Many people commonly ask themselves how to tighten a bike chain.

Bike chains can be as efficient as 98.5 percent, which is very impressive. You can lose the chain if you don’t have a diverter.

A derailleur is the gear shifter to the rear of a period. Your bike’s chain should be tight to move its ups and downs by only one inch.

But, if it is looser than that, then it requires tightening the chain so agile. Even if you maintain your bike regularly, the chain will come loose occasionally.

Your chain may not fit very well if you have worn out rotation parts. It jumps out when the tires move and occasionally loosens or come off ultimately.

If this happens, don’t worry; tighten the chain by following the steps described here, and with some use, it will fit appropriately into the gear and stop loosening.

Unsliced As Daniel hicks said and mentioned at the top. You would need 100% perfection in all your drive components to run a chain tight.

Also, an ancient chain will come loose; it has worn so gently from a movement that it doesn’t fit properly into the gears at the moment. For such a chain, the exclusive remedy is a replacement. Learn fix bicycle gears. You can do it by following the easy steps;

  • Turn the bike over
  • Pull the rear tire back
  • Recognize the precise tension
  • Tighten the rear wheel
  • Check again

Chain Wear

Wear or “stretching” of the chain occurs naturally over time while driving.

If you keep driving with a worn chain, you’ll also start wearing out your cassette teeth and chaining’s.

This inconvenience is impossible to reverse, so it is an excellent initiative to continuously check chain wear and replace the chain. It is feasible that you will have to replace the entire drive train.

If you experience a chain jump, if your chain falls off unexpectedly, or your shifting is usually abrupt, always check the chain for wear.

Even if you have no problems, checking chain wear once a month is an acceptable initiative.

Chain Check Tool

This utility is not expensive and is a safe way to understand when you need to replace your chain. You will see a 0.5% on one side and 0.75% on the other on the tool. The developer recommends replacing the chain on most 11 and 12-speed chains when it reaches 0.5% wear. Check all bike parts.

With 0.5 apparent on the bottom of the utility, use the hook on the left side to ensure utility on one roller in your chain. If the opposite radical slips between two rollers instead of sitting on the top, you have a worn chain and should replace it before changing the derailleur further to fix any issues.

Loose nuts on the rear axle can cause accidents since they shorten the distance between the pedals and the wheel.

On bikes with many gears, the derailleur problem may be the cause of the problem. If you have to tighten the chain continuously on this type of bike, you should check the derailleur for dents or bends.

How to Tension a Bike Chain with a Gear

This procedure is for everyone who has a bicycle with only one gear.

What is the procedure?

Turn the bike over

  • First of all, turn your bike around. The wheels have to be in the air. You have to be in a practical region to tighten the chain very well.
  • Lose the rear tire
  • Caution should be exercised when losing axle nuts. These nuts hold the rear pull and will help you change the tension in your chain.

Pull the rear tire back.

At this time, pull the rear wheel, which will increase the chain tension of the bike. Do not remove the tire so hard, or you may break the chain. Then, complete this step slowly.

Recognize the precise tension

  • You can detect the chain tension by moving it half an inch in both directions.
  • If it moves any further, push it back also.

Tighten the rear wheel

  • After setting the chain tension, tighten the axle nuts carefully.
  • Make sure the rear wheel is mounted on the bike frame. Always be aware of the position of the rear tire while tightening the nuts.

Check again

  • If you did all this development with success, it’s time to recheck your work.
  • If the chain moves precisely half an inch in any direction, you have to tighten the bicycle chain to repeat all the steps.

How to Tighten a Bike Chain?

To tighten a chain on a bike, it is essential to follow these steps.

Chain with regular use tends to make the chain slack. It doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with the bike. With the right tools, you can quickly tighten the chain.

A bike chain is a vital ingredient of any bike. When you pedal, it transfers capacity to the wheels, making it easier to keep up. The moment it’s loose, the capacity transfer rate decreases, and it can’t propel the bike forward. Learn put a slipped or fallen bike chain back on

The chain on a bicycle can fall off entirely, but it usually only comes loose. If it’s not flexible enough, you can continue pedaling to your destination and then adjust it.

How to Tighten a Bike Chain

How to Tighten a Loose Chain in a Fixie

You will need the following tools:

A socket wrench

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A bike rack or an area where you can place your bike upside down

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High-quality bicycle lubricant

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  • Goes on wet and sets up with a dry 'wax-like' synthetic film that helps keep your chain clean by not absorbing excessive amounts grit, grime, or dust.
  • Thanks to the added Teflon fluoropolymer, Finish Line's Dry Lube minimizes pedaling friction, repels moisture, and withstands rides up to 100 miles.
  • Dry Lube is especially recommended for riding on or off-road in dry, dirty, dusty environments, yet it holds up well in moderately wet conditions.
  • An extremely versatile lubricant and a perfect choice for many road and off-road cyclist. Dry Lube can also be used on derailleurs, shifters, cables, and brake pivot points.
  • Reduces wear on sliding and rolling surfaces, and easily penetrates chain bushings, quickly coats derailleur, brake and shifter pivots.

A rag

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What steps should you take?

Step 1: Set your bike in the right position.

If you have a lot of experience with the development of chain tension on a bicycle, you can do it with the bike facing up, but I suggest you turn your bicycle around so that you can quickly get into the parts.

Put your bike upside-down in the bike rack. Put it with the wheels in the air and the saddle in the frame. If you do not have a bike stand, you should locate an area slowly to not scratch the saddle.

how to tighten a bike chain with gears

Step 2: Loosen the rear axle.

