How to check the tension of the bike chain

Removing chain links

We have decided how to check the chain tension. Now let’s talk about how unnecessary links are removed.

It turns out that the new chain is not immediately installed on a bicycle transport. And first of all, this requirement applies to high-speed modifications. Often, before installation, the chain has to be adjusted in length, removing unnecessary links.

For simple bicycles, simple models of chains are provided, each individual link of which is an independent lock. For bicycles with speed derailleurs, a flail and non-collapsible type are used. Before disassembling them and removing excess links, pin heads are grinded on the link with emery, after which the rivets are disconnected with a squeeze. a special device. With its help, not only the links are promptly separated, but also disconnected, removed and assembled again. The tool has two grooves, with the help of one of which the pin is squeezed out, and on the second, reverse pressing is performed.

In work, such a tool as squeeze does not cause difficulties. Having decided on the number of chain links that need to be removed, the chain must be disconnected and removed from the bike. It is clamped in a squeeze, fixed, and the crank is slowly scrolled in the direction of movement of the clock hand. The position of the release rod is constantly monitored so that it is located exactly on the chain pin, which does not need to be completely squeezed out.

During operation, the force applied to perform the rotation is also controlled. Initially, the move will seem heavy, after which it will become much easier, and at the final stage, resistance will again begin to be felt. The chain is disconnected, removed from the vehicle, the pin remains at the outer edge of the plate.

To set the bike chain tension correctly, the extra links are counted from the end of the chain where the pin is removed. Then the links are removed, the chain is connected again. the pin is pressed into place using a squeeze. The alignment point must be carefully examined. The pin should be evenly distributed to each side of the plate, the links at the connection point should move easily and smoothly.

What are the criteria for determining the need to adjust the chain tension on a bicycle

On bicycles with a planetary hub or no derailleur, it is easy to understand when you need to adjust the chain tension. You just need to pull it down as far as possible. If it deviates by more than one. one and a half centimeters, it should be adjusted.

But overtightening is not recommended. Excessive tension will cause increased loading during travel and accelerated wear of the drivetrain. If, after pulling down, the stroke does not exceed 0.5 cm, it is necessary to slightly loosen the chain. But such actions should be performed carefully, because with strong weakening, the chain flies off the teeth of the sprocket.

To determine the need to adjust the tension of the bicycle chain, use different methods:

  • the speeds are set so that the chain is on the largest sprockets at both points. It is then pulled down towards the front fork until the rear-mounted switch is pushed to its limit. When after such an operation there are no more than a couple of released links, the chain length parameter does not need to be adjusted;
  • at the front point, the chain is set to the maximum size sprocket, at the back. to the smallest. At this point, the idler roller and a similar rear overhaul tensioner should be positioned on the common mowing line at right angles to the ground. The required length on two suspensions is specified as follows: the pendulum is pressed to such a state that the cassette of the chainrings goes to the maximum distance in relation to the ratchet. This position is considered the best to determine the length of the chain.

Bicycle without speeds

When tightening the chain on a simple bicycle, keep in mind that tightness in its position is not allowed. The optimal indicator is considered to be up to 0.5 cm.

To begin with, the bike is turned over, something soft is placed under the seat to protect the leather trim from damage. A pair of nuts securing the rear wheel is loosened. To adjust the required level of sagging, the wheel rim is carefully displaced along the sloped grooves. Once the preset tuning level is reached, the wheel nuts are tightened again, tightening firmly, but without undue force, so as not to damage anything.

The work of the bicycle must ensure the free movement of the pedals. After completing the setting, be sure to check how the bicycle transport behaves in motion, check the wheel axle, which should be parallel to the carriage.

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On a vehicle with multiple speed modes

The chain tension on a bike at speeds is based on the derailleur spring rate. But when its length is large enough, using a tensioner, it will not work to get rid of the sagging. In such situations, the chain hits the frame structure while driving.

When the length turns out to be less than the permissible value, difficulties arise with the inclusion of speed modes. In addition, all elements of the gearshift mechanism and the gears themselves wear out faster.

To make the chain shorter, for a start, put it on the largest stars in front and behind, pull it back by sliding the switch all the way forward. It is recommended to add a couple of links to determine the optimal length.

