How to shorten a chain on a bicycle with your own hands

Model with a lock

How to check if the chain has a lock? As easy as pie! A quick inspection to see if the chain has a link that is different from its neighbors. This is the castle. You can disconnect it by sliding the pins on each of the links with your hands or pliers. To assemble the chain, you need to do the same in reverse order.

Removing the chain, which has a special lock

Removing such chains is easy and simple, it takes 1-2 minutes. You just open the lock and the chain is removed.

But our man is not looking for easy ways, and not every bicycle lover agrees to spend money on such tools, so all this can be done with the help of ordinary pliers or round-nose pliers with narrow noses.

If the lock is tight and does not lend itself just like that, you can try to remove it using an old cable from the brakes or gear shifting, strong rope or wire. To do this, a wire is threaded between the locking links, as shown in the figure. With a pair of pliers, grab both edges and pull sharply in opposite edges, unclenching the lock.

The sequence of actions for removing the chain from the bicycle without squeezing with your own hands

Pomace is a useful tool. However, it is not always at hand. What then is to be done? The prospect of staying with a non-working bike in the middle of pristine nature, somewhere many kilometers from the city, does not look attractive. You can remove the chain from the bike without squeezing. It will not be easy to do it yourself, but it is quite possible. Let’s consider in detail the options for parsing the chain with and without a lock.

Why disassemble the chain

Only the chain, tensioned without slack or distortion, ensures efficient transmission of torque from the pedals to the rear bicycle axle. The need to disassemble and shorten it may be due to the following reasons:

Instructions for self-replacement of the squeeze chain

Usually, an auxiliary tool is used to remove the chain from the bike. a squeeze. With its help, it is easy to remove even a one-piece chain. The sequence of work is as follows:

shorten, chain, bicycle, your, hands
  • Decide on the section of the chain for parsing. In the case of re-parsing the chain, it is preferable to take the non-repairable section of the chain.
  • Insert the chain into the squeeze so that the pin is opposite the clamping axis.
  • Secure the chain with the knurled screw.
  • Twist the handle. squeezing the pin out.
  • Remove unnecessary links using a squeeze, pressing out the entire pin.
  • Connect the chain links. In this case, the pin located in the cheek should point outward towards you. First you need to run the chain through the rear and front derailleurs. Then place the chain links one on top of the other so that the pin aligns with the bushing.
  • Unclench the cheeks with pliers. After the ends of the chain are in place, the outward-facing pin will prevent the links from separating.
  • Insert a squeeze into the link so that the axes of the pin and the stem match perfectly, and rotate the funnels, pressing the pin into the hole.
  • Check the symmetry of the position of the pin and the cheeks of the links. Correct their position if necessary.
  • Check the links for mobility relative to each other. Increase mobility with pliers if necessary.

Practice shows that pomace in multitools (especially in cheap ones) withstand a maximum of 3-5 applications. Therefore, for a multi-day hike in terrain with difficult terrain, it is better to have a high-quality tool made of high-strength steel in your backpack.

The mechanism of action of the pomace is extremely simple. The existing stop does not allow the plates of the links on the chain to deform and bend in the process of pushing out the connecting pin (pin). The swivel screw pushes it out without significant force.

In addition to the main tool, in order to shorten the bicycle chain, you will need rags, kerosene and any lubricant (for example, WD-40). Before starting work, it is necessary to thoroughly clean the gearshift mechanism. Non-professional devices. a hammer, nuts, nails, and so on are used only as a last resort.

Squeeze Kerosene WD-40

Lock and solid chain

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

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

shorten, chain, bicycle, your, hands

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

Elimination of defects

A common form of wear is chain slack when chain length increases from original length. Previously, the critical values ​​of the length of the bicycle chain were considered, at which it cannot be used. Everything is correct, but the chain does not have to be thrown away immediately, but it can be repaired. Under prolonged loads, the axles loosen, which causes longitudinal and lateral expansion. It is impossible to eliminate the transverse, but it is quite possible to tinker with the longitudinal.

