The chain is a key element of the bicycle transmission assembly. Passing successively through the teeth of the leading stars, it transmits torque to the rear wheel, so the bike rides. In the process of movement, the chain mechanism is subjected to dynamic loads, which over time leads to its wear. We will tell you how to replace the chain on a bicycle.
As a rule, the chain is designed for the entire period of its operation: when moving through the stars, it runs smoothly and straight, without deviations. The situation is more complicated with chains on multi-speed bicycles: there is no right angle between the front and rear stars, which is why it is always located at an angle relative to the frame. Impacts on the chain mechanism are increased several times in comparison with parallel transmission, which leads to periodic wear. To avoid damage to the entire transmission unit caused by chain wear, it must be replaced in a timely manner.
Not only "high-speed" chains require removal, quite often it is removed from single-speed bikes for periodic repair or cleaning. We will talk about how to remove the chain from the bicycle and put it back in this article.
Symptoms of a bicycle chain malfunction
First of all, it is worth paying attention to circuit malfunctions on multi-speed greats. Traditionally, the travel time is determined by mileage, but these values are too approximate, because it all depends on the conditions of cycling: road quality, selection of gears, speed, pedal load and, accordingly, front stars.
The first signs of a failure of the bike chain are inaccurate gear changes and suspicious sounds (provided that the chain has not lost lubrication). The following method will certainly help determine the malfunction: bend off the largest star and see the number of free teeth. If the chain moves freely from three or more teeth, then replacement is required urgently. Two teeth "warn" that wear is not far off, but you can still ride.
In the same way, you can see the chain weakening on a single-speed bike: we bend it from the front star and look at the number of teeth.
Key and solid chains for bicycles
The locking chain is equipped with a special clamping device. It is not difficult to unhook and put it on - just disconnect the lock. To find it, carefully inspect the chain on both sides and find the split link. In principle, it will not be difficult to find it on a clean chain: a tick is placed on top that fixes the link and prevents it from moving apart. Also, the inscription of the manufacturer is usually engraved on the lock link. If you cannot find the lock for a long time, then either the chain is dirty, or it is lockless, or solid.
A bicycle chain without a lock cannot be simply disconnected: all links on it look the same, however, and are also hooked together. This causes great inconvenience during cleaning, for example, it is necessary to carry out "general cleaning" in a solvent. In the case of the lock, everything is simple - pulled and put in kerosene. A solid bike chain, even removed from the stars, will remain hanging on the frame.
In terms of removal, the chain with the lock is certainly more convenient than its counterpart. However, for some reason, the fastening may become loose: the tick will fly off, and the link itself will come loose. There are no such weak spots on bicycle chains without locks, and even if it is torn, then it is only in its quality.
Opening the lock and squeezing the axis of the link
It is quite simple to open the lock: with a screwdriver or other object (for example, a knitting needle) we pry the tick clamp. The main thing here is not to damage it, or better yet, not to lose it, otherwise it will not work to fix the chain later. Next, we unfasten the entire link. Everything, the chain can be removed and do with it whatever you want: clean, discard or shorten. However, we’ll talk about this a bit later.
The continuous chain can only be disconnected with a special tool - squeezing. With its help, it will be easy to disassemble the link without damage. The procedure is simple, but do not rush:
First, select the link to disassemble.
We insert the chain into the position of pressing out and pressing in the pin (link axis).
Handle the screw and pull out the axis. The direction of extrusion is toward the squeeze screw, that is, towards yourself.
It is not necessary to remove the pin completely, since it will not be easy to return it to its place later.
The squeeze shakes the axis a bit, so when re-uncoupling, another link should be selected.
Pressing the axis into the link is carried out in the opposite order: to connect adjacent links and press the pin with a screw.
Elimination of defects
A common form of wear is the sagging of a chain when its length relative to the original increases. Previously, critical values of the length of a bike chain were considered at which it cannot be used. That's right, but the chain does not have to be thrown away right away, but you can fix it. With prolonged loads, the axles become loose, which causes longitudinal and transverse expansion. It is impossible to eliminate the transverse, but with the longitudinal it is quite possible to tinker.
Remove excess links in such a way that the chain calmly, without interference, passes through the large star. With the help of squeezing, excess links are removed, axial shafts are removed from the elements being removed completely. The main thing here is not to make a mistake and not pull out too many links.
To put the chain on single speed, just hang it on both stars, press in the pin or snap the lock. With high-speed bikes it will be a little more complicated:
- Lock the switches on small stars.
- Given the location of the tensioning rollers, put the chain on the stars.
- Combine links.
- Clamp the chain and press in the axle. If the chain with the lock, dispense with squeezing.
After the installation is completed, it is necessary to check the progress of the chain: turn the pedals several times. If there is no sag or difficulty during torsion, then the chain has an optimal length and is installed correctly.
Each owner of a two-wheeled horse can cope with the removal and installation of the bicycle chain. A simple and simple procedure will not take much time, but it will greatly help in future trips!