When your bike’s chain gets broken, you’ll be stranded for some minutes, looking for help. You might also opt for walking back home if you don’t get it fixed. The best way to avoid such is to learn how to fix a broken chain and continue having fun outdoors.
Fixing a broken chain requires you to remove the bent parts and then re-installing them. You can fix the chain using different methods with a chain breaker tool to make the process easy and fast.
This shouldn’t be a bother anymore as you can fix a broken chain after reading this guide as we’ll explain it in detail.
How To Fix A Broken Chain Without A Spare Link
One of the best methods to fix a broken chain is reattaching the chain without using a spare link. To achieve that, you should;
- Stop shifting the bike when the chain is broken. You’ll avoid causing more problems when you do this, making it easier to replace/repair the chain.
- Push the pin out of the broken link with a chain breaker tool. Don’t push the whole pin out, but rather let it be halfway. Remember that every link has 2 rounds of pins that connect to the other links. So, look for the broken link and mark the pin that attaches it to the rest of the chain. Then turn the chain breaker tool to have the poker pushing the pin out.
- Then pull the broken link from the pin and throw it away. Ensure the pin remains intact as you’ll use it to connect it to the open link on the other end and hold the chain together. However, you can decide to replace the pin with a new one.
- Attach the edges of the chain to get the holes lined up well. Ensure the link with the pin is outside to enable you to fix it in all the four holes for your chain to have a complete setup. Consider putting the inner plates into the outer plates to align the holes properly.
- You should complete the link by pushing the pin through using a chain breaker tool. Let the chain breaker tool be the other way round to enable you to screw and push the link inwards. Take your time to do this to get the links lined up well.
- Let the chain connection loosen up to avoid binding. Hold it from both sides where you’ve repaired the new links, then move it to loosen up the new connection. Doing this will also help push the chain tool to the other end of the joint you’ve made, moving the pin slightly to loosen up the two outside plates of the link reducing their chances of binding.
- You should then oil the chain using bike grease and not WD-40 or any product not meant for the chains. Flip your bike over, then drop bits of the oil onto the chain as you pedal with one hand. Do enough drops to prevent the chain from staying dry and after that, use a damp cloth to clear out excess grease on the chain.
- Finally, you can test if your chain is in perfect shape by riding the bike. Avoid riding on the biggest gear when out for the test, as your chain is shorter after removing a link. But in most cases, the bike won’t get into such gears as the chain becomes smaller after this repair. If you try forcing the chain into the bigger gear, it will break it further, resulting in more problems.It’s advisable to keep the chain straight between the front and back gears and not allow it to stretch diagonally across the gears.
Even though you can use any method to fix a broken chain, it’s best to buy a new one to solve the problem once. This is because it will keep breaking and expanding as the pins wear out. Riding with such a chain will be frustrating as it comes with many challenges. You will experience more problems on your feet and wheels which will require more effort to have the bike move at a faster speed.
How To Add A New Link
If you want to fix a broken chain and solve the problem permanently, it’s best to install a new link. It will do you much justice rather than removing the broken one and reattaching the chain without a spare link. Doing this will also allow you to change to bigger gears without limits.
You can buy a new link from a bike shop around you. But ensure the one you’re buying is easy to fix. Master links will do in this case as they can last longer, keeping you going on longer trips. Identify the one that works best on your bike.
You can do that by;
- After buying the right master link, it’s time to install it. Let it face the right direction according to the arrows on it, indicating where the chain should move as you cycle. Also, let the concave side face the wheel to have it work best.
- Then press the links together to unhook the two halves of the master link. The master link has figure-eight shape space for the pins and not the rounded pins and pin-holes as the rest of the chain when unhooking.
- Take each half and fix it to the hole on the opposite holes on the chain. Also, ensure the pins attach from the opposite sides of the chain since you’re to fix the chain using the figure-eight hole when properly aligned.
- You should then attach the exposed pins to the figure eight holes on the opposite links. Depending on the method you find easier, you can use your hands to connect the chain together or use a tensioner. After doing this, the chain connection will be very loose, requiring you to tighten them up.
- With a pair of pliers, attach the master link. This will help click the pins on both sides to create a firm chain. But if you don’t have pliers use other methods to fix the master link. Consider turning the bike upside down while holding the rear brake while gently pedaling. As the brakes put pressure on the wheels holding them, the chain will stop moving. But the pressure from pedaling will pull the other side making your master link tighter.
Learning how to fix a broken chain will save your back when riding in a remote area with no one to come to your rescue. It will also save you from spending extra cash looking for services that only require DIY skills. When you opt for fixing a broken chain, it’s best to buy a new link to have your chain serve you for long. But this doesn’t mean you can’t fix a broken chain without a spare link and have your bike working.
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