How to tension the chain on a bicycle? Adjusting the bike chain tension
As a child, each of us had to pull on a bicycle chain. The design of older bicycles was flawed, so this element often fell off. A lot of time has passed since then, and the innovations that came to the cycling industry have changed the mechanisms beyond recognition. Now it is already difficult to find a single speed transmission, and the eight-speed transmission, popular until recently, is becoming a thing of the past.
The bikes are now equipped with nine sprockets and a thin chain, which require regular maintenance. such is the price for comfortable gear ratios, speed and light weight. Consider what rules you need to follow in order to install the chain on the bike correctly, and its wear is minimal.
Basics of functioning
In the process of operation, this transmission element wears out most of all on the hinges, where the links are lengthened under the influence of loads. As a result, the chain pitch increases and it can no longer perform its functions. Usually the service life of this element does not exceed 3-4 thousand kilometers, which is no more than 1-2 seasons. The wear of the bicycle chain is checked by its elongation. If the tooth is exposed by more than half when pulled away from the leading sprocket, then it is necessary to replace it. There is no point in repairing this element: after the chain is installed on the bike, it will constantly fly off, and you will not be able to enjoy the ride. If properly cared for, this element will last much longer and reduce your costs.
It is important to figure out how to tighten the chain correctly on the bike when you first install it, otherwise it will be difficult to move the bike and the gear mechanism will collapse. To do this, perform the following actions:
If you follow the theses of this simple technique, you will not have difficulties with the transmission. All the experience gained during the installation process can be applied in order to teach friends how to tighten the chain on a bicycle.
During walks in inclement weather, water and dirt accumulate on the transmission elements, and if you do not service these components and systems immediately after returning home, then natural abrasive and rust will quickly disable them.
Adjusting the bike chain
In order to set the required tension, the bike is turned over and placed on a saddle or rack. The rear wheel is removed by unscrewing the nuts or loosening the eccentric clamp. The brake lever and bracket on the stage are lowered so as not to interfere with the work. Further, the chain is disconnected with a lock, its excess part is removed, and after shortening it again returns to its place.
If your bike is of an old design (with horizontal dropouts), then all processes are simplified by an order of magnitude. It is enough just to move the wheel further along the guides, and the question of how to put the chain on the bike correctly will be solved. However, in this case, it is necessary to control the wear of the links, since neglecting them can lead to breakage of the stars.
Cleaning and maintaining the chain
Preventive measures to minimize transmission wear should be carried out regularly. To do this, remove the contaminated chain and wash it with a solvent. There are special devices that can help with this process and keep your hands clean.
They are called “washers”: they are a box with special brushes, rollers and guides, filled with a liquid that washes away dirt particles. If you carry out such a procedure regularly, then the problem of how to tighten the chain on a bicycle will not bother you, and the part will successfully serve for several seasons.
If cleaning is not carried out for a very long time, then rust forms, which is much more difficult to remove. It is necessary to immerse the chain in a container with a corrosion converter or kerosene (it is best to use an aviation one, since it contains the least amount of impurities) and stand for several days. Next, it must be removed, cleaned with a metal brush and left to dry in the sun. After a while, each link must be lubricated with oil from a special oiler and set in working position. We have already discussed how to tighten the chain on a bicycle at the beginning of the article, so there will be no difficulties in this matter. It is important to follow logic and your own intuition.
Features and special cases
- 2 rivets are removed from the link;
- an extra link is removed;
- the chain is connected and installed so that the closed end of the locking plate is located in the direction of its rotation;
- the open part is firmly riveted.
You are now ready to self service your bike drive.
How to chain a bike
How can this be done? To begin with, it is reasonable to simply understand whether it is necessary to engage in tensioning the chain on a bicycle or change it, since this step is important for adequate work great. There are several signs to determine the need for this work. If, when moving, it began to rattle and jump off a little and now and then slips, then this is the first sign that it requires a new tension or it needs to be shortened. If you visually notice that the part of the bike began to sag more than usual (since the chain does not stretch all the way, then it should have a slight sag, but if the length has increased noticeably, it means that it has stretched and needs to be pulled or changed). If on a speed bike it becomes difficult to adjust the gearshift settings. And when you clearly understand that it’s time to clean the chain.
