How To Shorten A Bike Chain

How to shorten a bike chain

How to Shorten a Bike Chain is a Very Common thing that people do. We are going to discuss it in different steps. The ride on the bike is always enjoyable. It gives joy and relaxation but also keeps you fit and takes. you close to nature. It takes you the places where you cannot go on other vehicles. Some people can’t afford the diesel or petrol expense, so the bicycle is the best option to ride on. It is a comfortable and cheapest ride.

Cycle ride requires some experience or skill to keep it to go far away. It is essential to keep the maintenance and repairing of the bike. You should check and balance the wheel running, tires, gears shift and losing or tightening the chain.

One of the common problems of the bike is the chain issue. Sometimes, it can wear out or loose. The shortening of the bike chain is also required for the quality performance of the bike

How to Shorten A Bike Chain?

For the chain shortening of a bike, there are generally two methods. It depends on you whether you want to shorten the chain with tools or without tools.

Chain Shortening With The Tool:

Some people think that the tools are very expensive and they can’t afford them.  But they don’t have to worry about it, they can buy Oumers Universal Bike Chain Tool. This is a very effective and economical tool for bike shortening. Following are the steps to shorten the chain by using tools.

Bike Chain Tool


  1. To quickly access the bike parts, it is preferred to stand the bike and remove the chain. You can also keep the chain while doing this, but it may be not easy to access the link parts of the cycle.
  2. The next step is to clean the chain. A dirty or rust chain can interrupt smooth working so, check the color of the chain.
  3. After that, you have to search the master link of the chain. It is not confirmed that every bike chain has a master link. You can find it by its color, wider hole or extra joint, excess volume. If you don’t get success in searching this link, then you can use your chain tool.
  4. Then find out the whole chain length with the master link in the chain toolbox. After using it, keep it carefully or to somewhere you can remember in the future. Use the plier to remove the master link from the toolbox. Rivets are also essential, so don’t forget them also.
  5. The shortening process begins. It doesn’t matter which link are you using; the process is the same. So, first of all, the pushpin of the tool should be unreeled. Crack the chain into the device and make sure it is tight in the framework. The rivet of the chain you wanted to cut over the link must tighten the pushpin there. Till the buckle burst out, keep applying the force slowly.
  6. When you extract the tool, the chain will split, and the pin is released.
  7. Position all the rivets and links correctly. Tightly close all the pins, oil the chain, and you can get back to the road.

Chain Shortening Without Tool

Following are some steps to shorten the chain of the bike without a tool:


  1. Position the bike correctly on the bike stand and clean the bike thoroughly. Remove all the dust and debris from the chain and the cycle to access all parts quickly.
  2. Now, locate the master link to the chain so that you can easily pull apart it. You have to instantly find the link because it can be lighter or darker.
  3. Then turn the pedal to have access to the link. If your bike doesn’t have a master link, then pick up the link from where you can break it and shorten it.
  4. After you have access to your link, then determine the number of links you want to remove. This step is crucial because, after that, the bike running will depend on these links.
  5. You can use a hammer, pushpins, or pliers. They will help you to push the pin quickly. For passing through the open holes, you must hit the nail over the socket with the help of a hammer.
  6. Repeat the process for other pins. Remove the pins until you reach your desired chain length.
  7. Now, put together a link and knot the end of the association. Use a screwdriver to resemble things again. The clicking sound on both sides means that you have perfectly assembled the locks.
  8. Put the chain on the bike and make sure it is tight to the extent at you can ride the bike comfortably.
  9. At last, apply the oil or any lubricant to the chain to run smoothly and give you a comfortable ride.

Related: How to Put a Bike Chain Back On Gears


Is it easy to Find The Tools for Shortening The Bike Chain?

Yes, it is not difficult to find out the tools for the bike chain. You can quickly get Oumers Universal Bike Chain Tool Or you can also search from Google. Then, you can get the one you feel is of good quality from your nearby or any other local shops.

Is it Dangerous, if the Bike Chain is Too Short?

It is not dangerous, but it can stop the gear shifting and cause a hurdle while pedaling. It will extend out the derailleur cage. So, try to keep the chain appropriate to make your ride comfortable and relaxed.

How Much Should Be Between The Pins of the Chain?

There should be a distance of 12 inches between each pin. This distance should keep the same from the first pin to the last nail. If you have more space than 30.80 cm between the chain pins, you should replace it with a perfect one.


The bike chain is an essential component of the bike. Suppose you want to shorten the bike chain, two methods, i.e. with or without tools. Always remember that you have to care about the length both ways because if you short it too much, it can cause a problem. So, for a comfortable ride, keep it appropriate.

Jeffrey Kuck

Meet Jeffrey Kuch, a passionate cyclist who has been cycling for more than a decade. With his love for the sport and his unwavering dedication, Jeffrey has not only honed his skills but has also inspired many to take up cycling. As an avid blogger, he shares his insights, experiences, and knowledge about the world of cycling, helping fellow cyclists to improve their techniques and learn more about the sport they love. Whether he is exploring new terrains or competing in races, Jeffrey's enthusiasm for cycling is contagious. Through his writing, he hopes to inspire others to embark on their own cycling journey and discover the joy of the sport.

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