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

Image 1/3: Being in the lowest front gear means the chain will be riding on the largest chain ring. Image 2/3: Continue pedaling. This step alone may realign the chain. Image 3/3: 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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Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • 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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Image 1/3: Lift the chain and put it back on the chain ring. Image 2/3: Turn the pedals with your hand while lifting the rear wheel to realign the chain (as in Step 2). Image 3/3: 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.
  • 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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Image 1/3: Put the chain on the outer chain guide of the chain breaker. Image 2/3: Turn the handle on the chain breaker to push the chain pin part of the way out. Image 3/3: 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.
  • 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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Image 1/3: Pull the chain apart. Image 2/3: Pull the chain apart. Image 3/3: Pull the chain apart.
  • Remove the chain breaker by backing up the drive pin.

  • Pull the chain apart.

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Image 1/3: 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. Image 2/3: 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. Image 3/3: 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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Image 1/3: Feed the chain along the guide pulley (the highest of the two pulleys). Image 2/3: Thread the chain inside the derailleur cage in between the tension and guide pulley. Image 3/3: Thread the chain in front of the tab.
  • 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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Image 1/3: Put the chain on the outer guide of the chain breaker with the pin facing the driving pin. Image 2/3: Turn the driving pin until the pin is equally spaced in between the face plates like all of the other links. Image 3/3: 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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Image 1/2: 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. Image 2/2: As before, do not push the pin all the way out.
  • 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

343 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

3 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

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