How to Replace a Chain on a Bike – Sizing & Installation

How to Replace a Chain on a Bike – Sizing & Installation


This video will walk you through each step of chain replacement, including checking & removing the old chain, sizing and routing the new chain, and connecting the chain using a connecting rivet or master link. Also included are instructions for peening Campagnolo® 11-speed chains.

Questions or comments? Leave them below!

See all our chain videos in our chain repair help playlist ▶︎

Video contents:
01:03 Tools Needed
01:21 Check Chain Length
02:06 Remove Chain – Master Link
02:44 Remove Chain – Connecting Rivet
03:20 Chain Sizing w/ Original Chain
04:28 Chain Routing
05:22 Connecting the Chain – Master Link
05:52 Connecting the Chain – Connecting Rivet

➤ Tools & materials used:
• MLP-1.2 Master Link Pliers –
• CT-3.2 Chain Tool –
• CT-4.3 Master Chain Tool With Peening Anvil –
CL-1 Synthetic Blend Chain Lube –
• See all Park Tool chain products –
• Repair Stand –

For a text-based walk-through of this process:

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➤ About Park Tool:
Since our founding in 1963, Park Tool has been the leading name in bicycle tools. Our YouTube channel is an extension of our mission to be the ultimate resource for mechanics and riders of all skill levels. Here you will find comprehensive repair help tutorials for a wide range of components and processes, as well as troubleshooting guides, tips and tricks, and information on the latest Park Tool products.

➤ More Chain Repair Help:
• The Park Tool Guide to Chains ▶︎
• How to Clean and Lube a Bicycle Chain with a Park Tool Chain Cleaner ▶︎
• When to Replace a Chain on a Bicycle ▶︎
• How to Fix a Broken Bicycle Chain ▶︎
• How to Replace a Chain on a Single Speed Bike – Sizing, Installation & Tensioning ▶︎
• How to Size a Bicycle Chain ▶︎
• How to Size a Campagnolo Bicycle Chain ▶︎ 8

100 Comments on "How to Replace a Chain on a Bike – Sizing & Installation"


  1. I just successfully completed my first chain install while following this video. Thanks Park Tool!

    Reply

  2. I replaced the the chain on my full suspension 3×9 mtb,using the large large method and fully compressed rear shock.When on smallest chainring and smallest sprocket the chain seems too loose.

    Reply

  3. Question: if I installed a directional chain incorrectly, then pressed the pin/rivet enough to break the chain, twist it correctly, then re-press the pin, should I be worried about the durability of the chain? Both operations done without actually riding/using the bike between them.

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  4. I have heard on other videos that when installing a new chain, it should first be cleaned of all manufacturer lubrication, then re-oiled. What is your opinion on this?

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  5. I'm running a 3×9 and the 2 slight bends are there when the chain is on both of the big cogs but when it's on both of the smallest,the chain toches itself.Do I need to shorten it a bit?

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  6. When you break the old chain, why do you need to select a pin a few links away from where it's been riveted previously? The chain is going to be thrown out so why would that matter?

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  7. My old chain got tangled cuz some paranoid idiot had to get scared and drive away causing me to go up on a raised side walk .😠

    Reply

  8. Thank you Park tools .This video made my job so much easier . I agree with previous comment nice BEARD

    Reply

  9. Hey parktool! In November I purchased an older Fuji road bike with downtube shifters. (Thats how old it is) The chain was rusty, so I just put lube on it and called it good. Should I get it replaced? Thanks

    Reply

  10. I feel anger. This video is horrible. There is no mention that when sizing, I needed to end up with two male ends. I now have a male end and a female end in my sized chain, which I have carefully threaded through the derailleurs. I do not know what to do next without seriously messing up. If I remove that female link, my chain might be to short. I guess I won't be riding today unless I can find a friend who knows what to do.