There is another option: the chain is placed on a large front sprocket and a small rear sprocket, tightened so that the roller axles occupy a common vertical.

Adjust the length of the chain on a two-suspension vehicle. We fix the pendulum installed at the back so that the distance from the rear ratchet to the front cassette is maximized. As soon as the optimal length is determined, the extra links will have to be removed.

How to check the tension of the bike chain

The operation of a bicycle transport entails wear and tear of its main components, in addition, over time, the chain tension weakens. To quickly eliminate problems and prevent undesirable situations, it is recommended to find out how to adjust the chain tension, or shorten it, or completely replace it with a new one.

How the bike chain is tensioned

The correct position of the chain is the main condition for the smooth operation of bicycle transport. If the chain tension on the bicycle is above the limit value, the pedals will be difficult to rotate. In addition, chain links wear out much faster. In the case of excessive sagging of the element, the likelihood of its descent during driving increases.

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 can be removed by loosening 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 the 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.

Maintenance

During walks in inclement weather, water and dirt accumulate on the transmission elements, and if these components and systems are not serviced immediately after returning home, then natural abrasive and rust will quickly disable them.

check, tension, bike, chain

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 washes: 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 has not been carried out for a very long time, then rust will form, 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 keep it 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.

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Principles of work

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.

Basics of functioning

In the process of operation, this transmission element wears out the most on the hinges, where, under the influence of loads, the links are lengthened. As a result, the chain pitch increases, and it can no longer perform its functions. Typically, 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 mounted on the bike, it will constantly fly off, and you will not be able to enjoy the ride. Properly cared for, this element will last much longer and reduce your costs.

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, which was popular until recently, is becoming a thing of the past.

The bikes are now equipped with nine sprockets and a thin chain that require regular maintenance. this is the price to pay 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.

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 stop 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 tension and adjust a bicycle chain

An important element for the bike’s performance is the chain, the life of which depends on timely care. When working, it should not crack and creak. It is normal that during operation it gradually wears out and, as a result, lengthens. When adjusted correctly, the chain should have a slack of 10-12 mm. When pulled with your fingers, it should give in by 10-15 mm, and if this value is greater, then it must be pulled. Note that this is only relevant for bicycles or without derailleurs, or with planetary gears.

Easy Way to Tension Your Fixed Gear Chain

It is also important to adjust the tension when installing a new chain. Even more important is to tighten it after the first three arrivals. A new part stretches very quickly during the first period of operation.

Adjusting the bike with speeds

The amount of chain tension on a bike with a rear parallelogram derailleur is determined entirely by the force of the derailleur spring. But if the chain is too long, then this tensioner will not be able to compensate for its slack, and it will begin to hit the frame. This is especially true for bicycles with a short rear thrower. Too short chain makes gear shifting difficult. It will cause accelerated wear of the transmission parts. This primarily applies to two-suspension bicycles.

Very often, when installing a new chain on a high-speed bike, it is necessary to shorten its length, that is, remove several links.

There are two ways to determine how many links to remove:

  • Place the chain on the largest sprockets at the front and rear. Pull on it, pushing the rear derailleur all the way forward. Now it only remains to add two links, and the optimal length will be determined.
  • Place the chain on the front of the largest sprocket and on the back of the smallest sprocket. Pull up the chain until the rear derailleur frame points straight down, more precisely, when the derailleur roller axles become one vertical line.

On double suspensions, it will be more correct to adjust the chain length by pressing the rear swingarm down to the position when the front sprocket cassette is as far away from the rear ratchet as possible. By marking the desired length, extra links can be removed.

Bike Tension Adjustment Without Gears

A properly tensioned chain on a bike without speeds should be slightly free by an amount of sag of about 5 mm.

To tighten the chain on a regular speed bike, you need to:

  • Put your transport wheels upside down.
  • Loosen the nuts or eccentrics of the rear wheel.
  • Adjust the correct amount of chain slack by sliding the wheel along inclined slots called dropouts.

It is necessary to fix the rear wheel only in the position when its axis is parallel to the carriage shaft.

When the chain is too tight, it becomes very difficult to pedal on the bike, the parts of the chain drive wear out quickly. Whereas the sagging chain can jump off the asterisks, and it will definitely be impossible to go further.

If the wheel has already rested on the edge of the dropouts, there is nowhere else to move it, and the chain belt is still dangling, then you will need to remove a couple of links.

