Whether you’re an aspiring bike rider who has just purchased a bicycle, or a veteran of the sport, knowing how to put on a bicycle chain is a MUST. It doesn’t matter how good working condition the bike is in, its chain could come down at any instant, mostly without a remote hint of trouble. However, while putting on a bicycle chain is easy, do the basics wrong and you’re in a predicament. Hence, if you don’t want to waste your time and energy midway through your journey, this guide would come handy.
To replace a bike chain which has fallen off or broken completely, the aforementioned steps would come handy.
Step # 1: Purchase a new Chain along with a Chain tool
First of all, make sure that the chain has broken. For, in some cases, it might have just slipped off its desired location. Once you’ve made sure that the current chain is irreplaceable, go for a new one. Also, to disentangle the old chain and put on a new one, you’d need a chain tool. Both these items could be purchased on any cycling shop or a sporting goods store.
Step # 2: Damage Assessment
There are two types of chains which bike manufacturers normally use. Of these three, the first one includes those who have special pins. If your bike has one of these, no need to assess the damage as they, in most cases, are irreparable.
However, if your bike contains chains which have normal pins, they are easy to repair. However, if you don’t want the nuisance, change them.
Step # 3: Remove the old Chain
Although most people don’t know this, removing the worn-out chain is a cinch. All you’ve to do is to rotate the pedal until the chain has went gone around the sprocket. However, if the chain is still holding to its own, you’d need a chain tool to introduce a break-in point.
For this to happen, insert the chain tool in the chain and – after putting it into the “teeth” of the chain, push the pin – which is keeping the chain entangled, out. Since you won’t be using this chain after this, take out the whole pin.
Step # 4: Elevate the rear wheel
Since you’ve to put in the chain through the rear derailleur, you’d need to turn the back wheel. As you might guess, turning the wheel would be easy once you have lifted it off the ground. To do this, you might need the help of an accomplice.
Step # 5: Put the chain over the back derailleur
If you’re aren’t comfortable with the bike jargon, a derailleur is basically the system below the rear sprocket which houses the gears. To follow this step, take that part of the chain in your hand which doesn’t have a pick sticking out. Now, rotate it around the lowest pulley. To recheck whether the chain has been properly put-on or not, check whether it has made the desirable “S-shape”.
Step # 6: Put the chain into the rear cassette
Although it sounds difficult, it should take you less than a minute to complete this step. All you have to do is to pull the chain up from the rear derailleur and around/over the little sprocket in the cassette. Now, to give you some slack, pull the rear cassette towards the lead end of the chain.
Step # 7: Put the chain on the front derailleur cage
After turning the rear wheel, take the lower end of the chain into your hand, before threading it through the front derailleur.
Step # 8: Thread the chain around the front sprocket
Firstly, make sure that the chain is aligned with the front sprockets. Secondly, stretch it to make sure that it has entangled with the front teeth of the sprocket. Lastly, pull the chain around the sprocket, before turning the pedals.
Step # 9: Connect Both Ends of the Chain
Finally, once you have made sure that the chain has passed through the gear system, join both the ends and start riding.