Whether your bike chain has fallen off or you’re building a bike from parts, learning how to put a chain on a bike is a critical piece of bike maintenance.
Unfortunately, many people shy from the task because they believe it’s going to be difficult.
Luckily, they’re wrong!
Even if you’re a complete bike novice, you can learn how to put a chain on a bike in a matter of minutes. And once you do, you’ll have the freedom to go anywhere and do anything knowing that you can repair and maintain your very own bicycle.
Read on to learn more!
- 1 How to Put a Chain on a Bike in 6 Beginner-Friendly Steps
- 2 Learning How to Put a Chain on a Bike Made Simple
How to Put a Chain on a Bike in 6 Beginner-Friendly Steps
Bikes don’t function without chains, and learning how to put a chain on a bike is critical for anyone who wants to get serious about riding.
With that in mind, here are 6 tips to get you started:
1. Get the gear you’ll need for the job
The first step to learning how to put a chain on a bike is ensuring you have the tools you need. If you’re putting a new chain on, you’ll require a new chain and a chain tool (if you don’t already have one).
Both of these items should be available in your local hardware or bike store.
2. Position the bike correctly
Once you’ve purchased the items you’ll need to add a new chain, flip the bike onto its seat and handlebars in preparation for the repair. In addition to making it easier to access the sprockets, this also makes hanging the chain much simpler.
3. Thread the chain
The next step is to thread the chain through the bike’s rear derailleur.
This can be a confusing process, so consider watching this YouTube video from Made Good for some additional clarification:
4. Evaluate the chain’s position
Threading the chain is by far the most challenging aspect of learning how to put a chain on a bike, and now is the time to check and be sure you did it right.
Ideally, the chain should make a nice, backward “S” shape through the bike’s rear derailleur. If you see this, good job! You’ve done it right. If not, go back and try again.
5. Thread the chain onto the bike’s cassette
The cassette is the collection of sprockets at the rear wheel, and now is time to thread the chain onto it. As you do this, be sure to pull the chain over the smallest sprocket available, rather than heading right for the largest.
Once you’ve stretched the chain through the derailleur and over the rear gears, pull the chain gently to create some slack in it.
6. Thread the chain through the bike’s front derailleur
Now that the chain has been threaded successfully through the rear components of the bike, it’s time to complete the circuit and thread it through the front, as well.
To do this, thread the chain through the bike’s front derailleur. This is located between your ankles and is used to move the chain between the front gears. If your bike doesn’t have gears, it won’t have a front derailleur. In this case, you’ll just thread the chain around the bike’s front sprockets, instead.
If your bike does have gears, you’ll thread the chain around the front sprocket after guiding it through the front derailleur.
6. Connect the chain and finish the job
Congratulations! You’ve reached the last step! At this point, it’s time to join the chain and complete the job.
To do this, line up the “male”(the end with the pin sticking out) and “female” (the end without the pin sticking out) ends of your chain with the help of your chain tool.
Now, turn the handle of the chain tool to secure the pin and attach the two segments of chain. Once you’ve done this, turn the pedals of the bike slowly. This will help make sure the chain runs through with no problems! If so, you’re all finished!
Learning How to Put a Chain on a Bike Made Simple
While putting a chain on a bike may seem tough, it’s a very easy job. And if you’ve read this far, you can now do it all by yourself! Happy riding!