How to Put a Chain on a Mountain Bike – Step-by-Step Guide

In this article, we will tell you how to easily put a chain on your bike and give you some tips on maintaining it well.
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Owning a bike can be much fun, as it presents several recreational and health benefits Trusted Source The top 5 benefits of cycling - Harvard Health Bike riding has many health benefits. It’s easy on the joints, it’s an aerobic workout, it builds muscle and bone, and it helps with everyday activities, such as walking and stair climbing. www.health.harvard.edu . However, only a few people know how to conduct proper maintenance on it. There are specific faults that your bike may develop that you can fix on your own.

Also, you don’t have to wait till the bike chain removes or gets worn out completely. Your mountain bike’s movement would not be as smooth as it used to be; once you start getting that feeling, you should know that it is due for replacement.

The WHO states that up to 1.3 million Trusted Source Road traffic injuries WHO fact sheet on road traffic injuries providing key facts and information on who is at risk, drink driving, motor cycle helmets, seat belts and child restraints, WHO response. Updated September 2012 www.who.int people lose their lives to road accidents. Bike owners are not excluded, and chain-breaking is also a cause of some of the accidents.

A significant number of people don’t know how to put a chain on a mountain bike. This article will go in-depth and go through how you to comfortable replace your mountain bike chain.

How to Replace a Mountain Bike Chain

Of course, you should know that you need to get a new chain before you can consider mountain bike chain installation. You can get some good mountain bike chains in online stores. The SRAM PC 1170 is a popular and fantastic option.

To replace your mountain bike chain, here are the steps that you need to carry out a successful mountain bike installation:

Remove Old Chain

How to Put a Chain on a Mountain Bike - Step-by-Step Guide

To remove it, locate the lower stretch of the chain and push out one of the pins. If the chain has a master link, you can disconnect the master link, and it will come off. If you can do any of that, you may need to use a chain-cutting tool.

Replace It with a New Chain

You need to fit in the new chain starting from the rear derailleur. If your bike has a clutch, release the mechanism. From the back, keep tracing the chain through the derailleur. Do the same until the end of the chain successfully passes through the front derailleur.

Make sure it isn’t too tight; turn the cranks to leave a little portion dangling. The other end of the chain goes into the seatstay; place it across the cassette. Once it is set, carefully pull down the rear derailleur.

Provided that you’ve done the tracing on the derailleur well, keep threading it through the upper jockey wheel. Then pass it through the back of the tab you see in the derailleur arm cage. Finally, take it through the lower jockey wheel and the lower tab of the derailleur arm cage.

Size the Chain

To operate your mountain bike in any gear without any setback, you need to size the chain. You need to fit it on the largest rings, both front and rear.

Pull both ends together, and you will be able to measure which one to split; this is why you need a long and durable chain like the Shimano Ultegra. A chain tool would also come in handy here.

You should be able to estimate the correct length by now; split it with the chain tool. Provided that you did everything right, you should move the chain to the smallest cog by switching the gears.

Join the Two Ends

How to Put a Chain on a Mountain Bike - Step-by-Step Guide

By now, your chain should be in the perfect place, and you should be able to tell too. What is left is to connect the two ends. Put them together, link them with a joining pin, and complete your mountain bike chain installation.

How to Measure the Chain Wear

Chain wear, also commonly called chain stretch, is used to measure how much the mountain bike’s pitch has expanded. When your bike chain is wearing out, the pitch expands. You can measure this expansion to know the degree of weakness of your chain.

You can easily measure your chain wear with an accurate measuring tape. However, you can improvise with a ruler if you don’t have a measuring tape.

A new chain should measure one inch per link. So twelve inches on your measuring tape should spread across twelve links. There is a 0.5% gap. If your chain wear measures an additional 1/16 inch, it’s about time to replace it. If you don’t replace it early and get to 1/8 inches extra, you will need to replace the cassette alongside the chain.

How to Care for Your Chain

After a successful mountain bike chain installation, you want to take proper care of it to avoid it wearing out quickly. It would help you to save cost and time of installation. Here are ways to make your bike chain last longer.

  • Clean it regularly: Having a mountain bike means you take it through a lot of adventure. Clean it regularly to ensure that it lasts
  • Oil the chain: To reduce the tendency of your chain getting entangled, oil it whenever you notice dryness. However, don’t use excess oil; keep it moderate and wipe overflowing droplets.

Tips & Advice

  • Keep an extra chain around: You don’t have to wait till your chain breaks or gets extremely worn out before getting a new one. Try to have an extra one somewhere in case of emergencies. You never know when it will come in handy.
  • Use lube designed for bike chains: You shouldn’t take a random oil all in the name of using your bike chain lubricated. There is an oil intended for bike chains; it has perfect composure to keep your chain in order.

How to Put a Chain on a Mountain Bike - Step-by-Step Guide

FAQ

When should I replace my mountain bike chain?

You should replace your mountain bike chain when the chain wear measures an extra 1/16 inches above 12 inches. You should not wait until your chain breaks. If the chain wear measures 1/8 extra, you may need to replace the cassette too.

Can I apply these steps to a regular bike?

Of course, the idea in this article is helpful to replace your regular bike chains. While it may not be the exact chain layout, the steps would guide you through as the chains are similar.

Can I continue to use my bike chain when the chain wear is above 1/16 inches?

You shouldn’t continue using your bike when it has exceeded the 0.5% chain wear limit. If you keep using it, you may have to replace more than only the bike chain later.

Final Thoughts

While owning a bike is common, not everyone knows the proper way to handle its components. The bike chain is a very delicate part, and you should always take good care of it. You don’t have to take your bike to a mechanic to replace the chain.

This article is detailed enough, and if you skimmed through it carefully, you should know how to put a chain on a mountain bike now. Doing it by yourself would save you extra cost.

You should also ensure that your bike chain is clean at all times. Such habits go a long way in making your bike chain last longer. Also, try to check your chain wear from time to time to ensure that your mountain bike is not yet due for replacement.

References

1.
The top 5 benefits of cycling - Harvard Health
Bike riding has many health benefits. It’s easy on the joints, it’s an aerobic workout, it builds muscle and bone, and it helps with everyday activities, such as walking and stair climbing.
2.
Road traffic injuries
WHO fact sheet on road traffic injuries providing key facts and information on who is at risk, drink driving, motor cycle helmets, seat belts and child restraints, WHO response. Updated September 2012
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