How To Replace Your Chain – MTB Maintenance
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How To Replace Your Chain – MTB Maintenance

October 8, 2019

changing your chain is widely overlooked by many mountain bikers but simply you can save yourself a lot of money in the long run on more expensive parts like the cassette and the chain ring using one of these chain wear indicators will tell you how worn your chain is and whether it needs replacing alternatively if you do have a chain that fails I would never replace it back on the bike simply get a new one regardless of how new it was there’ll be a video in the description below which will show you how to use a chain wear indicator okay so we’ve discovered that my chain is worn simply just find the power link on the chain here you can use these little pliers that make the job a little bit easier although out on the trail it is possible to split the chain with your hands if you have one of these flippin Shimano chains use sort of a solid pin that needs a chain tool to split the chain so here goes simply squeeze it together and there you go removing the power link by hand simply press both sides of the power link and squeeze together and it should just remove pipe up so alternatively a Shimano style chain will require a chain tool set it on the link that you want to remove and keep pushing the chain tool through the chain until the pin is completely removed there you go I felt it go so unwind it remove the chain there and then there’s your link removed so here I have my new chain make sure you get the right chain for your bike this is 11 speed cassette so I’ve got an 11 speed chain simply just measure it up against your old chain here so make sure it’s correct there and there you go so I know that I need to take one two three seven links out of that chain and it will be the same length as my old one but we’re not going to do it that way because say you’ve been out on the trail doing a really cool descent hit a rock and you’ve snapped your chain and you don’t have your old chain so we’re going to run you through how you should do it when you haven’t got your old one to refer to when putting a new chain on make sure your bikes in the highest gear and you’ve thread it through the derailleur correctly so the power link is a little bit loose here all your we going to do a little trick hold the back wheel and put some power on the pedals and the power link snaps together so it’s nice and secure so the next step is to get your chain length correct you want the chain to be as tight as possible in your lowest gear the derailleur look should look something like this as you can see my chain is far too long here so I know that I’m going to have to remove link split the chain now don’t go mad here just try and take a couple of links out at a time because you don’t want to be trying to add links back into the chain if you if you chop it too short got it on the link that I want just two links this time start to push it out remember that don’t push it all the way out in case you need to to put it back in because you’ve done it too short the link is all the way through the chances are you won’t be able to get that pin back in so now using my power link I’ll put the chain back together and check the length of it right so I’ve took a couple of links out on my chain just visually looking I’ve got quite a lot of chain here that’s going to mean my bikes very noisy so what I’d like to do is perhaps remove another couple get the derailleur pulled forward a little bit more and this will keep my bike nice and quiet out on this fair so there you go I’ve removed another link as you can see the derailleur is pulled forward there’s plenty of tension on there maybe you could squeeze another link out and have a slightly tighter chain but I think that will run pretty well and you’ll have some slick shifting with that however there is one more check to do if you ride on a full suspension bike the chain grows when the suspension goes through its travel so what we’re going to do is let the shock completely down and see if this is going to lock up so I’ve let all the air out the shock now I’m going to fully compress the bike right down as far as you go so you can see that the chain grows and it does get tighter I’m pretty happy with that I could push it a little bit more if I wanted to but I don’t think it’s worth the risk that’s plenty tight enough and hopefully I’ll have a nice quiet bike you could push it a little bit further and maybe have it like this a slightly shorter chain but up here that would really be the limit and you’re probably going to find your damage your derailleur or snap your new chain so there you have it that’s how you replace a chain and for more videos on g mbn click up here to check your chain for where and if you want to put some power through your chain click down here and learn how to pedal like a pro and if you found this video useful don’t forget give it a thumb up like and as always click on me to subscribe to G mbn that way you’ll never even miss a video

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  1. 02:00 – remove 7 links? Maybe half-links? Because I thought one link contain one inner half-link and one outer half-link and have kind of "male" and "female" ends in order to connect with another link.

  2. I have a power link on my gold KMC chain. Every few rides I can just effortlessly take it off and give it a good scrub in a bucket of water. Can't stand those fiddly pins Shimano use!

  3. Good vid and covered the main chains well, I agree with Marc that you should always measure a new chain from how it looks rather than off the old one, never assume the last person got it right (including new bikes) always keep the chain clean and never keep adding oil on top of oil, degrease, clean and lightly lube ??

  4. hi gmbn,is it easier to bunny hop on a mountain bike as compared to a hybrid?I have a Raleigh misceo T2 and I was wondering if the geometry of the bike would affect a bunny hop

  5. Which exact ones are the power links you can re-use to make chain cleaning a lot easier by just taking it off? And how long do they last?

  6. been with you guy's for a while now ,you do good work! I've been riding mountain bike's for about 15 year's, mostly downhill and later /now trail centres and stuff! and wish I'd had you guys from the start! although I'm starting to think some of your vids need to be a little longer, not by a massive amount just maybe 5 minutes. keep the great videos coming!!

