How to increase chain tension on a bike

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.


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.

increase, chain, tension, bike

How to tension the chain on a bicycle? Adjusting the Bicycle 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 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. this is the price to pay for comfortable gear ratios, speed and light weight. Consider what rules you need to follow so that the chain is installed on the bike correctly, and its wear is minimal.

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 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.

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:

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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.

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.

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Friends need to be loved. Even if they are two-wheeled. Such a relationship involves skilled caring for your friend. The chain is tensioned in the name of its safety and the life of the bike. Let’s analyze the question of how to tighten the bicycle chain correctly, quickly and efficiently.

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Rear Derailleur Adjustment While Riding

Later, when you are driving, if you feel that the chain is not being thrown over the big star (to reduce the speed), you need to tighten the cable a little. this is done by RINGING OUT the nut. Do not twist a lot. one click. we drove, clicked the shifters. switched the speeds, checked, if not enough. one more click. If you drag. Then:

The chain can be difficult to fold onto a smaller star (to increase speed). And to give it the opportunity to fold off correctly. tighten the nut one click. Then check. if not enough. then one more. Also drive, switch speeds. Well, if they are too loosened, then we twist one click back

Shimano Deore, Shimano XT level switches will need to be adjusted slightly every 500-700 kilometers. If the class of the switch is lower, then more often.

How often do you have to adjust the switches?

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Link Removal Process

Consider a modern way to adjust the length of the chain using a device. squeeze. Its low price more than compensates for all costs.

The tool design includes two slots. The first one squeezes out a pin, the second one presses it in.

  • Choosing unnecessary links.
  • Insert one link into the squeeze and fix it with a retainer.
  • We start to rotate the crank and squeeze out the pin.
  • It does not need to be squeezed out to the end.
  • The formula of the movement will be as follows: tight move. easy. hard again.
  • Disconnect the chain, leaving the pin on the plate.
  • We count the links and dismantle them.
  • The chain is connected in reverse order.
  • Press in the pin.
  • We carefully evaluate our work.

There is a situation where the chain is stretched so much that removing the links does not have a sufficient effect. In this case, it is better to purchase a new product.

Easy Way to Tension Your Fixed Gear Chain

Cycling Front Derailleur Adjustment

Fixing A Sagging Bike Chain

Slippage is a result of a transmission defect.

Part slippage occurs when the tension is weak. And the very weakness is the result of physical stretching. This, in turn, according to the domino principle, leads to increased wear of the stars.

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Therefore, if you installed a new chain or tightened the old one, you may not get the result. In this case, the stars also require replacement. Metal that is worn out cannot be restored.

If you have had to adjust the chain more than once by removing links, you need to think about purchasing a new caterpillar. In the end it’s a matter of your safety.

How to increase the tightness of the bike chain

The case with high-speed bicycles is much more complicated. How to chain a bike at speeds?

The transmission unit for bicycles with speeds, of which the bicycle chain is an element, consists of cassettes with several sprockets. Therefore, the repair work to eliminate chain slippage and sagging on such bicycles has its own nuances. To understand the causes of the problem, you must:

  • If the chain constantly flies on a high-speed bike, it is worth checking if the sprockets are not damaged. If one of the stars in the cassette unit is deformed, the chain can be thrown over another star to continue moving. But in this case, you need to understand that you cannot switch the speed. This method is suitable in order to get to the house for better repairs. To eliminate the breakdown, the deformed star will have to be replaced, and if the assembly is not collapsible and the entire cassette is malfunctioning, then it must be replaced.
  • the chain flies on a high-speed bike; the reason is a failure of the speed setting. Check the quality of the setting. Very often, a failure in the speed setting will cause the chain to hit. The setting is made according to a special scheme.
  • After eliminating the root cause, the chain must be put back in place.

To properly attach the chain to a speed bike, you need to disconnect it with a squeeze. If you take a new chain, then you need to measure the required length, for which the chain is thrown over the large stars of the cassette blocks and connected, measuring the required distance. The excess piece of the chain is removed using a special squeeze tool. By turning the screw, the link axis is pushed out and the unnecessary chain section is removed. Then the chain is passed between the speed switches and connected using the same tool.

