A bike chain is an essential part of the bike that helps move the bike forward. Keeping the chain lubricated and clean is crucial to help it move smoothly and last longer. Over time, the chain may become wider and may need to smaller. This guide will show you how to shorten a bike chain.
You will need a few things to complete this task: a chain tool, a new chain, and a chain link remover. Let’s find out how to shorten a bike chain.
Why Shorten a Bike Chain?
There are a few reasons you might want to short a bike chain.
- Maybe you just bought a new bike and the chain is too long, it can cause problems with shifting and pedaling.
- Perhaps the chain has stretched over time and needs to be shortened
- Shortening a bike chain can help to ensure that the chain is the correct length for the bike.
- Shortening a bike chain can help to improve the performance of the bike.
- Shortening a bike chain can help to make the bike easier to ride.
- Shortening a bike chain can help to make the bike more comfortable to ride.
- Shortening a bike chain can help to increase the life of the chain.
How to shorten a bike chain?
1. Without tool
There are a few ways to shorten a bike chain, The most common ways are with tool, without tool and master link. I have discussed these 3 methods.
Prepare Your Bike: First, you need to prepare your bike. Remove the front wheel and loosen the brakes. Shift the gears to the smallest cog and then loosen the rear wheel axle bolts.
Measure the bike chain: Now, measure the chain length. You want it to be about 1/2″ shorter than the old chain.
Locate the Master Link: Next, locate the master link on your bike chain. This is the link that is held together by two small pins. Some chains do not have a master link, so you’ll need to remove the pins and reassemble the chain.
Remove the chain link: It’s time to shorten the chain. Remove one of the pins from the master link and shorten the chain by moving the two ends together.
Reconnect the chain properly: Be sure to reconnect the chain properly when you’re finished. The easiest way to do this is to put one end of the chain in your teeth and use your hands to push the links together
2. With Chain Tool
Measure the Chain Length: You will need to measure the chain length before you shorten it. The easiest way to measure the chain length is to remove the chain from the bike and measure it on a ruler.
Locate the Master Link: The Master Link is the link used to connect and disconnect the chain. It is typically a different color or marked with a special symbol.
Short the Chain: Open the Master Link and remove the chain pins. Shorten the chain by removing links until it is the desired length.
Reassemble the Chain: Once the chain is shortened, reattach the Master Link and close it. Be sure to apply pressure to the Master Link to ensure it is properly connected.
3. With a master link
If your bike chain is too long, you can shorten it using a master link.
- First, remove the master link from the chain.
- Next, thread the chain through the rear derailleur, and then cut it to the desired length.
- Finally, reinstall the master link, and adjust the derailleur as needed.
How can I shorten the chain on my mountain bike?
There are a few ways to shorten the chain on your mountain bike. Shortening the chain on your mountain bike is a relatively easy process and can be done with a few simple tools. Here’s how to do it:
1. Remove the wheel from the bike.
2. Loosen the bolts that hold the chainring in place, using a wrench or Allen key.
3. Slide the chainring off of the crank arm.
4. Remove the old chain from the bike.
5. Attach the new chain to one end of the bicycle frame using a link pin or connector link.
6. Feed the other end of the chain through the derailleur and around the cogs on the rear wheel, making sure it is properly aligned.
7. Tighten the bolts on the chainring using a wrench or Allen key.
9. Tighten the axle bolts using a wrench or Allen key.
10. Test the bike to make sure it is appropriately shifting gears.
That’s all there is to it! By following these simple steps, you can shorten the chain on your mountain bike in just a few minutes. Enjoy your rides even more with this quick and easy fix.
How do you cut a chain without a chain breaker?
To cut a chain without a chain breaker, you can use a pair of pliers. First, hold the chain near the break point and twist one side of the pliers toward the other. Then, use the pliers to snap the chain-link apart.
Be careful not to pinch your fingers! If the chain is too tight to twist with pliers, you can also use a hammer and chisel to break it open. Place the chisel against the chain link and hit it with the hammer. Be careful not to hit your hand!
Alternatively, you can weld the chain-link closed if you have a welder. First, heat the metal around the chain link until it’s red hot. Then, hold the welding torch in place and wait for the metal to cool down.
Once it’s cool, you’ll have a welded chain link that won’t break apart. This method is not recommended for beginners – it takes a lot of practice to get good at welding!
What Happens If My Bike Chain Is Too Long?
If a chain is too long, it can cause the gears to grind and wear down more quickly. It can also make it more difficult to pedal, and it might even fall off the bike.
To avoid these problems, it’s crucial to ensure that your chain is the correct length for your bike. You can measure this distance using a chain tool.
Measure from the middle of the drive-side crank arm bolt to the center of the derailleur pulley axle. If your chain is too long, you can adjust it by removing links until it’s the right size.
Can You Remove Links From A Bike Chain?
There are a few ways to remove links from a bike chain. One way is to use a chain tool. It is a small, handheld tool that can push the pins out of the links.
Another way is to use pliers. You can squeeze the ends of the link together and then pull the pinout. Be careful not to damage the link while you’re doing this.
A third way is to use a hammer and chisel. It is the most destructive way to remove links, so it should only be used as a last resort. If you decide to use this method, ensure you protect the surrounding area with some padding.
However, If you are going to take links out of a chain, be sure you know how to put it back together. Otherwise, you will be stuck with a broken chain.
How many links are there in a bike chain?
A bike chain typically contains 116 links. However, this can vary depending on the brand and model of the bike.
The links in a bike chain are important because they help transfer the power from the pedals to the rear wheel. If your chain is loose or worn, it can affect your ride quality and may even cause the chain to come off.
There are a few ways to shorten a bike chain. The most common way is to use a chain tool, which you can use to remove the pins and reassemble the chain.
You can also shorten the chain without a tool by removing the master link. Whichever way you choose, be sure to measure the chain first to determine how much to shorten it.