How to tighten the chain on a speed bike

Adjustment on speed bikes

How to tighten the chain on a bike at speeds such as a mountain bike? For a high-speed bike, if tightening the links in the first two methods did not give the desired result, then you can try two other methods.

The first method only works for high-speed bicycles that have already traveled with a weakened spring, that is, with an old derailleur. On a new one, you simply cannot do it manually. The first step is to remove the links from the gears. Next, knock off the stopper on the switch and rotate the switch in the direction of greater spring tension.

The second method of chain tensioning on a bike at speeds is not difficult at all, but sometimes it works. In order for the system to work effectively, it is sometimes sufficient to simply tighten the derailleur cable.

Loose chain tension

On regular road bikes, the chain is not that difficult to tighten. To do this, remove the rear wheel and pull it back in the fork. The main thing here is not to overdo it and not to overtighten. Loose tension and tightly tensioned are equally problematic when driving, so it is important to stop in time for the chain to have medium tension.

If it is stretched to such an extent that it is no longer possible to cope with a simple suspension of the wheel, but you do not consider it necessary to change it, since it slips noticeably, then it makes sense to remove it and knock out one or more links and shorten it in this way. This is not a difficult action. In this case, your task is to ensure that the length of the chain is the same as it was originally. In this procedure, the most important thing is to re-fasten the links with such a reliable lock that it is firmly held, because even stretched is better than suddenly torn when moving. If you are not sure that you can re-fasten the chain, then it is better not to take this step.

How to chain a bike

How to chain tighten on a speed bike?

How can this be done? To begin with, it is reasonable to simply understand whether it is necessary to engage in tensioning the chain on a bicycle or change it, since this step is important for adequate work great. There are several signs to determine the need for this work. If, when moving, it began to rattle and jump off a little and now and then slips, then this is the first sign that it requires a new tension or it needs to be shortened. If you visually noticed that the bike part began to sag more than usual (since the chain is not stretched all the way, then it should have a slight sag, but if the length has increased noticeably, it means that it has stretched and needs to be pulled or changed). If on a speed bike it has become difficult to adjust the gearshift settings. And when you clearly understand that it’s time to clean the chain.


Sometimes you have to resort to a complete replacement. To do this, the old one will need to be removed, and the new one installed.

  • To remove the old chain, you will need to use a special tool. a squeeze. Having set the squeeze of the chain opposite any roller, they begin to tighten the screw so as to squeeze out the pin. Then the tool is loosened and removed. The device is also removed with the help of a squeeze in order to regularly clean.

For replacement, you need a chain with the same number of links as the old, but shorter. To tighten, carefully place it on the gears and the derailleur in the same position as in the previous position of the links. Carefully fitting the rollers onto the gears, leave the two teeth open at the bottom. This step will make sure that the installation of the new one went right. Use the squeeze again to re-install the new pin. Both ends of the chain are placed in the tool cavity to form a hole for the pin to exit. Place your finger against the hole and gently, without haste, tighten.

The last step is to replace the pin. Make sure the pin goes in smoothly and easily. If resistance is felt, it means that both ends are incorrectly set and this needs to be changed. When installed correctly, the pin should fit snugly inside the roller, but it will not be difficult to place it.

Quite often, cyclists use a lock to quickly change or remove and clean the chain. On the one hand, this is convenient as it allows you to quickly remove the chain with a lock, on the other hand, it is better to leave a new chain intact at least until the start of regular suspenders, when it becomes clear how much more convenient it will be to use a replacement with a lock. Many cyclists have prejudices about the lock, as the chain supposedly breaks with it more often. There is no reliable data, but the new chain for most without a lock looks more reliable.

Do not forget that for a safe ride, you need to carefully monitor the operation of the bike and promptly eliminate all technical problems and change worn parts.

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.

Break of the chain

If you switch the speed at the moment of load, for example, when climbing a mountain, a chain break is likely. When a chain break occurs, the link is often riveted or broken. If riveting occurs, you can try riveting the link again. Since this is done with a chain puller, it is advisable to keep the tool close at hand. If a link breaks down, it must be removed together with the adjacent one. Then the chain is riveted with a puller.