Loose chain tension
On regular road bikes, chain tightening is not that difficult. To do this, remove the rear wheel and pull it back in the fork. The main thing here is not to overdo it and not overtighten. Loosely taut and taut. equally create problems when driving, so it is important to stop in time so that the chain has an average tension.
If it is stretched to such an extent that it is no longer possible to cope with a simple suspension of the wheel, but you do not consider it necessary to change it, since it slips noticeably, then it makes sense to remove it and knock out one or several links and shorten it in this way. This is not a difficult action. In this case, your task. to ensure that the length of the chain is the same as it was originally. In this procedure, the most important thing is to re-fasten the links with such a reliable lock so that it is firmly held, because even stretched is better than suddenly torn when moving. If you are not sure that you can re-fasten the chain, then it is better not to take this step.
Adjustment on speed bikes
How to tighten the chain on a bike at speeds such as a mountain bike? For a high-speed bike, if tightening the links in the first two methods did not give the desired result, then you can try two other methods.
The first method only works for already trained high-speed bicycles with a weakened spring, that is, with an old derailleur. On a new one, you simply cannot do it manually. First step. remove the links from the gears. Next, knock down the stopper on the switch and rotate the switch in the direction of greater spring tension.
The second method of chain tensioning on a bike at speeds is not difficult, but sometimes works. For the system to work effectively, it is sometimes sufficient to simply tighten the derailleur cable.
Sometimes you have to resort to a complete replacement. To do this, the old one will need to be removed, and the new one installed.
- To remove the old chain, you will need to use a special tool. squeeze. Having set the squeeze of the chain opposite any roller, they begin to tighten the screw so as to squeeze out the pin. Then the tool is loosened and removed. The device is also removed with the help of a squeeze in order to regularly clean.
For replacement, you need a chain with the same number of links as the old, but shorter. To tighten, carefully place it on the gears and the derailleur in the same position as in the previous position of the links. Putting the rollers on the gears carefully, leave the two teeth open at the bottom. This step will make sure that the installation of the new one went right. Use the squeeze again to re-install the new pin. Both ends of the chain are placed in the tool cavity to form a hole for the pin to exit. Place your finger against the hole and gently, without haste, tighten.
Last step. re-installing the pin. Make sure the pin goes in smoothly and easily. If resistance is felt, it means that both ends are incorrectly set and this needs to be changed. When installed correctly, the pin should fit snugly inside the roller, but it will not be difficult to place it.
Quite often, cyclists use a lock to quickly change or remove and clean the chain. On the one hand, this is convenient as it allows you to quickly remove the chain with a lock, on the other hand, it is better to leave a new chain intact at least until the start of regular suspenders, when it becomes clear how much more convenient it will be to use a replacement with a lock. Many cyclists have prejudices about the lock, as the chain supposedly breaks with it more often. There is no reliable data, but the new chain for most without a lock looks more reliable.
Do not forget that for safe riding, you need to carefully monitor the operation of the bike and promptly eliminate all technical problems and replace worn parts.
How to put a chain on a bike with speeds
Owners of two-wheeled vehicles can always count on the help of a foreman who will perform maintenance, eliminate identified breakdowns, adjust the operation of individual components that have failed. But often, there is not enough time to turn to professionals for help, and the cost of their services can be rather big.
Many cyclists find it necessary to adjust the bike‘s rear derailleur. It is worth noting that heavily worn derailleurs are often so frayed that even a beginner cyclist can notice the resulting backlash, which will be impossible to eliminate. If the switch still retains “signs of life”, you can adjust it yourself. Reasons for when a switch needs adjustment may be:
- incorrect setup or lack of it when buying a bike;
- the fall of the bike, its improper transportation;
- pollution of the transmission during the operation of the bicycle.
How to put a chain on a bike with speeds
The reasons why the chain often falls off the bike sprockets can be:
- Loose chain tension is the most common cause.
