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How to Remove an Old Bike Chain

Learn how to remove a bike chain from Silk Road Cycles' Brendon Nicholas in this Howcast bicycle repair and maintenance video, part one of three.


All right. Today we're going to talk about installing and taking off a bike chain and when you should do that, when you should replace your chain.

So I'm going to use some park tool gloves or you can use any type of gloves. It's nice to have because sometimes these chains get really gross and they could have anything on them. You know, dog crap, blood, anything. So you may want to use gloves.

So what you're going to need is you're going to need a couple different things. Here's a chain checking tool. Basically what it does, it checks the stretch of the chain. This bicycle went on a 3,000 mile trip across the country so the chain is probably going to be pretty stretched and this will judge if it needs to be replaced or not. This is nice to have at home just to check your chain once in a while because if you catch your chain before it stretches, you can just replace it and you won't have to replace your drive train.

So I'm just going to hook the tool in. Most of the tools look pretty similar. And you can see it just drops right in a slides back and forth so he has lots and lots of miles on this chain and it's very. very worn out. So this is worn out to the point of where he's going to have to replace his cassette in the back here which are all the rear gears and also all the gears in the front as well. So you don't want it to get to this point.

So now that we've checked the chain to see that it does need replacement, we're going to use a chain tool which, they all look pretty similar. So basically a chain tool is a pin that's going to push the rivet that is on the chain through and push it out so you can release the chain. It also is used for installing the chain as well on some chains.

So what I'm going to do is just find a spot. This chain is a Shimano chain. It does not have a quick link. So quick link is basically this thing right here or they're also called Powerlink . Tram calls it Powerlink. It comes on a lot of chains and basically it's a really easy way to install and take off a chain because they just snap together instead of using an actual chain tool. You'll still have to size your chain so you may still need a chain tool.

So we'll just pick a random spot here because this chain could be thrown in the recycling bin and push the pin through and out the other side and then you just release your tool and there you go. The chain is off. So now that you have your old chain, just throw it in the recycle bin.

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