    Reply

  11. add some more details on inserting the chain, with camera focussing on the rear cassette etc.
    Everything is just perfect

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  12. I clean and lube the chain on My Sava road bike every 30 km. Keeps the chain well clean and lubed. The key is adding the right Lube for your environmental weather. I use WD -40 bike chain lube that is a wet mix for humid environment. That is the best chain lube I have ever used.

    Reply

  13. I don't have a quik chain ,how do I do a regular chain ???, the old one stretched are you for real ?? tell me what I need to know !!!!

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  14. Someone from SRAM told me to NOT remove the original lube on their chains because it's the very best chain lube.

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  15. Sooo, new chain has stock grease which is for stocking chains for long time, not for lubeing, i allways wash that off, second kmc makes all the chains, all you have to match is speed

    Reply

  16. This is the only video that I could find mention of driving the pin in a particular direction. Good job! Wish it was mentioned in the other park tool chain sizing video.

    Reply

  17. Newbie question. If you use the chain tool to break the chain by driving the rivet out , why use a different rivet to reconnect ? If you drive the rivet out, so that the male end drops away but the rivet remains in the outer plate. So when reconnecting the chain ends why not just connect the chain by pushing the rivet back into place ?

    Reply

  18. If you're unsure it's always good to watch a couple of videos before you start installing anything… then you don't have to be the idiot that blames someone else for your own incompetence!

    Reply

  19. 5:05 horrible video angle… Can't see wtf you're routing exactly when the camera keeps cutting at the worst timing…

    Reply

  20. Hi guys.
    After letting bike tire down, loosening back break, removing tire, following instructions for measuring new chain without existing one, fitting connectors, re-threading new chain, putting back wheel back on, adjusting breaks and testing gears all work (and all upside down and reverse to videos as video instruction bike was suspended right way up), and after 5 hours of "can do attitude", I changed my chain. Yeh! Thanks very much lads for detailed instructions. Oh "girl power" by the way. Female. Never done before. Got frustrated many times, but never gave up. Now I'm mobile. Thought – could you do a video for those that aren't able to suspend their bikes right way up to repair chain?
    From England, UK.

    Reply

  21. Wish I’d seen this video, 10 yrs ago as I didn’t use a new pin when I replaced my chain. The pin came out and ripped up the front derailleur. It’s what we used to do when I was a kid. I use a power link/missing link now much better idea than the stupid pin.

    Reply

  22. 5 hours ago I had a dirty Road Bike now I got a single speed with a lot of slack on my chain. Jeez I should have watched this before I started.

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  23. how would i remove a chain on a old 1970 schwinn bike chain? i wanted to keep that chain, but take it off for cleaning, i dont believe it has a master link.

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  24. I ended up putting my chain on and it's was too big but I do not own any of those fancy measuring tools to tell if it's too big but I can't tell it's has too much lengeth any other way to tell if it good enough lengeth

    Reply

  25. I watched this video following the one about repairing a broken chain. In the video about repairing a broken chain, it says it is only a temporary fix to get you home, where you buy a new chain. But this video, your break the chain, run it through, reattach it, and its good to go? So what was the point of the other video, and why would I have to replace that chain and not this one?

    Just to be proactive, I'm looking for answers in general regarding installing new vs repairing bike chains, and not something like "well if the chain broke it probably needs replaced".

    Reply

  26. Can we reuse the same connecting rivet which was extracted once to connect the chain again?

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  27. Problem is following: how often do we change our bike chains ? Maybe once every few years ,chain tool costs more than a chain…
    😁😁😁

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  28. 8:15 " it might be a symptom of a worn cassete so you might need to replace those" throws the metal cassete on the table and … BLAAAM!!!
    I guess that this sound we just heard is a symptom of a worn table as well. You might need to replace the table too.

    Reply

  29. Shimano hyperglide pins should be inserted from the inside – I never knew that before and did it from the outside for the last 25 years! Never had a problem but the explanation of why it should be done that way was clear. Thanks 🙂

    Reply

  30. I've installed then chain but I find it skips on the smallest 2-3 cogs at the rear. I know it was one link short on the previous chain, the the size still seems good. I'll check for seized links. But any other tips?! I also replaced all gear cables as well, but the alignment looks good.

