​How to Get Your Bike Chain Back On Without Stopping

How to Get Your Bike Chain Back On Without Stopping

You knew it was coming but it always takes you by surprise when you finally get there and look up. Here it is, right in front of you; your nemesis – Over The Top Hill. You are currently in your big gear ring up front and decide to shift down to your small “Granny” ring to try and tackle this large hill. You shift down and all of a sudden you are spinning very fast but starting to come to a complete stop. You look down and sure enough your chain has been kicked off, forcing you to have to stop to try and put it back on. Let’s learn how to get your bike chain back on without even having to stop.

How to Avoid This Scenario

You try to remember back to your how to repair bicycles manual to see what it was that you should have done to avoid this. The last time this happened, you got grease all over your hands which in turn managed to get all over your handlebars. It made quite a mess of everything you touched. Let the class begin.

How to Get Your Chain Back On – No Stopping Required

Chains come off for a number of reasons but the main ones are usually due to trying to change gears too quickly (whether going higher or lower). When you are moving your chain between your front chain rings (2 chain ring setup pictured below) and you try and jump too many gears, the likelihood of your chain falling off is quite high. Unfortunately though, there are also times when it doesn’t matter how careful you are, it still happens.

Front Derailleur to the Rescue

If you know how to repair bicycles, you will also know that your front derailleur (pictured below) can be used to get your chain back onto your front chain ring where it should be without even having to stop to get off your bike. Let’s see how.

The function of the front derailleur is to move your chain back and forth between each of your chain rings (some bikes have 3 while others only have 2). Here are the two possible scenarios of having your chain come off.

Chain Off Scenarios

  • ​Chain comes off on the inside
  • ​Chain comes off on the outside

Let’s now see how we can fix these without even having to get off the bike. When your chain comes off the inside of your chain rings all you need to do is to move your front derailleur over as if your were gearing up to the next chain ring as shown in the picture below.

If your chain comes off the outside of your chain rings then all you need to do is the opposite that you did previously and move your derailleur back as if gearing down to the next gear ring (see picture below). In each of these scenarios, the derailleur will help re-align the chain and get it back to the position that it should be at.

If you notice your chain coming off on a regular basis you may also want to make sure that it isn’t worn out.

​Grease Has Its Place Sometimes

​If you know how to repair bicycles, then you are also probably familiar with getting your hands very greasy. Greasy hands are acceptable if you are fixing your bike at the shop, but not so great when you are trying to ride your bike. This front derailleur technique illustrates how to get your chain back on so that you can stay focused on the task at hand; to get up and over that massive hill as fast as possible.

Grease Has Its Place Sometimes
Robert Flaherty

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