Removing links

Collapsible chains are placed on a regular bicycle without speeds; they have a lock on one of the links. Most modern speed bikes use non-separable chains with all the links riveted equally well. It is not difficult to disassemble a one-piece riveted chain, it is enough just to grind the heads of the pins on emery on one of its links. It is even easier and more accurate to disconnect the rivets using a special tool. squeeze.

It should be noted that pomace is a versatile tool. With its help, you can not only squeeze out the locking pin, but also re-rivet the disassembled chain. Many squeezes have two working grooves: one is needed for pressing the pin out of the roller, and the other for pressing it in. A mounting location farther from the pressure screw is for ripping the chain pins. You can learn more about using such a tool in the following video.

Chain slippage

The chain starts to slip when the tension is released due to its extreme tension. And when overstretched, it, in turn, quickly wears out the sprockets. So by putting a new chain on an old ratchet, you may not achieve anything. All the same, slipping on small stars will remain.

If this is not the first time you tighten the old chain, get ready to replace it soon. Remember that you can only remove two links from it once. In the end, you still have to spend money on a new part.

Method 2

The material used is an aluminum or duralumin plate 8–11 mm thick. The tensioner is manufactured using:

  • tap size М101 with its holders;
  • file with core;
  • hacksaws with a vice;
  • sandpaper;
  • technical oil;
  • hammer with a drill;
  • drilling machine or drill;

With a marker, an old part is outlined on a metal workpiece and a hole is drilled in the center. Then they take a hacksaw, with which they saw off the workpiece and grind it with a file. An alternative option is to make a groove along the shaft diameter, intended for subsequent insertion into this groove. The installation area of ​​the groove in the bicycle frame should be 4 mm wide on one side, 8 mm on the other.

The hole is made with a drill of slightly smaller diameter than the diameter of the hole itself. Especially from soft metal. For perfect accuracy, it is advisable to use an electric drill, not a manual one. The thread is cut by means of forward-return movements.

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 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 combination of circumstances, the spokes of the rear wheel will be bent, and an eight will form on it, and repairing such a breakdown will cost 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

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.

How To Calculate The Correct Chain Length | Road Bike Maintenance

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 washes: 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 has not been carried out for a very long time, then rust will form, 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.

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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.

Damage

Derailleur damage can also cause circuit problems. The rear derailleur is the most fragile and prone to breakage on a bike. In the event of an impact or collision, it can bend inward towards the spokes.

The part of the switch that is most likely to buckle is the hinge that falls out of the common frame that the switch is responsible for. Look at the rear derailleur to determine if it is bent.

The two rollers must be clearly underneath each other. This allows the chain to move vertically from the top of the idler roller of your bike to the control roller in the derailleur.

Compare the roller with the stars above it to make sure there is no side bevel. If this problem is your fault, then you need to disconnect the switch and straighten it.

Do not try to pull it out, as this can cause further damage.

Features and special cases

Despite the fact that many bicycle chains are equipped with a special removable link, some of them do not have this moment.

This can confuse a novice mechanic. there is no desire to spoil the part, and how to tighten the chain on a bicycle is unclear.

In reality, this issue is solved simply: a rivet is knocked out of any link with a thin steel rod or a special squeezing device. The work is carried out in the following order:

  • 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 stop 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.

Transmission system

If you have a bike with a gear system, the root of the loose chain problem lies in the derailleur that needs to be adjusted.

Front and rear derailleurs on the sides put pressure on the chain and it moves along different sprockets on the bike, as if there is a transition from one gear to another.

Check the switch stop, which is the two screws that restrict the movement of the switch to the left and right, and make sure they are in place.

Chain tension

Precise chain tension is essential for normal bike use. Excessive tension makes it difficult to pedal. In addition, the components of the chain drive quickly deteriorate. If the element sags too much, then the risk of its jumping off during movement increases.

Cycling without gears

When tensioning the chain on a regular bicycle, keep in mind that tight tension is not allowed. The optimal size is no more than 5 mm.

First, you need to turn the bike over, first placing a soft material under the seat. This will avoid damage. Then loosen the 2 nuts securing the rear wheel. To adjust the slack to the desired level, the wheel gently slides along the sloped grooves. After reaching the preset level of adjustment, the wheel is re-fastened with nuts. They need to be tightened firmly, but without much effort, so that they are not damaged.

