How the chain works on a bicycle

Limiting screws

There are 3 limit screws on the rear bulkhead:

Low gear limiter adjustment (L)

chain, bicycle

A properly adjusted L-screw will prevent the chain from flying off the largest sprocket. This will prevent the chain from getting stuck between the large sprocket and the spokes, which could otherwise cause the rollers to hit the spokes and deform the rear derailleur itself.

To adjust the high speed limiter properly. we transfer the transmission of the bicycle to the lowest gear (one. one). when there is a small star in front and the largest one in the back. Our task. Align both rear derailleur rollers in line with the largest sprocket. Turning the L-screw clockwise. the rollers will slide towards small stars if counterclockwise. to the spokes.

Now that we have the adjusting screws correctly set, let’s get down to adjusting the gears themselves.

How to adjust the bike’s rear derailleur

Every fan of cycling has repeatedly experienced inconvenience with the fuzzy operation of the rear gearshift. The reasons for the so-called “phantom” switching may be different.

Incorrect setting of the rear derailleur when buying a bike or no setting at all

Contamination of the transmission when using the bike

Before we start setting up the bike’s rear derailleur, let’s figure out what adjusting elements are present on it and what they are responsible for.

High gear limiter adjustment (H)

You can clearly hear the incorrect setting of the limiters. The crackling and twitching of the switch foot indicates that the rollers and the star are not in the same axis.

A properly adjusted H-screw will prevent the chain from flying off the smallest sprocket. This prevents the chain from getting stuck between the sprocket and the bike frame, which could otherwise cause the chain to break and even fall.

To adjust the high speed limiter properly. we transfer the transmission of the bicycle to the maximum gear, to the position where the chain lies on the large sprocket in front and the smallest sprocket in the back. Our task. Align both rear derailleur rollers in line with the lowest sprocket. Turning the H-screw clockwise. the rollers will move towards the large stars if counterclockwise. respectively, in the opposite direction.

Note that a too tight H-screw will prevent the chain from jumping onto the smallest star, and an insufficiently tightened screw will throw the chain too far and the chain will fly off.

Chain tension adjustment

The task of the chain tension adjustment screw is to adjust the distance between the stars and the derailleur roller. For correct adjustment, we transfer the bicycle transmission to the lowest gear (one. One). when there is a small star in front and the largest one in the back. Turning the chain tension screw, we expose the gap between the roller and the sprocket to no more than 5 millimeters and so that the sprocket does not stick out of the roller itself. This way you will find the ideal position of the roller in relation to the sprockets for the clearest gear change.

Gear Shift Setting

In order to set up a clear gear shift. we transfer the chain to the smallest sprocket. Our task. using the adjusting drum, tighten the cable in such a way that at each shift, the chain would be thrown over all the sprockets without cracking and delay. If you turn the adjusting drum clockwise. we will loosen the cable tension if we turn it counterclockwise. the cable will stretch.

And so, a chain on a small star. we begin to change gears. With each click, the chain should jump one star higher. If, when you click, the chain moves a star higher with difficulty or nothing happens at all. then the cable is not tight enough (turn the drum counterclockwise). It is enough to twist the drum half a turn. An overtightened cable, as well as a too loose one, will lead to incorrect gear shifting in the extreme positions. We pull the cable in such a way that the chain does not rub against any of the sprockets. If a metallic stray sound is produced during tuning. you need to look at which side of the chain is in contact with the star and make the necessary adjustments by rotating the drum, leaving uniform gaps between the chain and adjacent stars.

The only difference is in the location and marking of the adjusting bolts. It is customary to mark screws with the Latin letters H (hihg) and L (law). If there is no marking (usually on top switches), you need to look where the screws themselves rest. Correct adjustment of the rear crossover of the bike guarantees pleasant, smooth, and most importantly safe gear shifting.!

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Adjusting the chain tension in bicycles at speeds

The tension of the chain on a bike with a parallelogram derailleur (rear) is determined solely by the spring stiffness of the derailleur itself. But the chain, which turned out to be too long, will begin to beat against the frame, since the tensioner will no longer be able to compensate for its slack.

It should be borne in mind that insufficient chain length leads to wear of the main transmission parts, since it significantly complicates their switching. And especially it is necessary to pay attention to this owners of two-suspension bicycles.

When installing a new bike chain on high-speed models, the chain should be shortened. Several links. But to determine how many specific links need to be removed, there are two possible methods:

  • Pull the chain at the front and rear over the largest sprockets. And then pull on the chain, moving the rear derailleur forward and to the limit. It remains to add 2 links, and you get a chain of optimal length.
  • Or the chain needs to be thrown from the front to the largest sprocket, from the back to the smallest. And pull the chain until the rear spreader frame is in the straight down position and the derailleur rollers do not form a horizontal line. This is the optimal chain length, the excess must be removed, and the missing must be added.

On two-suspension bicycles, adjust the chain (or rather, adjust its length) more correctly by pressing the pendulum down to the position at which the front star cassette will be as far away from the ratchet as possible. The resulting chain length is measured-noted, and all unnecessary is removed.

