Is It Time for a Chain(ge)? Part II


Yesterday’s mission of evaluating and removing our chain was like climbing up Alp d’Huez in your biggest gear.  Today we will be  going down the back side of the mountain so we should just be able to coast.  Remember, though, as I mentioned here, to make sure you pedal during your descent in order to purge the lactic acid from your muscles so you’re not sore tomorrow.

OK, enough of the fluff.  Let’s get to the good stuff.

III.  Putting the New Chain On – I trust you picked up a new chain when I asked you to?  Good,  let’s get started.

  1. Remove the chain from package and place it on your workbench next to the one we removed yesterday.  The new chain will be longer than the old one so we are likely going to need to shorten it by 2-3 links.  Remember what we learned yesterday about how to remove a link?  DO NOT DO THAT AGAIN!  I don’t want to ruin the new chain.  Let’s use this tool instead.
  2. WOW!  That was super easy!  Maybe we should have just used that tool yesterday;  we would have been done in like 2 minutes.  Lesson learned.  
  3. Now that the chains are the same length; let’s install the new chain.  It’s easier to put the chain on with the rear wheel installed so go ahead and do that.  I know this is obvious, but please make sure that the cassette is on the correct side of the bike.
  4. Take one end of the chain and put it on the smallest gear of the cassette and begin to pull backwards.
  5. As you continue, put the chain around the small gears on the rear derailleur and then proceed towards the front chainring.  Make sure you don’t let go of the other end because if you do the chain come off of the rear cassette and we will need to start over.
  6. Put the chain around the front chainring, bottom first, turning the crank counter clockwise until the ends meet.  Don’t forget to go through the front derailleur as you bring the chain around the top. 
  7. Now that the ends of the chains are together you need to connect them.  Oh, did I mention that you needed to pick up a master link when you got the chain?  No?  Sorry about that.  I’ll still be here when you get back.
  8. Welcome back.  Yeah,they are kind of expensive aren’t they?! 
  9. Go ahead and connect the master link.  Now these can be a little tricky to get locked in so you are just going to have to read the directions for this.
  10. Please remember to double-check the rear skewer and re-engage the rear brakes.  I would feel really bad if you crashed the next time out!
  11. If that is all cool, pedal the bike and shift the gears to make everything works.
  12. Nice work, we’re finished with the chain. 

IV.  Final thoughts – Well, you did it and it only took about 3 hours.  Now that you know my patented procedure for chain replacement I am going to leave it to you to pass along to others.  I’m gonna get me some of those fancy tools!!

Wait, I just remembered something.  Did you happen to check the front chainrings and cassette to make sure that they are still in good shape?  I would hate to have to start this process over.

Love, live, and ride.


  1. Great blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Bless you!

    • Dean says:

      Thanks for the comment. I went with a paid site and got my domain at Easy process and was up and running within a day. It has taken some time to set the blog up with everything but it was not too bad. Visit often.


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