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It is necessary to remove unnecessary links in such a way that the chain calmly, without interference, passes over the large star. With the help of a squeeze, excess links are removed, the axial shafts are completely pulled out of the removed elements. The main thing here is not to make a mistake and not pull out too many links.

If you have to ride with an extended chain, then in order to avoid its falling off, you can install so-called chain dampers. parts that prevent the chain from flying off when driving. There are several types of such devices:

  • Roller with two locks.
  • Wide rollers.
  • Frame (or rollerless).

Using pacifiers as protection is fine, but it would be better to consider changing the circuit.

options for how to remove the bike chain

Most often, the chain is removed from the bicycle: either to be repaired, or replaced, or cleaned to a shine. In this article I will talk about what tools are needed and whether it is possible to remove the chain without special equipment.

How to replace a chain on a bicycle?

The chain is the key element of the bike’s transmission assembly. Sequentially passing through the teeth of the drive sprockets, it transmits torque to the rear wheel, thanks to which the bike rides. In the process of movement, the chain mechanism is subjected to dynamic loads, which over time leads to its wear.

On singlespeeds, as a rule, the chain is designed for the entire life of its operation: when moving along the stars, it walks smoothly and straight, without deviations. Chains are more complicated on multi-speed bicycles: there is no right angle between the front and rear sprockets, which is why it is always at an angle relative to the frame. The stresses on the chain mechanism increase several times compared to parallel transmission, which leads to periodic wear. To avoid damage to the entire transmission unit caused by wear of the chain, it must be replaced in time.

Not only does the speed chain need to be removed, it is quite common to remove it from single speed bikes for periodic repairs or cleaning. How to remove the chain from the bike and put it back, we will tell you in this article.

Model with a lock

How to check if the chain has a lock? As easy as pie! A quick inspection to see if the chain has a link that is different from its neighbors. This is the castle. You can disconnect it by sliding the pins on each of the links with your hands or pliers. To assemble the chain, you need to do the same in reverse order.

How to properly shorten a bike chain with and without squeeze

Many people are fond of cycling at the amateur level. But a suddenly sagging chain can seriously ruin the pleasure of a walk. To prevent this from happening, you need to properly care for the vehicle, as well as find out in a timely manner how to shorten the chain on a bicycle and purchase all the tools necessary for this. The work can be done independently, following the recommendations of specialists.

Instructions for self-replacement of the squeeze chain

Usually, an auxiliary tool is used to remove the chain from the bike. a squeeze. With its help, it is easy to remove even a one-piece chain. The sequence of work is as follows:

  • Decide on the section of the chain for parsing. In the case of re-parsing the chain, it is preferable to take the non-repairable section of the chain.
  • Insert the chain into the squeeze so that the pin is opposite the clamping axis.
  • Secure the chain with the knurled screw.
  • Twist the handle. squeezing the pin out.
  • Remove unnecessary links using a squeeze, pressing out the entire pin.
  • Connect the chain links. In this case, the pin located in the cheek should point outward towards you. First you need to run the chain through the rear and front derailleurs. Then lay the chain links one on top of the other so that the pin aligns with the bushing.
  • Unclench the cheeks with pliers. After the ends of the chain are in place, the outward-facing pin will prevent the links from separating.
  • Insert a squeeze into the link so that the axes of the pin and the stem match perfectly, and rotate the funnels, pressing the pin into the hole.
  • Check the symmetry of the position of the pin and the cheeks of the links. Correct their position if necessary.
  • Check links for mobility relative to each other. Increase mobility with pliers if necessary.

Sequencing

Consider how to shorten the Gall bike chain (this is what is used on 95-99% of all modern bicycles).

Tool

Internet experts and connoisseurs of Soviet tales usually recommend a nail and a stone, but progress does not stand still and it is better to purchase a chain squeeze (chaintool). a simple tool that resembles a child’s vice without a bed, which can be purchased for 500-1000 r.

