How long does it take to change the chain on a bicycle

Malfunction symptoms

First of all, attention should be paid to chain malfunctions on multi-speed bikes. Traditionally, the travel time is determined by the mileage, but these values ​​are too approximate, because everything depends on the conditions of cycling: road quality, gear selection, speed, load on the pedals and, accordingly, on the chainring.

The first signs of a bike chain failure are inaccurate gear shifting and suspicious sounds (provided the chain has not lost its lubrication). The following method will probably help to determine the malfunction: bend it away from the largest sprocket and see the number of free teeth. If the chain comes loose from three or more teeth, then replacement is required urgently. Two prongs “warn” that wear is just around the corner, but you can still ride.

Worn chain?.When to replace.

long, does, chain, bicycle

Using the same method, you can see the weakening of the chain on a single-speed bike: bend it away from the chainring and look at the number of teeth.

Another way to measure wear is to measure the length:

  • 304.8mm. Optimum Chain Length.
  • 306.5. 307.5. average wear, suitability for repair. You can ride while you can.
  • 308 mm. high degree of wear on both the chain and the sprockets.
  • than 308 mm. damage to the entire transmission.
long, does, chain, bicycle

Measuring elongation requires removing the chain completely from the bike.

Lock and solid chain

The locking chain is equipped with a special clamping device. It is not difficult to unhook and put on it. you just need to disconnect the lock. To find it, we carefully examine the chain on both sides and find a detachable link. In principle, it will not be difficult to find it on a clean chain: a tick is put on top, which fixes the link and does not allow it to move apart. Also, the manufacturer’s inscription is usually embossed on the key link. If you cannot find the lock for a long time, then either the chain is dirty, or it is lockless, or solid.

A bicycle chain without a lock simply cannot be disconnected: all the links on it look the same, however, and are hooked together too. This is a big inconvenience when cleaning, for example, it is necessary to carry out a “general cleaning” in a solvent. In the case of the keylock, everything is simple. I stole it and put it in kerosene. Solid bike chain, even taken off the stars, will remain hanging on the frame.

In terms of removal, a chain with a lock is, of course, more convenient than its counterpart. However, for some reason, the fastening may loosen: the tick fly off, and the link itself can be disengaged. There are no such weak points on bicycle chains without locks, and if it is torn, then the point is solely in its quality.

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Components of the chain

Before we talk about how to remove the chain, it is necessary that you understand what is at stake. To do this, below, we will give an explanatory picture with the constituent elements.

Squeeze out a pin with a squeeze

I use the cheapest chain squeeze (price about 4) and it does its job perfectly.

When Should You Replace Your Bicycle Chain? | The GCN Tech Clinic

We insert the link into the grooves (as in the picture), tighten it with a clamping bolt (it has a spring-loaded rod in the middle, where the pin will come out) and squeeze out the pin. Care must be taken to ensure that the release rod hits the pin clearly. Do not rush and in case of failure, you should correct the chain and repeat the procedure.

How To Change A Chain. GCN’s Bike Maintenance Series

After you have set everything correctly, we begin to gently rotate the handle clockwise. If you do not need to dismantle the link, but simply need to disconnect the chain, then the pin should not be squeezed out completely. Initially, there will be a tight move, then a little easier, and in the end again a tight one. At the last stage, you should slow down and act carefully so as not to squeeze out the pin completely (it will be problematic to insert it back). You can safely remove the squeeze and see how much more you need to rotate the handle.

After that, we disconnect the chain (it should be remembered that the chain is under tension, and so that it does not fly away, and does not scratch your bicycle feathers, you should hold it).

Cleaning the chain, chainrings and chainrings

After you have removed the chain, you can safely apply it to various water procedures. If a soap solution is used (this also includes other detergents / cleaning agents), after cleaning it should be thoroughly rinsed with clean water. At the end of the cleaning stage, we send it for drying. There are no special problems with cleaning the stars either. Please note the following, if your bike has disc brakes, then the disc must first be removed from the wheel so that oil and dirt do not fly onto it when cleaning the cassette (if you do not do this, you will also have to degrease the brake disc). We wash everything with clean water and wait until it dries.

Removing the old chain

Using a chain pull, press out one of the rollers (the pin that connects the chain links) into the lower chain passage. If there is a lock link, then remove it. After removing the roller, carefully remove the chain from the bike.

If one chain is used for a long time without replacement, it may be necessary to replace the cassette.

Chain Care

Regular cleaning and lubrication. the best way to extend the life of the chain. Use a bicycle chain lubricant. Lubricate each roller. Only lubricate the inside of the chain; there should be no lubricant on the outside of the chain.

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Do not spin the chain in the opposite direction and apply the lubricant in a hurry. In addition to the increased consumption of funds, you can overload the links. Always wipe off excess grease with a rag. After driving in wet weather, wipe the chain dry and re-lubricate. This will prevent rust and chain stretching.