- Deformation of one or more links. In order for the chain to slide off, one “broken” link is enough, the reason for their appearance can be blows, careless handling of the owner, frequent falls of the bike.
- Severe wear of the sprocket teeth. Deformation is caused by impacts, severe wear of elements. If the reason for the constant fall of the circuit is this, the best solution would be to replace them with new ones.
- Extension of the chain. This phenomenon is usually seen on multi-speed bicycles.
- Rear derailleur set incorrectly.
Putting on a chain is a simple task that even a novice owner of a two-wheeled vehicle can handle. If protection is installed, it must be removed. this will make it easier to reach the rear star. Then the chain is put on the rear sprocket, while the pedals are turned in the direction of travel. When they rotate, the chain itself will throw itself on the remaining teeth.
Which chain lubricant to choose
The bicycle chain, like other parts of the vehicle, needs lubrication. To do this, you need to use special formulations produced in different forms. Many are wondering which bicycle chain lubricant is best, which tool to choose to ensure smooth operation of the transport. Today bicycle owners can choose from different types of lubrication:
- Aerosol lubricant. Through a special tube, the liquid composition is distributed over the surface of the parts. Aerosols are very handy when you need to treat hard-to-reach areas. However, they are designed to process derailleur hinges, brake jacket, such compounds are not suitable for the chain.
- The best choice for a bicycle chain is a liquid lubricant. Poured into a small bottle, you can take it with you and use it when needed. In addition, solvents are added to liquid lubricants, which greatly improves their penetration. After the solvent has completely dried, the grease thickens.
- Dry lubricants are applied to the chain in a liquid state, after drying, they form a white coating. The advantage of these lubricants is additional protection of the chain from dust and dirt. However, it cannot be used in wet weather conditions.
The most versatile, due to the fact that it forms the thinnest film on the surface of the chain, is Teflon grease. The film effectively copes with the protection from dust and dirt.
How to put a chain on a speed bike. How to remove a chain from a bicycle
Depending on the style of riding, the question of removing the chain arises either almost immediately after the start of riding, for example, in a trial or downhill, or after many kilometers of walks, when maintenance and replacement of the chain is required.
Chain Removal Situations
Maintaining your bike is very important, and there may be several reasons for removing the chain:
- Deep cleaning. it is recommended to remove all elements from time to time and clean from grease and accumulated abrasive.
- Link damage and replacement.
- Replacing a worn chain.
- Length change with a new sprocket combination, e.g. on a mountain bike.
Home wear is primarily determined by elongation. An overstretched chain is cause for concern as misalignment of the links will severely damage the sprockets and can be hazardous to derailleurs.
It is quite difficult to notice wear by eye, and to determine it there is an indicator. the length of 24 links:
- if it is equal to 305 mm (304.8 value for a new set), everything is in order;
- 306.5-307.5 mm. it’s time to change;
- 307.5 mm. if the bike was still in use with such wear, then most likely the entire set of sprockets is damaged;
- 308 mm. the value of the damaged transmission.
Objectively, it is recommended to service the transmission every 500 kilometers, but this value is not fixed, since even 50 kilometers on rough terrain with an abundance of sand and dirt in wear can correspond to another thousand on clean city roads.
Some people choose to cut the chain, but the stretch is usually evenly distributed, and the links can still damage the stars that cannot be repaired.
In addition to conventional devices, there are models with a lock. a special link, which is slightly different in shape from the rest, and allows you to open the link using reverse tension without using a squeeze or other tools, the main thing is to put the lock link correctly. It is not recommended to open the links next to the lock, as this will reduce the reliability of the entire mechanism.
It is very important to remember how the chain is connected to the system, cassette and switches before starting the removal. without a little experience in installation and dismantling, it may be difficult to put it back on.
Standard withdrawal process
All guides describe the same removal procedure. This will require, first of all, a small set of tools. without them it will be quite difficult.
- key for removing the rear wheel;
- pliers for holding segments and pin;
- squeeze. a device for pressing out pins, without a lock. the most important tool in the process.