Adjusting chain tension on bicycles without gears

For bicycles to function flawlessly without speeds, their chain must not be too tight. It is necessary to ensure its free sagging for a length of up to 5 mm. And in order to pull in this way, you need to perform a certain set of actions in the correct sequence:

  • Turn the vehicle over with the wheels up.
  • Loosen the rear wheel. unscrew the nuts or fastening eccentrics.
  • Adjust the chain slack to the required amount. To do this, you need to carefully move the wheel along the inclined grooves (dropouts).
  • At the end of the adjustment, the wheel should be fixed in its original position again. In this case, the wheel axle must be parallel to the carriage shaft.

If the chain is too tight, it will become difficult to pedal. And the elements of the chain drive will very soon become unusable. It is also bad if the bike chain is too slack. She will simply jump off the stars at a certain moment and it will be impossible to go further.

When the wheel literally rested against the dropouts and there is absolutely nowhere to move it further, but at the same time the bicycle chain is dangling, you will have to remove a couple of links from it. In all likelihood, it was stretched or was not at all the size for a particular model.

How to chain a bike

The chain is one of the most important structural elements for the movement of the bicycle. And its service life depends on the regularity and quality of care. An indicator that something is wrong with the bike chain is crackling and squeaking when driving, as well as slipping it on the ratchet.

In principle, it is normal for the chain to wear out over time. And chain stretching is a visual sign of wear. The fact that the chain has fallen into disrepair can be felt even tactilely. In the normal position, this part sags slightly (by 10 or 12 millimeters), and if you pull it slightly, it will yield another 10-15 mm. True, this method is relevant only for models that do not have high-speed switching or have a planetary type gear.


Link removal

Conventional speedless bikes are equipped with collapsible chains, one of the links of which has a special lock. But on professional bikes, one-piece chain structures are installed, all links of which are perfectly riveted.

However, disassembling a one-piece bicycle chain is also easy. And this can be done in one of two possible methods:

  • grind pin heads on one of the chain links with sandpaper;
  • or using a universal tool. squeeze.

By the way, it is not for nothing that the pomace is called universal. It can not only squeeze out the pin, but also securely fix the newly assembled bicycle chain. After all, the squeeze (well, at least most of them) have a couple of special functional and technological grooves. And one of these grooves the pin is pressed out of the roller, and the other is pressed in. As for the installation place, which is located on the squeeze a little further from the pressing screw, then it is intended for riveting the chain pin itself.

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Slipping like a chain drive defect

Every cyclist is familiar with the problem of chain slippage. The chain will stretch over time and the tension will loosen. In addition, chain stretching leads to quick wear of the bike sprockets. It would seem that what is easier. you just need to remove 2 links. But the trick is that you can do this only once, and then you need to change the chain.

And further. A new chain on an old ratchet is not ice at all. Slipping will probably remain on small sprockets. So you need to change the ratchet too.

Reasons for loosening chains

Before you begin to tighten the chain, it is important to understand one truth. It’s just as bad for a bicycle when the chain is too tight, as it is when the chain is too tight. The surest way to check the chain tension is to push it from top to bottom, while the normal level of sagging should not be more than 1-1.5 cm.If this value is far beyond its limits, the chain system must be tightened.

Another symptom that should alert the driver is if the chain began to slip.

To begin with, the problem of sagging is most often encountered by owners of regular single-speed bicycles. The thing is that here the chain is not able to tension automatically, as in mountain or other similar types of bicycles.

But why do the chains start to sag? There are two reasons for this. Firstly, any chain has the ability to stretch, despite the fact that it is made of metal. At the same time, cheaper options stretch more, but expensive branded products practically do not have this property.

Secondly, the chain system can weaken if the rear wheel nuts were not tightened well, in this situation, under load, it shifts slightly forward and the tension of the chain mechanism weakens.

How to properly tension your bike chain and why it matters

Everyone knows why you need a chain on a bicycle. But not everyone knows all the subtleties of its device and what danger its malfunction conceals in itself. Therefore, it is so important to know how to properly tighten the chain.

The bicycle chain is one of the most important parts of this type of transport. Its main task is to transfer the energy of the cyclist’s muscle work to the rear wheel. In addition, they are the driven link of the bicycle gearbox. This mechanism is formed due to the fact that the driving sprocket (which is on the pedals) is always made larger than the driven sprocket (the sprocket on the wheel). Thanks to this, a law of leverage is formed, which allows you to transform one type of energy into another.

If we talk about those bicycles on which there are several gears at once, then the chain is assigned an even greater role. In such a system, the chain drive acts as a floating transmission link that connects the drive sprocket to the driven sprocket. At the same time, it is not difficult to guess that if the chain breaks off, the transport will not be able to go further. And it happens quite often if the cyclist forgot to tighten the chain.

What to do if the chain is loose on a mountain bike?

If you encounter the problem of chain sagging on a mountain bike or any other that has several gears, then in such a situation it is changed. The fact is that in such bicycles, the machine is responsible for the chain tension. With the help of a spring, it constantly and automatically corrects the tension in the chain mechanism.