If the chain flies on a children’s bicycle, then, depending on the design, the same actions are performed as with an adult bicycle.

A malfunction of the transmission unit on a high-speed bike can threaten the health and life of its owner, the cyclist can fly out of the saddle by inertia, so you need to remember to carry out preventive maintenance work on the chain, check the condition of the speed switch and the integrity of the main parts. It is especially important to carry out a technical inspection of your vehicle before starting the movement, in the event that you make long cycling trips and crossings. Timely diagnostics of your bike is a guarantee of safety.

The same problem! The same in

The same problem! The same in two places!

Chain Removal Situations

Maintaining your bike is very important, and there may be several reasons for removing the chain:

  • Deep cleaning. it is recommended from time to time to remove all elements 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 link misalignment 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 whole 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 50 kilometers on rough terrain with an abundance of sand and dirt in terms of wear can correspond to another thousand on clean city roads.

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Some people prefer to cut the chain, but the stretch is usually evenly distributed, and the links can still damage the stars that cannot be repaired.

get me through too

turn out I also pass through the frame. when big upside down. just put the chain horizontally as possible so that the tangling points are free and as close as possible. then you just turn these rings twice and the chain unravels

How to untangle a mountain bike chain?

He took off the rear wheel, cleaned the sprockets, wanted to put it back, but the chain got tangled in 2 places at once! Please tell me how to solve this misunderstanding?

No need to rivet anything.

You don’t need to rivet anything. Spread the chain on a horizontal surface and you will immediately understand how to untangle it.


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“Chain damper

To eliminate the risk of the chain falling off the stars, cyclists install anti-vibration devices. They can be equipped with rockrings. special plastic parts to protect stars from impacts when passing obstacles. curbs, pits and others.

How are ISCG dampers installed:

  • prepare tools: hexagons, squeeze, carriage pullers, threaded fasteners, keys for removing bonds and grease;
  • remove the stars and connecting rods so that the large star is set to the middle one;
  • screw rockring;
  • select the optimal position of the roller (with a 6-inch suspension travel, the position is strictly at 12 o’clock, with a smaller one. at 11:30);
  • tighten the bolts;
  • threaded clips drip in the area of ​​the fastening bolts;
  • install connecting rods;
  • put stars on a chain;
  • fasten the rollers;
  • align the distance between the inner pancake and the star so that it is identical to the distance between the outer one and the star;
  • the chain should not touch the pancakes;
  • then tighten the bolts all the way.

Tensioning the bike chain

The mechanism can be pulled independently, both on high-speed models with gear shifting, and on bicycles without them.

In order to properly tension the chain on the bike, especially if it starts to slip, you need wrenches (which usually come with the vehicle) and a little patience.

Loose chain tension on bicycles without gears

The rear fork of a conventional bicycle, without shifting speeds, changes its position relative to the axis of the rear hub under the action of loads and vibration. Chain drive slack increases. A slight push releases the chain from the sprocket teeth. The chain slips off. To fix the problem, you need to follow the steps in sequence:

  • Flip the bike.
  • Loosen tensioning bolts.
  • Set the wheel to the required depth.
  • Tighten the bolts firmly in the new location.

You will enjoy cycling and the chain will no longer fly off if you set the wheel properly. Correct position implies:

  • lowering of the chain by about 5 mm. the “in line” state makes it difficult to spin the pedals;
  • the axle of the rear wheel hub must be perpendicular to the plane of the frame. Otherwise, the risk of deformation of the rim increases;

To improve the grip of the nuts, use spring washers.

If critical slack is not eliminated in the extreme position of the sprocket, you need to rivet the links to reduce the length of the chain.

Why the chain on a bicycle can fly off. an overview of the causes and their elimination

Thousands of new members are added to the cyclist army every year. Novice owners often do not know what causes the chain on a bicycle to fly off and what to do in such situations. Let’s consider the main causes of the problem.