Let’s take a step by step how to remove the chain from the bike:
- We clean the links from dirt. it will interfere with each subsequent step.
- Removing the rear wheel is optional, but it’s much easier to work without it.
- Extrude the pin (the metal cylinder that closes each link) using a squeeze.
- Disconnect one link.
- Remove extreme links from switches.
The reverse sequence is the same. put the chain into place and assemble the structure back, riveting the pin with a squeeze, and rotating it in the opposite direction.
In the absence of squeeze, you can install everything back without it. Pliers and any sturdy cylinder, for example, a small hexagon, will help. Gently clamping the cylinder, the pin can be riveted similar to the work of the squeeze, it just requires a lot more attention and application of forces.
Models with a lock can be unhooked using a tight rope or cable. This allows for prompt repairs literally in the field, for example, when a chain suddenly breaks on a short hike.
Removing the chain from a bike is very easy if you have a simple tool or basic knowledge of the process. The most important thing is to act with care, as forceful action with extrusion can be dangerous.
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 moving, 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 become unusable can be felt even tactilely. In the normal position, this part sags slightly (by 10 or 12 millimeters), and if you pull it slightly, then it will give in for 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.
Adjusting chain tension on bicycles without gears
For bicycles to function flawlessly without speeds, their chain should 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 wheels up.
- Loosen the rear wheel. unscrew the nuts or fixing eccentrics.
- Adjust 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 to 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 on the dropouts and there is absolutely nowhere to move it further, but the bicycle chain dangles, you will have to remove a couple of links from it. In all likelihood, it was stretched or not at all the size for a particular model.
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 rate of the derailleur itself. But the chain, which turned out to be too long, will start 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. Owners of two-suspension bicycles should especially pay attention to this.
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 the 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 ejector 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 a 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.
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 the pin heads with sandpaper on one of the chain links;
- or using a universal tool. squeeze.
By the way, the squeeze is called “universal” for a reason. 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, it is intended for riveting the chain pin itself.
Slipping like a chain drive defect
Every cyclist knows the problem of chain slippage. The chain will stretch over time and the tension will weaken. In addition, chain elongation leads to early 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.
How to replace a chain on a bicycle with your own hands
The need to remove / install a bicycle chain arises for various reasons. Someone regularly boils it in paraffin or wax, someone decided to carry out a comprehensive cleaning in a can of gasoline, and someone came to such a state that the bicycle chain slips under load and needs to be changed. How to do this is intuitively clear, but for someone new to the operation, it is difficult to do without explanations and answers to exciting questions.
At the crossroads of two technologies: methods for replacing a worn chain on a bicycle at speeds
The main purpose of the procedure is to unhook the old chain and connect the new one together. Before doing anything, make sure the chain is engaged now. It either represents a single whole, or has a detachable link (lock) in its design. This is important, since the type of fastening determines the list of required tools and, in fact, the maintenance method.
Lock / not lock
So, the challenge in how to change a worn chain on a bicycle is to find out if there is a lock. This is difficult to determine on a dirty chain, so clean it. It does not have to be cleaned in full accordance with the routine procedure for removing old grease from the chain.
It is enough to brush off the main layer of dirt from the side plates and turn the pedals in the opposite direction. The shape of the detachable link is noticeably different from others, and immediately catches the eye. In more detail, its design can be studied from the photo.
- If there is a lock in the chain, just open it.
- If the chain is a single unit, it is necessary to press out one of the axles (pins).
How to change the chain without a lock on a bike with shifting gears
In the absence of a lock, the chain replacement technology is reduced to three operations:
- Pressing the pin out of any link.
- Shortening the new chain.
- Positioning and pressing in the axle on a new bike chain.
How to remove a bicycle chain without a lock
First, place the chain closer to you so that it is convenient to remove it after opening and start a new analogue on the stars. To do this, simply move the rear derailleur to the extreme position (smallest sprocket), and align the front derailleur with the third gear gear (largest sprocket).
