Unite. Embrace the Joy of Active Living.

How To Put A Chain Back On A Bicycle




Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Putting a chain back on a bicycle is a common task that every cyclist should know how to do. Whether you are on a long ride or just commuting to work, a chain that has come off can be frustrating and cause serious damage to your bike if not fixed properly.

Fortunately, with a few simple steps, you can learn how to put a chain back on your bicycle quickly and efficiently.

The first step in putting a chain back on a bicycle is to assess the situation. Look at the chain to see if it is twisted or tangled, and check the rear wheel to see if it is misaligned. Once you have determined the problem, you can begin to loosen the rear wheel and re-attach the chain.

It is important to follow these steps carefully to avoid damaging your bike or injuring yourself. In this article, I will guide you through all the necessary steps to put a chain back on a bicycle and get back on the road in no time.

Key Takeaways

  • Assess the situation by checking chain tension and identifying the cause of derailment
  • Loosen rear wheel and re-attach chain with proper alignment and tension
  • Clean chain and gears before re-attaching and adjust rear wheel for proper tension and alignment
  • Test chain before riding to prevent potential issues and ensure proper lubrication and maintenance to prevent future chain issues.

Assess the Situation

You’ll need to take a look at the chain and figure out where it came off before you can put it back on. The first step is to check the chain tension. If the chain is too loose, it may derail again even after you put it back on.

To check the tension, simply push down on the chain at the midpoint between the front and rear sprockets. The chain should move about half an inch up and down. If it moves more than that, you’ll need to adjust the tension by tightening or loosening the rear wheel.

Once you’ve checked the chain tension, you’ll need to identify the cause of the chain derailment. Look for any obvious signs of damage or wear on the chain, sprockets, or derailleur. If you can’t see anything obvious, try to remember what you were doing when the chain came off. Were you shifting gears? Pedaling hard? These clues can help you determine the cause of the problem, which will make it easier to fix and prevent from happening again.

Now that you’ve assessed the situation, it’s time to move on to the next step and loosen the rear wheel.

Loosen the Rear Wheel

To loosen the rear wheel, simply release the quick release lever and slide the wheel backwards. Before doing so, it’s important to assess the wheel alignment and chain tension.

To ensure proper alignment, check that the wheel sits straight in the frame and is not tilted to one side. To adjust the alignment, simply loosen the bolts on the non-drive side of the wheel, adjust the position, and then tighten the bolts again.

It’s also important to check the chain tension, which should be tight enough to prevent slipping but not too tight that it causes resistance in pedaling. If the tension is too loose or too tight, adjust it using the derailleur or by loosening the nuts on the rear axle and moving the wheel back or forwards.

Once the rear wheel is loosened, it’s time to re-attach the chain. But before doing so, make sure to clean any dirt or debris from the chain and gears.

To re-attach the chain, carefully thread it back onto the rear derailleur and the front chainring. Make sure the chain is not twisted and is properly seated on both gears. Then, pull the rear wheel back into position, making sure it is aligned properly and the chain is at the correct tension.

Tighten the quick release lever and give the pedals a few turns to ensure the chain runs smoothly.

Re-Attach the Chain

After cleaning any debris from the chain and gears, carefully thread it onto the rear derailleur and front chainring. It’s important to ensure that the chain is properly lubricated before attaching it. This will not only make the process smoother, but also ensure that the chain moves smoothly after it’s been re-attached. Improper lubrication can cause the chain to stick or jump, leading to potential accidents while riding the bike.

Common causes of a chain coming off include a worn-out chain, a bent derailleur, or improper shifting. It’s important to identify the cause before re-attaching the chain to prevent it from coming off again.

Once the chain has been threaded onto the rear derailleur and front chainring, the next step is to adjust the rear wheel to ensure the chain is properly tensioned.

Adjust the Rear Wheel

Now that the chain’s properly threaded, it’s time to fine-tune the tension of the rear wheel, ensuring a smooth ride that feels like gliding on clouds.

Start by checking the wheel alignment; make sure the wheel is straight and aligned with the frame.

Loosen the bolts on the rear wheel axle, adjust the wheel slightly, and then tighten the bolts back up.

Next, adjust the chain tension by moving the wheel forward or backward in the dropouts until the chain is tight but not too tight – you should have about 1/2 inch of play in the chain.

To ensure the chain is properly tensioned, check the slack on the top and bottom of the chain.

If there’s too much slack, the chain may fall off again, but if it’s too tight, it could cause unnecessary wear on the chain and gears.