The operation of the device must provide free pedal travel. At the end of the work, check how the bike is functioning, and also make sure that the wheel axle is parallel to the carriage.

Signs of the need for a procedure

On bicycles that have a planetary hub or don’t have speed derailleurs, it is easy to determine when the chain needs to be tightened. To check, you need to pull it down until it stops. If the distance that it travels is more than 1-1.5 cm, then adjustment is required.

However, you do not need to drag the chain. Intense tension causes an increase in the load during travel and rapid wear of the transmission. If, when pulled down, its travel does not exceed 5 mm, then a slight relaxation is required. But this must be done carefully, since a too loose chain can fly off the sprockets.

There are several methods to determine if you need to tighten the chain on a speed bike:

  • The position of the speeds is set so that the chain is located on the largest stars in the front and back. Then you need to pull it down and towards the front wheel until the rear derailleur reaches the stop. If after this procedure there are no more than 2 free links, then there is no need to adjust the chain length.
  • The chain is set to the largest star in the front and the smallest in the back. In this case, the guide roller and the roller of the rear crossover tensioner must be on the same axis perpendicular to the ground. The required length on 2 suspensions is determined in this way: you should press on the pendulum until the cassette of the sprockets in front leaves the greatest distance from the ratchet. This is the best position to measure the required chain length.

On a vehicle with speeds

The tension of the chain drive on the vehicle at speeds is carried out by the force of the spring rate of the derailleur itself. But if its length is excessively long, then it will be impossible to remove the sagging with the help of the tensioner. In this situation, when driving, the chain will hit the surface of the frame.

If the length is less than necessary, then there will be difficulties with gear shifting. In addition, transmission elements will wear out faster.

To shorten the element, first of all, you need to place it on the largest chainring and chainring. Then pull it and slide the switch forward until it stops. To determine the best length, add 2 links.

Another method places the chain on the largest star in the front and the smallest in the back. It is pulled up until the roller axes are on the same vertical. The length of the chain is adjusted on 2 suspensions. The rear swingarm is locked in such a way that the distance between the rear ratchet and the front sprocket is maximum. After determining the required length, the extra links are removed.

How to tighten or tighten a bicycle chain?

Using a bicycle leads to wear and tear on its parts, including the chain sagging. To quickly fix the problem and avoid unpleasant situations, you need to know how to tighten the chain on a bicycle, as well as how to make it shorter, remove or replace it.

Removing extra links

Not every chain can be fitted to a bicycle straight away. This applies, first of all, to high-speed vehicle models. Often before installation, it has to be shortened by removing the links.

A collapsible model is installed on a regular bicycle. One of its links is a special lock. High-speed models are equipped with non-separable parts. To disassemble them and remove some of the links, you need to grind the pin heads on one of the links using emery. To facilitate the task of separating the rivets, a special tool will help. a squeeze. It allows you not only to quickly remove unnecessary links, disconnect, remove the chain, but also reassemble it. The tool is equipped with 2 slots. One makes it possible to squeeze out a pin, and the other. to press it back.

It’s easy to work with squeeze. Having determined how many links need to be removed, disconnect and then remove the chain. To do this, it is clamped with a squeeze, fixed and the crank is slowly turned clockwise. The position of the squeeze rod is constantly under control. It should be exactly in the pin of the chain. You don’t need to completely squeeze it out.

During operation, it is necessary to control the rotation force. The move will be hard at first, then weaken a little. At the final stage, it will become difficult again. Then the chain must be disconnected and removed. The pin will remain on the plate from the outside.

It is necessary to measure out unnecessary links from the side where there is no pin. After that, remove them and connect the chain by pushing the pin back in with a squeeze. Check the alignment carefully. The pin travel should be uniform on 2 sides, and the movement at the junction should be light and smooth.

If the bike is without gears

For a bike that does not have a gearshift system, the chain mechanism should only have 5mm slack. In order to achieve the correct operation of the transport and not encounter certain problems on the road, it is necessary to tighten the chain in accordance with certain rules:

  • Position the two-wheeled vehicle so that it stands on the steering wheel and seat, and the wheels are on top.
  • On the rear wheel, you will need to loosen the mounting nuts or eccentrics.
  • By moving the wheel along inclined grooves (dropouts), it is necessary to achieve the correct sagging of the chain mechanism.

