One of the most important accessories you need is a bicycle chain tool because it will help with your bike’s chain. In this article, we’re going to discuss more about this tool and ways it is handy to use, including in shortening a bike chain. Learn more.
The bicycle chain breaker tool or more commonly referred to as a chain tool is a mechanical device that is used to ‘break’ the chain of a bicycle in a manner where it can also be mended using the same tool. The chain of a bicycle consists of plates and links that are held together. These pins though can be pushed out and be removed as needed via a chain tool when for example you need to shorten your bicycle chain. This simple tool is an essential to any biker’s toolbox.
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Bicycle chain cleaning tool
Your bicycle chain logs in all your riding adventures. It will carry around bits and pieces from your last ride may it be red mud from your desert adventure, road grit from when the rain was pouring down two days ago, or some clusters of pollen from that pretty garden you breezed by this morning.
Leaving these riding souvenirs is nice, but it can cause your chain to accumulate those unwanted dirt and debris causing some negative impact to the way your bicycle shifts, the way you need to exert more effort to pedal, and a lot of efforts being wasted.
There are a lot of ways to clean and cleaning tools that can be used to maintain the cleanliness of your bicycle chain. The first one and the top favorite is your trusty lint free rug and your preferred chain lube. You simply wrap your chain into the cloth and pedal back the drivetrain to get rid of the muck. After the chain clean, you can re-apply the lubricant as needed. This is a good practice every after ride.
Another trusted cleaning tool would be water and a degreaser brush or a rotating brush to do a thorough scrubbing. Moderate cleaning would entail these tools and a more detailed chain cleaning tool would involve removing the chain rings, chain, and cassette from the bike and individually cleaning it with a cog brush or paint brush with a degreasing bath. Extreme cleaning agents would involve denatured alcohol and ultrasonic cleaners.
How to use a chain breaker
Anybody can use a chain breaker, but before you go about with this, make sure that your chain is not equipped with a quick release link. You can check by turning the pedals backwards and checking every chain link. A quick release link looks different so you’d easily spot it. If it doesn’t have one, then you can just use a chain breaker by following these easy steps:
Once the chain is firm and you’ve line up the pin, breaking the series can be an easy task. Make sure you have carefully chosen the exact size pin before getting started. Always remember that the pin and the bolt would always need to be on the same level.
- Hold the alignment bolt and continuously turn the bolt counterclockwise until the bin is set farthest away from the handle.
- Insert your chain link that you have already marked in the chain breaker and the turn the alignment rod. Do this until the pin and rivet are parallel with each other.
- Using a wrench or a screwdriver, turn the chain breaker so that it forces each of the rivet out. At this point, some elbow grease can make a difference in getting the rivet to completely drop off via the chain breaker’s bottom.
How to shorten a bike chain
With your handy dandy chain breaker tool, you can easily shorten and adjust your bike chain when deem necessary. The first process to complete is to know how many links are you supposed to remove. Ensure that you measure and start with a few links first because it is always easier to keep on removing than adding links back to the chain.
After deciding on number of links that needs to be removed, clamp the succeeding link of the chain. You can do this by starting that the end of the chain that is not connected to the master link. You should keep that link in place with a clamping tool if possible. If the kind of chain that your bicycle has does not have a master link, you can start with any of the chain’s links.
The next thing is to push the pin to have it out of the way. Align the punch on the tool over the pin of the link and slowly rotate the handle of the chain tool clockwise. You can stop when the pin is out of the exterior plate but is still connected to the link. Do not force the pin out. You can repeat this process until you have removed the necessary number of links and when done, you can continue with reassembling the chain and connecting it back together.
How to remove a bicycle chain without a chain tool
A chain breaker tool is your best buddy when you want to do some maintenance work for your bike but should you be in the position that you are without one and you need to remove your bike chain then it is still possible. It is going to be a harder process but still manageable. Here are the steps to remove your bicycle chain without a chain tool:
- Try to get close as possible to your bike’s chains and check if you it is designed with a master link or sometimes called a chain link. This is easy to spot because it is different from the other chains and it is designed to be a quick link meaning it can easily be disconnected or shorted.
- Position your chain link over a screw nut. Make sure that it 100% coincides with the nut hole else you might end up unscrewing the screw from the chain.
- Use the sharp edges of the pin on the screw of the chain link and then with the use of your hammer, exert force and pound on the sharp edges of the pin. The pin should easily come out from the chain.
- After the chain has been broken and opened, you can proceed in whatever fix or maintenance you need to do. If you need to shorten the chain’s length, replace it or clean it, then you may already do so.
Hoping this post has helped you understand more about a bike’s chain tool. Stay tuned with us for more updates and help articles. Finally, share this post among friends you think also need to know about the bicycle chain tool.