So you’ve been biking and your bike chain has loosened. on that time you need to know How to Tighten a Bike Chain? if you don’t know, No problem. It’s a simple problem that can be fixed in about 5 minutes with a few basic tools, but it’s never fun to have to walk all the way home!
When the bike chain is loose it can simply be tightened by hand. By moving your bike’s pedals you gain access to the back of the bike chain (on single-speed bikes; on multi-speed bikes things are a little more complicated). Make sure that either your rear tire or front tire, depending on which one has the problem, is secured. If it’s loose, tighten it by hand and see if the problem is resolved. If not, Don’t worry it will be resolved by the end of this article.
How to Tighten a Bike Chain on a Single Gear Bike?
- Access the bike’s back wheel by either pedaling the bike forward or backward. You may need to shift gears.
- Grab the bike chain, on one side of the bike only, and pull it away from where it is attached to your pedals. This will give you better access to tightening it.
- Use a screwdriver or hex key to tighten it by twisting the bolts on either side of your pedals clockwise. About one full turn should do, but each pedal will be different.
- If this doesn’t work: Repeat steps 1 and 2 and try tightening counter-clockwise instead of clockwise this time. This will give you a different grip on the bike chain, which might make it easier to tighten.
- Double-check that your tire is secure and there is no slacker in the bike chain. If not, go back to step 1 and try tightening again until you’re satisfied with the result. Be sure to check your brake pads too while you’re at it!
How to Tighten a Bike Chain?
With these steps, you will be able to tighten a bike chain.
The first thing you want to do is loosen the axle nuts on either side of the wheel hub. If they’re too tight, try using an adjustable wrench or two spanners for this step. You’ll also need something like a crescent wrench or similar tool for this part because those nuts are going to be tight! Once both sides are loose, use one of those adjustable wrenches again to tighten them back up until they don’t move anymore. Now go ahead and tighten down the pedal crank arm bolt as well. It’s most likely pretty loose too!
Now let’s turn our attention to the bike chain. Your first option is to take the bike chain off completely. This is an option if you only need the bike for a few minutes and don’t mind how it looks, but this isn’t the best option and you should try and fix it while the chain is still on the bike.
Loosen up one of the spokes which are closest to where your pedal crank arm was (the right side if you’re sitting on the seat) and slip the loosened end of the spoke through one of those holes in your rim (you know, the ones that don’t have any spokes). If you’re having trouble getting it to fit through the hole, use a screwdriver or something sharp to poke it through. Then just give it enough slack so now your bike wheel can spin freely!
Now might be a good time to point out that there is an inset on the right side of the wheel. Make sure this faces downward! If it faces up, you’ll have an annoying clicking noise for the rest of your life and you’ll need a completely new wheel. There’s also a “U” shaped thing on the left side of the rim, which should face in towards your bike seat. Or something like that. Anyway, now you can move your bike to a nice shady area so the chain doesn’t get too hot and tighten it back up. While you’re at it, try tightening up those axle nuts as well. You don’t want them falling off on a bumpy road!
It’s simple to tighten the bike chain back up. Just make sure your wheel rim is in its original position, and turn the pedals so that the chain gets tight enough that it starts to pull on the axle nuts again. If you’re not sure if it’s tight enough just give everything one last check before heading out for a ride!
When you return from your ride, make sure to tighten up the spoke that’s holding your wheel in place. Once it’s as tight as possible, give those axle nuts one last check and go ahead and tighten them down. Then go ahead and make sure all of your bolts are still nice and snug! Now you’re ready to take on the world again.
Here are some helpful and additional tips for you:
- Grease your bike chain to make it last longer and run more smoothly
- Keep track of the size number of your bike chain.
- Keep track of the size number of your bike’s rear sprocket so you know which one to buy if you need a new one.
- There are many different sizes, but just ask an employee at any bike shop to help you figure out the right size for your bicycle!
- If your bike chain is not loose, but is making a rattling noise when you pedal it, try greasing the outside of the chain.
- A new bike chain can be purchased at any bike store – if they don’t have one in stock, they should be able to order it for you!
Have fun and enjoy biking!
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How to Tighten an Electric Bike Chain?
Electric bikes have chains as well, so if you don’t know how to tighten a chain on an electric bike it’s a good idea to read this article anyway! There are a few differences in how these chains work. For one thing, they’re thicker and more heavy-duty than regular bicycle chains. For another thing, they’re often much longer because the batteries are heavy and you might need an extra chain to accommodate that weight. You can’t tighten a chain by turning the pedals, obviously, so electric bikes use a different system for this part. The first thing you want to do is make sure your power adapter is plugged into the battery! Then go ahead and turn it on using the power button, but don’t start pedaling just yet.