On this, the installation of the chain could be considered complete, if not for a number of subtleties that can greatly complicate this whole venture:

  • the rear wheel is fixed only if its axis is strictly parallel to the carriage shaft;
  • if the chain on the bike is too tight, then pedaling will be complicated, and the mechanism itself will quickly become unusable;
  • with a very sagging chain, the cyclist will often have to stop and correct it;
  • removal of links on the chain mechanism is required if, during its installation or pulling up, further adjustment of the wheel by the dropouts becomes impossible, and the chain still sags.

How to understand that the chain needs to be tightened

On bikes that do not have derailleurs or have a planetary hub, checking the chain stretch is easy. Pull it down with your fingers until it stops. The distance she traveled should not exceed 10-15 mm.

But it should be emphasized that the chain should not be overtightened. Therefore, if the cycle travel is less than 5 mm when pulling down, the chain should be loosened. Excessive tension leads to high pedaling forces and increased wear of the transmission, and too loose tension leads to the fact that it can fly off the chainrings or rear sprockets.

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How to determine when a chain needs to be replaced

The method is based on measuring the length of 24 links. As we know, the length of one link is 12.7 mm, respectively, on a new chain, the length of 24 is 304.8 mm. If the length of this section exceeds 307.3 mm, then a replacement of the chain is desirable. You can also use the special tool shown in the picture below.

The most important element in the design of both children’s and adult professional bicycles is the chain, which determines the ride quality, ride smoothness and smooth gear shifting. Before pulling the chain on the bike, you need to make sure that its length is chosen correctly: in the normal state, the chain can be in a slightly free state, sagging by 3 mm, but not more. In general, the question of how to properly tension the chain on a bicycle is always relevant, since it is part of the mechanism that determines the movement and will often require maintenance due to the large number of rubbing parts. You can check the tension of the chain as follows: press it with your finger approximately in the middle (opposite the outer radius of the rear wheel) and measure the amount of slack. If it is more than 1.5 cm, the chain must be tightened.

So, to tighten the chain on a bike that has only one gear, you must first turn it upside down, placing it on the seat and steering column. Next, you need to loosen the rear wheel fasteners (in most cases, the wheel is fastened with eccentrics or nuts), but not completely remove it. Then you should find a special regulating groove, which is called a dropout (from the English. ‘’drop out’ ‘- to lower), and move the wheel to one side or the other. After the required chain length is selected, the wheel should be fixed back, making sure that the plane of the wheel axis is parallel to the plane of the carriage shaft (this will prevent the development of the figure eight). It is important to know that it does not make sense to tighten the chain too tightly for two reasons: firstly, it is very difficult to pedal when the chain is too tight, and secondly, the complete wear of the chain elements occurs much faster.

It is necessary to know how to tension a chain on a bicycle of a conventional design without gears, but at the same time you should be able to remove unnecessary links from the chain, since there is often a situation when the wheel has nowhere to move in the groove, and the chain still sags. In this case, you will need a special tool. a squeeze, with the help of which the roller is removed on the weakened chain and two adjacent.

It is somewhat easier to tension the chain on a bicycle with gears, since it is partially regulated by a parallelogram switch (the gear shifting itself is based on the principle of adjusting the length and stiffness of the chain), however, even the mechanics cannot compensate for a chain that is too long, as a result of which problems with the movement of the bicycle at medium speeds may To start adjusting the chain length on a bicycle with gears, you must also set it up with the wheels, then switch to the largest sprocket both front and rear, thus determining the upper gears.

After that, the rear derailleur should be taken as far forward as possible by the chain, and the chain on the shifting system (where the pedals are) should also be taken slightly forward in order to determine the optimal chain length. Then the chain is released and carefully put on the special teeth. The idea is that after a complete run of the chain, the mechanical switch will use the rollers to pick up the normal position. It, of course, if desired, can be firmly fixed in one state or another, but in this case, switching will be impossible. After such a rough adjustment, you should proceed to a finer one, setting the chain at the pedals to the largest sprocket, and at the rear wheel to the smallest. For the chain, it is worth finding such a position in which the axes of the switch rollers, if not connected to one vertical line, but at least close to this.

