How To Change A Bike Chain:The Essential Steps

If you are a bike owner, you may know bike chains tend to stretch and wear gradually. They also display a sudden snap occasionally. Replacing the chain is the only solution to such issues.

We usually take our bikes to a repair shop to address the problem. An excellent road bike's chain last for a long time. Oftentimes, after lots of usages, the bike’s chain gets worn out and a new one is required to replace that. But what if we tell you the damage of the chain can be solved right at your station.

So, let's learn together how to change a bike chain on our own. The overall process is relatively easy. You only have to be careful with all the steps since it requires precision.

How To Change A Bike Chain

Step By Step Process On How To Change A Bike Chain

Tools needed

"Chain tool"

Chain tool

"Pliers"How To Change A Bike Chain


  • Chain tool
  • Pliers

We should remind you that most of the manufacturers allow the same process as the chain is made compatible with the different company's drivetrain. There could be some exceptions.

Removing the old chain

Start the process by bringing the old chain to the smallest gear. For that, you need to bring chain into the smallest cogs at the back and smallest chain wheel at the front. When you lower the stretch of the chain, look for a quick link and set the chain tool and push the pin out.

You can also do it without using a tool. For that, you need to push the two plates of a quick link together slightly. That is, however, not always easy and requires using a plier. Finally, remove the chain carefully from the system. It is recommended to change a quality road bike’s chain after every 2000 miles of travel.

Preparing the new chain

Preparing the new chain"How To Change A Bike Chain

We need to reduce the size of the new chain because different brands manufacture different size. To get a perfect length for the new chain, we have to match it with the size of the old one.

We need to make sure that we choose two different ends for the chain ( narrow end and wide end). Narrow end and the wide end will automatically fit together.

Nevertheless, if we are going to re-connect the chain by quick link, we need to choose narrow ends for both the ends of the chain.

Alternative method:  1. The old chain is missing Or,
                                     2. We intend to change the cassette of the drivetrain. 

Here how it works,
Grab the new chain. Fix it around the biggest sprocket at the back and biggest ring at the front and bypass both the derailleurs. Pull the chain tight and bring the ends together. At one end, measure two links from the matching point, and that should be the optimal length of the new chain.

Attaching the new chain

First, shift gears into the small rings (both front and back). Place the new chain around the cassette and take the loose end at the back over the derailleur's first jockey wheels. And then, insert in the gaps of the first jockey and place the chain gradually under the first jockey of the bike tire. Take the chain around the bottom jockey wheel and bring it front.

"Attaching the new chain"How To Change A Bike Chain

For the other end, thread the chain through the front derailleur. Also, cranks should be turned so that few inches of the chain are dangling below. Finally, connect the two ends of the chain either with a chain tool or use the fingers' pressure to join with the quick link.

Keep in mind

You need to match the chain to your drive train speed. Most of the manufacturers recommend their specific chain to go with their specified drive train. This is for the compatible issue. However, a lot of other manufacturers are bringing parts keeping that in mind. So you may not worry. All you need to worry about getting the right size that matches with the drivetrain. It's better to buy a hybrid bike with 2X drivetrain because of it's narrow chain-rings and rear derailleur. This two parts prevents the bike's chain from falling off when riding in rough terrains.

Final Words!

Hopefully, we have given you enough information on how to change a bike chain on your own. The steps are reasonably straightforward. Nevertheless, pay attention when you are ordering and when you are taking measurements. Use assistance if necessary.

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