    Reply

  31. what if there is no chain…how do you determine what size and length chain to get ? i have a torker tristar single speed tricycle…it uses 2 different sized chains…..the front one looks like a typical bike chain as far as the link size…but this chain is too small for the rear chain….pedal crank to coaster gear…then a 2nd chain from the coaster to the rear axle cog….
    even better , why in the hell would a 400 dollar tricycle use 2 different sized links on their drive system ?!?

    Reply

  32. Where do I get the mechanic from?…
    I don’t want to lose orientation while swapping out my chain!

    Reply

  33. I replaced the chain on my bike and now it makes a pop kinda like its trying to skip but only in 7th gear and only if i push hard on the peddels

    Reply

  34. So awesome, wanted just to be sure but this video is so good and informative that I really enjoyed it so much …
    Thank you !!!

    Reply

  35. When mounting a new 105 chain, I recognized that shortly before pushing the new pin fully in, it got pretty loose for 1 or 1,5 turns again before resisting even more, so I stopped. Looks good from the outside, but I found it irritating that it felt like pushed too far.
    So relating to the video, I experienced 3 force surges,
    Can anybody relate?

    Reply

  36. Very well done videos! you include so much more details and side demonstrations, it make this process a lot more doable for a novice person like me. Thanks

    Reply

  37. Wao, wao. What a High Quality Video and very well explained with all the illustration. Great job guys.

    Reply

  38. I've seen this video on friday 19th juli and the next day saturday 20th jui I did ride on my bike from home to alkmaar( I live in a town that's about 35km from alkmaar) to buy a Masterlink-plyer. No MLP1.2 (park tool) But, a chaintool from the store called Decathlon. It has a different brand but, works the same.

    Reply

  39. When confirming the correct length, you need to account for chain stretch. If you haven't replaced your change in while it could seem like you need to remove a chain link, when you really don't.

    Reply

  40. I have a diamondback sorrento and my chain is bent and I can’t find the link that I need to break to replace it every link looks exactly the same so my question is can I brake the chain any where

    Reply

  41. What does it mean if my chain keeps slipping like I everytime I change my gear to one of them it doesn’t catch or something and I have to skip to the next one so it makes it really hard climbing hills now without worrying the chains gonna come off.

    Reply

  42. Very good video. The only thing that bothers me is the pronunciation of derailleur. Just say "derailer" if you can't do a correct French pronunciation. None of this "derailier" stuff.

    Reply

  43. How does the chain hold together without the rivet at 6:20 ? I'm trying to put back my rivet but holding the chain, the rivet and the tool at the same time is impossible

    Reply

  44. I have a Genesis Incline MTB (29") 21 speeds I purchased for Walmart.. I bought a replacement chain that's of the generic brand name "KMC-Z8.1. All original mechanical parts are Shimano. Do you think this chain will work? The packaging on the new chain's box says it's compatible but is not brand specific. The original bike chain does not have a master link. The new chain does.

    Reply

  45. Oh my god lol I was struggling with the master link but just found the solution to put it back. 5:35, amazing content

    Reply

  46. Question: If I'm removing a chain in order to clean it, and it's a chain with a special connector rivet but no quick-link, do I break the chain several links away from the connector rivet, if I'm going to put the same chain back on? Or do I use the connector rivet to break and remove the chain, and use a new connector pilot pin/rivet to put it back on? thnks, hope my question is understandable.

    Reply

  47. 177 jackasses clicked thumbs down for a helpful and informative video. Some people need to go straight to hell.

    Reply

  48. Him: "Using the needle nose pliers is difficult at best"

    Me: gets it on first try

    You do not need to buy the Master Link tool.

    Reply

  49. i get mixed info about chains. i run Shimano cassettes on a SRAM red shifting system with a SRAM chain. no shifting issues, but should i be using a Shimano chain to extend cassette life?

    Reply

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