How to Tighten a Bike Chain – Step by Step Complete Guide


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As a regular cyclist, you should experience a detached chain again and again. It doesn’t mean that your cycle has got a huge problem. So, don’t panic yourself. With the help of the right tools, you can make the chain tight yourself.

Though the bike chain is the must need a component for a bike, you can’t even think to run the bike with a loose chain. Sometimes the chain feels much loose, and you don’t feel the actual pressure during pedaling you felt before. This could be the moment where the chain can come out completely from the cassette.

Here, I’ll let you know about the reasons you need to tighten the chain. Moreover, you’ll find the common question those people are asking about how to tighten a bike chain. Also, later part of the writings, you’ll be informed about remedies for getting the chain to loosen. Finally, some additional suggestions will help you to keep continue the process smoothly.

Why do you need to Tighten your Bike Chain?

The loose chain can fall completely off from the cassette anytime. That’s why it is a risk to ride on a sagging chain bike. Also, it will bother you a lot. Besides, loose chains can’t produce the power you need to transfer to run the bike smoothly. Think that you travel by a loose bike, and the chain falls regularly. What will you do then? You have nothing to do but ride on the loose bike. It may ruin your travel completely.

Those are the reasons why you have to tighten your bike chain. Without tightening, you will feel disaster. Therefore, there are no alternatives other than tightening the bike chain.

Methods of Tightening Bike Chain

If you want to repair your bike chain tension, then you need to follow some steps. Before that, you will need some tools to tighten the chain. So, make sure that you have the tools in your hand.

The list of the tools are:

  • Wrench
  • Hammer
  • Gloves
  • Clean Cloth

As you know, there are mainly two kinds of bikes that are available according to the gear system. One is a single gear system, and another one is a multi-gear chain system. So, methods for both the gearing chain system will be described in easy steps. So, just follow them.

Method 1: Single Gear Chain Tightening

Step 1: Flip your Bike

First of all, you need to flip your bike and sit behind the rear wheel. After that, place your bike in that position so that you can easily reach the bike wheel joint.

Step 2: Lose the Back wheel

Now, you need to loosen the back tire with a wrench. The axle nuts should be loosened carefully.

Step 3: Use Hammer to Pull Back

In this step, you need to take a hammer in your hand and hit the nut area. You need to be careful while hitting the axle nut. To pull the nut, you need to hit the hammer on both sides of the joint of the rear wheel. You should be careful about the tension while hitting.

Step 4: Fix the Tension

To fix the tension, you should always remember the perfect tension for attaching the chain in your bike. If the chain is very tight, then there will be a possibility of tearing the chain. So, make sure that you are providing the exact tension.

Step 5: Tighten the Rear-wheel Nut

After hitting, it’s time to tighten the nut, which connects the rear wheel to the body frame of the bike. To do so, pick your wrench again and make the nut round in the opposite direction. After that, check the connection. Do you know how to tighten the bike chain single speed? You need to do the same performance again to do so.

Method 2: Multi Gear Chain Tightening

For a multi-gear chain system, you know that there are different chain arrangement remain in the wheel a connection. If you don’t know about how to tighten a bike chain with a derailleur, then in this portion, you will know the procedure.

Step 1: Point out the Derailleur Screw

After accessing the rear wheel, you need to point out the derailleur screw, which is a small screw. You will find a printed letter B on the body of the bike near the rear wheel junction. After pointing the screw, you are allowed to go to the next step.

Step 2: Time to Tighten the Rear Wheel

In this step, you need to tighten the rear wheel by increasing the chain tension. You should slide the wheel a little backward and check the tension.

Step 3: Place the Rear Wheel in position

Now, you need to place the rear wheel in the position and use the wrench to tighten the screw. This procedure is also known as derailleur procedure.

Step 4: Check the Adjustability

Once you are done with the previous steps, then you are ready to check the adjustability of your bike chain settings. After checking, you will understand the tension and feel the change.


1. How to tighten the Bicycle chain?

For tightening a motorbike chain, you need to access the rear wheel first and place the joint of the rear wheel with the body a little backward and make sure that you are getting perfect tension.

2. How do I know if my bike chain is too loose?

If you feel that you are providing enough pressure but not getting the exact result, then you will understand that your bike chain is too loose.

Chain Cleaning and Lubricating

Regularly, you should clean and lubricate your bike chain. Cleaning and lubricating can be a good remedy for the loosening chain. That’s why at least once in a month, you have to clean and oil the chain. Besides, you already know that the chain and drive train are the messy part of a bike. This mess can affect the longevity and performance of the bike. A dirty chain and drivetrain can increase the rate of chain wear, alleviate flexibility of the chain links and finally, affix wear on the drivetrain cogs and derailleur assemblies. That’s why you should do cleaning and lubricating.

Cleaning: Firstly, brush out the joints of the chain with a toothbrush.

Then with a piece of soft cotton fabric, wipe the chain gently.

Do not apply any solvents for cleaning the chain and drivetrain as solvents can damage the links.

Lubricating: After cleaning, relubricate the links of the chain with a dropper.

Wipe off the extra lubricant with a clean piece of cloth. Do not do over lubricating, as over lubrication attracts the dirt.

Additional Tips

You may follow some additional tips to tighten the bike chain by yourself. As you are not going to a bike repairing shop, then you should know about the tips.

-Do not use a hammer or anything for tightening the bike chain.

-You should carry chain and drivetrain maintenance tools with you during riding.

Final Note

Even when you are maintaining the proper maintenance, there’s been a chance the chain popped up from the drivetrain anytime anywhere. That’s why you should learn the chain tightening process and some regular maintenance of the chain. Thus, the bike will support you in providing a smooth ride.

Always be careful while working with the bike chain and the measurement.

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