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Home > Bike Repair > Drivetrain

3 star rating

How to Replace a Chain

by Levi Bloom

This guide will cover removing a chain and installing a new chain. SRAM, Shimano, and Wipperman chains will be mentioned.


To remove:

1. If the old chain has a masterlink, remove the masterlink according to manufacturer's instructions. The chain should then come right off.

2. If you must use a chain tool:

3. Pick a link on the chain and insert that link into the chain tool.

4. Turn the handle on the chain tool and watch the pin slide out of the chain. Push the pin until it is just held in by one plate. The chain should pop apart easily.

5. Simply slide the chain off.


To install:

1. First, wipe off all the greasy factory coating from the chain. It picks up dirt very easily and is not the greatest lubricant. It is only to keep the chain from rusting while in the factory.

2. Match the new chain up with the old chain to be sure you get the right length. If there is no old chain, wrap the new chain around the largest cog and largest chainring.

The new chain needs to be long enough to wrap around the big cog/chainring combo and still have enough slack to shift.

3. When the chain is the right length, wrap it around the cogs and rings making sure it passes through the front and rear derailleurs. (Looking at another bike's chain will help you with this.)

4. If the new chain has a masterlink, use that to connect the two loose ends.

5. Get some ProLink or your favorite lube and put a drop on each link. Rotate the chain and repeat until the chain is saturated.

6. Wipe off excess lube and let it dry. Then you can ride!



The tools for this repair can be purchased at:

Performance Bike, REI, or eBay.

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