Squeezing a pin out of a link is much easier than pushing it back in. Select one of the constituent elements of the chain and extrude the axis in any of the following ways:
- Tapping with a hammer through a knitting needle or thin stud.
- Squeezing with a hard tip fixed on the chain squeeze bolt.
Important! When tapping or pressing out, the back plate of the link must rest against something. For example, a special rib is provided for this in the squeezing device. Wielding a knitting needle and a hammer, the bicycle chain can be put on a metal substrate (for example, a rail, a weight) or a hard stone, but so that the pin has a place to go.
It is more convenient to squeeze out at the lower level. After disconnecting, it is easier to remove the chain at idle when the pedals are spinning in the opposite direction.
Note. Do not press out the pin completely. It is very difficult to insert it into the outer plate. If you do not feel the position, proceed in steps: rotate the handle of the squeeze bolt, remove it, assess whether it is already possible to open the link. If yes, then squeezing is considered over, and in case of “no”. put the squeezing device back on and repeat the cycle of actions.
How to shorten the chain
Usually a fresh chain is slightly longer than even a tired product. If you put it without shortening, the position of the rear derailleur will not correspond to the required one. The quality of gear shifting suffers from this.
The easiest way to calculate the correct size is to compare the lengths of the old and new chain. It is not necessary to use a tape measure, just put them next to each other. Having combined both ends on one side, on the other we will see a discrepancy in dimensions. Excess links are extruded according to the already stated method, taking into account the recommendation for incomplete removal of the axis from the hole.
Attention! When removing unnecessary links, follow the logic of their connection: the outer plates are pushed onto the inner ones. The outer plates will not sit on similar outer ones. Consider the design of the suspension: on double suspensions, the chain length should be sufficient when the shock absorber is fully compressed.
How to install a new bike chain
Let’s assume that all the technology requirements are how to choose a chain for a high-speed bike. successfully completed. Those. in front of you is a part that fits the width of the rear and front stars and you just have to put it on:
- Position the product so that the extruded pin is closer to you.
- Run the chain over the large sprocket in the idle direction (reverse ride pedaling) through the front derailleur.
- Put the chain on the cassette and go around the rollers of the switches according to the diagram shown in the figure.
- Press the pin with a squeeze.
Note. Pressing the link axis can only be squeezed. When pressing in, ask an assistant or fix the rear derailleur with a piece of wire so that the chain sags on the lower tier. In this way, the risk of damaging the opposite plate can be virtually eliminated.
How to replace a worn out chain with a lock on a speed bike
The technology is similar to the technique of changing a bicycle chain without a lock: remove the old one, shorten the new one and put it on. And we can say that here you cannot do without squeezing. extra links need to be removed with something.
Although here you can omit the recommendation about the incomplete pressing out of the pin. in the case of using the lock, it just needs to be completely removed. And then the alternative works 100%: the hammer and the spoke do their job, and you don’t need to press in anything.
Attention! When removing unnecessary links, see how the lock is installed: both ends must end with inner plates
Removing the lock
According to the technology of changing the chain on a bicycle at speeds, the detachable link is disconnected with special pliers. In fact, you can take in the area of the lock with both hands (preferably with gloves) and pull the ends of the chain to each other.
Installation of the lock
Pass the plates with the axles into the rollers, align all the grooves and spread the chain in the area of the lock in opposite directions, grasping it with both hands. Again, you can use a pair of pliers with a suitable profile, if available. To make the lock finally click into place in the absence of pliers at hand, follow the list of steps:
- Turn the pedals so that the lock is on the top tier.
- Hold the back wheel.
- Step on the pedal with your foot. The section will stretch and the link will sit as expected.
How to put a chain on a speed bike
Any vehicle needs maintenance. Bicycles are not exempt. Their key element in the transmission unit is the chain. Speed bikes have a lot of finickyness to function properly. The frequency of chain replacement or maintenance is largely determined by the riding style. For example, trial cycling lovers do this while riding. When and how to change the chain on a speed bike?
