Do you need a bike chain replacement before you go out for your next ride? But you don’t want to go to the repair shops near you. We have got you covered. This process might be a little more expensive, but you can save a lot of money in the long ride after you have the right tools.
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Parts Of The Bike
Before we get into bike chain replacement and management, knowing these parts of your bike is just as important.
A cassette contains different speeds. It can have anywhere from 1-12 gears or speeds.
The chain converts muscle energy into kinetic energy. It sits on the cassette and makes the wheels turn.
This is what changes the gears of the bike.
These are used to keep the chain together and often come in small packets due to their expensive manufacturing price and easy usage.
This is used to break and put together bike chains. It is one of the essential tools in bike chain replacement. They have a mouth-like end where you insert the chain. There is a stick protruding into the mouth. This is the end that pushes the pin into the joint and also breaks the chain, so be careful with this tool. Check out this chain tool if you are in need of one.
Chain Tool Head
The ‘T’ shaped handle is protruding from the chain tool.
One of the main tool in bike chain replacement is the degreaser. This breaks down the grease.
There are two main types of lubricants.
- Dry lubricant: Attracts less dirt and is lighter on the bike
- Wet lubricant: Gives more miles
Using a good and suitable lubricant is very important for your bike health.
Takes the slack of the chain depending on which gear you are using.
Bike Chain Replacement
For a simple chain replacement, all you need is a Bike Chain Replacement Tool that will break the chain, a new chain, and pins. These are quite expensive but come with three pins, which means you can replace three chains with one pack). That’s it! Now the gritty work comes in.
Some chains have a “magic buckle,” which means that you can compress the link, and it will come apart. If you do not have this, use the chain tool to take out one of the pins in the chain you will be replacing. This can be done by putting the pin in the chain tool’s opening. Next, twist the head of the tool enough to push the pinout. This will disconnect the chain.
Now, clean the cassette. There isn’t any secret to this; make some soapy water, get a brush, and scrub! The cassette might be worn out from not cleaning the chain, which we will look at later. This is very important to look for, and if there is extensive wearing, a replacement may be in order.
Once your cassette is sparkling, you need to thread the new chain. First, thread the chain through the front derailleur cage. The front derailleur cage makes sure the chain runs smoothly along with the chainrings. Once you’ve done this, move the chain across the bike and the cassette at the back and around the guide pulley.
After all that, you may still have some extra chain. Ensure that when you are testing lengths, the chain is short enough to create tension only in the derailleur at the back. Once you have the perfect length, it is time to cut.
Like before, disconnect the chain where you need it. With the magic buckle, you can link it together without a pin, but the chain-linked above is not a magic buckle chain. You will need pins. Insert the pin where you need it and take the chain tool. Push the pin in and make sure it moves well with the joint. If it does, break the ends with pliers or the chain tool. If it doesn’t, push the pin in or out more.
Once the pin is cut, run the chain around the cassette to confirm that the bike runs without any tight links; if you find a tight link, flex it in every direction you can to solve the problem. Run through the chain as many times as needed. You may also want to lubricate the chain. And that is it, your bike chain replacement is done!
Maintenance After Bike Chain Replacement
Now that you have a new chain, let’s talk maintenance. Chains are expensive, so keeping your chain as long as physically possible is the scenario everyone looks for.
Cleaning is the best way of keeping you away from bike chain replacement for the longest time. Depending on how often you use your bike, you should think about cleaning its chain weekly, monthly, or just whenever you think it’s needed. If you ride your bike multiple times a week, especially in harsher conditions, weekly cleaning might be for you. If your bike chain is extremely dirty, you should do the following:
- Water (if you can, use a hose, if not, a bucket is fine)
- A thick bristle brush (Like the one used to clean the cassette before)
Now, take the degreaser and dip your brush in it. Scrub this everywhere. Cassette, chain, etc. Any greasy mechanics on your bike will do with some degreaser. Once you are happy with the scrubbing, rinse well and lubricate the chain well.
If you don’t get your bike dirty that often, you can go over the chain with a baby wipe and some water. Go over the chain a few times to make sure there isn’t any grease.
Make sure your chain is clean either way. Having a dirty chain can not only look unappealing, but it can also wear out the chain and the sprocket. A clean bike chain will keep you away from another bike chain replacement. On the other hand, the chain is one of the most important parts of the bike, so these processes will make your bike look as good as new.
We have covered all the steps in bike chain replacement. We hope all your doubts are cleared. Now you can enjoy biking more! Have fun!