Now you can tighten the chain by turning a knob on the motor casing with one hand and holding onto the bike frame with your other hand. This will be much easier if you have a second person there to help you so ask a friend or family member to lend a hand! If not, you might have to ask a random stranger on the street. That’s what I had to do, anyway.
Once the bike is as tight as it will go, just switch it off and go ahead and tighten up that spoke that was holding your wheel in place again (you did remember to loosen it before turning the motor on, right?) Then go ahead and tighten down the axle nuts, make sure all of your bolts are nice and snug like before, and you’re good to go!
Loosen Up the Spoke Connected to Your Pedal Crank. To do this, use a screwdriver or something sharp (like an Allen wrench) to push the spoke backward. You may have to move it a little bit to find the right spot, so keep pushing until you reach the point where it’s loose enough that your pedal crank can spin freely with no resistance. Moving this spoke is also a good way to loosen up a stuck bicycle chain if you ever have one!
If you’re having trouble with this step, make sure to look at your pedal crank from both sides. You want to loosen up the spoke that’s on top of the axle nut, not the one next to it!
Loosen Up Your Crank Nut. Put a 15mm wrench or socket on your axle nut and use an adjustable wrench to hold it in place. This is just like the axle nut tightening method, but you’re doing the opposite. Just keep turning that crank backward until it’s loose enough that your crank won’t get stuck when turned forward.
Once it’s loose enough, you can go ahead and take off your pedals if needed (this step only applies to single-gear bikes, obviously.) If you have a mountain bike with hand brakes then you might want to skip this step.
Take Off the Bike Chain. For single-gear bikes, just take off your chain. For electric bikes, just take off any extra chain you have attached. You’ll have to attach a new one once you tighten up your bicycle chain, so don’t lose it!
Get Your Bike Sprocket Off of the Chain. If you’re lucky the bike sprocket will just slide right off of your bicycle chain, and if so you can go ahead and skip this step. Believe it or not, but most single-gear bike chains use a special sort of master link that you can’t disconnect with regular tools – instead you have to pop the sprocket off! If this is the case, then take a 15mm wrench and use it to hold the sprocket in place while you loosen up the axle nut.
Once everything is loose enough, go ahead and slide your sprocket off of the chain! This part will be easier if you have an old pair of channel locks to help you grip your bike sprocket, just make sure you’re using the right size!
Tighten Up Your Bicycle Chain. Grab a bike chain tightening tool from your local bike shop or just use an Allen wrench and screwdriver to get it as tight as possible, making sure not to tighten it too much because this could damage your bearings. Just keep turning the tighteners on the tool until the chain won’t turn anymore. The second pair of hands can help with this step, so have a friend hold down your bike frame while you tighten up the chain!
For electric bikes, just go ahead and tighten your new bicycle chain all the way – don’t worry about how tight it is or if it’s even straight anymore. You’ll probably have to re-adjust all of your gears, but you can do that after the chain is attached.
Put Everything Back Together Again. The final step for this easy bicycle chain repair guide involves putting everything back together again! Take a few minutes to make sure everything’s in its proper place – if you’re not sure, just go ahead and take your bike to the local bike shop for them to fix it.
How to Tighten a Bike Chain with a Derailleur:
Since the electric bike motor directly connects to the wheel, there are no derailleur or gear shifters for electric bikes. However, traditional bikes need to have gears so they can make pedaling easier in different conditions (like when going uphill).
For single-speed bicycles with a freewheel hub, if you are trying to tighten your bicycle chain, you will need to tighten the axle nuts which hold the wheel in place on your bike. You’ll need a wrench or Allen key set to remove them, and depending on the type of bicycle, there may be an additional nut holding down your crankarm.
If you are trying to tighten your front chainring but it seems impossible with the chain on the bike, you will need to disconnect it completely. You can do this with either a chain breaker tool if it’s the type that is built into your multi-tool, or you can use two pairs of pliers to get the job done (the outer part of your chainring has connecting pins that lock onto each other). Just make sure you put some grease on your new bicycle chain before you put it back together.
Once your bike chain is tightened, you can pedal off and enjoy a safe ride home.
How to Tighten a Bike Chain? – FAQs
Final Words – Wrapping It Up:
You can certainly tighten your bike chain at home with ease as long as you have the proper tools and know How to Tighten a Bike Chain? The process takes time, but it is inexpensive and easy all the same! If you are an avid biker who wants to keep your machine in great condition, then this post is for you! Just make sure your bike weighs approximately 80 pounds before deciding if the torque of the tool will suffice. It would also help if you are very experienced with bikes and their components.
Note: Please do not tighten the chain too much as it may cause permanent damage to your machine or even worse, get your fingers stuck between the cogs and chains! Keep safety in mind while doing this process.