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Installing the bike chain is a simple job. It is enough to pull back the rear derailleur itself on the weakened chain and put it directly on the front sprocket.

How To Tighten A Single Speed Bike Chain

Tensioning the bike chain

Reasons for the meeting or breakup

One of the main parts of a bicycle is the chain. But even with normal driving, it can fly off or burst. The main reasons for the breakdown:

  • Damage to one of the stars of the transmission system. Speed ​​bike transmission systems are divided into collapsible and non-collapsible. Replacement of the star is possible in a collapsible system. The non-separable transmission system is completely changed, complete. If one sprocket is damaged, driving is possible at speeds that remain serviceable.
  • Incorrect speed setting. The front and rear derailleurs have special bolts that adjust the transmission. If these bolts are set incorrectly, then there is a possibility that when changing gears, the chain will fly off.

Method 1

Bend the bicycle spoke with a spiral and place it on the transmission. It is necessary for the spiral to pull back on the bike chain. This is an old and uncomplicated method, where the soothing does not look very aesthetically pleasing.

How to make your own bike chain stabilizer

On expressways with gears

How to tension the chain on a bike at speeds? The high-speed design provides tension on the link element by increasing the spring stiffness of the rear derailleur. In case of incorrect selection of the length of the link element and subsequent replacement, the switch will not provide proper tension.

If there is too much slack, the chain will hit the frame and make gear shifting difficult. Also, do not put too short a mechanism, the tension will accelerate the wear of the entire speed mechanism.

[attention type = red] Important! Sometimes, when installing a new chain on a high-speed bike, you need to shorten its length, remove extra links. [/ Attention]

When chain adjustments no longer help?

Chain stretching cannot always be eliminated by the trivial removal of unnecessary links. The thing is that under the constant influence of high loads, the links simply begin to deform and stretch.

So, the normal link length is considered to be 11.9-12 mm. If this figure reaches 12.1-12.6 mm, then the chain begins to “lick” the cassettes, and with a length of 12.9 mm, the chain will have to be changed along with the stars. You can measure the length of the link using the lips to measure the internal dimensions of the caliper.

How to tighten a chain on a bicycle?

Bicycle maintenance is an integral part of its operation, no matter how carefully and carefully you treat your vehicle. This is due to the natural wear and tear of the parts. And today we will talk about how to tighten the chain on a bicycle, because it is this spare part that requires special attention and, with intensive riding, often causes problems.

How to determine the need for chain tension?

If we talk about ordinary bicycles that do not have a speed switch, then everything is extremely simple. just pull the chain with your finger until it stops and approximately measure the distance of its displacement from the start to the end point. It should be about 10-15 mm. If this indicator is exceeded, then the chain requires tension, but if the offset is 5 mm or less, then it is better to loosen it.

In the case of bicycles that have a gear shifting system (several front and rear sprockets), there are two ways to determine the need for chain tension.

We switch the speeds so that the chain is on the largest sprocket, both in the back and in the front. We take the chain in the area under the chainring and pull it towards the front wheel until the rear derailleur reaches the stop. If, in this case, only 2 links remain in a weakened state, then the chain has optimal tension. Otherwise, its length needs to be adjusted.

We set the speeds so that the chain is pulled over the largest sprocket in the front and the smallest in the back. In this position, the idler roller and tensioner roller should form a straight line perpendicular to the floor. If the offset goes to the left, the chain should be shortened.

Now let’s figure out how to adjust the chain length depending on the type of bike.

How to tension a chain on a regular bike?

The first and easiest way is to offset the wheel. It is implemented in the following way:

tighten, chain, speed, bike
  • We turn the bike over and put it on the handlebar and harness. You can also use dedicated stands for repair and maintenance.
  • We loosen the bolts or eccentrics with which the wheel is attached to the frame itself.
  • We begin to move the wheel along the landing grooves. If the chain should be loosened, then the wheel should be moved towards the front wheel, if pulled, then vice versa.

After completing the adjustment, it is important to check that the axis of the rear hub is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the bike itself, only in this case the wheel can be fixed.

