How To Reinstall Bike Chain At Home!

What to do if your bike's chain comes off? Well, you reinstall it!

A bike’s tires and chain are something that will need to be replaced very often. However, if you wait too long to replace a bike’s chain then it could badly affect the bike’s overall life. The drivetrain’s lifespan will be affected and then the cost to replace all of those components could be a lot.

Now the good news is that you don’t always have to take your bicycle to a professional to get these little things done. You can do it yourself! How? Let me show you:

Reinstalling Your Bike’s Chain-Explained In Simple And Easy Steps

First, you are going to need these tools:

Tools Needed To Repair A Bike’s Chain

  • Chain Wear Tools/ Chain Checker Tools
  • Chain Breaker/ Chain Splitter Tool
  • Quick Link Pliers
  • A Piece Of Broken Spoke
  • Master Link Tool
  • Master Link Pliers

Bike Repair Tool Kit

 

Now here is what you need to do:

Step 1: Remove The Old Chain First

The first thing that you need to do here is to remove the old chain. You will need a chain splitter tool for that. You can either push the chain pins out of the lower stretch or simply undo the quick link. When the pin is extracted, then remove the chain from the bike.

There can be two situations here, either your chain is in good condition or it is badly damaged. If it is in good condition then you just need to remove it. However, if the chain is in bad shape then you will also need to replace the bike’s cassette along with the chain.

Step 2: Fitting and Installing The New Chain

To fit the new chain, shift the rear derailleur into the biggest cog and then the front derailleur to the biggest chainring. Before you do all of this, make sure to release the clutch mechanism on the rear derailleur. The rear wheel also needs to be fully stationary.

The end of the chain needs to be threaded through the front derailleur. After this, turn the cranks just enough so that they dangle below. This was one end of the chain, the other end of the chain needed to be placed inside the seat stay and over the cassette. Then you finally need to pull down the rear derailleur. 

You will need to thread the chain once again. It needs to go behind the derailleur cage arm and over the top of the upper jockey wheel. It also needs to go over the lower jockey wheel and through the lower tab. When you are done, simply release the derailleur cage.

Removing a bike cassette without a tool can be tricky. But with our guide, you’ll be able to do it with ease and without damaging your bike.

Sizing The New Chain

To make sure that the chain does not damage the bike while riding, you need to fit it into the two largest rings, the front, and rear rings to be exact. When the chain is in place, we will be pulling the two ends of the chain towards each other. Now we need to see which end of the chain we will be splitting, that’s why we listed the broken spoke piece.

There are mainly three types of chains that you can come across:

  • Shimano Chain: They require an inner and outer plate 
  • SRAM Chain: You will require two inner plates at each end for them
  • KMC Chain: You will require two inner plates at each end for them

Getting the right length with the new chain will be important. We also need to make the derailleur arm move. Split the chain using the chain tool that is mentioned.

Reinstall Bikes Chain
Reinstall Bikes Chain

How To Join The New Chain

I mentioned three different types of chains. To join each one of them, you will need to use different techniques. 

1. Joining Shimano Chains

You need to take the two ends of the chain first and insert a pin, you can do that using the chain tool. Now, all you have to do is cut the end with pliers, just make sure that the pin is in place. With Shimano chains, you will not have to do much.

2. Joining The SRAM and KMC Chains

For these two chain types, you need to take both ends of the chain and then insert the connector links, it is a fairly easy process. From here, just snap the plates and the chains will be joined. You will need special pliers for this job!

Now that you have joined the new chain(s), make sure to use all the gears. If installed properly, then it will be working perfectly with all the gears.

There you have it, you have reinstalled a bike’s chain perfectly!

If you’re tired of getting stuck with a broken bike chain, check out our guide on how to fix a broken bike chain no time

When Should You Replace The Bicycle Chain?

The big question on everyone’s mind right now is when they should be changing their bike chain

Bicycle Repair
Bicycle Repair

Method 1: The 2,000-Mile Rule

As the name goes, you should change your bike’s chain after every 2000 miles of travel. Although, a bike’s chain can also live past the 2000-mile limit. If you are a person who never rides in the rain, takes the best care of their bike, and cleans and lubes the chain after every ride then surely, your bike’s chain will live past the 2000-mile limit.

Don’t let a broken chain ruin your ride. Learn about the common reasons why bicycle chains break and how to prevent it from happening

Method 2: Using Chain wear Tools

You can get chainwear tools. These tools will let you know about the condition of the bike’s chain so that you can repair/reinstall it in time. First, equip the tool, then put pressure on a pedal, it needs to be done in such a way that the top of the chain is taut. When you put the tool on the chain, the indicators on the tool will tell you whether your chain needs repairing or not.

Want to keep your bike chain running smoothly? Check out our guide on how to wax your bike chain for a long-lasting and efficient ride.

Method 3: The Ruler Test Method

Another method to check the condition of your chain is with a ruler. It can be any kind of ruler. To use this method, you need to draw the chain taut first. Now you have to align the ruler so that the zero number touches the center of a rivet. Your bike’s chain will be in great condition if the 12-inch mark hits the main center of a rivet. 

If the chain’s rivet is 1/16 inches more than the 12-inch mark then it is showing some wear and tear. But you can still use it for a good amount of time. However, if the chain’s rivet is more than 1/16 inch more than the 12-inch, then the bike’s chain needs replacing.

Learn more on Bike Chain:

Bike Chain Maintenance Tips

Keeping the best care of your bike especially the bike’s chain is hard, I know that. But with these tips and tricks, you can make it way easier than before!

1. Lube and Clean Regularly

The one thing that you need to be doing frequently is cleaning and lubing your bike’s chain. You can use different chain cleaners for that. 

You need to lube the chain slowly and with love, keep the lube away from the chain’s outside. Make sure that there is no excess lube stuck on the chain, if there is, just wipe it off.

2. Keep an Eye On Your Chain 

Pay attention to your chain, apart from feeling weird it can also look different. If it looks a bit stretched, then there is probably something wrong. You can check the status of your chain with a chainwear tool. Make sure that it has the correct length. The outer plates and inner plates also need to be okay.

Recap

Keeping the best care of your bike’s chain is essential. When the chain gets damaged, simply remove it and install a new one. In this guide, I have discussed the different ways of installing a new chain, and also explained the many chain types.

I hope that after going through this article, all of your queries regarding bike chain installation are answered. If there’s anything else, do reach out to me in the comments below!

 


This article was crafted by Luke Ameen, Associate Editor, a seasoned expert, bringing 8 years of experience and knowledge about all types of bikes. Our goal is to provide you with accurate, reliable, and valuable insights to help you make informed decisions and enhance your biking experience.

Should you have any questions or require further clarification on the topic, please feel free to connect with our expert author Luke Ameen by leaving a comment below. We value your engagement and are here to assist you.

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Luke Ameen

Luke Ameen

For many years, I've journeyed the world as an ardent cyclist, feeling the pulse of the road beneath two wheels. Even though competitive mountain trails might not be my battleground now, my zeal for cycling remains undiminished, pushing me to chase new escapades every chance I get.

My heart beats for everything related to cycling. Over the years, I've immersed myself in extensive research and hands-on tests of cycling equipment and enhancements, aiming to guide fellow cyclists in amplifying their riding experience. My mission is clear: deliver trustworthy insights and reliable guidance that readers can lean on. My vision is to kindle the same fervor for cycling in others, whether they're seasoned veterans or just embarking on this journey. Rest assured, I'm here to equip you with the freshest updates, advice, and perspectives to enrich every ride.

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