Tensioning the bike chain

No matter how well you take care of your bike, sooner or later all of its components begin to wear out. Therefore, from time to time we have to perform various maintenance. In this article, we will touch on the topic. how to tighten the chain on a bicycle with speeds and usual, how to remove and shorten it if necessary, and what we need for this at home.

How to know when the chain needs to be tensioned

We expose the position of the speeds when the chain is on the largest chainring and the largest rear. Next, take it at the bottom of the chainring (as shown in the picture) and pull it towards the front wheel until the rear derailleur reaches the stop. If you have about two extra links left, then the chain length is normal.

The second way is a little easier. Set the position to use the largest chainring and the smallest chainring. In this position, the idler roller and the rear overhaul tensioner roller should be coaxial and perpendicular to the ground.

On two-suspension systems, we will use the following method for determining the required length. Press on the swingarm until the front sprocket cassette is at maximum distance from the ratchet. This is the optimal distance along which the required chain length is measured.

If the bike has several speed modes

The tension of the chain mechanism on a bicycle, the design of which assumes the presence of a rear parallelogram derailleur, directly depends on the stiffness of the spring on the derailleur.

With a long chain mechanism, the tensioner simply will not be able to compensate for the excess slack, respectively, the chain will hit the frame. Owners of bicycles with an insufficiently long rear spreader should pay special attention to this problem. With a short chain mechanism, it will be very difficult to perform gear changes. As a result, the entire transmission structure will wear out faster. This problem is more pronounced in the case of two-suspension mechanisms.

A common problem when installing a new chain on this type of bike is the need to shorten it. To do this, you can use one of two ways:

  • The installation of the chain mechanism is carried out on the largest sprockets at the front and rear. We pull on it and move the rear derailleur as far forward as possible. By adding two links, the required chain length can be determined.
  • The chain mechanism is thrown in front of the largest sprocket, and at the back, on the contrary, to the smallest. The chain is then retracted until the frame on the rear spreader is pointing straight down. The required moment can be calculated along the axes of the switch rollers. they must form one line in a strictly vertical direction.

If you have to deal with two-suspension bicycles, then the chain setting is carried out a little differently. To do this, you need to press on the rear swingarm so that the front sprocket cassette is removed from the rear ratchet as far as possible. In this position, we make a mark corresponding to the required chain length and remove excess links.

What are bike chains?

In order to more or less understand what is at stake, you should consider the types of bicycle chains, as well as their design features. At the moment, all types of bicycles use roller single-row chains with a pitch of 12.7 mm. Each link consists of outer and inner plates, pins, rollers and rollers.

Depending on the number of speeds, the width changes, the more sprockets, the narrower the chain. Below is a table with the dependence of the width on the number of stars in the cassette.

Another way they can differ is the presence or absence of a castle. The lock is designed for easier removal and installation of the chain.

When to tighten the chain?

1) On the move, the road builder’s chain jumps off a little and a terrible rumble is heard.

2) You already feel that it is not long before point 1).

3) On a high-speed bike, gear shifting does not lend itself to simple adjustments.

4) You yourself realized that it’s time to tighten the chain :-).

Let’s start with a road bike. everything is very simple on it.

In order to tighten the chain, it is necessary to remove the wheel and pull it back in the fork so that the chain is taut. It is not necessary to tighten the chain very tightly or weakly. it is necessary to stop at medium tension.

But what to do if the chain is already much longer than the ideal, that is, it is so developed that you cannot tighten it by simply pulling the wheel? It’s very simple. you need to knock out one or two chain links, so that the chain acquires almost its original length. It’s very simple and I will not dwell on this problem. The main thing is to reattach the chain well. You will understand the rest on the spot.

Now let’s talk about a speed bike.

The first thing to do is try to tighten the chain using the above methods, if you didn’t succeed then the speed bike has a few simpler ways:

Remove the chain from the gears, knock down the stopper on the switch and begin to twist the part of the switch, where the guide sprockets are located, towards a higher spring tension. It is allowed only on an old switch with a weakened spring. You just rip off the spring on a new one!

You will laugh, but sometimes just pulling up the derailleur cable is enough.

As always, I wish you a successful repair! Do not forget to miss your chain!