Bicycle chain repair tools JensonUSA.com
Every serious cyclist needs to know the basics of bicycle chain repair. After punctures and other tire issues, the most common problem on your bike will be caused by the chain: If your chain is too loose, too tight, rusting, or not lubricated properly, the chain can fly off the gear sprocket, or even break!
I won’t talk about routine maintenance here. For this you can visit the article about basic bicycle maintenance. From the other hand, please note that in severe cases, when you suffer continuous chain problems, bicycle chain repair may not be sufficient, and you need to have it checked by a professional.
Bicycle Chain Common Problems
The Chain Leaves The Front Chain Ring
If the chain leaves the front chain ring, first you should stop safely and move yourself and the bike out of harm’s way (the verge or a sidewalk).
You may have to wiggle the chain about a bit if it’s jammed somewhere. Using your fingers, engage a few teeth of the chain ring with the gaps in the chain by lifting the chain over the sprocket until it ‘bites’ on the chain.
Move the gear levers all the way to the smallest gear on the chain ring then gently lift the rear tire off the ground and turn the pedals slowly to re-engage the chain completely. You will need to shift the front gear ratios lever if the chain falls off again straight away and try again until the chain remains engaged.
The Chain Leaves The Rear Sprocket
If the chain leaves the rear sporocket, first you should stop safely and move yourself and the bike out of harm’s way (the verge or a sidewalk). Lift the chain and drop it across the rear sprockets. The chain should be moving easily through the rear derailleur. Raise the rear tire slightly and slowly turn the bicycle pedals. The chain should re-engage on its own. Adjust the rear gear ratios lever if the chain doesn’t engage smoothly.
Note: If the derailleur is snarled in the spokes, don’t attempt this – you’ll need to learn how to adjust the derailleur first.
The Chain Breaks
As long as you are carrying a chain master link in your bicycle repair kit, it is not a disaster even if the chain breaks! The master link holds the two halves of the chain together. It’s not perfect, but it will get you back home. The chain master link snaps easily into place, one half on either side of the chain. You push the halves together until you hear a firm “click”. If you’re not carrying a master link you’ll need to cut the chain. Assuming you have the chain cutting tool, then it’s just a matter of getting your hands dirty.
Place the round parts of the chain where you desire to perform the cut on the pieces of metal sticking out of the chain cutter, then simply twist the screw of the chain to start pushing the pin out of the chain link.
Did you know...?
When cutting the chain and repairing it, it is best to move the gear levers all the way down to the smallest sprocket, so that the derailleur doesn't tighten the chain and makes it awkward for you to perform the repair.
Look for more information on bicycle chain tool.
Do it slowly and when you are reaching the last bit of chain, start twisting the screw the other way around, to make sure the chain comes off in two pieces WITHOUT completely removing the pin. If it doesn't come apart, then twist it 1/8th of a turn again and repeat the process until the chain cuts and the pin remains attached to the last bit of chain-link. Then cut whatever part you need to cut and attach the chain links together the same way you cut them, by turning the screw of the chain cutting tool.
Keep in mind that the pin was still holding on the chain-link so be careful not to push it sideways and making it fall off. If you pushed the pin all the way through and it fell from the chain-link, then you should consider cutting the chain somewhere else. If there's no way you can do that because the chain simply won't reach the desired chain-link, then be very patient because trying to put that pin back together can be a discouraging and extremely difficult (yet not impossible) task: it's better to try doing that than walking with your bike...
Once you have pushed the pin all the way in and the chain is attached together again, make sure the pin is even in both sides of the chain, before mounting the chain back on the chain-ring and sprocket.
Grab the joint that you just made and move it with your hands: it should move freely and with no effort. If it hardly moves then you need to adjust the pin again. Try pushing the pin a little bit to one side of the chain and then try again. If it didn't work then try pushing it the other way around and trying again - it's a matter of playing with the pin until you find a happy medium and the joint you did moves freely. If you don't do this, then it's possible that the chain will jump and skip gears when the stiff joint passes through the derailleur or chain ring, or even worse, jump off from the chain ring or sprocket.
Last Word About Bicycle Chain Repair
"Prevention is Better Than Cure"
When it comes to bicycle chain repair, prevention is better than cure. Paying close attention to the bicycle chain during routine bicycle maintenance sessions will repay you in the long run, as you'll not need to repair it as often. Most chain problems are caused by poorly-maintained bicycle chains.
Taking proper care of your bike's chain is one of the things that a responsible bike owner must do. One way of doing this is by using a chain cleaner like this Chain Cleaning Kit.
To do so you must grab a brush and chain cleaner or degreaser and start cleaning the chain out of dirt. Spray it or pour it close to the chain ring. Be careful not to spill it over the rims and disk brake rotors. Once you are done with the chain, remove the rear tire and do the same with the sprockets, again careful not to spill anything on the rims or rotors. Use a rag to cover them if necessary. Proceed to mount the tire back up and then head to this bicycle chain lube article for more information on how to lubricate a chain once you are done cleaning it.
Bicycle Chain Repair Tools on eBay
Did you know...?
Did you know that there is an alternative to bicycle chain repair?
If you ever tired of fixing an oily bicycle chain, you probably know how dirty and sometimes frustrated this task can be. To avoid dealing with bicycle chain repair you can consider buying a chainless bicycle.