To change the chain, you have to remove the nuts that hold the tire to the bike. To do this, use a socket wrench and carefully turn the nuts counterclockwise until they come loose.

how to tighten chain on mountain bike

Step 3: Pull back the rear tire

This is where the tension in the chain will increase. Carefully pull the rebar until you get the desired chain tension.

It would be best if you did this development very slowly since some agile movement can break the chain. While pulling back, check the tension, and continue until you have the desired pressure. The idea is that you can move the chain at least half an inch in both directions.

Make sure the tire remains centered on the fork so that it is easy to tighten.

how to tighten a bike chain with a derailleur

Step 4: Make sure you have the right chain tension

The chain should move half an inch in some direction, but I would like to comment on this. As you pull the tire back, the chain’s tension will change; you can feel it as you work.

If it moves enough in any direction, it assumes that it is not tight enough and must be pressed a little more on the tire.

Avoid turning the pedals, so it is substantial to provide this step correctly.

Step 5: Squeeze the rear tire in place

If you are satisfied with the chain’s tension, it is time to put the rear tire in place and replace the axle nuts.

One at a time, replace each one and with the socket wrench, make sure they are tight enough.

The tire must be repositioned correctly in the frame. When it is acceptable to put it back on, it should not touch the bike frame or chain.

Step 6: Test the chain and also tires.

Move the chain in the desired direction to test it. Remember to move it only half an inch.

Rotate the tire to make sure it travels appropriately and does not contact the chain.

Derailleur: How to Tension a Bicycle Chain?

When your bicycle chain comes off the fastener, it tends to hang down. This, in itself, is not a significant risk.

However, a loose chain on a bicycle with many gears can represent a real risk since your foot can get caught and cause serious injury.

You can tighten a bike chain with gears very quickly, and this may help you.

If you notice that the chain on your multi-gear bike is loose, you should get off immediately and walk to the nearest place where you can get it fixed.

If you have the right tools and know the steps, you can fix it right there.

Sometimes it is necessary to tighten a bike chain with a derailleur, which may get you out of a hurry.

This is what you should do:

Step 1: Place the bike in the right position

  • Turn the bike upside down on a bike stand so that the tire and derailleur are within reach.
  • If you don’t have a bike stand, you can find a quiet area that won’t scratch the saddle and handlebar.

Step 2: Locate the derailleur screw.

  • On multi-speed bikes, at the back of the derailleur, there is a screw. On most bikes, you’ll find the letter B, and with it, the screw.
  • To increase the bicycle chain’s tension, you will have to turn this screw clockwise with a tightening movement.

Step 3: Access and adjust the rear tire

Start disconnecting the brakes from the cable, so lift the brake lever and then lift it so that it has access to the rear pull.

Step 4: Adjust the rear tire.

  • To increase the tension on a derailleur chain, slide the wheel axle toward the rear dropouts by making only small changes as you go; you don’t want the chain to get too tight.
  • For each adjustment, lower the brake lever and check for sufficient chain tension.
  • If not, lift the lever and continue shifting until you are satisfied with the result.

Step 5: Rebuild everything.

When you feel that you have enough tension in the chain, you should rebuild everything the same way and ensure that the derailleur screw is set and tight enough.

You need to check that your tire is rolling correctly. It prevents it from coming into contact with the chain or the frame of the bicycle.

If you are not satisfied with the tension, repeat the development.

All of the above may seem annoying, but you will become natural after doing it once or twice. Be sure to wear gloves to secure your fingers and have a rag handy to wipe off the lubricant as you work.

How tight should a bicycle chain be?

It should run about half an inch in some direction. If you tighten the chain on your bike following the steps described here but still have some slack, it means the chain itself has expanded; over time, the links have a chance to grow more, so you may need to remove some to get the precise amount of tension.

How to Tighten a Bike Chain: FAQ

What happens if a bike chain is loose?

The moment it is loose, the capacity transfer rate decreases and cannot propel the bike forward.

The chain on a bicycle can fall off entirely, but it usually only loosens. If it’s not loose enough, you can continue pedaling to your destination and then adjust it.

How tight should a single-speed bicycle chain be?

There should be precisely half an inch of movement in the chain up and down. Look for a point halfway between the front and rear sprockets.

To change the tension, loosen one of the axle nuts, move the wheel subtly forward or backward and readjust it.


It is perhaps typical to see the bike’s chain come off in a cyclist’s daily life. But quite a few people have no idea how to fix this fault. At different times this happens because the bicycle is not taken care of. One thing that can help you in tight time is to tighten the bike chain single speed.

Last update on 2021-09-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Robert is the Editorial Director of Easy Trip Guides. He is an enthusiastic outdoorsman with experience in naturalist training, outside experience instruction, and writing, notwithstanding his outdoor side interests like Mountain biking, exploring, and outdoors. He is a tremendous fan of underground rock, launched a few new businesses and business adventures. While investigating the backwoods, He, as a rule, convey under 10 dollars of gear. Long stretches of experience have instructed him to pack light. He appreciates sharing his experiences of backcountry training, educating, and guiding through writing in Easy Trip Guides. He loves biking and riding a motorcycle, and he is doing it since his age was 19. Robert has vast knowledge about road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, e-bikes, motorcycles, and its al accessions. At Easy Trip Guides, Robert covers all biking and motorcycling blogs and product reviews.