How To Remove A Bike Chain And guidelines to remove it yourself

To you, which is the most convenient mode of transportation?

Not only you but also most of the people will reply “Bicycle”.

Yes, the bicycle is the most convenient, most popular and the most energy-efficient machine. And bicycle chain is the most integral part of your cycle that do more work than any other parts on your bike.

You may need to remove your bicycle chain if-

  • The chain stretches and wears out
  • It becomes dirty
  • It loses gears

Hence, in order to clean or replace, you may require removing the chain.

But do you know how to remove a bike chain?



Our step by step instructions will help you to remove your own bicycle chain so you don’t have to take your bicycle to a specialty shop to get fixed.

Before learning the procedure of how to remove a bike chain, have a quick look at some important points.

  • A bicycle chain transfers power from the pedals to the wheel to make it moving.
  • Usually, bike chains are made from alloy steel or plain carbon. There is also chrome-plated and stainless bike chain which is rust-free.
  • A standard chain length is about 56 inches. It may have 114 external links and 114 inner ones.
  • Chain in the earlier bikes without a derailleur features a master link that you can open with a flat-head screwdriver.
  • Chains in the latest derailleur bicycles have a master link.


Chain replacement and maintenance is a disputable issue. Is it really essential to change a chain after every 1000 or 2000 miles?

Chain durability depends on your riding style, soil, and sand rain or snow, gear, gear, type of lubricant and lubrication method.

The reasons for removing a bike chain are:

  • A bad link
  • Broken link
  • To wash the dirty

Now let’s go to learn how to remove bike chain.

Things You’ll Need

  • Chain tool
  • A pair of surgical gloves
  • A small U-shaped piece of solid wire (coat hanger)

Chain Tool

  • It is a very useful tool while removing a bike chain. It helps you to cut the links to adjust the chain to the appropriate length.
  • Various models of chain tool are available. A smaller one is perfect to carry in the bike bag.
  • There’s no suitable household tool to remove the chain pins. You’ll surely need the chain tool.
  • There is a small cradle (centered over a small hole), a handle or a bolt above the cradle.
  • The handle turns and pushes a pin against the pin on the chain to push out.

Surgical Gloves & U-Shaped Piece Of Solid Wire

  • These are useful while removing bike chain, but not crucial.
  • Use the U-shaped piece of solid wire to provide a little sag in the chain to make a sloppy part in the chain.

 Step By Step Procedure

For Derailleur- Equipped Bicycles:

Step 1:

Before getting started, make a figure on how the chain works through the Derailleur. When installing a new chain, you’ll need to follow it back.

 Step 2:

Set the bicycle upside down on the seat and handlebars or up in a work stand. Make sure that it won’t move or fall over while you’re removing the chain.

 Step 3:

From the bottom run, dislocate the chain to remove it from the chain rings. The bottom run is the part of the chain that runs under the chain stay. The chain then falls loose from the gear and bottom bracket of the bike.

 Step 4:

Place the chain across the jaws of the chain tool. Make sure the chain pins align with the slot.

Twist the pin extractor clockwise. It will make the pin out of the link.

Step 5:

Slightly bend the chain sideways. It will help to separate the links. If you remove the pin, you don’t need to bend the chain. It’ll separate naturally.

 Step 6:

Finally, you have the broken or old chain off. Don’t throw it yet. You’ll need this old chain to measure and fix the length of your new chain.

Count the chain links of the removed chain and again those of the new chain.

To pull out the spare links from the new chain, use the chain tool.

Things To Remember

  • Before you push the pin all the way out, stop to push and try to pull the chain apart.
  • Go slow.
  • Notice that you’ll feel a slight increase in resistance when the pin almost releases from the link.
  • Avoid re-using any old pin which may cause failure of the chain.

Use a Retainer

It’s very helpful to use a chain retainer before removing it from the bike. It is about two inches long piece of wire having two 90 degrees bends on both ends. Over the link that you decide to remove, slip the bent ends of the chain. If you use the retainer to break the chain, it won’t allow the derailleur to jump back when the pressure will release. During re-installing the chain, use the retainer in the same way.

For A Bicycle Without Derailleur:

If your bicycle has no derailleur, the procedure of removing your bike chain is slightly different.

As the chain stretch, you can easily remove the old chain without loosening the back wheel.

For Shimano Riveted Chain:

Shimano riveted chain features specially tapered rivets. The rivets are guided into the holes in the outer plates. To drive out the pins and to replace the pins, you can use a chain tool.


Removing a bike chain is effortless if you know the steps and what tool you’ll need.

After going through our step by step instructions, you now obviously know well how to remove a bike chain. You’ve found it as a very simple and easy way. Removing a bike chain with the chain tool is a snap.

Hopefully, you can now do it yourself and it’s not difficult at all.

Remove the old chain, wash it or replace it or the new one.


Go far and go fast with your bike!

Joe Carrow

Product reviewer & passionate blogger. Beside writing for this blog, I spend my time crafting research based contents for HuffingtonPost, Lifehacker & Forbes!

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