How to Tighten a Bike Chain – The Bicycle Troubleshoot Guide

Having a bike is fun. But when it comes to taking care of it, we always lag. The wheels are what run your bike. But you can’t deny that the chain binds both wheels to keep your bike moving.

And if your chain is loose, you cannot ride properly.

Loose chains can endanger your body and feet too. So, to keep it safe, you have to know how to do it. Go through the step by step process and do it by you!

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How to tighten a bike chain [Complete Guide]

How to tighten a bike chain

How to tighten a single gear bike chain

Here, we will learn how to fix a loose bike chain of a single gear bike. Let’s know how to fix it with gears.

Step 1: Position the Bike

Fir getting ready with the process of tightening the bike chain, you have to get your bike positioned. If you think that you can tighten it easily keeping it in an unbalanced position, you are wrong. If you are very seasoned in this sector, you might be alright with a stand-up position.

However, things are not just the same with inexperienced people. So, for the people that are beginners, we recommend you turn your bike over.

Now, get ready with your bike and put it into an upside-down position. Set it on the bike stand; keep the wheels on the air. Also, make sure that the saddle is on the stand.

Some people don’t have a bike stand. Here, you can use some layers of newspaper. Make sure you don’t scratch the saddle.

Step 2: Remove the Nuts

If you want to know how to tighten a bike chain, you must know how to remove the nuts. Now, it is time for you to remove the nuts of your bike chain so that you can tighten the chain.

If you want to adjust the chain, you will surely need to take the nuts out. The work of the nuts is to hold the tire of the bike to its body. All you have to do is take the nuts out.

For doing this, you will need a wrench. With the wrench, you have to hold the nuts and open them. For opening them, turn the nuts anti-clockwise. The will get loosen.

Step 3: Check the Tension

In this step, you have to extend the tension in the chain. Get a look at the rear tire now. You have to pull back on this. Keep doing this until you see the required tension in the chain.

However, certify that you are completing this process at a slow pace. If you go for quick movements, this will break the chain of your bike. So, to keep the chain away from breaking, keep up with a slow process.

During the pulling back, you have to keep checking the tension. Have a look at the tightness. Until you get your desired tightness, keep pulling back. In this process, ensure that you are free to move the chain at least ½ inch on every side.

Also, keep a close eye on the tire. The tire will keep centering the wishbone. This will help you in tightening it back again.

This guide might help you,

Step 4: Right Chain tension

How do you tighten a bike chain if the chain tension is not right? As we have already mentioned, chain tension is very vital when you are tightening the bike chain. When it comes to tightening the bike chain, the bike chain tensioner adjustment is the key.

If you see that it is not moving ½ inches on every side, you have to understand that it is too tight. As a result, you will never be able to turn the pedals comfortably. So, start loosening it a little.

If it keeps moving too far in any direction, you have to understand that the chain is not tight enough. So, in this case, go for a little more push and make it a little tighter.

Step 5: Re-tighten the Tire

So, after checking the chain tension, make sure it’s working perfectly. After you ensure this, you have to take the rear tire and put it back in its place.

Place the rear tire in its position first. Now, with the help of gears, you have to take the axle nuts and replace them.

In this situation, a socket wrench can be your savior. Take it on your hands for tightening the nuts.

After you are done, you have to text the chain along with the tire of your bike. Keep spinning the tire to see if it works properly or not. Bravo, your bike chain has been tightened!

How to tighten Bike Chain with a Derailleur

If your bike chain came off a fixie, it will keep hanging. But if you are dealing with a multi-gear bike and the chain is loose, it can injure your foot. You are not also safe in this situation.

And so, get the right tools first. Here, we will tell you how to tighten a bicycle chain with a derailleur.

Step 1: Right Position

Go for the upside-down position for your bike. In this way, the tire along with the derailleur will be in your reach. You can easily work with them.

Step 2: Find the Derailleur Screw

Now, you have to find the derailleur screw which is located on the back of your multi-gear bike. If you find the letter B written somewhere, you will get the Derailleur screw there. Turn the screw clockwise for tightening it.

Step 3: Adjust the Tire

First, disconnect the brakes of your bicycle form the cable. Now, lift the brake lever. Then, get your hands on the rear tire and adjust it.

For this, you have to go through the wheel axle and slide it to the rear dropouts. Gradually, you have to make small adjustments. Don’t make it too loose or too tight.

For every adjustment, you have to check the chain tension. An adequate amount of chain tension is highly required. So, every time you adjust it, you have to lower the brake lever.

If you find there it is not working right, you have to adjust it again.

Step 4: Re-attach the Bike

After adjusting and re-adjusting, at a time, you will feel that you are getting enough chain tension. So, now, your bike is ready for the ride.

To get the bike ready again, you have to know how to put a bicycle chain back on. Put the rear wheel on its position back. Derailleur screw should be tight enough.

Check the tires and spin it to make sure it is not touching the chain or the frame! And you are done!

Wrap Up

When it comes to tightening the bike chain, you have to follow the whole process carefully. If you are a DIY expert, you might love to have a shortcut method of tightening the chain. Alas, there are no easy methods of tightening the bike chain.

So, if you don’t know how to tighten a bike chain, you have to ensure you do every step mentioned above. If you do this process twice, you will memorize this and then, you will never forget.

Let us know how you tighten your bike chain in the comment box. What problems do you face while tightening it? Share with us!

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