23. How to Replace Your Chainrings

Basic removal and installation instructions for 5-bolt chainrings on 3-sprocket systems.

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How to Replace Your Chainrings
DVD Vol. 1 DVD Volume 1
This video is available on DVD

This tutorial will demonstrate how to remove and install chainrings. Since there are so many different crank and chainring sizing combinations, I'll stick to the basics and give a general overview of the process based on a 5-bolt, 3-chainring system.

For this job, you'll typically need a 5mm allen key, a chainring nut wrench, and some waterproof grease. On some bikes, you may find it easier to remove the right crank arm before you begin.

Chainring Removal

Before removing the largest two chainrings you'll often have to remove the smallest one, which is often threaded directly into your crank arm. Use your allen key to loosen all of the bolts that hold the chainring in place, and then use a marker to make a note of the chainring's position in relation to the crank before removing it completely. Some chainrings have a bump sticking out that should be lined up with your crank arm.

The largest two rings are usually bolted to each other with a nut and bolt. Here you'll need to hold the nut in place with the special chainring wrench while you loosen the bolt with your allen key. Once again it's a good idea to mark the chainring's position in relation to your crank arm. The two largest outer rings often have a few spacers or washers in between, so be sure to note exactly how they came apart so they can be reinstalled correctly.

While it's ok to install a new chainring that has a different number of teeth, you'll want to make sure that your new chainrings have the same side profile as the old ones.

Chainring Installation

Before you reinstall the bolts, apply a thin layer of grease to the threads to keep out moisture. Now you can reassemble all of your chainrings the same way they came apart.

Make sure all of the bolts are finger tight and then begin tightening them evenly in a star pattern. Start by tightening the first bolt, and then every second bolt until you've gone all the way around. Repeat this process until all of the bolts are tight. Be careful not to over-tighten. Park Tools recommends 44-88 inch pounds of torque for aluminum bolts, and 70-95 inch pounds for steel bolts.

Tags

Related Links

Discuss this topic in the Drivetrain Forums

09/11 Stay spacing for 6-speed freewheel

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 >>

09/10 Chain wear indicators

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 >>

09/03 Changing cassette fail

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 >>

07/26 Chain slipping off gear shifter(?)

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.



Free Email Updates: