39. How to Use a Chain Tool To Break a Chain
How a chain tool works, and how to use it to disconnect and reconnect your bike chain.
This week we’ll learn how to break a chain using a chain tool. I’ll cover the quick release method next week.
The first thing to do is check to make sure your chain does not already have a quick release link. Do this by turning your pedals backwards and carefully watching every chain link as it goes by. A quick release link will stand out as they look different from all of the others. If you find one, you can refer to next week’s tutorial for removal and installation instructions.
If you can’t find a quick release link, then your chain probably doesn’t have one. This has traditionally been the most common type of chain, and it requires a chain tool for both removal and installation. Beside this video you’ll find a few links where you can order a good quality one.
Turn the handle of your chain tool counter-clockwise until the pin has backed off enough so you can place one of your chain links on the outermost slot, furthest from the handle. There are two places on chain tools where you can place a chain. The outer slot is for disconnecting and re-connecting the chain, while the inner slot is for loosening chain links.
Now tighten the handle clockwise until the chain tool’s pin connects with the end of your chain pin. Continue tightening the handle and you’ll see the chain pin get pushed into the link and start coming out the other side. The tricky part here is to push the chain pin far enough so that it is gets about halfway through the first of the two outer chain plates. If the chain pin gets pushed all the way out of the chain there is really no way to get it back in, and you’ll be forced to shorten or replace your chain.
One way to prevent this is to pay careful attention to how easy the handle turns as you push the pin through. When you get close to the end, you’ll feel resistance and the handle will become a slight bit harder to turn. As soon as you feel this, stop tightening the handle, and then give it another half a turn. This is usually the perfect spot to disconnect the chain. When you take the chain tool off, you’ll notice the chain is still barely held together, but can be easily disconnected by twisting and pulling the chain.
Notice how a tiny bit of the pin is still poking out of the inner side of the outermost plate. This is perfect, as it will help us re-install the chain. Twist and push the links back together until the chain pin clicks back into the inner link, once again holding the chain together.
Now back off the chain tool’s handle and place the chain back onto the same outer slot of the chain tool. This time position it so the protruding chain pin faces inward toward the chain tool’s pin. Now tighten the handle until the tool pin starts pushing the chain pin back through the link. Continue tightening until a tiny bit of the link pokes through the other side. Now take a look at both sides of the link… the chain pin should stick out roughly the same amount on either side.
The process of re-connecting the chain caused the chain links to compress together, making a stiff link. To fix this, we use the inner slot on the chain tool. Back off the chain tool all of the way so that you can place the freshly connected link into the inner slot. Now tighten the chain tool’s pin until it connects with the chain pin and tighten it just barely, about a quarter of a turn. This usually loosens the chain link plates enough. Remove the chain from the tool and check to make sure the link is loose. If it’s still tight, try loosening it with the chain tool another quarter of a turn.
I have been doing some work on my bike to get it back in shape. Everything is working perfectly except when im using the high gears the chain become loose.
I also notice that it occurs when im only resting my feets on the pedals. But when I remove my feets from the pedal I notice that the slack from the chain goes away but my pedals are moving forward of it's own. I think that is the problem. Because the whole pedal section should be still and not moving forward of it's own when im in motion.
What could be wrong? The casette? The chain?
... Read more >>
I am trying to rehab an older model 3 speed sturmey archer bicycle but the chain keeps breaking. Is this a special chain, for example is the linkage metric. Could I go to a local USA bike shop and get a replacement chain? I've tried an Internet search but just keep getting sites for the indicator chain.... Read more >>
There is an alternative to pressing rivets in and out of your chain to install and remove it. It is called a "Quick Link". This can be installed instead of the pin. Remove the opposite pin and install the quick link, as tension is put on the chain the quick link will click into place. The pliers above are the quick link removal pliers. To remove the quick link simply squeeze the pins with the pliers and disassemble the link and remove the chain. The quick link is reusable so you can use it to remove the chain for cleaning also. Tak... Read more >>
I have an old mtb that I would like to change from a 3x8 to 1 1x8. I use the bike as a commuter and have no need for the extra gears. It has a Sakae xr100 crankset wit the gears riveted on. Otherwise I would just remove the inner and outer gears and keep the middle gear scince it is a low enough range for my needs. Can I use a Shimano crankset on this bike? Checking the specs on line says the pedal spindle is square taper and is 124.5 wide. Hope this info helps... Read more >>
I have ridden my bike, a 1995 Mongoose Alta, for the past 20 years and replaced just about every component on it except for the frame, FD and front wheel. Gone through 3 RDs, several chains, rear hub, both shifters, etc. I'd estimate it's lasted at least 30k miles. I put road slicks on it and use it as my daily commuter, going 10 miles/day now. Love the bike!
