Introduction

Slipped bike chains may be caused by several different problems including poor shifting technique, the chain being too long, or a worn out chain or rear casters.

Tools

Parts

Before getting off the bike, downshift bike into lowest front gear (using the left shifter). Being in the lowest front gear means the chain will be riding on the largest chain ring. Continue pedaling. This step alone may realign the chain.
  • Before getting off the bike, downshift bike into lowest front gear (using the left shifter).

    • Being in the lowest front gear means the chain will be riding on the largest chain ring.

  • Continue pedaling. This step alone may realign the chain.

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If Step 1 did not work, get off the bike and lift the rear tire while spinning the pedals with your hand. If Step 1 did not work, get off the bike and lift the rear tire while spinning the pedals with your hand. If Step 1 did not work, get off the bike and lift the rear tire while spinning the pedals with your hand.
  • If Step 1 did not work, get off the bike and lift the rear tire while spinning the pedals with your hand.

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If Step 2 is not enough, push rear derailleur forward to release tension on the chain. Lift the chain and put it back on the chain ring. Turn the pedals with your hand while lifting the rear wheel to realign the chain (as in Step 2).
  • If Step 2 is not enough, push rear derailleur forward to release tension on the chain.

  • Lift the chain and put it back on the chain ring.

  • Turn the pedals with your hand while lifting the rear wheel to realign the chain (as in Step 2).

    • Bike chains are very greasy and your hands will get messy. Use a pair of latex gloves, if available, or use a twig or leaf if you can.

    • This step may take several attempts, but it will work eventually.

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Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits
If you experience a lot of slipped chains, your chain might be too long. In this case, you will need to use a chain breaker. Put the chain on the outer chain guide of the chain breaker. Turn the handle on the chain breaker to push the chain pin part of the way out.
  • If you experience a lot of slipped chains, your chain might be too long. In this case, you will need to use a chain breaker.

  • Put the chain on the outer chain guide of the chain breaker.

  • Turn the handle on the chain breaker to push the chain pin part of the way out.

    • This step may take quite a bit of force so don't be afraid that you are going to break something if the pin seems stuck.

    • Do not push the pin all of the way out or else it will be nearly impossible to put back together.

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Remove the chain breaker by backing up the drive pin. Pull the chain apart. Pull the chain apart.
  • Remove the chain breaker by backing up the drive pin.

  • Pull the chain apart.

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Repeat Steps 4-5 to remove a link: There are two parts to one link (one is narrow and one is wide). Both need to be removed for the chain to fit back together again. There are two parts to one link (one is narrow and one is wide). Both need to be removed for the chain to fit back together again.
  • Repeat Steps 4-5 to remove a link:

    • There are two parts to one link (one is narrow and one is wide). Both need to be removed for the chain to fit back together again.

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If the chain fell off the rear derailleur, it needs to be re-fed through the proper pulleys. Feed the chain along the guide pulley (the highest of the two pulleys). Thread the chain inside the derailleur cage in between the tension and guide pulley.
  • If the chain fell off the rear derailleur, it needs to be re-fed through the proper pulleys.

  • Feed the chain along the guide pulley (the highest of the two pulleys).

  • Thread the chain inside the derailleur cage in between the tension and guide pulley.

    • Thread the chain in front of the tab.

  • Then, thread the chain over the tension pulley.

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To rejoin the chain, align the open ends of the chain. Put the chain on the outer guide of the chain breaker with the pin facing the driving pin. Turn the driving pin until the pin is equally spaced in between the face plates like all of the other links.
  • To rejoin the chain, align the open ends of the chain.

  • Put the chain on the outer guide of the chain breaker with the pin facing the driving pin.

  • Turn the driving pin until the pin is equally spaced in between the face plates like all of the other links.

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Wiggle the link you just reattached. If it's too stiff, continue on to the next part. Put the chain on the inside guide of the chain breaker and turn the driving pin just a little. Check as you go along and continue until proper looseness is achieved.
  • Wiggle the link you just reattached. If it's too stiff, continue on to the next part.

  • Put the chain on the inside guide of the chain breaker and turn the driving pin just a little. Check as you go along and continue until proper looseness is achieved.

    • As before, do not push the pin all the way out.

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Conclusion

If your chain continues to slip, the chain or cogs are probably worn out. Have a local mechanic look at your bike and determine which needs to be replaced. If it's the chain, visit this guide <Triace A310 Chain Replacement>

6 other people completed this guide.

Keely Thompson

Member since: 02/24/2015

352 Reputation

1 Guide authored

Team

Cal Poly, Team 23-3, Green Winter 2015 Member of Cal Poly, Team 23-3, Green Winter 2015

CPSU-GREEN-W15S23G3

6 Members

5 Guides authored

4 Comments

A guide to indicators if cogs are worn would have also been helpful. Many of us ride a bike due to financial constraints, employing local mechanic may not be possible (I certainly can't afford that). A brilliant guide otherwise, thank you.

evocrim - Reply

Thank you so much for this article--so many helpful tips here. But, I just saw this post ("Over 200 Bike Repair Videos and Hundreds of Pages of Illustrated Guides") and actually was reading about this same topic the other day. I did some searching around and stumbled onto this cool article… I thought it was helpful… http://diybikerepairguide.weebly.com

Tyrone Robinson - Reply

Thanks for the information. How do I know how long the new chain should be. Hint, don't have broken one.

Kenneth Silvestri - Reply

Thanks for your post. A bicycle normally drops off a gear or chain ring as the teeth have worn and become narrow.The chain has a bad link and stretched. To increase complexity, you have lots of options to ensure the dropped chain. You may like this too- http://www.mybiked.com/rechain-bike-usef...

Harry Bauman - Reply

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