Why Does My Bike Chain Keep Getting Stuck?

If you’re a bike owner and you ride regularly, you’ve probably experienced some difficulty in pedaling at times. Hold your bike’s pedal and move it forward till it gets stuck. If you check out your bike’s chainring, you’ll notice your bike’s chain is stuck in between the bike frame and chainring. Sometimes the chain may get stuck in the rear wheel, in the derailleur.

Bike chains getting stuck is a pretty common occurrence for bike owners. So why does your bike chain keep getting stuck?

7 Reasons your bike chain keeps getting stuck

It may be any of these following reasons

  • Your chain is caught in any of the sprockets on the cassette and moves with it when the pedal turns, getting jammed.
  • If your bike’s derailleur is positioned too low, it will cause your chain to fall off the rear sprocket and get stuck.
  • If you shift gears at the wrong times when riding your bike, the sudden pressure change and change of terrain will cause your bike chain to get jammed.
  • A dirty drivetrain will also get your chain stuck as the chain can’t move properly if there is mud, rust or other disruptions in its way.
  • If you’re using a dry chain or a chain that hasn’t been lubricated properly, it will get stuck when pressure on it changes.
  • If you’re using a worn out chain or a worn out chainring, your chain could jam in the back wheel.
  • Other common reasons for a jammed chain are: the derailleur being poorly adjusted, the sprockets being bent, the chainring having bent teeth, and stiff links.

How to get a bike chain unstuck?

For different reasons your bike chain gets stuck and the solutions to these bike chain problems are also different.

How to fix a bike chain stuck in the rear derailleur?

Tools you’ll need

  • A 14×15 mm spanner
  • A rag to clean off the extra grease.

What you need to do: If your bike uses quick release wheels, you can easily adjust the axle nuts on the rear wheel to loosen the bike frame. Use the 14×15 mm spanner tool to loosen the axle nuts. You can reach and grab the chain, rehooking it onto a cog. Retighten the axle nuts and run the pedal to make the chain settle on the cogs. Make sure your wheel is completely centered when you’re retightening the axle nuts.

How to fix a bike chain stuck between frame and chainring?

Run your pedal and if you see the bike chain bunched up in the chainring, it is caught on any of the teeth on the chainring. This happens if the chain is ungreased or if a tooth on the chainring is broken or bent. The chain slips off the chainring and gets stuck near the frame.

To fix this just shift your derailleur forward a bit and shake your chain till it comes out from the chainring. Place the chain back onto the chainring’s tooth and turn the pedal to let it fall into place.

How can you prevent your bike chain from getting stuck?

To avoid getting your bike chain stuck often, try these tips

  • Grease your chain: Keep your chain well lubricated whenever you’re biking to prevent any abrasion and wear.
  • Anticipate your shifts: Often changing your gear suddenly can cause your chain to get stuck or even break. Whenever you need to shift gears, do it steadily and before you hit a different type of land. Minimize the pressure on your bike’s chain.
  • Replace your chain and chainring: Use a chain gause to check if your chain has worn out. A worn chain will wear out your chainring as well so it’s better to change both chain and chainring to avoid more damage.
  • Clean your drivetrain: Clean your chain, cassette, freewheel and bike components regularly to make sure there isn’t any residual grease on them. Biking in muddy terrains will leave mud in your drivetrain and obstruct your bike’s run. Clean all the components to avoid chain blockages.

To Wrap Up

Bike chains getting stuck is pretty common but can leave damage to your bike components if they are left unresolved. Never try to force pedal your bike if you notice the chain has a stiff link or is stuck. You may break the chain and cause damage to the chainring, cassette and bike frame. It’s easy to keep your bike in top condition by cleaning, greasing and checking it regularly.

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