Once you have the wheel alignment and chain tension just right, give the wheel a spin to make sure everything’s running smoothly.

Now it’s time to test the chain to ensure it’s secure and won’t fall off again while riding.

Test the Chain

Once the rear wheel has been adjusted and the chain tensioned properly, you can give it a spin to check for any abnormalities in the movement. It is important to test the chain before you ride the bike. This will ensure that the chain is properly aligned and that there are no issues that could cause it to come off during your ride.

When testing the chain, there are a few things to look out for. First, check for proper chain lubrication. A dry chain can cause excess friction and wear, leading to premature failure. Additionally, look for any common chain issues such as tight links or kinks. These issues can cause the chain to bind up, making it difficult to pedal or causing it to come off completely. By checking the chain before you ride, you can ensure that your bike is safe and ready for the road.

Chain Issue Possible Cause Solution
Tight links Dirt or rust build-up Clean and lubricate the chain
Kinks Pinched or damaged links Replace the chain
Excessive wear Lack of lubrication Lubricate the chain regularly
Chain skipping Misaligned gears Adjust the derailleur
Chain coming off Loose bolts or worn components Tighten bolts and replace worn parts

By understanding common chain issues and how to address them, you can prevent problems and prolong the life of your bike’s chain. Remember to regularly lubricate the chain and keep an eye out for any signs of wear or damage. By taking care of your bike’s chain, you can ensure a smooth and safe ride every time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prevent my chain from falling off in the future?

To prevent my bike chain from falling off in the future, I make sure to regularly check and adjust the tension. I also keep it well lubricated with a high-quality chain lubricant to reduce wear and tear. Regular bike maintenance is key to avoiding future issues.

Can I still ride my bike if the chain keeps falling off?

I’m sorry but it’s not advisable to continue riding your bike if the chain keeps falling off. Possible discussion ideas could be troubleshooting common issues and finding alternative solutions. Ignoring the problem may lead to more serious damage and accidents.

Why did my chain come off in the first place?

My chain came off due to causes of chain derailment, such as a worn chain or derailleur misalignment. Importance of chain maintenance includes regularly cleaning and lubricating the chain to prevent wear and tear.

Do I need any special tools to put the chain back on?

Did you know that chain repair techniques are the most common DIY bike maintenance tasks? When it comes to putting a chain back on, no special tools are required, just some patience and a basic understanding of bike mechanics. Here are some DIY bike maintenance tips.

How often should I check my bike’s chain for wear and tear?

It is important to regularly check your bike’s chain for wear and tear. Signs of a worn out chain include skipping gears, chain elongation, and rust. Regular maintenance can prevent costly repairs and improve performance.


Well folks, that’s how you put a chain back on a bicycle. It may seem daunting at first, but with a little bit of patience and practice, it can be a breeze.

Remember to assess the situation before diving in, and always loosen the rear wheel before re-attaching the chain. Adjusting the rear wheel may take some trial and error, but don’t be discouraged. And finally, always test the chain before taking your newly repaired bike out for a spin.

Now, I won’t sugarcoat it. Putting a chain back on a bicycle can be a messy and frustrating task. But fear not, with the right tools and techniques, you’ll be back on two wheels in no time.

Just remember to take your time and be gentle with the delicate components of your bike. After all, a well-maintained bike will provide you with countless hours of joy and adventure. Happy riding!

About the author

Latest posts

  • How Much Are Electric Bike Conversion

    How Much Are Electric Bike Conversion

    As an avid cyclist, I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of converting my regular bike into an electric one. The thought of effortlessly cruising up steep hills and extending my range seemed like a dream come true. But the burning question on my mind was, how much would it cost? In this article, we’ll…

    Read more

  • How Much A Electric Bike Cost

    How Much A Electric Bike Cost

    Riding an electric bike can feel like soaring through the city, effortlessly gliding past traffic. But before you can take flight, you need to know how much it will cost. Just like a compass guiding your way, this article will provide you with the data-driven insights you need. We’ll explore the different types of electric…

    Read more

  • How Many Watts Of Power On A Electric Bike For A 160 Pound Person

    How Many Watts Of Power On A Electric Bike For A 160 Pound Person

    Picture yourself effortlessly gliding through the city streets, the wind in your hair and the power of an electric bike propelling you forward. But how many watts of power do you need as a 160-pound rider? In this article, I will dive into the technical aspects of electric bike power ratings, discuss factors to consider…

    Read more