How to repair a chain

At some point in the life of your bike, you may need to replace or repair your chain. Here’s how:

Thread the chain through the derailleurs

 To fit the chain on the bike, thread it through the front derailleur, and round the sprocket set. You then need to thread the chain over the top jockey wheel, through the derailleur cage, around the lower jockey wheel, and through the cage again, so that it runs along to join the other end around the chainring.

Once this is correctly routed, it’s time to join the links. This process will vary depending upon the type of chain you have.

Joining a Shimano chain

Shimano chains use a chain pin, which feeds through the links to join them. To join the chain, the male and female side must be aligned, and pushed together.

Once the links slot into place, the pin must be pushed through the links.

To complete the join, you’ll need a chain rivet tool.

The outer end of the pin is a guide only, so this will feed through the chain links and protrude from the other end. The rear end of the chain pin is the section which will link the chain together.

Line the pin up through the chain, then push the guide end through to hold the chain in position. Place the link into the chain rivet tool, then start to screw in the pin. Stop twisting the handle when the pin becomes flush with the edge of the chain link.

Once the pin is fully inserted, remove the chain from the tool. Test the chain, and if the link is tight, insert it back into the rivet tool as directed in the video, and loosen the link slightly.

To remove the pin guide, use the back of the rivet tool to twist off the excess.

Joining a SRAM chain

SRAM chains use a powerlink device, made of two split links. To join this chain, you need to line two male links against each other, before pushing two sides of the split link together to complete the chain.


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