It makes sense to keep the squeeze in a backpack only during difficult multi-day hikes, usually this is a workshop tool, so when choosing, you should not pay attention to light versions and squeezes in multitools. they are usually unreliable and are thrown away after 5-10 uses.

If there is no squeeze nearby, a hammer, a couple of nuts and a nail will help, but more on that later.

Disconnect

  • Install the squeeze so that its core is exactly in the center of the pin (roller).
  • Smoothly rotate the squeeze handle until the roller comes out to the level of the second inner plate.
  • Disconnect the link without removing the pin to the end.

We connect

We reduce the chain and carefully, centering the squeeze at the start and controlling the process every 0.2-0.3 mm, press the pin into the link released in the section. Some people prefer to remove the chain. in this case, before connecting, check if it is threaded into the switches.

We check the performance

  • The pressed roller itself. If there are squeaks or problems with mobility on the link, set the plates in place, bending the chain along the plane of the link until the clicks stop, there is enough hand strength, no tool is required.
  • The whole shortened chain. We try to make a few turns on the smallest stars. if there are problems, it will be noticeable right away.

For a chain of a repeating type (half-link, with one pair of repeating plates). the process is simplified, there is no need to choose a pairing. You can shorten the chain of lightweight models and some sports options only with a specialized tool, and the procedure for shortening is described in the proprietary documentation.

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Bicycle chain shortening instructions

It is usually necessary to shorten the chain when it sags. after long use, heavy load, or when changing the set of sprockets. How to shorten a bicycle chain and how to determine the correct length? It’s simple:

  • Switching to the largest stars in the front and back.
  • Opening one link in the chain.
  • We tighten the chain as much as possible so that the caliper is in a horizontal position.
  • Add one pair of links and get the desired length.

Removing unnecessary links

  • We fix the required length and determine the pin for squeezing, taking into account that the released link plates coincide with the plates of the already squeezed.
  • We repeat the sequence from p., Completely squeezing the roller.

Adjusting chain tension on bicycles without gears

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

How to shorten a chain

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

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

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

How to chain a bike

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

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

Adjusting the chain tension in bicycles at speeds

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

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

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

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

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

Link removal

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

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

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

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

Slipping like a chain drive defect

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

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

Shortening a Bike Chain Without a Chain Breaker

Step-by-step instruction

Answering the question of how to shorten the chain on a bicycle, it is worth remembering that all actions are performed in the following order.

  • The squeeze is installed so that its screw is exactly in the center of the connecting pin. After that, the screw turns smoothly and squeezes out the pin. It should not be pushed out completely, only until it is at the level of the second link plate. Otherwise, during assembly, there will be difficulties with installing the pin in place.
  • The squeeze is dismantled, the links are separated. They can be tightly pressed against each other, and you will need to make an effort to disengage. you should not be afraid of breakage, you can even use pliers.
  • The number of links to be removed is calculated to achieve the optimum chain length. After that, the extra elements are removed so that it remains possible to connect the new ends to each other.
  • The ends are brought together and connected with a squeeze, acting in the reverse order. If the chain was removed before starting work, you should first make sure that it is threaded through the caliper.
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The most difficult thing in this work is to make sure that the holes coincide, and the pin freely fits into its place. In this case, after the work done, you will also need to adjust the rear and front speed switches.

Another challenge is determining the required chain length. To do this, you need to change the gear on the bike in such a way that both the front and the back of the chain lies on the largest sprocket. After that, the links open, and the part is pulled together until it stops. A mark should be made on it by adding a couple of links so that the transmission does not overextend.

How to shorten a chain without squeezing?

If no special tool is available, you can use any sharp object small enough to push out the connecting pin. It can be a nail, an awl, or any other strong steel pin that can withstand a hammer blow. You will also need a stand. such as a brick.

Care must be taken not to bend the chain link plates. To ensure safety, the top plate must be supported by pushing a nut or other sturdy piece of metal into the link. Most likely, the chain will first have to be removed from the bike. And for prevention, it will be possible to remove the cassette from the rear wheel, clean it, lubricate it and install it in place.

