How to Repair a Bicycle Chain

How to Repair a Bicycle Chain
Whether they're biking on country lanes, in triathlons or down rugged mountain paths, outdoors enthusiasts tend to ask a lot of their bikes. Bike chains, which are only meant to last for around 3,000 miles of use, are both vulnerable and a moving part that sees much wear and tear. Repairing the links of a bicycle chain is a necessary skill for any serious cyclist interested in do-it-yourself repairs, since the alternative is to get a brand new chain.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Chain tool
  • New links and rivets
Step 1
Locate the damaged link(s) in the chain. If broken links are not obvious upon visual inspection, check each link for its freedom of movement. Links that are especially stiff, even after lubrication, are probably the source of your problem.
Step 2
Bend the link back and forth on the chain to see if it is already loose enough to pop the rivet by hand. If not, proceed to Step 3.
Step 3
Place the link into the cradle of a chain tool, then turn the knob until the rivet is pushed out of the link. Then flip the chain and do the same to the link's other rivet, which is mounted on the opposite side. Remove the bad link and set both it and the rivets aside.
Step 4
Place a new link onto one end of the chain, and use the chain tool to push a fresh rivet (or one of the old ones if they are intact) into place. Flip the chain, join the two ends, place it in the chain tool, and drive in the second rivet.
Step 5
Check the new link(s) for freedom of motion, as well as to see how solid they are. If they move freely and hold together well, the bike chain is repaired.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.