The second way is to remove the extra links. This can be done using the “old-fashioned method”, knocking out the link roller with some thin elongated object. But this approach requires a lot of time and effort, and there is a high probability of simply damaging the chain.

It is much easier to purchase a special squeeze that will allow you to remove an extra link in a matter of seconds, minimizing the likelihood of damage to the chain. How to do it?

  • We take one link of the chain, put it in a special groove on the squeeze and gently squeeze it with a lock.
  • We twist the arrow knob clockwise, slowly squeezing the roller out of the plates. IMPORTANT! The roller should not be squeezed out completely, because then it will be extremely problematic to return it to its place.
  • After parsing one link, we disassemble the chain and determine the number of extra links, removing them in the same way as described above.
  • We connect the ends of the chain and press the roller using a squeeze.

I would like to note right away that this procedure requires a certain skill and for the first time may require a lot of time and effort.

How to tighten a chain on a bike at speeds?

Speed ​​bikes have a more complex chain tensioning principle. There it is regulated by a special spring, which is located on the rear carriage. Accordingly, adjusting the chain tension by simply moving the rear wheel will not work.

The only available way to tighten the chain on a speed bike is by removing the chain links. This procedure is carried out in the same way as described in the paragraph about ordinary. You will also need a special squeeze and a few minutes of time.

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Incorrect chain tension can cause problematic gear changes, slippage and faster wear on the undercarriage, so it is imperative to monitor its condition, tighten up and replace it regularly.

We hope that in this article you have found useful information for yourself on how to tighten the chain on a bicycle, and you can put it into practice if necessary.

How to adjust the chain on a speedy bike view.

A mountain, road or other type of bicycle that uses in its mechanism the ability to move the chain from star to star, requires a separate method of chain tension. In such a two-wheeled mechanism, there is no permanent fixation. The tensioning procedure is guaranteed by a spring located on the rear derailleur. When the chain starts to sag, your friend’s speed performance deteriorates and a knock is heard. If the chain is overtightened during the repair process, this leads to poor gear shifting and rapid wear of the stars.

At the beginning of the entire repair procedure, it is worth determining the condition of the chain with respect to sagging. This can be done in two ways.

We set the speed to the maximum front chainring and the same rear. In the area of ​​the front sprocket, pull the chain in the direction of the front wheel. As soon as the rear derailleur has reached the stop, we calculate the number of extra links. If there are two of them, then everything is normal. The rest of the indicators indicate that it is necessary to make adjustments.

We position the speeds so that the maximum front chainring and the minimum rear chainring are used simultaneously. In this case, the roller that directs and the one that pulls the rear cross-over must be aligned along the axis and be perpendicular to the surface of the earth.

The pull-up process consists in removing the links that turned out to be superfluous. We will consider how to do this in a separate paragraph.

When adjusting a speed bike, you can use a separate tool. the chain tensioner. Its main function is to manage rigidity and save its owner from unnecessary problems with the repair of the problem area.

The mechanical version of the chain tensioner is mounted next to the rear derailleur. The simple design of such a device not only clearly fixes the chain, but also serves as protection against unforeseen collapse when pulled.

The installation of the tensioner implies the simultaneous alignment of the device itself and the switch. The chain will run like clockwork: smooth and precise. But still, such a mechanism is not a panacea for the described problem. Sooner or later, you will have to carry out the process of removing the tensioner and adjust the chain by removing the links. Due to its physical properties, the chain will stretch over time, especially on a high-speed bike. But from the point of view of practicality, the purchase of a tensioner is necessary in order not to get into a difficult situation while traveling.

How is the process of tensioning the chain on a regular bicycle

This term refers to a bicycle mechanism containing one rear sprocket. There is only one technology. to displace the rear wheel hub. The detailed process is described below.

Before starting this procedure, you need to make sure that the chain needs tightening. We carry out the usual test. We simply pull the chain down as far as possible. If the lowering distance is more than 1.5 cm, then adjustment is necessary.

The opposite situation. The chain didn’t pull back even 5 millimeters. It means that she is in a state of “guitar string” and needs immediate relaxation.