How to shorten a bicycle chain yourself?

To effectively transfer torque from the pedals to the rear axle of the bike, the chain must be tight without slack or distortion. If, due to wear or a change in the design of the bike, it began to dangle, scroll and fall off the sprockets, even if you constantly looked after it, lubricating and cleaning, you can achieve good tension by removing a few extra links. To do this, it is not necessary to contact the service, since you can shorten the chain on a bicycle with your own hands at home.

Chain shortening tools

In order to open the links, you need to prepare a special tool. a squeeze. It combines a stop that does not allow the link plates to bend in the process of pushing out the connecting pin (pin), and a screw that squeezes it out.

If there is squeeze, the child will cope with the work; without a tool, it is much more difficult to shorten the chain on a bicycle. a video showing this process in all details will help you figure it out.

Must have tools that should always be with you

At home, you need to have a pump, a multitool (a set of hexagons and screwdrivers), tire assemblies, open-end wrenches for 8-10 and 9-11, a couple of cameras of a suitable size, two pairs of brake pads. For owners of city bicycles, as well as fixes and singlespeeds, additional open-end wrenches for 15 and 17 (well, or one adjustable) are needed. Also, owners of city bikes will benefit from keys 12 and 14. to adjust the saddle.

It is worth taking with you: a multitool, tire fitters, a pump and one camera of a suitable size. Owners of city bicycles, as well as fixes and singles, should put the same keys for 15 and 17 in a bag or backpack (they will be needed to remove the wheel in case of a puncture).

keys, 2. multitool, 3. brake pads, 4. chambers, 5. pump, 6. assemblies

The camera was replaced, and it immediately burst again. Why?

If the camera burst or blew right after replacement, then it was most likely laid incorrectly, damaged during installation, did not reveal a defect in the rim, tires that damaged the camera for the first time. Well, or banal bad luck. again a puncture.

Is there a way to get to the house or workshop if the camera burst?

You can’t ride on flat tires, at all. The consequences can be dire. After such a ride, the tire will need to be changed, so-called eggs form on the rim. the wheel becomes oval (but rather it will burst or bend).

How to know when to adjust the brakes?

Adjusting the brakes is simple. If you feel that the brakes are too smooth, ineffective, then it is worth tightening them. By the way, in most cases this can be done without getting off the bike: simply by unscrewing the adjusting bolt / wing on the brake lever.

What minor repairs can be done by hand?

If your bike has V-brakes (rim) or mechanical disc brakes, you can adjust them yourself. This requires a hex (number 5) and a little patience. The essence of the operation is reduced to the tension of the cable, which reduces the distance from the shoe to the rim / brake rotor. The shorter the distance, the more effective the brakes. How exactly this is done is shown in the video. Watch from 3:07.

On singlespeeds and fixes, you can tension the chain yourself. For this operation, you need a key for 17 (sometimes 15). Use a wrench to loosen the nuts on the rear wheel axle, then slide this wheel back in the dropouts (while making sure that the wheel is level between the frame stays) and tighten the nuts.

For all these operations, it is worth having at home and carrying gloves with you. There are thin, fabric, but dense. This should save the manicure, and your hands will remain clean.

DIY bike repair: 14 tips for beginners

Elementary tips to help you carry out emergency repairs with bicycles with your own hands everywhere: in the field, in the forest, in your own apartment.

It is difficult and scary to communicate with riders with a high level of knowledge. First, a lot is not clear. Secondly, there is a chance that they will laugh. And practice shows: you can ride a bike around the city for years without even having a normal pump, not to mention the skills of replacing the camera and adjusting the brakes.

But we all understand: sooner or later the music will finish playing: you will get through and you will have to patch up, or wash the chain, or simply raise the height of the saddle / adjust the steering wheel / tighten the brake cables. What is needed for this? And in general, how to maintain a bike at an elementary level?

All about this. further: in the form of a question-answer.

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