How to Put a Chain on a Mountain Bike? (Step by Step)

Regardless of how affordable or costly your cycle is, you can come to fix or replace your chain one day. A mountain bike framework might be a little more complicated, but the chain-change process is similar. You’ll have a new chain in your bike in no time using the right tools and a little patience.

Are you aware that metal extension is not the reason for your chain stretching? The rollers and pins wear away, resulting in a certain amount of narrative, contributing to the chain addendum.

To see if your chain needs to be replaced, position the tool against the chain’s roller and attempt to position the chain’s tool’s latter side, beginning with the 0.5 percent side. If the chain does not slip between the rollers, it has not exceeded the 0.5 percent stretch limit and does not require substitution.

Unless the tool does slip between the rollers, turn it over and try the 0.75 percent side. If the tool does not slip between the rollers, the chain’s span would be between 0.5 and 0.75 percent. At this point, most vendors suggest replacing the chain. It’s up to you whether you substitute your chain at 0.5 percent or wait until it’s at 0.75 percent.

13 Steps to Put a Chain on a Mountain Bike

Below are the steps to change the chain on a mountain bike:

#1: Holding the Bike

You are unlikely to be enough for your kickstand to have a good look on your bike without falling over. It works great, but you can also turn your bike upside down so that it sits on the seat and your handlebars.

If you inspect your chain with the wheels facing up, you can inspect and work on it more conveniently. Lean up your bicycle against a wall if you don’t have a rack.

#2: Getting a Picture

Would you please take a picture of the chain to refer to it later to make the reinstallation process accessible? Check to see how the chain feeds via the gear mechanism.

#3: Find the Master Link

A master link is a unique pin/slot link in your bike chain that lets you quickly remove the bike’s chain. Connex and SRAM are two popular types of master links.

If you know where your master connection is in advance, chain substitution will be smoother.

  • Check the chain size and brand-specific link of a bike.
  • If the master link is not available on your bike, you may install it yourself or do it at your local bicycle shop. The system is usually cheap, and in most cases, it costs approximately $20.
  • Order a chain tool to remove the chain if your bike has no master link and prefers not to have one installed. These pieces of equipment are inexpensive and essential.

#4: Adjust the Chain

If you have a master link, it is essential. It can be complicated to remove a master link located on the chainring or gear teeth. At the mid-point between the crankset and the rear wheel, the positioning of the master link is suspended.

  • You can still enjoy proper chain positioning when using a chain tool. Some of your chain’s components are dirtier or wearier than others.
  • With your chain instrument, you can remove a clear segment of the chain located at the midpoint between the rollers.

#5: Removing the Chain

When you have a master link, use master linking pins or your hands to squeeze the two ends of the master link inwards so that the pin gets out of its slot. You can remove the chain now that it is in position. If a chain tool is used:

  • You have to set the chain tool on the link that you want to delete to aligns to either side of the link with one of the round holes.
  • Screw the chain instrument so it passes through the hole. It pushes out the pin, which keeps the bond together. Try not to push the pin entirely out of the connection. The reassembly of this link of the chain will be difficult, or in some cases, impossible.
  • When the pin pushes away from the link, you will often feel a popping or snapping. The connection has been disengaged; it is a good indicator.
  • Although some chain tools can be used on several different chain sizes, they are only intended for certain size links. Before using the chain tool, check the instructions.

#6: Don’t Use Failed Chains for Replacement!

Chain failure is usually due to its reaching limit or too many stresses—chain failure. Replacing an unsuccessful chain on your bicycle could make the road even worse.

It is suggested that you get a new chain instead of reusing old ones to avoid injuring yourself or your mountain bike.

#7: Measuring the Chain Before Replacing

You must use only your bike kind of chain. An 11-speed bike, for instance, is using an 11-speed chain.

Hang your old bike chain, and do the same for your new chain next to the old bike chain.

  • If the new chain is longer than the old one, count the number of links. It will have to delete the number of links.
  • You can remove links after filling your chain into your bike’s drivetrain if it has not been able to measure your new chain.
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#8: Put the Chain in the Gear Mechanism

You may need to refer to the pic of the chain mechanism you took earlier for a more complicated mountain bike. Simple processes can be easier to understand.

Pull the chain around the overall drivetrain unless both ends meet at the wheels’ bottom half midpoint.

Placing your chain’s ends at the bottom midpoint between your bike’s wheels will make it easier to reach and allow gravity to hold the bike on the bike until you can secure it.

#9: Removing Extra Links

You need to remove some links if your chain is loose. It’s probably the case when you cannot measure your chain.

Shift to the lowest gear on your bike, then use your chain tool to shorten the chain from one link to the other until your driving gear is tight.

  • If additional links are removed, avoid popping up the pin and keep them completely free. If you shorten too much, it will become challenging to re-connect the link.
  • You must tighten a chain in its lowest gear in between the wheels for the most refined ride.

#10: Attaching the Loose Ends

All you need to do with a master link is slip the link into your slot to complete the link.

It would be best if you repaired the split bond by lining its halves together and using a pair of pins to force the pin to revert to the hole to finish the connection you removed using a chain tool.

If your master link pin slides into place, you should feel a click or pop. You can also pull the chain on either side of the link to securely place the central link pin.

#11: Testing

Place your bike back on its rack and move your hands manually to run the chain through the drivetrain for your bicycle.

The chain should be fluent. When you notice strong links, often caused by a protruding connection pin, they can be fixed with the chain tool and the pins.

Test your chain length by cycling the suspension and settling down several times over.

Lubricate your chain with a proper bicycle chain lubricant to protect your chain from elements and operate smoothly on the drive train.

#12: Use Chain-wear Indicator for Evaluation

A chain wear indicator can be found at a bike shop or even a hardware store.

To interpret the indicator’s reading, you’ll need to connect it between your chain’s links and follow the instructions on it.

Most chain wear indicators would have a sticker that distinguishes between a worn chain’s values and an unworn chain.

Check the box that your wear indicator came in for these values if it does not. You should check the chain by hand if you do not have a wear indicator.

Take a part of your chain with your fingers from your bike’s chainring using mild pressure.

Between the chain and the ring, a small space should develop. Your chain is worn if you can see through the gap over three or four teeth.

RECOMMENDED: HOW TO CHANGE GEARS ON A MOUNTAIN BIKE?

#13: Test for “Wear as a Simpler Alternative”

If using a wear indicator or a physical gap check isn’t an option, check for wear by rubbing the bike chain’s ends.

Place your chain on a clean surface, with the holes facing up and down. After that,

  • Help to relate the chain ends while holding the holes facing up and down. The movement of your bike’s derailleur bends chains over time.
  • Take note of how much lateral flex your chain has. A worn chain can have a considerable amount of flex. Newer chains are less likely to strike and just arc slightly.

Our Advice!

Your bike drivetrain is a part of the transfer from the chain to your gear to move the wheels of energy you put on your pedals.

You’re going to want the chain to feed into the gears to pay extra attention. You can replace it more easily by knowing how the chain fits into the mechanism.

Tom Fortune has been reviewing cycling products for several years from his home in the French Alps. As a freelance mountain bike wrtier, he mainly reviews mountain bike products but also reviews road cycling products independently.

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