Simple 4 Step Guide to Calibrate the Bike Chain for Off-road Rides

Have you ever wondered what it is like to completely re-do the chain on your bike for off road riding? Have you tried doing it yourself? If you are a beginner, this can be pretty hard to do.


Knowing how to fit a bike chain on your bike will save you money and time to have it replaced by a home mechanic.

Remember that you chains eventually need to be replaced one way or another, and developing this skill will come to your advantage in the near future, or whenever you decide that it is time to replace your bike chains.

Also Read: Install folding tire in you bike

If you want to use your chains for off road trails, it is important that you know the basics of shifting your gears. Whether you own a mountain bike, a road bike, or a hybrid, gears will come in basically any kind of bike. Knowing how to use it properly will make you soar like an eagle through your off road trails.

Grab Your Chain Tool for Off-road Riding

Having a chain tool to replace your chains can really come in handy, and especially for off road trail riding. These types of tools can be found in almost any bike shop and sold at really affordable prices.


If you already have your tool with you, it is important that you bring it with you every time you are out on a ride, as off road trails can sometimes damage the chains easily due to all the rocks that can end up hitting your chains.​

Grab Your Chain Tool for Off-road Riding

Before changing your bike chains, you must first make sure that you have the right tools to get started like:

  • Chain splitter tool or also known as the chain breaker
  • Chain checker tool
  • A piece of broken spoke
  • And quick link pliers

This can all contribute to a job well done, and you have to make sure that you have them at all times. There are a few exceptions when it comes to installing new chains, and manufacturers often make the chains so that they are compatible for any kind of bike.

But you sill need to match the speed of the drivetrain mechanism and its other components.


Remove the Old Chain

Using the chain splitter tool, out of the lower stretch of chain push out the pins, and undo the quick link if you have on installed on your bike. Once you have successfully extracted all of the pins from the chain, carefully remove the remaining chain from the bike.


The danger would be, if you have allowed your chains to wear out too much over time, then you may need to consider changing the entire cassette of chains at the same that you are replacing the old chain.


Try to Fit the New Chain to Your Bike

While hold the chain, shift the rear derailleur and place it into the biggest cog and the front of the biggest chain ring, then release the clutch mechanism. If you have a rear derailleur you can also release the clutch from there.

Even out the end of the chain through the front, and turn the cranks so that there are a few inches of the chain dangling below. The other end that is found inside the seat stay, lay it over the chain cassette and pull down on the rear derailleur.


Thread the chain over the top of the upper jockey wheel, and through behind the tab in the derailleur cage, and over once more the lower jockey wheel and last but not the least through the lower tab. Once you have done these, you may now gently release the derailleur.


Size the Chain of Your Bike

When you buy a chain, you have to always make sure that it will fit any bike and it operates in any gear, without damaging the bike. to accomplish this task, you need to find out if the chain fits in the two largest rings of your bike.

With the chain in its position, pull the two ends of the chain together and towards each other and measure promptly which one to split by hold the chains in place in your hands. This is where you will need the broken spoke tool.

Change bike Chain

If you are certain that you have the right length of chain, but there can still be some movement in the derailleur arm, split the chain in two using the chain tool. You can test this out to see if it works, by shifting the gears to the smallest cogs, and manually moving the chain around.


You May Now Join the Chain Together

to join the chain together, make sure that the two ends are inserted using a joining pin with the splitting tool. When the pins are in place, you may now snap off the end of the chains, with a pair of pliers.

Now you grab the rear wheel and start turning it until you can see that the chains are working properly.


After you have done this step, you may stop the rear wheel, just make sure that when you turn the wheel to check if the chains are working, that you apply pressure to the pedals until the link is fully seated on the bike.

How to Care for Your Bike Chains

Once you have successfully installed your new chains to your bike, it is essential that you know how to maintain and care for your bike chains. The best way to prolong the life of your bike chains, is through regular cleaning and proper lubrication using a chain cleaner.

You can find this cleaner at any DIY or hardware store and is fairly cheap. Have you ever tried running the chain backwards when you were still a kid? That is actually bad.


Remember that you should avoid the temptation of running the chain backwards, because this can severely damage the cassette. When you have kids around, make sure that they do not touch this mechanism, because it is the most important part of the bike.

Final Words

Preparing your bike for off road, means that you need the right chains, and the right gear to accomplish a successful off road trail. Always make sure that you maintain and regularly clean the chains so that you do not have to optimize it again the next time around.

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