  7. I only just started mountain biking a few weeks ago and you guys have already helped me a lot! Your videos are informative, to the point and really entertaining. And whenever someone makes me laugh while simultaneously teaching me new things, that's a win in my eyes. So thank you and keep up the great work!
    Greetings from Germany.

  8. Hmm I've always measured chainlength via the big cog – chainring method, without routing through the derailleur. What's the advantage of this method? More optimal length?

  9. Can you do a video about installing a part that you bought that you are planning to put on a bike? Maybe like how to put on a shock or a fork or a new drivetrain? That would be awesome. Love this channel and you guys! -Jeremy

  10. Simpler way to get correct length is thread the chain over the largest chainring and largest sprocket without going through the rear mech, pull tight to where the links would meet then shorten the chain to two full links more than where they meet then thread through mech and join the chain. Perfect chain length.

  11. come on, really.  take a couple links out as a guess, then compress the suspension and see if its right,  then add a link back in if its too short.  WTF!!   this is horrible technique.    first, air down the shock and compress the suspension all the way. wrap new chain around biggest cog and biggest chainring and through the derailleur. pull tight, and add one full link, which is an inner and outer link. this sets a 1X system so it has correct tension in all gears, and sets a 2X up so you don't rip the derailleur off.

  12. It would have taken you 10 sec to show how to use the chain wear indicator tool, instead of pointing to another video.
    A maintenance tutorial/course should be from start to end, one linear experience, not an amalgam of links to other videos.
    If you want, you can point out at the end of the video, the annotations for the related videos.

  13. Very nice. I've only seen the method where you just compare your old to your new but I was very curious to know how to do it without another older chain for reference. I may have to take a few links off mine to tighten it a bit.

  14. I never have put my bike into the 36t rear/ 42t front to see if the chain is long enough, but if I ever use that gear combo I hope I hit a tree.

  15. I never have put my bike into the 36t rear/ 42t front to see if the chain is long enough, but if I ever use that gear combo I hope I hit a tree.

  16. nice, I changed my first chain last weekend and now I have a little bit of hate for my local LBS for having only the expansive Shimano chains.

  17. hew, with just 2 clicks you could be of great help for me. I'm participating in a contest at my local bikeshop. If I get the most likes on my picture I'll win a new bike and I plan on giving it to my best friend. If you've got a Facebook account you could do me a huge favour and just click the link below to give the picture a like!

  18. Hello, thanks for another great video! I've just finished changing the chain on my bike and I'm now noticing the shifting is just a bit choppy. There seems to be just a little bit of lag that when I'm pedaling and shifting, it feels clunky. I'm guessing the chain is losing tension for a split second under shifting.

    Does this mean the chain is too long? I removed one link from the size of my old chain thinking that was too slack especially considering my derailleur had loads of room to move forward at the lowest gear setting. How do I resolve this for smoother shifting? Thanks!

  19. +Global Mountain Bike Network what if you have 3 chain rings? It was mentioned in the video that the chain must be as tight as possible on the lowest gear. For us with 3 chain rings that will be biggest sprocket and smallest chain ring. is that correct? On the comments, people are saying biggest sprocket and biggest chain ring. Which is correct?

  20. Why no mention of how the power lock links can only be used once? Power links on the other hand can be used multiple times. SRAM does not recommend using power lock links more than once- do your research. It changed when they went from 10 to 11spd cassettes. Wonder how many people f'd up their rides when this link wore out…

  21. The biggest flaw in this video is not taking any time to show how to route the chain through the derailleur. It may seem trivial, but I've seen many people not route it over the metal support tab.

  22. This is the best approach. The more common advice of going around the largest sprocket & ring without the derailleur resulted in a chain that was too short. Now I've got two power links in my chain. :-/

  23. Hi thank you for your vedio this is my first time to change my chain bike its work fine and start bike to work save bus fare

  24. Hello i have a question. Mi bike has a shimano xt groupset 34t the chain ring, but the cassette is 11_50 sunrace a 11 speed. A use a shimano slx chain with 116 link and the person tha installed added 6 more link so that chain is 122 link. And a week after installing the chain brake. And want to know do i have to do the same thing get 2 chain to make one with 122 links? And wish is better shimano chain o sram?

  25. Best to have counted the links or measured your chain when it was good, made a note of it and then when you need to fit a new chain just look in contacts on your mobile phone where you have noted the links.

  26. Cycled about 2 hours up to a new trail today. Got almost all the way there no worries. Then bang! The chain snapped, whipped up and slashed the back of my leg. So no riding, because no chain, and plenty of blood! Hehe the free wheel/ walk home was the part that hurt the soul the most!
    Thanks for this video, really helpful, and I can see what shortfalls my bike setup was already in!

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