Bicycle chains come in two types: lock and solid. Disconnecting the lock variation is not difficult. It is convenient to do this with a regular thread (wire), threading it into adjacent links (before and in front of the lock) and tightening the loop. The main thing is to avoid damage to the lock and not lose it.
Opening a continuous chain is possible only with a special squeeze, although the procedure itself also cannot be classified as difficult tasks:
- It will be necessary to install the chain in the position of pressing-pressing the axle.
- Tightening the pin pull-out screw.
Axial pressing is characterized by the opposite sequence: connecting the links and pressing the pin by means of a screw.
What tools are important to have to replace the chain:
- The key used to remove the rear wheel.
- Pliers to hold segments and pins.
- Squeeze. As noted above, this device is used to press out and press in the pins.
Cyclists who do not have sufficient experience in such matters are advised to memorize the general diagram, which reflects the location of the chain on the system, cassette, switches. Then the procedure for its subsequent installation will not cause difficulties.
As soon as all the nuances are fixed in memory (or on paper), you can proceed to further steps:
- Cleaning links from dirt accumulations. If this is not done, dirt will be a significant obstacle to the next steps.
- Removing the rear wheel. The absence of this detail simplifies all actions, although experienced craftsmen safely skip this stage. In fact, it does not apply to mandatory measures.
- Extrusion of the pin present in all links (the metal cylinder that closes the link). This is where the pomace applies.
- Disconnecting one link.
- Withdrawing extreme links from the switch system.
At this point, the removal of the chain (worn out or requiring cleaning) can be considered complete. The procedure itself is quite easy if you have a tool and basic knowledge. Accuracy of execution and the absence of forceful actions during the pressing process are very important.
With bicycles that have one gear (singlespeeds), everything is limited to a chain canopy on a part of a star configuration and a latching snap-in or pressing in a pin. The design of high-speed bike bikes suggests some difficulties in this issue.
They can be designated by the following points:
- Locking derailleurs on small transmission stars.
- Next, a chain is put on the teeth of the stars. In this case, it is important to take into account the location of the rollers involved in its tension.
- Then the chain links are aligned.
- The chain is clamped and the axle is pressed in or the lock is closed.
At the final stage, the move is checked. For this purpose, the pedals are rotated. Incorrect installation is characterized by sagging of the installed element and difficult twisting. If this is not observed, the installation of the chain is done according to all the rules.
In what cases, besides wear, the chain is removed:
- For deep cleaning when it is necessary to remove lubricant and accumulated abrasive.
- To replace damaged links.
A failed chain stretches, its links shift, harming the sprockets, which negatively affects the switches. It is difficult to visually determine the degree of wear.
Therefore, they use a simple measurement, that is, you need to measure twenty-four links, or rather their total length:
- With a size of 30.5 cm, we can talk about the normal state of the chain.
- An indicator of 30.65-30.75 cm indicates the need for replacement.
By the way, cutting the stretched chain does not solve the problem. Stretching is characterized by a uniform distribution. In this case, damage to the stars cannot be avoided. As you know, “star” parts cannot be repaired. It is cheaper to change the chain than to replace more expensive components.
A video plot will tell you how to replace a chain on a bicycle
How to tighten a chain on a bicycle?
Bicycle maintenance is an integral part of its operation, no matter how carefully and carefully you treat your vehicle. This is due to the natural wear and tear of the parts. And today we will talk about how to tighten the chain on a bicycle, because it is this spare part that requires special attention and, during intensive riding, often causes problems.
How to determine the need for chain tension?
If we talk about ordinary bicycles that do not have a speed switch, then everything is extremely simple. just pull the chain with your finger until it stops and roughly measure the distance of its displacement from the start to the end point. It should be about 10-15 mm. If this indicator is exceeded, then the chain requires tension, but if the offset is 5 mm or less, then it is better to loosen it.
In the case of bicycles that have a gear shifting system (several front and rear sprockets), there are two ways to determine the need for chain tension.
Switch the speeds so that the chain is on the largest sprocket, both in the back and in the front. We take the chain in the area under the chainring and pull it towards the front wheel until the rear derailleur reaches the stop. If, in this case, only 2 links remain in a weakened state, then the chain has optimal tension. Otherwise, its length needs to be adjusted.
