a new chain on your bike.
- Begin by shifting your bike into the smallest cog or ring in the back. This will give you more slack to work with when removing the old chain.
- Using a chain tool (or a master link pliers if your chain has one), push out one of the side plates of the old chain and remove it from the bike.
- Take your new chain and feed it through the rear derailleur from the outside in. Make sure that the riveted pin is facing inward so that you can push it through later.
- Continue feeding the chain through until you reach the end of it. Then, using your chain tool (or master link pliers), push in the new riveted pin to connect the two ends of the chain together.
- Once the new chain is connected, shift your bike into each gear to make sure that it is running smoothly before heading out on your ride!
Cleaning the bike chain
If your bike chain is looking dirty or rusty, it’s probably time for a replacement. Luckily, this is a relatively easy process that you can do at home with just a few tools.
First, you’ll need to remove the old chain. This is done by removing the master link, or by breaking the chain at one of the pins. Once the old chain is off, clean the chainrings and cogs with a brush or rag.
Next, measure the old chain to determine how long your new one needs to be. Most chains come in standard lengths, so you should be able to find one that’s close to the right size. If not, you can always have a new chain custom-made.
Now it’s time to put on the new chain. Start by Feeding it through the rear derailleur, then around the large cog on the cassette, and finally around the small cog. The final step is to connect the two ends of the chain using a master link or pin.
Once your new chain is in place, take it for a test ride to make sure everything shifts smoothly. If all goes well, congratulations – you’ve just saved yourself a trip to the bike shop!
If your bike chain is starting to show signs of wear, it’s important to replace it before it breaks. A broken chain can cause serious damage to your bike and can be very dangerous. With a few simple tools, you can easily replace your bike chain at home. Just be sure to follow our guide carefully and you’ll have a new chain in no time.