Most of the tasks that we carry out to maintain our bikes are easy, but when it comes to how to shorten bike chains, this is where many cyclists become confused. Your bike, like every other bike out there, has a recommended chain length from the manufacturer. If you want to protect your rear derailleur and also ride comfortably without the risk of an accident, you have to shorten your bike chain to meet the recommended length.
You can’t ride a bike without a chain. The bike chain is used to rotate the tires so that your bike can move. So, if the chain doesn’t fit, it would be hard to move your bike. You might have to shorten your bike chain when you replace it, and it’s not a perfect fit or when the chain ages and stretches.
Shortening your bike chain is straightforward, whether you are DIY inclined or not. In this guide, we would look at how to shorten bike chains in different ways.
If you see that your bike chain is longer than it’s supposed to be, you can follow these steps on how to shorten a bicycle chain.
If you don’t have a chain tool or you don’t want to purchase one, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to shorten your bike chain. You can follow our steps below on how to shorten a bike chain without a chain tool.
There are a few tips that you should keep in mind when it comes to how to shorten the bike chain. You should keep them in mind so that you don’t damage your bike.
If you still have a few things you don’t understand, we have some commonly asked questions on how to shorten the bike chain.
You might think that shortening the chain on your mountain bike is more complicated than a normal bike, especially because of the extra units that they come with, but this isn’t so. Instead, mountain bikes are not that complicated to take care of, so you don’t have to get running to the nearest bike repair shop.
Before shortening the chain, you should read the manual that it comes with on removing the links on the chain. Many MTB manuals have extensively detailed information on shortening the bike chain. It also helps if you have a chain tool when you own a mountain bike. You also need lubricant for your mountain bike chain.
You need to place the bike on the stand, clean the chain, and then use the chain tool or the nail, and plier method explored earlier in this guide to remove the excess links. Then, securely and properly reattach the chain on the mountain bike and lubricate it before you start riding out again.
Cleaning your bike chain does not only help you see the full condition of the chain but also ensures that it moves smoothly. It’s best to clean your bike chain once every few days, although this depends on how often you ride it, the trails that you’re riding on, and the lubricant you’re using.
You can clean your bike chain by removing it and using some household supplies like rags, bike maintenance gloves, lubricant, degreaser, and a tarp. After removing the bike chain, you can follow these steps to clean it Trusted Source Tips on How to Clean a Chain on a Bike (Updated 2021) - Cyclingity If you look at available resources online you will find different suggestions. Some say you should use household products, others that you are better off with commercial preparations; some say that you should take the chain off, others that you can clean with the chain on. www.cyclingity.com and put it back.
If you don’t want to remove the bike chain, the cycling industry has upgraded so much so that there are bike chain-cleaning devices. You can purchase a bike chain cleaning kit and follow the steps in the manual to clean the chain. Once your chain is clean, you can move on to shortening the bike chain.
Now that you know what to do if your bike chain is too long, you just need to do the opposite if the chain is too short. If your bike chain is too short, it would be difficult to shift with your bike. Your derailleur would also be stretched out uncomfortably. It would be very easy to notice that your bike chain is too short when you see that it is opposite the chainstay or you can’t get to maximum chainrings.
Follow the steps in this guide, but instead of removing the links, you can reconnect some of your extra links to the chain. You will also need a bike chain repair kit if you don’t have any extra links.
This involves the following steps:
As you have seen, how to shorten the bike chain is easier than it sounds, and so you can follow these steps whenever you find yourself in a maintenance fix. With the right tools and concentration, and if you follow instructions to the latter, you can prevent accidents caused by a bike chain that is too long and also avoid having a loosely secured chain. You can also avoid the extra costs of buying a new, short-chain for your bike when you have a long one that you can shorten.
Learning how to take care of your bike is important, and now that you know this important maintenance step, you can ride safely and comfortably with your bike or MTB.