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 an older(vintage) bicycle, it,s a 7 speed using suntour radius parts. I want to change out my chain ring. Some say compatible with 9 or 10 speed, does it really matter? If I buy the same rings as 52/42 with the right BCD.... Read more >>
I have a Bianchi with SRAM Red components. The cassette is a 11-28 10 speed. The crank is 53-39. I recently put on a new SRAM 10 speed chain and the chain skipped while riding when I was applying heavy pressure to the pedals. I then put the old chain back on and the problem went away. It feels as if the skipping is coming from the cassette rather than the crank. I tried it again with yet another new chain and had the same problem. Is it possible that the cassette has worn with the chain and it won't work with a new chain? I thought I might ask before spending the money on a new... Read more >>
Hi, need some help to find a replacement for chainrings (if thats correct name) for a 5 arm spider style crank. Old setup was 42,34,24. Having troube to find the same again, would prefer to not have to change crank. Also like how shiny the crank it is soapy water, alchohol wipes and a lot of elbow grease.
Read more >>
My 1997 Trek 720 Multitrack was diagnosed at the local bike shop that the crankset, cassette, and chain need to be replaced. I think the front derailer also needs replacement. I ride for fitness so I do not care that much about the weight penalty using this older & heaver bike. I checked my online cycling log that tracks my workouts and it was says there is over 5,000 miles over the last few years. Its time to replace the original components on this bike.
I looked into buying a new bike and got sticker shock. So, I started looking into buying a used bike or fix want ... Read more >>
Was MTBing the other day and was about 9 miles in, a 16 mile ride, and a couple hours of daylight left, when the 9 speed KMC quick link broke on my chain. As soon as I saw what happened, I started to think, "This is going to be a long walk back!". I calmed down some and thought, "I believe I put a extra quick link in my backpack." Sure enough, I did. Whew!... I had a single speed link and a 6,7 and 8 speed quick link. I then relized I was riding a 9 speed MTB. Well, to make a long story short, I tried the 6,7 and 8 speed quick link and it seemed to work fine and got me... Read more >>
I hope you can help me. I bought a new 26" MTB rear wheel online and it has a Shimano Deore hub, I was trying to attach a new CS-HG20-7 Shimano Hyperglide Sprocket (with 7 gears and 12-28 teeth), but it seems the "Sprocket socket" (I am not sure what it is called) is slightly longer then needed, I could theoretically fit another gear cog.
Are there some kind of "spacers or washers" available? If yes, what are these things called?
Or did I mess something up? Is this normal?
I am new to bike repairs,... Read more >>
This might be a dumb question/problem...
Today I took my cassette off and I forgot to keep it in order so now the spacers and cogs are all out of order.
Does anyone know how to reorder the spacers (some are different thicknesses) and gears correctly?
It is a SRAM Red cassette.... Read more >>
Does anyone know if Ultegra 6800 cassette will work on Dura Ace 9000 group? If not do you know if Shimano has fixed the issues they had with the 9000 cassettes?
Thanks... Read more >>
I removed and replaced the cassette on my bike (making no changes). Now I find that when the wheel is under load the chain climbs up on the teeth of the smallest sprocket (see photo).
Everything works fine with the other gears or when the wheel spins freely. This seems to be the *opposite* effect I'd expect if the chain had stretched or the gear teeth were worn. Instead, the pitch of the chain seems too short, not too long. Can anyone explain what's happening and how I can fix it?... Read more >>
Hi all. i am new here and generally also pretty new to doing anything with my bicycle myself.
I was driving my bicycle today and suddenly noticed that the rear chain ring got completely detached
from the hub and was just free rotating. I never before had a closer look at how it looks like, so I have no idea, what exactly got broken. Now it looks like that:
[img] Read more >>
Does anyone know the correct tool for this freewheel removal. The Park FR2 is too small.
The freewheel comes from a 1980s Raleigh Record. I've tried two local bike shops with no joy.
It has a Maillard stamp.
Thanks and Regards
... Read more >>
How do I get from this
The first picture is the model I have sachs LY 94. 8 speed 12-21. I have the freewheel and cassette off the wheel like in the ... Read more >>
Hi, this is my first post to the forum! I have an old Focus MTB, bought it just recently second hand and I am also new to biking so please excuse me for being naive.
The problem started after the first miles with the bicycle, hearing a noise from the back. It was getting louder and louder very quickly and now, when I am pedaling everything is normal but when I stop and keep the pedals still, while on the road, the chain turns really loose and even goes out of the ring. This happens all the time. Tried with some lube and also tried to see if there is an obvious problem with the chain b... Read more >>
Removing SOLEUS freewheel DIY without a remover, garage style tip for everyone...
I was trying to clean and grease my wheel bearings, looks like removing the free wheel is a must do type of thing on my bike. I found that a regular old school Chevy GM craiger style lug nut fit in there perfectly. I think its ... Read more >>
I have. 2015 Defy 5. It has a FSA Tempo, 34/50 crankset.
Is this compatible with the Shimano 5800 group set? I currently have this setup with my Defy 5. She shifts a little rough on the front dérailleur. I guess what I am wondering is if I need to upgrade the crankset to the 5800? The bike came with a Claris setup. What I do not know is if there is an issue with 'spacing'. My current setup has 5800 shifters, FD, RD, chain and cassette (16 tooth removed and no indexing issues).... Read more >>