Worn links

It is believed that the chain stretches due to improper driving. In fact, the chain lengthening effect is due to wear on the rollers and pins. As the chain wears down, it will damage the sprocket teeth, causing the chain to slip. There are special tools for determining chain wear.

An easier way to determine chain wear is to measure 12 links. If the number turns out to be equal to 308 mm or more, then the chain together with the cassette must be replaced. The new chain has 12 links exactly 304.8 mm long.

Step-by-step instruction

The transmission elements of bicycles of most manufacturers, with rare exceptions, are compatible with each other. All you need to do is match the same number of transmission and chain speeds. For example, for a transmission with nine gears, you need a chain designed for the same number of speeds.


Engine (L) Timing break Mileage (km)
1.6 (SOHC) No damage 40.000. 90.000 thousand.
1.6 (DOHC) Damage 40.000. 90.000 thousand.
1.8 (DOHC) Damage 90.000 thousand.
2.0 (SOHC) No damage 90.000 thousand.
2.0 (DOHC) Damage 90.000 thousand.


Engine (L) Timing break Mileage (km)
1.5 Damage n.d.
1.6 (SOHC 1985) Damage n.d.
1.6 (SOHC 86-93) Damage 95.000 thousand.
1.6 (SOHC 1997-2002) Damage 170.000 thousand.
1.6 (DOHC) Damage 95.000 thousand.
1.7 (1985 Diesel) Damage n.d.
1.7 (86-93 Diesel) Damage 170.000 thousand.
1.7 (1997-2002 Diesel) Damage 95.000 thousand.
1.8 (DOHC) Damage 95.000 thousand.
2.0 (1985) Damage n.d.
2.0 (1986-1993) Damage 95.000 thousand.
2.0 (1997-2002) Damage 170.000 thousand.
3.0 (1985) Damage n.d.
3.0 (1986-1993) Damage 170.000 thousand.
3.0 (1997-2002) Damage 95.000 thousand.
3.0 (DOHC) Damage 95.000 thousand.
3.3 Damage 170.000 thousand.


Engine (L) Timing break Mileage (km)
1.2 (SOHC) No damage 95.000 thousand.
1.2 (DOHC) Damage 95.000 thousand.
1.8 No damage 80.000 thousand.
1.8 (Impreza) No damage 95.000 thousand.
2.2 (SOHC) No damage 95.000 thousand.
2.2 (DOHC) Damage 95.000 thousand.
2.5 (SOHC) No damage 95.000 thousand.
2.5 (DOHC) Damage 95.000 thousand.
2.7 No damage 95.000 thousand.
3.3 Damage 95.000 thousand.

Does my car have a timing belt?

If your car was built 10.15 years ago, then most likely its engine is equipped with a timing belt. Many automakers now also use this very belt in the engine’s gas distribution mechanism. For example, Audi continues to install timing belts on many of its vehicles. True, it should be noted here that, nevertheless, many automobile companies have already refused to equip their new cars with such a timing belt. Instead, in some and even in many car models, automakers began to use just a chain, which is much more durable than this belt. To find out for yourself if your car has a timing belt, you need to refer to the vehicle operating manual or study in detail the routine maintenance of your car.

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If you do not have such documentation, then contact this question on the Internet forum on the network (in the club), where the owners of the same (as yours) car model will tell you whether a timing belt is installed on your power unit. Also, at the end of our article, you can familiarize yourself in detail with the list of cars (by brands) in which the timing belt is installed, and at the same time you can find out for yourself about the timing of the planned replacement of this belt recommended by the manufacturers. You can also find out about what can happen if a timing belt suddenly breaks in your car.?

How long does the timing belt last??

In most foreign-made cars, the average timing belt service life is somewhere around 70.100 thousand km. True, it is worth noting here that in many imported cars produced in Russia, the average service life of a timing belt is approximately 50. 60 thousand km. In domestic brands of cars, this timing belt service life is even less (40.50 thousand km).

As a rule, all automakers of cars in the passport for the car or in the service book indicate the recommended intervals for replacing the timing belt.

Unfortunately, many car companies do not indicate, along with the recommended timing, about replacing the timing belt and what type of mechanism is used in the engine. This information would help many drivers to find out how they would face a broken belt in the car they are currently using.

To our happiness, such information is not secret today. Our online publication 1GAI.RU invites friends to find out you a list of brands and modifications of power units that use a timing belt in their gas distribution mechanism. You can also find out for yourself about the average service life of this belt and about the consequences that may threaten your engine modification in the event of a timing belt break.

Attention. If your type of engine uses a gas distribution mechanism that will not fail if the timing belt breaks (valves and pistons do not meet each other if the belt breaks), then the belt should still be replaced within the time recommended by the car manufacturer, because in the case of such a break, you will not be able to operate your vehicle. In order not to be out of the blue in a difficult situation (for example, far from home or far from the nearest car service), spend your friends scheduled replacement of the timing belt and other car components on time.

long, does, chain, bicycle


Engine (L) Timing break Mileage (km)
All types Damage 95.000 thousand.
3.0 (SOHC 12 Valve) No damage 95.000 thousand.