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How to Fix a Bike Chain Yourself


If your bike chain is broken, you can use the following methods to fix it yourself. First, check to see if your chain is stretched. If so, try to locate the master link. Once you’ve found this, you can use a chain tool to break the link.

Repairing a broken bike chain

If you have broken your bike chain, there are some steps you can take to get it back in working order. First, you should remove the chain from the bike, preferably with the bike upright. Next, use a chain tool to remove the broken links. Finally, it would help if you remembered to use the pin on the opposite end of the broken link to separate the chains. This will prevent the broken chain from rubbing against the rear derailleur.

After you’ve removed the broken chain from the bike, you should inspect the rest of the drivetrain to determine whether it needs further repairs. If you can’t get to the broken part, you can also bring your bike to a bike repair shop to have it diagnosed. A professional bike tech can determine what type of chain broke and whether it needs any other repairs. If it’s only a broken chain, you’ll be fine to ride it for a few thousand miles.

Checking for chain stretch

Before you can replace a bike chain, you should check for stretch. This can be done with a chain stretch tool. It measures the length of each link from the middle to the first pin. The chain needs to be replaced when the length is over 12 inches.

The first sign of stretch is when the chain link lifts off the chain ring. This means the chain has worn out and isn’t sitting well in the ring’s teeth. Next, the tool will help determine if the stretch is severe enough to require a new chain.

Chain stretch can also be detected by using a ruler. You can count up to 24 rivets and measure the distance between them. For example, if the last rivet is 12 inches on your ruler, the chain is stretched by 1/16 inch.

Finding a master link

If your bike chain is broken, you can fix it by finding the master link, also known as the quick link. To locate this link, mount the bike on a work stand and turn it upside down so you can see the drivetrain side. Once you’ve located the broken link, you can turn the pedals to rotate the chain. You should see that one link is wider than the others. This is the master link.

There are two types of master links: reusable and nonreusable. Reusable ones have an extra large hole that allows the other side to attach to the master link. Some bike chains have both types. You may have to look at the description on the manufacturer’s website to find out which type your bike has.

Using a chain tool

You can fix a broken bike chain by using a chain tool. This tool features two slots, one for fixing the stiff links and another for installing new ones. Some chain tools have a threaded dial to fit different chain widths. You will need to position the tool in the right position to fix a broken chain.

The chain tool should have hooks to hold the chain, which can be turned to remove the pin. If the pin has gotten stuck, remove it and replace it with a new one. The new chain should be able to move smoothly around the derailleur pulleys.

Replacing a broken or bent section of chain

If you notice that your chain is skipping intermittently or having difficulty pedalling, you may have a broken or bent section. This condition often occurs when a stick gets caught in the drivetrain and bends the chain. You can easily spot the broken or bent section by pedalling with one hand and observing the chain as it passes over the rear derailleur pulleys.

First, remove the broken or bent section of your chain. This piece should be close to the end of the chain. Ensure you do not pull it too far, as this may damage the rest of the chain. If the damaged part is on the other side of the chain, use the chain break to remove it.