  • Putting the bike in a repair position, wheels up.
  • Bolts and other elements that serve to fix the rear wheel must be loosened (you do not need to completely unscrew).
  • We adjust the chain by shifting the wheel in relation to the star.
  • Having made the required tension, we estimate the perpendicularity of the hub axis, focusing on the longitudinal axis of the bike itself.
  • We fix the wheel with fasteners.

Fixing A Sagging Bike Chain ON A Road / MTB / Hybrid Bike

How to properly tension the chain on a bike

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.

What types of bicycle chains are found

All types of bicycles, regardless of their purpose, use the same chain design. Such a product is a single-row roller chain with a clearly marked pitch. 12.7 millimeters. In this case, a separate link includes:

  • outer plates;
  • internal elements;
  • pins;
  • rollers;
  • rollers.

The main difference between the chains is based on whether the speed is great or not. The number of speed modes determines the availability of suitable sprockets. This, in turn, affects the width of the bike chain. Also, a characteristic variety will be the presence of a specific lock or its absence. It serves to make it easy to dismantle the chain and reinstall it.

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.

Slippage is the result of a transmission defect.

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

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.

Negativeness due to improper chain repair

Consequences can be conditionally divided into two types: for a person and for a bicycle. Consider how this threatens a two-wheeled friend.

Any sagging lowers speed performance and increases the muscle cost to build speed. That is, if you loosely tightened the chain, be prepared for the fact that it may break, and most importantly, it will begin to cripple the bike. Too much tension leads to rapid abrasion of parts. Then replacing one chain is indispensable. In addition to the stars, spokes, bushings, their components and other parts suffer.

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For a person. The force that is transmitted to the wheels when pedaling in a stretched chain mode quickly leads to increased fatigue. The possibility of a long trip is actually reduced. Instead of your favorite rest, you can get road torment. According to statistics, the worst cases are cases of chain rally at speed while on the road. It’s not just injuries. This is the likelihood of death.

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.

If the bike has several speed modes

The tension force 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 down 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.

How to tension a chain on a simple bicycle

By “simple” we mean a bike with one rear sprocket. This can be either a classic single-speed bike, which has one chainring in front and one in the back, and there is no way to change the gear ratios, as well as bicycles with a planetary hub. Although the latter have the same design (with one drive and driven sprocket), but due to the complex mechanism of the rear hub, which, in fact, is analogous to a car’s gearbox, it is possible to change speeds. There is one thing in common in these schemes, the chain can be tensioned by shifting the axis of the rear bushing. on this later.

Subtleties of installing a bicycle chain

The bicycle cannot be called a very complex device, there are more complex ones. But still, there are several important and irreplaceable elements in its design, on which the operation of the entire mechanism directly depends. The chain is always important. It will work for a long time only in the case of correct, timely and complete care.

It is necessary to monitor its work and promptly respond to emerging problems. For example, a properly installed and serviceable chain should not emit extraneous sounds in the form of crackling and squeaking. During the operation of the bicycle, this element can stretch and be subject to wear.

If the installation and adjustment of the chain was done correctly, then it should sag by 10-12 mm, no more and no less. Pulling the chain with your fingers, it should move 1–1.5 cm away from its original position. With more pulling, it is necessary to urgently tighten the chain. These regulations apply only to two types of cycling: models with no speed switch or with an installed planetary gearshift mechanism.

When a new chain is installed, the tension level must be adjusted, and after three trips, it is necessary to tighten it. The new mechanism is prone to fast stretching.

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.

Number of rear sprockets Possible chain width, mm
one from 8.7 to 11
4. 5 8.7
6 7.8
7 7.3
8 from 7.05 to 7.1
9 6.6
ten from 5.85 to 6.2
eleven 5.5

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.

How to understand that the chain needs to be tightened

On bikes that do not have derailleurs or have a planetary hub, it is quite easy to check the chain stretch. 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, it 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.

Taking care of your bike is extremely important. As one of our readers wrote, “As you look at the equipment, so it carries you!” After reading this article, you fully learned how to tighten the chain on a bicycle. Keep an eye on your two-wheeled friend, and he will delight you for a long time with his clear and durable work.