Bicycle chains are one of the most important parts of a bike, and they require proper maintenance to keep running smoothly. A well-maintained bicycle chain will be smoother, longer-lasting, and have fewer accidents because of a broken chain.
Well, it depends on how you intend to use it. If you’re planning on cycling in hilly terrain, a bike chain that is too loose can quickly lead to trouble. However, if you’re going for a leisurely ride through the park, a bike chain that is too tight might get stuck and refuse to budge until you loosen it up.
The key is to make sure your chain has enough slack for the type of terrain that you’ll be riding it over.
How do I know if my bike chain is tight enough?
It is difficult to get a chain that is neither too tight nor too loose. If the chain is too loose, it will slip and jump around while riding. On the other hand, if the chain is too tight, it will be difficult to turn and will wear out faster. The right chain tension ensures that you have the best performance for your bike.
At this point, we’ll be sharing with you our secret method for measuring the tightness of a bike chain. This technique is simple and easy to do, and you can use it to measure the tension on your chain any time you want to as well.
The most common way of measuring chain tension is by using a tool called a chain checker (otherwise known as a chain wear indicator or a tension gauge). Chain checkers are often used by cyclists and mechanics to ensure that the chain is sufficiently tight, but they have their limitations. Although they are inexpensive and very easy to use.
To find out if your bike chain is properly tightened, first set the gears in their lowest range and pedal backwards. Then repeat this process with the gears in their highest range. If you feel resistance then your chain is too tight.
There is an interesting blog post from bicycling.com about some rare facts for bike chains!
What happens if the bike chain is too tight?
When a chain is too tight, it can cause the gears to wear out much quicker, too. If you usually ride many miles a week, it will definitely be a problem for you.
When you hear the chain rattling against the chainrings and freewheel, you need to slacken the chain. And when you hear grinding noises when pedalling, there is a good chance your bike chain is too tight!
Also, If you are riding your bike and the chain suddenly gets tight it can cause a lot of damage to the bike and to you. If the chain is tight enough it will stop the rear wheel completely, causing you to fall over (similar result if your mountain bike wheels are not straightened). The cause of a tight chain can be something as simple as dirt caught in between the sprockets or it could be something as complex as a bad link on the chain itself.
Reasons why your bike chain is too tight
- It’s the wrong size for your bike
- The derailleur needs to be adjusted
- You need to clean and lube your chain
- You might have a bent or damaged chain
- The cassette or freewheel is worn out
- Your hub bearings are loose
- Your wheel axle nuts are too tight
How do you put tension on a bike chain?
A bike chain uses a set of cogs and sprockets to transmit power from the pedals to the wheel. The cogs and sprockets are connected by a chain, which allows them to turn at different speeds. However, if you’re biking uphill and you put too much tension on the chain, it can jam up.
There are two main ways to put tension on a bike chain. One is to use a special bike tool called a chain whip. The other way is to use a standard adjustable wrench and a bolt that connects the bottom bracket to the frame.
- Put your bike in the correct position.
- Loosen the rear axle.
- Pull back on the rear tire.
- Check that you have the correct chain tension.
- Tighten the rear tire back into place.
- Test the tire and the chain.
Summing up, a bike chain should be tightened to keep it secure and prevent it from coming loose. Without proper maintenance, a loose bike chain will wear down the sprockets, which can cause irreparable damage to your bicycle. We hope that you found this article helpful in order to solve some of the questions you might have.