How to Tighten a Bike Chain | 2 Easy Methods

Haven’t you felt the necessity of tightening your bike chain ever? If you have felt the need, you should know how to tighten a bike chain. The loose bike chain will let you face many problems while riding on your bike.

Bike chains are of different types, and they have different methods for tightening. Though it’s very easy to tighten a bike’s chain, most of the bikers don’t know the actual process of tightening.

Today, you will know the types of bike chains and the actual process to tighten the chain so that you can have a comfortable ride. Again, you will get some additional tips to improve your biking experience. So, let’s start.

Type of Bike’s Chain

There are two types of chain for the bike. They are-

  • One-Speed chain
  • Derailleur chain

One-Speed chain

If you have two sprockets bike, then this type of chain is suitable for your bike. The two sprockets are on the crankset and the wheel. They help to hold the chain. The roller width is 1/8 inches. If you have a geared bike, then you may not use this properly.

Derailleur Chain

This design of the chain will amuse you with its feature. There are various sprockets used in this chain design. You can use this chain for your mountain bike and your compound bike. Generally, a derailleur chain is called a 3/32 inches’ chain for its size and dimensions.

You can choose one of the chain models to use in your bike, and they are very easy to modify. So, let’s see the process

Tightening The Process of Bike Chain

There are two methods to tighten the bike chain. Let’s see the methods with step by step process.

Method 1: Adjusting the Rear Wheel 

Before starting the process, you will need some equipment. So make sure that you have those on your hand and you are ready to start-

List of Required Equipment

  • Socket Wrench
  • Gloves
  • Lubricate
  • Bike Stand
  • Rag

Step 1: Bike Positioning

This is an essential step for beginners as the full process depends on your bike’s perfect positioning. So, you will need a bike stand to hold your bike upside-down. Here, the bike’s seat post will be on the ground, and the wheels will be on the top.

And now you can easily reach your bike’s wheels, and it will be very easy to continue the next steps. You may note that you should not put your bike on a rough surface.

Step 2: Remove the Nuts

In this step, you need to take the socket wrench in your hand to remove your bike’s rear wheel’s nuts. It will help you to loosen the axel to adjust the bike chain. For this, you need to turn your wrench in an anti-clockwise motion. You need to be careful while removing these nuts so that you can adjust the chain correctly.

Step 3: Adjust your Rear Wheel

Now, you should pull back the rear wheel to tighten the bike chain. This is a very easy step to perform where you need to use a rag for doing this. You can also use your hand to adjust the tension of your bike’s chain.

Make sure that you have got the perfect chain tension. This is very important to get ideal tension. Otherwise, your bike’s chain may tear. If you see that your bike’s chain is highly tightened, you should pull the tire inside to loosen.

By this procedure, you will be able to get the exact tension of the chain.

Step 4: Put back the Nuts

In this last step, you need to put back the nuts to hold the tires perfectly. After that, you need to drive the bike to understand the tire and chain conditions. You should use the lubricant to smoothen the chain.

So, you are done with tightening the bike chain by yourself.

Method 2: By using Derailleur

In this method, you will need to follow the below steps to tighten your multi-gear bikes. Let’s find out the process-

Step 1: Positioning the Bike

For this specific step, the bike should place on a flat ground upside-down. Use a bike stand to hold the bike in that position.

Step 2: Find the Derailleur

Now, you need to know that every multi-gear bike comes with a derailleur. You should find the derailleur, and you can adjust the bike chain tension by rotating it. To tight the chain, you need to turn the derailleur clock-wise.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I tighten my bike’s chain by myself?

Yes, you can do this by yourself ads the procedure is very easy to do. There is less risk factor while tightening the bike chain. So, you can do this at your home, and no need to go to the bike mechanics shop.

How to fix a loose bike chain?

For this, you need to make sure that the chain doesn’t have any defects. After that, you need to adjust your bike’s rear-wheel to tighten the loose bike chain.

How do I know if my bike chain is too loose?

It is quite unsafe to ride a bike with a loose chain. Bike chains require regular checkups and proper maintenance. To know whether the chain is too loose, firstly, the chain sags and the derailleur not creating chain tension indicates that the chain is loose since the derailleur might have lost its springiness.

Why is my bike chain loose?

Chains usually get loose if the bike does not have a derailleur since the derailleur keeps the chain tight. Using fixed gear also contributesto loosening your bike’s chain. Furthermore, exceeding the gear range for the rare derailleur will result in a loose chain. The chain length also may result in a loose chain.

Additional Tips

You may follow some additional tips to improve your bike riding experience. So let’s have a quick look over some other suggestions-

  • You need to check the bike’s chain tension before riding, as you know, for better riding depends on the chain tension. A loose chain will increase your efforts while paddling.
  • You should use high-quality lubricants on your bike’s part so that the details offer you the best output.
  • Always wear the helmet and elbow guard before riding, and they will save you if you face any accident.

Final Notes

I hope you have understood how to tighten a bike chain and you can do this at your home by yourself. It’s not a tough process and won’t kill your time. Again, you need to check the chain condition every week. So that you can know the chain is loosening or not.

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