How to tighten the chain on a regular bike


A bicycle drivetrain also has a lifespan. One piece is designed for 3-4 riding seasons. After which a replacement will be required.

  • Mechanism age.
  • Weather conditions that adversely affect the performance of this part (rain, snow, dirt, dust, small particles, etc.).
  • Chain production quality.
  • Improper care of her.

When performing all the points of tightening the chain, there will never be any difficulties with the transmission. All the experience that can be accumulated in the process of tightening the chain will definitely come in handy. You can also share your experience with friends and family. After all, every person who drives such a vehicle may have a similar problem.

We recommend another video from an expert:

The PROPER way to tighten your chain

How to tighten the chain on a regular bike

This instruction must be mastered the first time, so that driving a vehicle is only a pleasure.

  • Turn the bike over with the wheels up. We put it so that it has no chance of falling. It is advisable to fix it.
  • We loosen with a wrench the fastening nuts on the wheel, which is located at the back.
  • We set the required degree of tension and sagging (to do this, you need to move the wheel back a little).
  • Now it should not sag more than 5 mm.

Adjusting the tension on a bike 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 only necessary to fix the rear wheel 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.

How to chain a child’s bike

Children’s bicycles are designed in the same way as regular bikes (not speed bikes). Therefore, in order to tighten the chain on children’s bicycles, you need:

  • turn it over, fix it so that a fall does not occur;
  • remove the chain protection from the bike (for this you need to use a wrench or a screwdriver);
  • loosen the nuts that secure the rear wheel;
  • move the wheel back a little (this can tighten the chain drive to the desired level, the main thing is not to overtighten, so that the child can pedal without effort);
  • you need to fasten the wheel to the frame with nuts;
  • you can go!

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.

tighten, chain, regular, bike

How to remove excess bike chain links

In this article, we will not consider the “old-fashioned” ways to remove links. It seems to us that there are absolutely no problems in acquiring the necessary tool, and more specifically squeeze. Its price is not high (about 4), but the profit is much higher. It will allow you to easily disconnect and remove the chain or remove unnecessary links, and put it back together. This tool has two grooves: one for squeezing out the pin, and the other for pressing it in.

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Further, everything is relatively simple. Having counted the number of links to be removed, disconnect and remove the chain. To do this, insert it into the squeeze, squeeze it with a lock, and slowly turn the knob clockwise.

It is important to do everything very carefully and make sure that the squeeze rod hits exactly the pin of the chain. The pin should not be squeezed out completely; for this, you should pay attention to the rotation force. At the beginning, there will be a tight move, then a little easier, and at the end again a tight one. At the last stage, we act very carefully. Then we disconnect and remove the chain. The pin remains on the outer plate. After we measure the number of unnecessary links in the direction of the chain, where there is no pin (see figure).

Remove the links in the same way and connect the chain back. To do this, using the same tool, press the pin back.

After that, you need to carefully inspect the place of the new connection. The pin should come out evenly on both sides, and the joint should move easily, just like the rest of the links.

You can learn more about the use of pomace by watching the video below.

If the chain falls off on a mountain bike

If a chain piece on a mountain bike stretches and falls, then pulling up will not help. In this case, a replacement part will be required. Because in this case, the mechanism is responsible for the operation of the transmission. The spring in this type of transport is responsible for the operation of the chain and automatically adjusts the tension in which the mechanism should be.

Some craftsmen solve this problem quite simply. A metal part is torn apart, several links are removed and fastened with a special lock. But, unfortunately, this method is not always effective, since it will not be able to please with its work for a long time.

Important! When buying a chain, be sure to consult with a specialist, as the part you bought may not fit your transport.

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 properly tension your bike chain and why it matters

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

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

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

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 by not being able to continue to ride. But often with this there are more serious consequences. For example, if there is no special guard on the rear wheel, the chain can fall into the spokes, but here the outcome is unfavorable in all cases.
Under any combination of circumstances, the spokes of the rear wheel will be bent, and an eight will form on it, and the repair of 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.

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

Learning to adjust the chain drive correctly

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

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

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

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

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

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Easiest way to tighten your bike chain!

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

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

Reasons for loosening chains

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

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

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

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

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

How to take care of chains

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

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