We set the speeds so that the chain is pulled over the largest sprocket in the front and the smallest in the back. In this position, the idler roller and tensioner roller should form a straight line perpendicular to the floor. If the offset goes to the left, the chain should be shortened.
Now let’s figure out how to adjust the chain length depending on the type of bike.
How to tension a chain on a regular bike?
The first and easiest way is to offset the wheel. It is implemented in the following way:
- We turn the bike over and put it on the handlebar and harness. You can also use dedicated repair and maintenance stands.
- We loosen the bolts or eccentrics that attach the wheel to the frame itself.
- We begin to move the wheel along the landing grooves. If the chain should be loosened, then the wheel should be moved towards the front wheel, if pulled, then vice versa.
After completing the adjustment, it is important to check that the axis of the rear hub is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the bike itself, only in this case the wheel can be fixed.
The second way is to remove the extra links. This can be done by the “old-fashioned method”, knocking out the link roller with some thin elongated object. But this approach requires a lot of time and effort, and there is a high probability of simply damaging the chain.
It is much easier to purchase a special squeeze that will allow you to remove an extra link in a matter of seconds, minimizing the likelihood of chain damage. How to do it?
- We take one link of the chain, put it in a special groove on the squeeze and gently squeeze it with a lock.
- We twist the arrow crank clockwise, slowly squeezing the roller out of the plates. IMPORTANT! The roller should not be squeezed out completely, because then returning it to its place will be extremely problematic.
- After parsing one link, we disassemble the chain and determine the number of extra links, removing them in the same way as described above.
- We connect the ends of the chain and press the roller using a squeeze.
I would like to note right away that this procedure requires a certain skill and for the first time may require a lot of time and effort.
How to tighten a chain on a bike at speeds?
Speed bikes have a more complex chain tensioning principle. There it is regulated by a special spring located on the rear carriage. Accordingly, adjusting the chain tension by simply moving the rear wheel will not work.
The only available way to tighten the chain on a speed bike is by removing the chain links. This procedure is carried out in the same way as described in the paragraph about ordinary. You will also need special squeeze and a few minutes of time.
When chain adjustments won’t help?
Chain stretching cannot always be eliminated by the trivial removal of unnecessary links. The thing is that under constant exposure to high loads, the links simply begin to deform and stretch.
So, the normal link length is considered to be 11.9-12 mm. If this figure reaches 12.1-12.6 mm, then the chain begins to “lick” the cassettes, and with a length of 12.9 mm, the chain will have to be changed along with the stars. You can measure the length of the link using the lips to measure the internal dimensions of the caliper.
Incorrect chain tension can cause problematic gear changes, slippage and faster wear on the undercarriage, so it is imperative to monitor its condition, tighten and replace regularly.
We hope that in this article you have found useful information for yourself on how to tighten a chain on a bicycle, and you can put it into practice if necessary.
How to properly switch gears on a bike?
Bikes designed for sports or walking are equipped with a multi-speed transmission, so the biker has the ability to change gears depending on the situation on the track. Manufacturers produce 18,21,24, 27-speed bicycles. However, from most beginners you can often hear that in so many gears on a bike they are intimidated, they get lost and do not imagine how they can confidently cope with so many speeds.
Let’s first figure out why you need gears on a bicycle, as well as how many there can be.
It’s simple enough. the gears on the bike are needed to keep your knees healthy and comfortable to ride. With their help, you should set your optimal cadence, that is, the cadence per unit of time and the pressure on the pedals. This will allow you to optimally spend energy, save your bike and health. Your cycling will be extremely productive in any terrain.
The optimal number of revolutions per minute is individual for the biker and depends on many factors. his physiology, age, experience, driving style and terrain. On average, beginners are recommended to cadence 80-100 (110) rpm.
Now let’s figure out why we need gears on a bicycle in such quantities, because this is not a motorcycle or a car?
