How to fix a broken bicycle chain
A broken chain doesn’t mean it’s the end of the race. Fix it fast.
- It’s bound to happen someday. You are sailing along when, with a sudden release of pressure, the chain snaps, with the grim task of untangling your nether regions from the handlebar stem. The team from Bicycling magazine isn’t prepared to help you cope with your injuries, but they’ll show you how to get back on the road.
- It snapped for one of two reasons: pure power from your legs combined with shoddy workmanship, or a botched gear change. In the first instance you will need to remove the damaged link and its partner before you refit the chain. In the second, adjacent links are likely to be twisted or damaged. You will need to get rid of damaged links before you start.
- When preparing to rejoin the chain, you have two options: the Shimano replacement pin, or DIY. The Shimano pin makes the process idiot-proof, but you will only be able to use it when if you’re carrying a spare. So, here’s the DIY guide: remove all the damaged links with a chain tool, push out the pin to be re-used so that a few millimeters are protruding inwards. This will help keep the chain together when you are fiddling with the aligning tool.