To save money, some craftsmen cut the chains, that is, they cut it and reduce the number of links. In this case, the links are connected with a special lock. Of course, this option is also possible, but it is important to understand that a stretched chain is a worn out mechanism and it will not last long.

When buying new chains, it is important to know that they are different and may not fit your faithful two-wheeled friend. First of all, you need to make sure what chain pitch is used on your bike model. And you also need to decide on its length, which is usually measured in the number of links.

The History of Bicycle Chains and How they Work | The Explainer

Improper chain maintenance is the cause of an accident

In the event of a collapse or breakage of the bicycle chain, with the best outcome, the driver will get off with the fact that he will not be able to go further. But often with this there are more serious consequences. For example, if there is no special guard on the rear wheel, the chain can fall into the spokes, but here the outcome is unfavorable in all cases. Under any coincidence, the spokes of the rear wheel will be bent, and an eight will form on it, and the repair of such a breakdown will take a pretty penny. And there is also a danger that the driver will injure himself or pedestrians, as his rear wheel will jam.

White plastic guard prevents the chain from entering the spokes

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The next danger in the event of chain breakage or loosening applies to those bicycles that do not have a handbrake. Since here the entire braking system is located in the rear wheel carriage, therefore, the driver will no longer be able to brake in the usual way. It’s even scary to imagine if this happens at high speed.

Learning to adjust the chain drive correctly

On the simplest single gear bike, a single wrench is all it takes to tension the chain, simply loosen the two rear wheel nuts. Most often, this is a key of either 17 or 15, first you need to turn the bike upside down, and then slightly loosen the two nuts on the rear wheel. It is not necessary to unscrew them completely. After the nuts have been loosened, the wheel must be moved back a little. At the same time, there is no need to hammer in various wedges and insert something between the frame and the wheel, the tension of the chain system should occur with minimal effort, under the wheel’s own weight.

After that, the nuts can be tightened, it is best to use a wrench with a dynamometer for this, so that the correct tightening torque is observed. If the nuts are loosely tightened, the wheel may slip sideways on the road. And if you have a lot of forces, you can rip off the thread of the nut or even the wheel axle.

Attention! Tighten the nuts gradually, while observing that the wheel is clearly in the center of the fork. Otherwise, the sprockets will be in a different plane, which will lead to the chain collapse.

How to take care of chains

Like any other mechanism, the chain system needs maintenance. All you have to do is lubricate all the links thoroughly from time to time. In the case of rust formation, the metal becomes thinner, in addition, the link rollers become jammed, and the resource of the device is sharply reduced.

It is also important to know that during operation, the elements of the chain system run in to each other. In this case, various cavities, notches and other minor defects are formed, which, as strange as it may sound, ensure the stability of the system. If the chain is removed and then put in a different way, as it walked before, or even turned over, accelerated wear will occur. In the worst case, it is also possible to increase the frequency of the rally of the chain. The chain system also wears out quickly if pulled too tight.

In what order will vehicles go through the intersection?

What goods are allowed to be carried by a cyclist?

How to make a bike chain tensioner

To save even a little bit, you can make your own bike chain tensioner. But first of all, you need to understand why you need a chain damper (aka tensioner) on a bicycle. This accessory is a protective element for bicycles. Thanks to the damper, the tension level of the chain mechanism is regulated in order to exclude the reduction of oscillation when overcoming obstacles (jumping on stones, rails, etc.). In addition, the tensioner provides protection against mechanical damage and chain slipping off the sprockets. A damper is used on bicycles with a single speed or internal shifting mechanism.

DIY bike chain caliper

  • aluminum or duralumin plate with a thickness of 8 to 11 mm;
  • hacksaw and vice;
  • technical oil;
  • file and core;
  • drill or drilling machine;
  • hammer and drills;
  • sandpaper;
  • tap measuring M101 and its holders.

With the help of a marker, an old part is outlined on a metal blank, called a rooster, after which the central part of the hole is drilled. Further, the workpiece is sawn off as much as possible with a hacksaw and the external shape is brought to an ideal state with a file. Instead of a dropout, you can make a groove along the diameter of the shaft, which is subsequently inserted into the groove of the rooster. In the place where the rooster is installed in the frame, a difference is made in width. Its width on a thin section should be 4 mm, and on a thick one. 8 mm.

The hole can now be drilled out completely. Note that the drill diameter should be slightly smaller than the hole diameter. Especially if the metal is soft. It is best to use an electric drill, as the hand drill does not provide perfect accuracy. Then the thread is cut with forward-return movements.

The driver of which vehicle will pass the intersection second?

16.14. If the main road at an intersection changes direction, the drivers of vehicles moving along it must follow the rules for driving through intersections of equivalent roads.

This rule should be followed by each other and drivers driving on secondary roads.

16.14. If the main road at an intersection changes direction, the drivers of vehicles moving along it must follow the rules for driving through intersections of equivalent roads.

This rule should be followed by each other and drivers driving on secondary roads.