How To Remove A Link From A Bicycle Chain

If you’ve ever found yourself needing to adjust the length of your bicycle chain, you may have wondered how to remove a link without damaging the chain. Luckily, it’s a simple process that doesn’t require any specialized tools. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step instructions on how to remove a link from a bicycle chain, ensuring that you can easily modify your chain to suit your bike’s needs. So, whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a newbie to the world of bicycles, get ready to learn a handy skill that will come in handy during your bike maintenance sessions.

Materials needed

To remove a link from a bicycle chain, you will need several tools. First, you will need a chain tool, which is specifically designed for the purpose of removing and installing chain links. This tool allows you to push the pins in the chain to disconnect the links. Next, you will need a chain breaker, which is a compact and portable tool that performs a similar function as the chain tool. Lastly, you will need a chain wear indicator, also known as a chain checker, to assess the wear and tear on your chain and determine if removing a link is necessary.

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Preparation

Before you begin the process of removing a link from your bicycle chain, it is important to prepare the chain for the procedure. Start by cleaning the chain thoroughly to remove any dirt, grime, or debris that may interfere with the removal process. This can be done using a degreaser and a brush or a chain cleaning tool. Once the chain is clean, carefully inspect it to identify the problematic link that needs to be removed. Look for any signs of damage, such as a bent or twisted link, or excessive wear and stretching.

Using a chain tool

If you have a chain tool, follow these steps to remove the link from your bicycle chain:

Step 1: Secure the chain tool

Position the chain tool so that the chain fits snugly into the tool’s grooves. Ensure that the pin aligns with the pin on the chain.

Step 2: Line up the chain tool

Make sure the chain tool is lined up with the pin on the chain that you want to remove. This will ensure that the pin is pushed out accurately.

Step 3: Rotate the handle counterclockwise

Slowly rotate the handle of the chain tool counterclockwise. This will apply pressure to the pin and push it out of the link.

Step 4: Continue turning until the pin is fully extracted

Keep rotating the handle until the pin is fully pushed out of the link. Be careful not to apply excessive force, as this can damage the chain or the tool.

Step 5: Remove the broken link

Once the pin is fully extracted, remove the broken link by pulling it apart. You can use a pair of pliers or your fingers to separate the two ends of the chain.

Using a chain breaker

If you have a chain breaker, here is how you can remove a link from your bicycle chain using this tool:

Step 1: Position the chain breaker

Align the chain breaker tool with the chain to ensure that the pin is lined up with the link you want to remove.

Step 2: Place the chain into the breaker slot

Carefully place the chain into the slot of the chain breaker tool. Make sure the pin is aligned with the center of the link.

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Step 3: Align the pin

Adjust the position of the chain breaker tool so that the pin is aligned with the pin on the chain. This will ensure that the pin is pushed out correctly.

Step 4: Slowly tighten the tool until the pin is pushed out

Gradually tighten the chain breaker tool, applying gentle pressure to push the pin out of the link. Take your time and ensure that the pin is being pushed out smoothly without any resistance.

Step 5: Remove the defective link

Once the pin is fully pushed out, separate the two ends of the chain to remove the defective link. You can use pliers or your fingers to pull the chain apart.

Using a chain wear indicator

To determine if removing a link is necessary, you can use a chain wear indicator. Here is how you can use this tool:

Step 1: Choose the correct side

Chain wear indicators typically have two sides – one for measuring 0.75% wear and the other for 1% wear. Choose the side that corresponds to the recommended wear limit for your specific chain.

Step 2: Position the gauge

Place the chain wear indicator over the chain, ensuring that it fits snugly between the links. The indicator should rest on the rollers of the chain.

Step 3: Lift the chain

Lift the chain slightly off the chainring to eliminate any slack. This will help obtain an accurate measurement of the chain wear.

Step 4: Measure the chain wear

Look at the indicator to see if the chain has stretched beyond the recommended wear limit. If the chain exceeds the recommended limit, it may require a link to be removed.

Step 5: Identify the problematic link

Inspect the chain closely to identify the link that needs to be removed. Look for any signs of damage or excessive wear, such as a bent or twisted link, or a stretched section.

Removing the chain

If removing a link is necessary, you will need to remove the entire chain from your bicycle. Follow these steps to remove the chain:

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Step 1: Shift the chain to the smallest chainring and rear cog

Before removing the chain, shift to the smallest chainring at the front and the smallest rear cog. This will create slack in the chain and make it easier to remove.

Step 2: Locate the quick link if present

If your chain has a quick link, identify its location. The quick link is a reusable connector that allows for easy installation and removal of the chain without the need for specialized tools.

Step 3: Unlock or remove the quick link

If your chain has a quick link, unlock or remove it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually involves pushing or pulling the quick link in a specific way.

Step 4: Separate the chain from the derailleur

Once the quick link is unlocked or removed, carefully pull the chain away from the derailleur. Be cautious not to get the chain tangled in any other components of the bike.

Reinstalling the chain

After removing the link and addressing any other maintenance tasks, it’s time to reinstall the chain. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Threading the chain through the derailleur

Start by threading the chain through the rear derailleur. Be sure to follow the correct path, ensuring that the chain goes over the jockey wheels and through the cage of the derailleur.

Step 2: Connect the ends of the chain

Bring the two ends of the chain together, aligning the outer plates and the inner plates properly. Ensure that the chain is not twisted or tangled.

Step 3: Fasten the chain using a quick link or chain tool

If your chain has a quick link, insert it into the ends of the chain and lock it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t have a quick link, you can use a chain tool to push the pin back into the chain to connect the links. Be careful not to push the pin too far, as this can cause binding or damage.

Tips and precautions

When removing a link from a bicycle chain, it is important to keep the following tips and precautions in mind:

Wear protective gloves

To protect your hands from potential injuries, it is advisable to wear protective gloves when handling the chain and the tools. This will help prevent cuts or pinches.

Inspect the chain regularly

Regularly inspect your bicycle chain for signs of wear, stretching, or damage. This will help you identify when a link needs to be removed and prevent further issues with your chain.

Ensure the chain is properly lubricated

After you have removed a link from your chain, ensure that you properly lubricate the chain. This will help reduce friction and wear, allowing for smoother operation and increased longevity.

Conclusion

Removing a link from a bicycle chain may seem like a daunting task, but by following the appropriate steps and taking necessary precautions, it can be a straightforward process. Whether you use a chain tool, chain breaker, or chain wear indicator, always make sure to assess the condition of your chain and identify the problematic link accurately. By properly maintaining your chain and addressing any issues promptly, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable ride.

Kelly Adams

Kelly Adams

In order to be safe on our bikes we have to keep them maintained and in good working order. Also bike accessories are a must if you want to enjoy the full experience. If something is broken or worn out replace it before you get injured. -Thank you-


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