20. How to Loosen a Stiff Chain Link
Stiff chain links cause noise, shifting problems, and even injury. Watch how to fix it by hand!
A stiff chain link can cause problems with your shifting, and can even cause injury if it slips while you’re pedaling. Here’s how to easily diagnose and fix the problem.
You’ll know you have a stiff link if your chain skips every 3 or 4 rotations. If you have several stiff links you’ll feel it skip even more often. To find the link, shift down to your smallest rear sprocket and then run the chain backwards through the derailleur by rotating your crank. Keep a close eye on your chain as it rolls over the lower derailleur pulley. When the stiff link passes through you’ll see it jump over the pulley. This means the inner and outer plates of one of your chain links are squished together too tight at the pin.
To fix this by hand, simply work the plates loose by twisting the chain up and down the same way it was meant to. Then point the stiff link upward and firmly grab the closest connecting points on either side. Now twist the chain side to side, the way it was not supposed to bend. If all goes well, your stiff link should now be loosened and you can continue riding.
If this method doesn’t work, and the link is still stiff, you’ll have to use a chain tool to fix it. Place the stiff link into the chain tool, on the slots closest to the turning handle. Now thread the chain tool’s pin gently against the chain pin about 1/8th of a turn, or just enough to slightly loosen the chain plates. That should loosen it enough.
If you still have problems, the chain may actually be bent and need replacing.
This area is the most polluted in the US. Chains get gunked up with grey & black crud amazingly quickly. It gets on the ground around your bike, gets tracked onto the carpet & you're screwed.
I use a chain cleaning reservoir, the Park Tool.
Any reason not to use Simple Green brand as the fluid??? I've got a bunch of it. Is there some reason to avoid it?
I wash the chain. Rewash with a super diluted solution. Rinse with hot water three times, drying gently with a cloth and an air compressor after each rinse.... Read more >>
First time on here so please be gentle lol
Rather odd issue coming up lately.
Sometimes when I go to pedal it can take a quarter or half a pedal for my chain to actually catch and do anything.
This can happen at all speeds and gears and when starting off.
Sometime it will also just slip completely and make a horrible clunking noise (which also causes me to loose balance if it "drops" whilst i pedal)
is there a way of tightening it up without shortening the chain dont know if there is a chain tensioner on r... Read more >>
My wife and I both have new ICE Adventure trikes...we both have experienced chain slippage...when I am on my largest front ring and on the small rings in the rear and pedaling hard I get slippage at times. Everything is new so don't think it is a wear issue...otherwise everything works great! Shifts fine between gears....
Thanks!... Read more >>
Hi Guys, as i couldn't find my exact situation i thought i'd best post up.
i recently replaced my chain and have since been having a right nightmare when riding as it keeps jumping forward on every downstroke.
the chain isn't skipping gears or anything it is just lurching forward, i have checked for loose cranks, bottom bracket etc and they are all fine. when trying to diagnose the problem thou it is very difficult as the problem only appears under load. when i was testing it out thou i could look down and see that the rear derailleur lowest jockey wheel was pulling ... Read more >>
Anyone know.. if Sunrace 8 speed cassette cogs are interchangeable with Shimano hyperdrive cogs? IE: could they be used in the 'stack'.. so to speak? I'm aware of rear derailleur specs etc.. possible shifting indexing issues. Or the reverse... Shimano into a Sunrace unit... ?
Thanks!... Read more >>
I have a Triban 3 bought a few months ago. I have noticed recently that there is some slight forward play on the right crank before the drivetrain is engaged. It's more noticeable when setting off and putting my weight on that side and when cycling up hills. What do you think is causing it ? Regards Andy... Read more >>
I just got a Schwinn Meridian Adult 26-Inch 3-Wheel...trike and added an electric front wheel hub motor. The problem is it's a single speed. I can't keep up the the motor without pedaling like crazy. I was told the easiest way to fix this would be to change the front gear at the crank to a like 52 tooth gear from the current 42 tooth one. I'm not sure if I can just change the gear or if I need to change the entire crank set. I need to know exactly what to buy to do this . I know I need a crank puller . It would be appreciated if anyone could send a link with... Read more >>
I have an old 10 speed I'm converting to a single speed and cant seem to find the right tool to remove the freewheel. The markings on it are a RD, 333, and a S in a circle. And of course Shimano Freewheel. I have a Park Tools FR-1 and FR-5 freewheel tools but both are too large. Need a 12-spline tool under 20mm.
Any ideas?... Read more >>
When the chain is at the smallest cogs both rear and front, then some times (depends which mood the bike is in that day), the chain jumps when I go from soft to harder pedaling. It does not happen very often. The feeling is like it goes on top of the cog teeths, but I can not be 100% sure as I haven't managed to see it happen. When I operate the derailer with my hand it feels like it not tensioning the chain as much as I would assume it needs to (too much rotational friction), and that tension is significantly better when the chain is at larger cogs (be it larger rear or larger front). The... Read more >>
Hello. I am by no means an expert when it comes to bikes but I bought this bike from a friend for 40$. Its a peugeot. I thought I had fixed the problem with the chain and gears but alas it's still broken. The chain will fall off when I switch gears or pedal backwards. Also, the tension in the chain is very low and clanks up against the metal. Hopefully you can see whats up from the pictures. Thanks in advance.... Read more >>
It says XC Shimano Singapore on it.
Thanks in advance.
... Read more >>
Greetings everyone! Long time reader first time poster.
I just got a new bike and when I'm riding it there is a slight wobble in the sprocket. Just enough to rub on the front derailer. It's not all the time. Only at certain gears (not extreme gears). When I spin the gears on the stand there is zero wobble. Is this normal?
I will add I am NOT light. I weigh around 225. Maybe that has something to do with it?
Thanks in advance!... Read more >>
The chain on my mountain bike hasn't snapped yet (touch wood!). It has accumulated about 5000 miles of wear so I don't know whether or not this is good going.
What's the best tool to carry in a kit for squeezing one of these emergency chain links into place on a chain? I've practised doing it with a flat and snipe nosed pliers in the comfort of a workshop (just the two parts of the link without a broken chain) but working with a greasy chain under bad lighting conditions would undoubtedly be more difficult. Would a crimping/ferrule pliers be a better tool if it could fit between the roll... Read more >>
I'm using a cassette/gear set from an MTB as a reduction gear on a DIY project. I need to remove a gear do to clearance. all the info I've found so far is, throw it away & get a new one & r&r info. I NEED to disassemble it. I'm also on a real tight budget.... Read more >>
I'm struggling to explain this issue but here goes nothing: My hybrid (Ridgeback Flight 02) is running well on the whole, however occasionally when I push down on the pedal there's a kind of crunching sound as if the bike has slipped out of gear. When I try to pedal once more it usually continues to turn as if nothing's happened, however changing down usually helps things become smoother. I'm wondering if this is due to a worn sprocket (two solid years of riding EVERY day), a loose chain (feels okay), or is just because I'm in too high a gear at the time? I clean the chain once a week. Any sug... Read more >>