In reality, experienced bikers ask you not to be intimidated by multi-speed cycling equipment, because as soon as you learn how to pedal correctly, then not everything will be involved in your work, for example, 27 speeds, but almost two less.
So how do you know how many bike speeds you have? It depends on the number of stars, on average, manufacturers like to produce 21-24 speeds, that is, when there are 3 gears on the front wheel and 7-8 gears in the rear.
How is the mechanism for gear shifting?
On a modern mountain bike, there is usually a system of 3 stars of different sizes in front, a group of stars, the so-called cassette, is also provided at the back, but there are more stars, from 6 to 10.
The system in front consists of:
- A small star, which is responsible for climbing uphill at low speed, but gives a lot of thrust;
- Average star, also called marching or walking. As a rule, the largest part of a cyclist’s path passes through it;
- Large sprocket designed for driving on asphalt, flat surface. Wherever serious effort is not needed, it allows you to drive with great power at high speeds.
The set of stars placed at the back has the same logic, only the size goes the other way around, from the largest, which is closer to the frame, to the smallest outer.
Gear shifting is assisted by mechanisms on the steering wheel, called shifters or shifters. Most of the shifters have a trigger shift mechanism, some hybrid bikes are equipped with shifters like a rotation handle, but more advanced ones have a shifter combined with a brake lever.
Trigger shifters are controlled like levers, and grip-shift. by turning method, this is in more advanced bikes. There are two levers for each shifter, for downshifts and upshifts. The trigger mechanism is as follows. the voltage from the shifters is transmitted through a cable to the switches that are installed on the wheels. The rear group of stars changes the position of the chain on the stars using the rear derailleur, for the front system there is a switch in front.
The shifters can have dials showing which gear you are currently in. In some models, the dials are replaced by a mini-display. Novice cyclists often look at shifters, and experienced cyclists, by the way the pedals move, feel in what gear they are currently riding.
How to use the switch correctly?
To avoid increased wear on the cassette on the rear wheel, chainrings on the front wheel, chain breakage and not to damage the gearshift system of your bike as a whole, you need to know a few basic rules for shifting gears. So:
When changing speeds on a bicycle, you should not allow maximum chain skew, for example, such a position as in front of 1.back 8, and vice versa is unacceptable.
Using the example of a 24 (38) high-speed transmission, we will show how to combine gears:
The easiest gear is when the stars are in 1-1 position. In the process of riding, you should strive for a larger number, increase power and speed, however, do not resort to the maximum increase in motion often, as this is an additional load on both the transmission mechanism and the joints of the legs.
The main guideline is that pedaling should not be difficult for you, but also not very easy, the effort should be comfortable.
When you decide to change gears, especially for chainrings, you should definitely reduce your effort a little and not push hard on the pedals. Why? The fact is that the front group of stars works with the upper part of the chain, which at the moment of movement experiences maximum tension, therefore, it can break if you change the position of the speeds without stopping to pedal with effort.
Switch only when you are on the move!
Need to switch multiple speeds at once? Do it in stages, don’t skip.
Also, when switching, you need to squeeze the lever of the shifter as much as possible, which is responsible for the front group of stars.
How do you know if you did everything right? A great way to find out if you’ve learned how to shift gears right. listen to it, if the chain has laid down correctly, then you will not hear any extraneous sounds in the form of clanging or cracking. of course, provided that you have a chain in proper condition, it is lubricated, not old, and so on. The only thing a cyclist can catch. so this is a little click.
How to catch and feel the moment when you need to change speeds on your bike? An important condition for this. learn to focus on your own feelings, if you don’t have enough strength and you started to pedal idle, then it’s time to switch to the next speed.
So, when the answer to the question of how to change gears on a bicycle has become clear, you need to get as much of your own experience as possible in order to begin to feel the moment when and how you need to change gears. To do this, ride in different conditions, for example, on a highway, climb and descend from a mountain, feel how the revolutions of each wheel change with changing speeds on a bicycle. Exclusively in this way, you will run into your experience with the bike transmission, learn how to pedal with the optimal cadence for you.