How To Remove A Bike Chain

How To Remove A Bike Chain

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If you put a lot of miles on your bike, the moving parts will eventually wear out.

In particular, if you start to hear rattling and noisy sounds from your chain, or your experience poor shifting on your bikes, it signals the time to replace the chain.

If you’re a novice rider, removing a bicycle chain might be quite challenging.  Understandably, removing a bike chain is not the easiest task, but we shall show you to remove the chain.

In the guide below, we shall outline various steps you can use in removing a bike chain.

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How To Remove a Bicycle Chain Using a Chan Tool

Tools you’ll need

  • Chain tool
  • Surgical gloves
  • A small U-shaped wire

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Interesting Features

  • 2-Step Cleaning Process (Video Included)
  • This bicycle chain cleaner is designed with gears and bristles that facilitate the full cleaning in the gap in the chain
  • You can utilize this chain cleaner on multi-speed bikes and a number of single-speed bike models

A DIY Video Guide on How to Remove Bicycle Chain


Chain tool

A chain tool is quite a handy tool for removing a bike chain.

The chain tool will help you cut the links for easy adjustment of the chain to the appropriate length.

It turns and pushes the pin from the chain, and this will allow you to take out the links.

Surgical Gloves

While surgical gloves are useful for removing a bike chain, they’re not crucial.

Nonetheless, they’ll protect your hands against the greasy mess from the bike chain.

U-Shaped Wire

The wire is instrumental in supplying some slack in the chain by pulling the links together to create a loose “belly” in the chain.

Step By Step Procedure

Watch this video on how to Replace a bicycle chain

Step 1:

Before you remove your chain, you would want to figure out how your chain works.

Ideally, you should take a picture of the chain and use it as a guide when reinstalling the chain.

Step 2:

Set your bike upside down, with the seat and the handlebars on the ground.

Alternatively, you can use a work stand.

Either way, ensure the bike is sturdy and won’t all during the entire process.

Step 3:

Dislocate the bike chain from the bottom run to remove it from the chainrings.

The bottom run is part of the chain that runs under the chainstay.

Once you remove the chain from the bottom run, it will fall loose from the gear and the bottom bracket of the bike.

Step 4:

Place the chain across the jaws of the chain tool.

While at it, ensure the chain pins align correctly with the slot.

Then twists the pin extractor clockwise, and this will force the pinout of the link.

Step 5:

 To separate the links, you'll need to bend the chain sideways slightly.

However, if you remove the pin, you’ll not need to bed the chain as it’ll separate naturally.

Step 6:

By now, you’ve successfully removed the bike chain off.

But don’t throw it yet.

You’ll use the old chain as a measure and to fix the length of your new chain.

Count the chain links and match them to those of the new chain.

What To Remember

  • Don’t be in a  rush
  • Before pushing the pinout, stop to push and try pulling the chain apart
  • When the pin is about to release from the link, you’ll feel a slight increase in resistance
  • Avoid re-using an old pin

Use a Retainer

A retainer is a piece of U-shaped solid wire with 90 degrees on both ends.

Use this wire over the link you decide to remove by lipping the bend ends of the chain.

If you use the retainer to break the chain, it will prevent the derailleur from jumping back when the pressure releases.

How to Remove Chain Links Without a Chain Breaker Tool

A bike chain removal tool is designed specifically for removing a bike chain.

Nonetheless, it’s still possible to remove a bike chain without needing any specialized tools.

You simply need a needle pliers and a hammer.

Removing a Chain with Master Link

Some of the bikes feature a master link.

A master link is not fused like regular links and can be removed.

To remove a master link from a bike, twist the link with a pair of pliers. Then tap the link gently to allow it to pop out.

Removing a Chain with No Master Link

The process is slightly different for removing a chain with no master link.

To remove the chain, you’ll need to;

  • Bridge the bike chain across two solid supports such as a block of wood.
  • Place a punch tool over one of the rivets on the chain
  • Push the rivets out using a hammer
  • Separate the chain to remove it

You can similarly use this method to shorten a new chain

Then, take a punch tool and place it over one of the rivets on the chain.


Removing a chain is an effortless affair, provided you know the steps to follow and the tools you’ll need for the task.

If you carefully go through or step by step instructions, you’ll understand how simple and easy it is to remove a bike chain.

Hopefully, you can now do it all by yourself.

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