Last week, the chain started skipping when I pedaled har... Read more >>
I'm stuck with a problem of chain slipping on my old bike that i wanted to fix myself.
I changed the whole drivetrain and maybe this is as simple as a mismatch since i have about zero experience in bike maintenance, i tought you would know for sure.
Here are the components i chose to put on based on 8 speed compatibility and cheapness:
Front Derailleur: Shimano Acera FD-M360-6
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Acera RD-M360-SGS
Front Chainset: Shimano Acera M361 triple set square taper (42-32-22)
Cassette: Shimano Acera HG41 (11-30)
Chain: Sram 8 ... Read more >>
My old nishiki bike was having some troubles with the chain, when I pedaled hard it would slip and gear shifting was rough so I inspected it and found a seized link and replaced the chain. When shifting (non indexed shifter) sometimes if I'm not being careful the chain will go between 2 gears and spin freely when shifting to a lower gear. My assumption is that my rear freewheel/cassette needs to be replaced, is this the case or is it possible that I did a poor job adjusting the derailleur?... Read more >>
I have a 1992 Trek 6000 with the original Suntour AP II 12-30 7 Speed Cassette.
It's now time to upgrade the cassette to something newer. Is it possible to change the hub as well as the cassette with another Manufacturer?... Read more >>
My first post. I have a 2004 Fuji Del Rey Hybrid with stock parts---> http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/BikeSpecs.aspx?year=2004&brand=Fuji&model=Del+Rey
I picked up another bike for the puropse of taking this bike off the road for overhaul. It is my utility bike-has a big rack, etc.
I love this bike, it is incredibly comfortable and very upright and safe for city maneuvering and wish to keep it, but... Read more >>
I recently pulled my Mongoose out of storage and i need to replace the chain, tubes, tires, and grips (i think that's all :/)
I started taking the chain off before i realized what all was involved. I got the back section of the chain off, then I saw that there is a piece above the pedals that holds it in place. How exactly do i take this chain off? I tried to find a master link on the chain but they are all the same. Where do i break the chain? Can i just snip the chain and buy a new one with a quick release since I have to replace it anyways?... Read more >>
I have a 2011 specialized secteur that came with sora groupset on it.
I always keep my bike properly cleaned and lubed.
recently my chain started skipping round every so often on certain gears when I push hard through the pedals such as hill starting, but this would also happen randomly mid pedal strokes, say on the flat. I messed with cable tension and new cables etc but no joy and the cogs started to show signs of being damaged.
I checked with the chain wear indicator and it wasn't yet even worn to 0.75 but I made the decision to replace the 9 speed hyperglide hg50 ... Read more >>
I installed a new Shimano chain 2 weeks ago and before each ride I wipe the chain dry with a clean rag until no oil transfers to my finger when I touch it. After my ride, the chair leaves a black smudge when I touch it. So far all my rides have been in dry conditions
I take this to mean that the factory lube still suffices and I can put off,applying additional lube as long as the chain continues to exhibit an oily film after each ride.Am I correct in this reasoning?... Read more >>
I have just joined within the last hour and this is my first post so please forgive any mistakes.
I live in Northampton ,In April this year I purchased a brand new Viking Prelude 2013 womens bike as a present for my wife from a well known company in Wigan.
On Saturday while riding the bike my wife had a puncture on the rear wheel . I took the wheel off and for some dumb unknown reason I also unbolted and took off the gear derailleur . I fixed the puncture and re-fitted the wheel and the derailleur but when I turned the pedal the rear wheel appeared to... Read more >>
Hi, can anyone help me? I have been looking for a chain ring guard for a 1985 Sugino GT triple crank 46/36/26t. I want to keep all 3 chainrings. I have spent countless hours and days trying to find something.I have looked at the bush guards, they may have something there. I was reading a thread about someone else who was looking. That is one of the reasons that I signed up. I wanted to reply to that thread, but now I can not find it. I am trying to keep my pants and leg clean. My bike is a Panasonic ATB.... Read more >>
I'm currently have a Shimano 105 derailleur, 11-25T 10 Speed. I want more help on hills, and will be switching to a 11-27 or 12-27 cassette. I'll buy a new chain also.
What is the difference between the 11-27 and 12-27? Will I have to change my derailleur since this will be a new size?... Read more >>