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 the following issue on my bike (see video):
When stopped at traffic lights I need various attempts at putting the pedal at the correct hight to set off. Is this to do with play in bottom bracket or another issue?
I have this play in bottom bracket:
It's an old bike so do not want to spend much money on it. I can live with the play in the bott... Read more >>
I'm having an issue on my CX bike. Which is shimano with 38/48. On the last 2 rides when I'm in the lowest gear on the cassette my chain drops off the small chain ring. It doesn't happen on the 2nd from lowest gear on the cassette.
I decided that maybe my rear mech was limited enough so perhaps was pulling the chain off at an angle. Therefore I played with the Lo limiter screw and indexing adjustment to ensure that wasn't the case. On on my bike stand it was fine but once riding the bike again it dropped? Given that it has only just started happening could be be wear relat... Read more >>
I have an older frame with an ultra-6 freewheel. When the rear wheel is removed the stays measure 122.78 (hub is a 120 for the ultra-6). I can cold bend it out to 126, I'm sure, but do I need to if I just put a regular 6-speed freewheel on? I'm not sure how tight that would be as far as the chain scraping the frame. has anybody tried it? Has anybody bent a 120 out to 126 or 130 without problems?... Read more >>
I recently picked up a Park CC-3.2 to put in my portable bike tool-bag (12 inch ruler won't fit). With it one of my chains that measures fine with the ruler, fails, even at the .75 side. Reading on the subject states that the CC-3.2 doesn't take into account roller wear, which the Shimano TL-CN41 does. So, I took a popsicle stick (perfect thickness) and shaped it to press the roller nearest the drop-in end of the Park to give similar results to the Shimano and eliminate roller wear anomalies. Sure enough, measurements come out differently, and what "failed" previously with the Park, now ... Read more >>
Hi all. 1st time post. I am unablr to remove the cassette from my rear tyre. I followed the easy tutorial on bikeradar but havent managed to get any success.
See link to pics of my cassette and the lockring i bought. http://s1067.photobucket.com/user/Nexus62/library/Mobile%20Uploads
I think i know where i went wrong. The lockring i purchased didnt fit properly, so i just used a spanner to remove the bolt. Now all that is left on the wheel is the old cassette..
... Read more >>
i've recently started riding my bike for exercise. was going well for a couple weeks, but a few days ago the chain on my bike has been slipping off of what i think is the gear shifter. it is very annoying and i haven't been able to ride my bike because of it.
Edit More info: i have a Schwinn Ranger 10 speed. the gear only slips like that in high gear. it does not slip while in low gear.
i have a video of basically what happens. can't get a video of it while riding. it is a video of it slipping off stationary.