You asked: Can I shorten a bike chain?

Conclusion. Bike chains can lengthen due to age and use, or you may buy one that’s too long. With a few tools, a bike stand and a little time you can remove extra links, shorten the chain and make your bike rideable once again.

Each link of a chain is held together by a steel pin / peg. With the chain tool (or a hammer) you can push out and push in the pins, allowing you to remove or attach links. Fixing a broken chain amounts to removing the broken link and re-attaching the remaining ends.

What happens if my bike chain is too long?

A chain that’s too long (loose) may cause dropped chains and/or inconsistent shifting — front and back shifting. A chain that’s too short (tight) can cause even bigger problems. … BUT, things can go really bad … if it does shift and rips the derailleur off, damages the chain or bends gear teeth.

When should I shorten my bike chain?

Ideally, you want to shorten your replacement chain after threading it through the chainrings and cassette. This makes it easier to determine how long your chain needs to be. Before threading the chain, however, check whether there are signs of extreme wear on the chainrings and cassette on your bike.

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How long should your bike chain be?

In order to make absolutely sure the chain is long enough, it should be put around the biggest chainring in the front, the biggest sprocket at the rear and then add one more inch, or one link because of the derailleur.

What happens if bike chain is loose?

When it’s loose, the rate of power transfer drops, and you aren’t able to propel the bike forward. A bike chain can fall off completely, but oftentimes it only becomes loose. If it isn’t too loose, you can keep cycling until your destination and then tighten it.

What size of bike chain do I need?

If your bike is equipped with the derailleur, you need a 3/32″ or 11/128″ chain. If you have a single-speed or internally geared bike, you need either 1/8″ or 3/32″. You should get the correct size, but if it is not possible, you can get the 1/8″ because it has limited compatibility with the 3/32″ sprocket.

Replacement Pin or Master Link: New chains will come with either a new pin, or a specialized link called a master link, to connect the two ends of the chain together.

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